The thing that appealed to us the most about Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest was the Chicken and Waffles on the menu, but we had no idea we would love this place so much. The outdoor fireplace, open air seating and tastefully decorated walls made me feel comfortable as soon as we were seated. We had a view of the bar, where the bar stools lit up with an orange glow and we could watch the bartenders make their creations.
The hostess recommended we try a Unicorn, which is their version of a Moscow Mule with vodka which is infused with fruit right on the premises. I’ve never had a Moscow Mule and I could barely taste the alcohol in this one. Scott tried the Maple Old Fashioned which had a smooth taste.
The owners of this restaurant made the menu work for a family-style type of meal, where you can taste a bit of each dish your table orders. The food comes out staggered, which gave us enough time to enjoy each dish.
We tried the Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic, a perfect dish to share since the portion is huge. I can see why this appetizer is popular since it’s not too often that you can make brussel sprouts taste edible. In my opinion, it could do without the balsamic vinegar. It seemed to take over the other flavors. The bacon wrapped and crushed walnut stuffed dates were to die for. They melt right in your mouth and come served with a side of delicious goat cheese for dipping.
The Chicken and Waffles is something we haven’t been able to try since it’s not a common item on San Diego menus. It comes with melted garlic butter, Woodford Reserve syrup and fried chicken fingers. The combo of everything works perfectly together. Our second main course was the delicious Butternut Squash Risotto with parmesan reggiano and apple butter. This creamy dish is a little rich, so I would recommend sharing it. It’s not something I could eat all in one sitting.
Based on a previous recommendation, we had to try the Pistachio Bread Pudding for dessert. Neither of us had any room for dessert, but we finished the entire thing because we couldn’t let any of it go to waste.
We highly recommend trying this restaurant if you find yourself in Hillcrest!
1236 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103