Last week we talked about North Park and some cool spots there. This week, let’s talk about something a little bit further south. Now I don’t mean King’s Landing or the Iron Islands (here’s looking at you G.O.T. fans), I’m talking about good old South Park, San Diego. Like we’ve said before, we are lucky enough to sit right on the border between the two neighborhoods. Best of both worlds! This blog is going to be about one of our absolute favorite spots in the whole city. I know we say that a lot, but this one truly is top notch. We call it our “reset spot.” It’s our old faithful. A spot that has never once let us down or been anything short of delicious. It’s called Eclipse Chocolate Bar & Bistro in South Park. Eclipse is this really cool little bistro with an even cooler concept. All of their menu items feature hints of cocoa, vanilla, and caramel nestled into savory, flavored packed dishes. They are open for brunch and dinner exclusively. The inside is small and quaint, and artfully decorated. Eclipse also makes exotic and unique chocolate bars, truffles, pastries, and various sweet drinks. Honestly, the flavor profiles are unlike anything I’ve seen or tasted. Chef William Gustwiller and his culinary team always provide something wonderful and exciting. They also have great weekly deals, themed dinners, and specialty/holiday meals.
Obviously, Ian and I have been here a time or two. We’ve taken many guests and family members here as well. Donal Bassett (the patriarch of the Bassett clan), frequently requests it when he comes down for a visit, and we often oblige! That being said, we have definitely had our fair of fabulous menu items, but I am going to focus on a few of the stand out ones! So let’s talk about brunch first. Who doesn’t love brunch? As a die hard breakfast fan, brunch is probably my favorite meal to share with friends and family. While I love my bloody mary’s and mimosas, I always start my brunch at Eclipse with one of their drinking chocolates (plus a shot of espresso). Ian favors the salted dulce de leche, while I am obsessed with the smoked brown sugar. The drinking chocolate is hot, frothy, thick, and decadent. It warms your soul and makes your heart happy. Honestly, it could almost be a meal of its own. Sometimes we stop by just to get some to go. Let’s talk about the food. My favorite thing on the menu is the avocado benedict. It is a buttermilk brioche topped with avocado, sous vide egg, and the most delicious chile burnt caramel hollandaise sauce. I’m going to be frank with you, I get it every single time we go. It’s sweet, savory, slightly spicy, and melt in your mouth delicious. Ian’s favorite thing is the egg and bacon cinnamon roll. If you look at the menu, it’s technically a dessert item, but this thing is a meal. It is exactly what it sounds like– a sweet and savory bacon and egg topped cinnamon roll with a delicious chili burnt caramel sauce. Don’t let its size fool you, it is filling and delicious. A recent special menu item we had for Valentine’s Day brunch deserves a shout out as well (because it was so good I am secretly hoping they add it into the full time rotation.., wink, wink). It was a triple pork Croque Madame. And it was the best. Again, it featured the buttermilk brioche (this time as a french toast) stuffed with black forest ham, havarti, maple bacon, and strawberry rhubarb jam. It doesn’t stop there though. It’s then served with vanilla bean sausage, brown sugar demiglaze, and a fried egg. I know what you’re thinking (because I thought it before I ate here), what place does vanilla and chocolate and caramel have in these savory dishes? In the hands of most people, it just wouldn’t work. But Chef Gustwiller knows flavors and he knows how different flavor profiles work together to compliment each other. I don’t know how he does it, maybe it’s magic, but whatever he does works beautifully and brings each dish to the next level.
I know, I know… I’m rambling, but I can’t help it. I love this place. So let’s talk about dinner too. We have never had a bad item on the menu. The thing that stands out most for dinner though is a side dish. It’s the bacon wrapped dates. They have this cocoa muscovado sugar glaze that is just heavenly. Noted entree items that are good are the beer battered fish (the vanilla aioli is like elevated tartar sauce), mascarpone meatball, and pulled pork and grits. Now, I forgot to mention they do rotate the dinner menu some, so keep an eye out for new and delicious items or slight changes. I’ve never had a bad dessert there either (I think we have had them all). One thing of note is the Date Night Deal every Monday through Thursday. This stellar deal includes a bottle of wine (valued at $22), two entrees, a side dish, a dessert, and two truffle pairings for $50! It’s a crazy good deal. We have done it a time or two, and always enjoy ourselves thoroughly.
So grab your honey, your bestie, your family, or your favorite pooch (just stick to the patio), and head over to South Park to check out Eclipse. I promise, the food will not disappoint (unless you hate chocolate and good food, then you are S.O.L.). Who knows, you may even bump into us while you are there!