Last night my beau and I went to see the Old Globe's production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. One advantage of buying the season tickets is the discount offered on meals at certain nearby restaurants. We decided to choose one from the list, Inn at the Park, located in the lovely little Park Manor Hotel just across from Balboa Park. I had never dined in the restaurant and have been curious about it for quite some time.
The dining room was cozy and well done, kinda like being in an well-worn sitting room, comfortable and relaxed. Since we made reservations our table actually had a "reserved" sign on it (nice little touch). Service was attentive without hovering, very enjoyable (thumbs up to Jayson our waiter/server).
The menu was small but very enticing with a nice selection from which to choose. We started with their Calamari Fritto Misto (I enjoyed their kaffir lime and avacado sauce). For the main course my beau chose their chili-dusted mahi mahi and I, pretending to make a healthy choice, selected the skirt steak and baby arugula salad. Both dishes arrived beautifully plated. I ordered my steak medium rare and it was cooked to perfection for my tastes. At first I was worried about my beau's mahi since he isn't one for hot spice but he ate every bite (a compliment to any chef).
The wine selection is limited but serviceable (both of my selections came from "other" listing... other whites and other reds). My first selection was a 2006 Sterling Sauvignon Blanc which delivered a nice array of grapefruit, citrus and a little bit of melon and pineapple on both the nose and palate. Finish was a bit short but it went well with a first selection and was a nice crisp starter. With my steak I went with the Coppola Pinot Noir (sadly I didn't get down the vintage). It went well with my course (though I was a little scared at first since the dressing was a lime chipotle, but the chef's hand was light and the meat/wine pairing prevailed). I have to say, the more Coppola I have the more I like (both wine and restaurants). The wine was clean and had a pretty ruby color with nice legs. I got bits of plum and spice on the nose with a bit of strawberry on the tongue and a good balance of acidity and tannin with a nice mid-length finish.
At the end of the meal we were starting to be a little pressed for time and (sadly) skipped dessert for coffee. Next time though... and there will be a next time.