On a recent trip to San Diego, we stopped by Toast Enoteca for some dinner. It is technically a wine shop/bar with a restaurant attached so you can either purchase the wine to take home, or enjoy the wine on the premises. If you decide to drink the wine at the restaurant, there is a $7 corkage fee, which is nothing when you compare the prices of the wines they offer. There is barely a mark-up, which works well in the diners’ favor. Or, if you just want to sample some wines at your leisure, there is a wine dispensing machine which you can peruse and pour yourself.
We decide to have a glass of wine with our meal, and our server was nice enough to offer us a taste before committing. We didn’t have to ponder much before deciding to have a bottle instead.
The menu is simple and prices are extremely affordable. We begin with Crostone di Polipo ($12), an interesting dish which uses local Baja octopus, fresh arugula, roasted potatoes, black olives, capers and spicy vinaigrette dressing, served on top of crostone. The flavors are nice, but the crostone becomes soggy once the dish has been compiled on top of it. I was also fishing for the octopus which are cut way too small. I would really like to see the octopus be the star of the plate instead of hiding among the rest of the ingredients.
I was impressed by the many made-in-house items on the menu so we decided to try as many as possible. We first try Pizza alla Calabrese ($12), topped with mozzarella, salami, caramelized onions and fresh mixed greens. It was a tad too sweet for my palate, but still, decent. I really like having fresh greens on top of pizza.
For our second, we decide to go half half on the Pizza al Prosciutto ($14/whole pie) with pomodoro sauce, mozzarella and prosciutto di Parma; Pizza al Gorgonzola e Peperoni dolci ($12/whole pie) pomodoro sauce, organic sweet peppers, pine nuts, Tropean red onions, mozzarella and gorgonzola. We loved both of these, especially the latter. I really liked the texture of the pine nuts on the pizza. The crust is different as well, a little crispier rather than chewy.
My favorite of the evening was definitely Tagliatelle alla Bolognese ($14) which comprised homemade tagliatelle pasta and a rustic style bolognese sauce. It is hearty but not heavy.
I also enjoyed Pollo Parmigiana ($18) a different take on the usual chicken parmigiana. Instead of a cutlet, the chicken is served bone-in and oven-baked skin on. The chicken breast remains moist and even though I saw “dried fruit crust” on the menu, it wasn’t sweet on the palate. The tomato sauce and parmesan sauce is nice and light but packed with flavor. Very nice!
I like the concept of Toast Enoteca. If you want to meet a friend for a drink you will find an extensive selection of wines from varying price ranges to suit everyone. This is a spot where I will meet my friends for a drink after work, and if you decide you wanted something to eat as well, then there is that option. It is casual and the environment cozy and inviting.
927 J Street
San Diego, CA 92101