As I mentioned before, I’m not sure exactly where this blog is headed now that I’m on the entrepreneur/Girl Boss path that no longer requires Lady Lawyer suits or working in an office. (I’m also not sure where my wardrobe/style are headed but that’s a story for another day.) I thought I’d mix things up with a review of one of my new favorite local restaurants, Farmer’s Bottega.
Farmer’s Bottega is located in the historic Mission Hills neighborhood (just west of our casa in Hillcrest). According to Wikipedia, Mission Hills “is located on hills just south of the San Diego River valley and north of downtown San Diego, overlooking Old Town, Downtown San Diego, and San Diego Bay.” What this means for non-San Diegans is that the hillside views are un.be.liev.able. The neighborhood is filled with local businesses and boutique shops (like this favorite), delicious restaurants, Bungalow and Craftsman homes that will make any porch lover swoon, and a lot of charm. It has a small-town feel in the heart of San Diego; we love taking afternoon walks and are frequently greeted by friendly residents. I would love to own a home in this neighborhood someday!
Back to the topic at hand: Farmer’s Bottega. I am automatically a fan of any restaurant that serves breakfast in the afternoons during the week, so I knew we would be fast friends. Put simply, my need for hollandaise simply can’t be satisfied on the weekends alone. This charming new eatery offers a plethora of delicious Eggs Benedict variations that more than satisfy my buttery cravings.
On my first visit, Nathan and I popped in for a late lunch and sat on the back patio, which is lined with fragrant flower boxes filled with herbs and tomatoes. The service and atmosphere were perfect. I opted for prosecco and was delighted to receive my own mini bottle of (delicious) bubbles. A local brew for the mister, of course.
Locals will recognize some menu items from the sister restaurants, Fig Tree Cafe. Since the Hillcrest location is one of my favorites, I knew we were in for good eats. And Farmer’s Bottega did not disappoint! We both tried Eggs Benedict dishes on English muffins: blue crab for me, traditional for Nathan.
The freshly made crab cakes and cilantro hollandaise were a perfect match, and I could eat a bucket of house potatoes. You have the option of an English muffin, focaccia, or one of each. I’m sure the focaccia is divine as well but we are purists, at least when it comes to the bread. Adding cilantro to the hollandaise, however, is genius. I can’t wait to try the Short Rib Benedict with chipotle hollandaise; I’ve tried the version at Fig Tree and am drooling just thinking about it. And the eggs were perfectly poached and farm fresh–nothing kills a breakfast buzz more than over cooked eggs.
I’ve also been to this delightful restaurant for dinner, and am happy to report that I encountered similar levels of deliciousness. My dear friend had the braised short ribs with grilled polenta and tobacco onions (aka, fancy onion rings). I wish that I had taken a picture, because it was not only beautiful but so. stinkin. good. The short ribs were perfectly seasoned and perfectly cooked; unsurprisingly, our waiter said it’s the most popular dish on the menu. I opted for the oxtail ravioli, which came with cherry tomatoes, caramelized onion, and herbed goat cheese. The flavors were spot on, and it’s definitely big enough to share. Sadly, the pictures of these two entrees did not work out. But we also tried the bruschetta with bleu cheese, parma prosciutto, fresh figs, and aged balsamic, and here it is!
As you may have guessed from the picture, bruschetta = good eats. The prosciutto was tender and flavorful, and the bleu cheese was a welcome change from the standard bruschetta fare of goat cheese or burrata. Not that I have anything against them, or any other cheese for that matter. (Wisconsin girl for life.) But the tangy, pungent cheese pared perfectly with the sweet figs and aged balsamic. Just writing this makes me hungry; I can’t wait to go back!
At bottom, Farmer’s Bottega is not to be missed. Whether you’re a native or a tourist, I highly recommend visiting Mission Hills for an afternoon stroll and a delightful meal at Farmer’s Bottega.
Jenn (Blondie, Esq.)