Vintana Restaurant Review: Stellar Vibe and Victuals

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

 

The Cohn Restaurant Group has done it again. The award-winning company, which now owns and operates 16 restaurants within the San Diego area and Maui, has hit a homerun with Vintana, one of its newer North County venues.

 

This eatery, uniquely located on the penthouse level of the Lexus luxury car dealership in Escondido, melds the best of fine California modern dining, hospitality, and atmosphere for an experience that'll make you want to return again and again.

 

With such a curious and unexpected location, the restaurant's General Manager Greg Provance is questioned about it often. Regarding the site, he remarks, "It is the brainchild of Judy Jones Cone who owns Lexus of Escondido and Lexus/Toyota Carlsbad. 

 

She had always envisioned a center with Lexus at the heart of it where people could come and have a multi-sensory experience.  We were pleased to become a part of the vision. It's the total experience. From cars to events to the upcoming retail options, there is so much going on under one roof!"

 

The bright and spacious restaurant boasts no less than 10,000 square feet of indoor restaurant space that can accommodate up to 200 guests for lunch or dinner service and an additional 8,500 square feet of contemporary meeting and banquet space. 

 

Its striking interior includes spectacular 17-foot high windows that let in copious amounts of sunlight and provide views of the mountains that surround by day and glistening lights from vehicles and valley vistas by night.

 

The restaurant's adjacent uber-chic V2L2 Lounge and Lanai has abundant indoor and outdoor terrace seating, plush couches, fire pits and private cabanas reminiscent of a California beach club. Very popular is the lounge's "Social Hour" from 2:30pm to 6:30pm daily where patrons partake in premium food and drink specials.

 

The beverage program here offers no less than 125 types of drink selections from around the world, including San Diego's craft beer makers. Vintana also features two additional 10,000 square foot outdoor terraces used for large private events and serves as the location for a regular open-air concert series hosted by the restaurant.

 

When asked about his personal favorite aspect of the restaurant, Provance noted, "It's our commitment to REAL Southern Hospitality." To this I can attest having recently visited the locale for dinner service. The staff was warm, sweet, and welcoming at all levels—from the hostesses and the server staff to the affable manager who dropped by multiple times to ensure all of our party's epicurean expectations were being met. 

 

With lauded Executive Chef Deborah Scott at the helm, much of Vintana's bill of fare features Scott's signature use of fresh ingredients and bold flavors. From the "Starter" selections, my party opted for the Oysters on the Half Shell ($3 each), which were moist and plump, tasting as if they had just been harvested.

 

Other starters we sampled included the Poblano Chicken Empanadas ($12) with mango salsa and a decidedly authentic red curry sauce; brightly flavored Crispy (Tempura) Artichokes ($12) accompanied by a lemon caper aioli for dipping; and, my favorite, an ample basket of Pacific Rock Shrimp & Sweet Corn Fritters ($9) with spiced maple and a honey-bacon crème fraiche that perfectly balanced out the savory components.

 

From the "Soup & Salad" section, we enjoyed the White Bean & Arugula Salad with rosemary, pancetta, shaved pecorino, roasted fennel, red onion, tomato and lemon oil with a balsamic reduction and bacon toast ($11); as well as Vintana's Soup Trio ($9)—single serving cup portions of each the rich and creamy lobster bisque, the velvety and addicting tomato sage bisque, and the soup du jour—that day a hearty and perfectly seasoned chicken and rice.

 

My party's "Entrée" selections were the Lobster Milanese ($34) served atop a preserved lemon-caper beurre blanc and accompanied by grilled asparagus and Yukon potatoes; and the Charbroiled Rack of Lamb ($42) with honey roasted garlic and hoisin-adobo marinade and served with bok choy and crispy miso eggplant and a honey-ginger reduction.

 

Other entrée notables on the menu include the Macadamia and Coconut Crusted Sea Bass ($28) with crispy sea beans, roasted pineapple salsa, mashed sweet potato with lime and a ginger-lime beurre blanc; and the Bruleed Pork Porterhouse ($29) with fig jam, pan roasted pork belly, Brussels sprouts and sweet potato hash with a prosciutto demi.

 

On the side, I opted for the Pomegranate-Molasses Brussels Sprouts ($8) with black pepper bacon, golden raisins, and raspberry vinegar that was kicked up a notch with orange zest. For dessert, my choice was Vintana's peach and blueberry cobbler topped with house made ice cream. Southern hospitality indeed.

 

With all of this culinary ingenuity, it's no surprise Vintana has already become a favorite with the celebrity-set. Provence said, "We've had a number of celebrities here, including some famous golfers who live here in San Diego. Plus, Chaka Kahn, Al Jereau, Carl Verhean of Supertramp and Spiro Gyra have all played on our rooftop for our outdoor concert series."

 

Despite its popularity, the restaurant team has some definitive plans for its future. Provance notes, "For the short term, we want to keep the locals happy and introduce ourselves to more and more new guests. In the long term, our plans include developing more entertainment and unique parties, events, and promotions that will continue to set us apart. Listening to our audience is also huge, and we try to always offer new and fun things for people to experience."

 

This restaurant's commitment to event-driven experiences already includes some notable happenings, such as wine tastings and the "shine and dine" lunches every Monday that allow guests to enjoy a complimentary car wash while they eat. Each Tuesday night features special "date night" menus, and Thursdays offer a great mix of music.

