Del Mar was our destination of choice this weekend, and what better way to splurge than with a fine meal at a wonderful resort. The Grand Del Mar, erected in 2007, is San Diego County’s only Forbes Five-Star AAA Five Diamond luxury resort destination. As would be expected, the dining options are on par with the property.
There are a number of restaurants on the premises, but we dined at Amaya, and we were impressed. The atmosphere reminds me of my many visits to Hearst Castle, lavishly appointed with gold and wrought iron accents. Opulence and luxury permeate the property. Get ready to be spoiled.
So many restaurants cramp the dining experience with too many tables. I was relieved to find that this restaurant is airy, affording lots of privacy for discriminating diners. Our booth sprawled before us, and I was thankful for the room.
Kudos to our server, Ryan Winenger, for his grace and style in serving us. He's very versed in the nuances of food and wine, and we enjoyed his expertise in making some recommendations. He's also easy on the eyes, which doesn't hurt!
Amaya's distinctive menu features American cuisine with Mediterranean influences. Thanks to Executive Chef Camron Woods, whose menu features an array of tempting appetizers, pastas and risotto, and savory entrees. Each is artistically presented, adding to the ambiance of the meal.
We began with a delightful Lobster Bisque ($10) with Tarragon Creme Fraiche. What a wonderful way to start, along with a Roasted Baby Beet and Fig Salad ($13), with basil-pistachio puree and brioche tuile. Both were gone within minutes, and we were prompted for our main courses.
Go for the Grouper, if it’s on the menu, and pasta lovers will enjoy the Lobster and Crab Pappardelle ($32), with tarragon, mushrooms and cheese. It was a hefty portion, and could easily have been shared, if you want to sample some other items.
Ryan recommended their Lemon Ice Cream Pie, which was an absolute hit, designed to inspire divine dreams.
Its meals like this that make for a remarkable vacation experience. Rambling off to our suite, we knew that this getaway would be one of the holidays we won't forget.