Cowboy Star (East Village) – Restaurant Week Lunch
With San Diego Restaurant Week in full swing, we hit Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop in the East Village neighborhood to put a little class in our mid-day meal.
They are currently offering a $20 lunch menu and $45 dinner, both of which are an excellent opportunity to see what Cowboy Star does best. Their motto is “Rough and rugged yet polished and elegant” and they have perfected that outlook. Nowhere else in San Diego will you find black tie wait staff with giant cowboy belt buckles.
Cowboy Star is best known for its protein, particularly beef, which can be purchased a la carte from the attached butcher shop to prepare at home. Chef and co-owner Victor Jiménez selects meat only sourced through localized family farms around the nation with the highest quality practices. Cowboy Star’s beef is lean, grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free and carries Humane Farm Animal Care recognition. Best of all, the farm that provides your dinner is listed right on the menu. On a side note, you can order specialty meats from the butcher shop such as elk or bison.
The Restaurant Week lunch menu offers 2 starters, 3 entrées and 2 desserts to choose from. The dinner menu is a bit more extensive and includes a petite filet.
The Roasted Onion Soup, garnished with thick-cut bacon and a garlic clove, was delicious. The broth, more of a purée, was hearty and satisfying with a sweet, complex flavor of slow roasted onion. I did end up finding myself wanting something more, however. Maybe some crunch or a cheese, or better more bacon, but the taste by itself was extraordinary.
This seafood dish is like Mardi Gras in your mouth. It bursts with flavors and textures and colors. A full-serving of perfectly tender mussels and two large lobster claws bathe in one of the most flavorful seafood broths I’ve ever tasted. Squash, kale and shallots also soak up the goodness to create a big, hearty plate you can truly enjoy.
The pasta, a lamb ragout with papardelle and roasted tomatoes, was an excellent display of Cowboy Star’s prime proteins. The meat was pull apart tender and so full of flavor. The thick papardelle was an excellent choice of pasta for the dish and you got big, hearty bites every time. It’s the type of food that makes you feel at home but done with care, precision and the finest of ingredients.
Both desserts were delicious, perfectly sweet, yet balanced with other flavors and sensations.
A tart, crisp raspberry sorbet with fresh berries and whipped cream.
A chocolate chip bread pudding topped with a crunchy brioche, chocolate ice cream and butterscotch drizzle. I could eat this one daily, crispy, chocolatey warm, gooey happiness on a plate. Plus a chocolate straw, just because.
Overall, this was really a perfect lunch. The dishes are definitely rich and decadent, but healthful fruits and veggies keep you from an unwanted 3 p.m. coma. Cowboy Star is a perfect example of how Restaurant Week brings the highest quality to the everyday budget and this is one you should check out right away.
640 Tenth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101