 

With such a wide and diverse palette of food and fun driven by a wildly talented and imaginative executive chef, Vintana is truly a fine dining venue like none other. 

 

~~~

"The Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions can be seen at www.TheLuxeList.com. Follow her on Twitter here: www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.

***Some or all of the accommodations, experiences, items and/or services detailed are provided at no cost to accommodate reviews, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***

 

Republished by permission of and provided to Haute-Lifestyle.com by author. 

Images provided by Vintana.

 

Haute Tease

  • Seven Trendy Places to Eat, Drink and Dance in Scottsdale

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Imagine a desert oasis where you can enjoy award-winning cuisine and partake in nightlife unlike any other. Well, Scottsdale is that place and it's a perfect locale for a quick weekend getaway.

     
  • Voters Decide Enough is Enough Back Dem’s in Key Races

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Voters in New Jersey and Virginia had the opportunity to bolster the Republican led Administration and instead sent a clear and deliberate message to Washington that the days of Donald Trump’s favor had reached its limits.

     
  • DEA SCAM ALERT -- Extortion Scheme

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Drug Enforcement Administration continues to warn the public about criminals posing as DEA special agents or other law enforcement personnel. This criminal activity continues to occur, despite significant public attention to the illicit scheme. DEA offices nationwide regularly receive telephone calls from concerned citizens who are the victims of this extortion effort.

     
  • Mother’s Day Review - Solid, A Fun Entertaining Chick Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mother’s Day, from Open Road Films and Gulfstream Pictures, presents an enjoyable family dramedy, centering around the one day every year where the unsung hero of each family is celebrated and the decisions, situations and consequences are the realities of life.

     
  • Celebrity Photos: Austin is Heating Up as Celebrities Flock to SXSW For World Premieres and Parties

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The temperature is rising at SXSW as A-List Communications' Supper Suite by STK and its sponsor partners, STK Restaurants operated by lifestyle hospitality company, The ONE Group, Maestro Dobel® Tequila, and Blue Moon Brewing Company celebrated the world premieres of Michael Showalter's HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS and Jamie Babbit's FRESNO at Swift's Attic in Austin, TX during the opening weekend of SXSW.

     
  • An A-List Line-Up of the Most Acclaimed African American Talent Join For One Night Celebrating the Spoken Word with Music and Dance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    WordTheatre’s Storytales: Featuring celebrities performing stories from acclaimed African-American author John Edgar Wideman’s literary anthology ‘Briefs’ at the Ford Amphitheatre Saturday October 6, 2012.

     
  • Beltway Insider:ObamaCare Deadline Approaches; November Job Numbers; Congress Delays UI Benefits; Black Friday Jitters

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama kicked off a twenty-one day Affordable Care Act sign up campaign urging Americans, through Marketplace success stories, to initiate the mandated medical insurance coverage process immediately.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Syrian’s Assad Challenges Obama; Iranians Elect Moderate Cleric President

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama has issued his strongest warning yet to Syrian leader Basher al-Assad as the troubled dictator has gathered military support from Russian President Vladimir Putin as he seeks to defend his country.

     
  • Jane Review - Fascinating Story of Jane Goodall, Her Family and Life in The Jungle

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Jane, from National Geographic Studios and Abramorama, tell the amazing story of a young Jane Goodall from the vantage point of age, she reflects on her early days in the jungle, the joys, disappointment, and her unexpected fame.

     
  • Child Bride Dies from Sexual Trauma

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    An eight year old Yemen child bride died from internal injuries brought on by sexual trauma suffered when her pedophile husband, nearly five times her age, raped her after the wedding ceremony.

     
  • The Shape of Water Review – A Wild, Fantastical, Journey

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Shape of Water, from Fox Searchlight Pictures, brings to the screen a fantastical story of awakenings, of emotional stirrings, unbridled passions and unrestrained power, of the improbable becoming probable, of fantasy becoming reality, of hopeless becoming hopeful.

     
  • Mom Charged in Newborn’s Homicide

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Amanda Catherine Hein, 26, recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy in the bathroom of a local Bethlehem, Pennsylvania sports bar and promptly smothered him to death and stuffed his remains in the toilet tank.

     
  • LA LA LAND Review - Charming, Magical, Enchanted L.A.

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LA LA LAND, from Lionsgate and Black Label Media, comes a delightfully charming look at the arduous process for star crossed hopefuls, courageous believers, in a town littered with aspiring headliners, social climbers, do anything's, broken dreams, and rejections.

     
  • 2020 News - Saint Anselm College Survey Center February 2019 Poll Potential Democratic Presidential Candidate Announced

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    During the first week of February Saint Anselm College Survey Center conducted a poll with registered voters throughout the state. Below are the results which, at this early date, show a national consistency in preferred democratic presidential candidate.

     
  • Dr. Christopher Calapai Offers Pre-Drinking Prep and Holiday Hangover Tips

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ouch! The headaches of Holiday Cheer. As we enter the intense season for over-indulgence. Free flowing holiday parties, open bars, celebrations galore, Dr. Christopher Calapai offers a few tips for the room spinning, did I really do that, hangover.

 

Login Form