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BANKERS HILL Bar + Restaurant Embodies Craft America Cooking

There’s nothing I love more than finding tasty neighborhood nooks—eateries that, although ensconced in community digs somewhat off the beaten path, are making a notable impact on the local culinary scene nonetheless. One such San Diego locale is BANKERS HILL BAR + Restaurant. While near the city’s famed Gaslamp District, this restaurant sits on the corner of 4th and Ivy duly detached from deep downtown commotion.

While this lively eatery is decidedly unpretentious and unfussy, also giving patrons much bang for the buck, make no mistake that the chef-driven cuisine here is “craft America cooking” at its finest. Classic favorites are gratifyingly reimagined with a gourmet spin courtesy of Executive Chef Carl Schroeder—a three-time James Beard Award semi-finalist. His ever-changing menu focuses on dishes showcasing locally-sourced products, “inspired” vegetables and fresh seafood. Inventive craft cocktails, carefully curated wines and local craft beers aptly round out the epicurean experience. The indoor/outdoor layout and industrial-chic vibe are draws all their own.

Interestingly, BANKERS HILL is the casual neighborhood counterpart to MARKET Restaurant + Bar in Del Mar, California, just a short drive northward. With MARKET having consistently been ranked among the top restaurants in San Diego, earning numerous awards and honors in the process, it’s no surprise this derivative dining spot is on point. Success is also anticipated given Chef Schroeder, the pro responsible for executing the eatery’s culinary vision for each seating, has worked with legendary chefs like Michael Mina at Aqua in San Francisco, among other notables.

Here, every menu item is made in-house, including many cocktail ingredients. This dedication to quality scratch cooking is apparent. Sure, their BH burger, BBQ Braised Pork Tacos and Parmesan Truffle Fries—which are all indubitably amazing—put them on the map, but there’s so much more to their menu that’s resonating with even the most hardened gastro-snobs (guilty, party of one).

The appetizer selections are a feast unto themselves and one can readily make a fine meal out of these selections alone. Never relegating myself to just one, my recent visit had me indulging in three of their sumptuous starters. First, I was certainly beguiled by the Deviled Eggs served atop a bed of vinaigrette-tossed arugula, all topped with pecorino cheese shavings. Lemon potato crisps were also served alongside. For me, the viscosity of the yolk mixture was spot-on, giving it an appealing mouth feel. The brightness and crispness of the greens was a fitting foil to the flavorful and rich, but more mild-toned egg, and the more substantial crunch of the accompanying crisp made this trio truly sing.

Merilee Kern

Forbes Business Council Member Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist who reports on noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all categories, both B2C and B2B. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events. Merilee is Founder, Executive Editor and Producer of “T...(Read More)

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