At Bertrand at Mister A’s in San Diego, the fare steps up to the view
By Will Parson
Towering above Banker’s Hill is a 360-degree panorama that perhaps only a true San Diegan can fully appreciate. The all-inclusive view bares all, and the trained eye can spend an entire meal at Bertrand at Mister A’s just picking out local landmarks. It’s the view that helped make the original Mister A’s the place to be from the 1960s to the 1980s. But its revival a decade ago is more a testament to owner Bertrand Hug’s well-choreographed staff, which knows full well that every night is special for someone at one of the city’s most romantic restaurants.
Hug’s favorite time to be on the deck is indeed at night, when he says downtown really sparkles. A San Diegan since 1973, Hug said the view impressed him well before he became the owner.
“I wanted to buy (Mister A’s) forever,” he said. “Any time I would pick up friends or family at the airport, I would take them immediately up to the restaurant to show them my city.”
After taking over in 2000, Hug completely redecorated the red-velvet interior and furnished the deck that had so impressed him in the first place. Nowadays the patio offers a more casual experience at a place formerly associated with dinner jackets.
And for six years, Chef de Cuisine Stéphane Voitzwinkler has worked with Hug to produce an American menu with French and Mediterranean accents, buying the freshest ingredients from local sources like Chino Farms in Rancho Santa Fe.
“Our thing is changing the menu pretty much once a week or every two weeks to adapt to what is freshest,” said Hug. “We buy whatever is going to be the best.”
Very recent additions to the menu include line-caught, grilled Copper River salmon, sautéed wild Alaskan halibut, as well as a prime rib eye from Brandt Beef. The dinner menu really goes all out, so bear that in mind when you get your check.
Aside from the view, the additional advantage of sitting outside (or at the bar) is that you are able to order off the patio and happy hour menus. This is likely the best way to get a low-key introduction to Bertrand at Mister A’s. At a restaurant that doesn’t hold back, even the macaroni and cheese (and the truffle fries) have quite a reputation of their own.
Bertrand at Mister A’s
Address: 2550 Fifth Ave. 12th Floor
The Vibe: Lavish. Memorable. Scenic
Signature Dish: Sautéed Wild Halibut with Diver Scallop
Open Since: 1965 (2000 under current ownership)
Hours: Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; Dinner 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; Dinner 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Phone: (619) 239-1377
Patio Seating: Yes
Take Out: No
Happy Hour: 2:30-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
On The Menu Recipe
Each week you’ll find a recipe from the featured restaurant online at lajollalight.com. Just click Get The Recipe at the bottom of the story. This week: Bertrand at Mister A’s European White Asparagus Soup from Chef Stephane Voitzwinkler.
- On the Menu: Roppongi’s Polynesian Crab Stack with Peanuts and Cilantro, Drizzled with Ginger-Lime Dressing
- Chedi Thai Bistro sets a traditional table with contemporary ‘twists’ in La Jolla
- Hennessey’s Tavern offers a wee bit o’ Irish spirit each day of the week
- Oh là là! It’s French cuisine at its finest at Tapenade
- When the occasion calls for ‘grand’ the Addison stands ready to serve
Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=43424