Finally, a restaurant that doesn’t want to overcharge for everything from the bottles of wine, to the corkage fee, to the cuisine. Merge frugality with class and you’ll understand what’s unique about this place, The 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro.
Imagine a hybrid of wine isles at the supermarket mingled with a cozy restaurant and bar, one side of the restaurant dedicated to red wines and the other to sparkling and whites. The extensive selection is uncomplicatedly organized by region/country such as “Italian, German” and variety such as “Merlot, Pinot Grigio, or Chardonnay.”
The menu boasts over 35 dishes including cheese plates, salads, soups, gourmet sandwiches, pastas, and a grand selection of seafood and meat plates. The 3rd Corner has 2 locations in San Diego, one in Encinitas and one in Ocean Beach, and the newest addition opened in Palm Desert this last summer.
As manager at the Encinitas location, Alex Lindsay explains, “it’s a two part experience…. It’s a great value to be able to pick out your own bottle of wine and have a restaurant rolled into one.” The atmosphere at the Encinitas location is very cozy and intimate and includes an inside seating area complete with comfy couches in the bar area, as well as a heated patio.
What’s even better than the atmosphere are the prices. The distinctive bottles of wine are reasonably priced and similar if not the same as supermarket prices and there is an unusually small corkage fee of $5. If you do not finish the bottle, they re-cork it for you and you can take it home to enjoy another night (just remember to keep it in the trunk because it is now an open container!) It is easy, I would say, to get a good bottle of wine for anywhere between $12-$19.
Wines by the glass are also available and reasonably priced, right around $7. There is a happy hour available Tuesdays-Saturdays from 3-6pm that offers drink specials as well as a delicious Sunday brunch complete with mimosas and a pre-fixed Sunday dinner. After you have your palette under control and thirst quenched with a delicious bottle of wine, it is time to fill up on some of the most satisfying and interesting food in San Diego.
The 3rd Corner’s extensive menu offers anything you could possibly want, crave, or be interested to try. It includes mouthwatering cheese plates, such as my favorite, baked Humboldt fog goat cheese with wild mushrooms and toasted brioche ($11), filling and unique salads, a variety of gourmet sandwiches and classic burgers, grilled fish tacos, shrimp skewers, plates of mahi-mahi, and plentiful portions of grilled salmon and sea scallops. Other wonderful options include pastas and risottos filled with creamy cheeses and tasty sauces. One tasteful standout is the truffle risotto with mascarpone, wild mushrooms, white truffle oil, and parmesan cheese for a reasonable $10. The 3rd Corner’s also has meat selection that any carnivore would be proud of that will surely satisfy any appetite.
The prices range from the house salad at the low end at $6 to the most expensive item on the menu, the New York steak, at $21. Most items fall right around $11-$15.
Reservations are accepted and usually recommended for Friday and Saturday nights, but hey, who cares if you have to spend a few minutes waiting at the bar! Bon Appetit!