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“Tasty respite from Old Town chaos”
Review of 25Forty Bistro - CLOSED

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25Forty Bistro
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 17 January 2013

We happened on this small cafe while looking for a restaurant for lunch on a recent visit to Old Town. The black and white decor (inside and out) was the first indication that this was a different sort of place from the colored chaos of Old Town. The menu consisted of healthy entrees, salads and sandwiches. We tried the grilled veggie sandwich (on baguette with a side salad) and the grilled veggie omelet (with french fries), both delicious. If you like healthy food, trying local restaurants and supporting businesses run by young people, give this bistro a try.

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Thank Bikers_Mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (18)
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8 - 12 of 18 reviews

Reviewed 12 December 2012

located in old town. alittle hard to find. the very best pasta in san diego! it is so good and very upscale. they make everything even the pasta. cooked in the old world style. they have a great happy hour. they even have cooking classes. i like to eat outside and people watch.

Thank 1baggo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2012

In the middle of Old Town,we found this gem. It is a bright light in a sea of touristy Mexican eateries. The food and presentation were first class. The menu unusual, but it worked. They have a limited bar, with rice vodka,that turned out to be excellent. Never had it before. The owner is experienced and trained in Europe.

Thank daylilly50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2012

No one else was in the restaurant on the Friday we visited - the first sign that we might have chosen wrong. The second sign was the Ikea chic black and white interior. Now, I normally wouldn't mention these two things before talking about the food, and I wouldn't if ambiance like this wasn't obviously intentional yet missing their mark. We didn't really feel confident that we were about to "experience culinary excellence".

The best part about our meal was the bread basket was diverse and tasty, served with different butters. We were impressed with the size of the entree portions, but it doesn't matter how much meat you serve if it doesn't taste good and isn't expertly prepared. We didn't want to waste the huge portions, but unfortunately we couldn't eat the food we were served.

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Thank spectactic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

What a fantastic little restaurant! It's like the European fusion Marine Room, with no view and at 1/3 the price. It's terrific value for money----in my opinion this chef charges TOO LITTLE for his food: The Wednesday night $20 special is an absolute steal. Even the wines are a bargain: this chef clearly tastes the wines and selects those that complement his food, so even the $8 a glass wines are delicious. The creative decor manages to combine elegant with simple but edgy (we love the white paper tablecloths with crayons for drawing, and the chalkboard floors that record reservations in front of the table). And the front patio, with the fire pit and heaters, is both attractive and romantic. The service is friendly, attentive, and well-trained.

What do I mean by European fusion? Well, the duck casserole is like a combination between a classic French rabbit cassoulet (with white beans) and Polish bigos. May sound weird, but it is absolutely addictive. Their homemade pasta is superb---the bolognese, duck fettucini, or eggplant ravioli (yes, I've tried them all!) are all excellent choices. The chef is onsite and you can taste in each dish that 1) he really cares about the food his restaurant is producing; 2) he has innate talent and 3) he is very, very well-trained as a chef.

The desserts are grand too: the pannacotta a luscious blend of caramel and chocolate and the perfect consistency, also large enough for two. The lemon gnocchi---an item I wish he would make a menu staple instead of a special!---perfectly flavored, a light finish to the meal, and enough for two if you just want a little something to close out dinner. The cheeses and the olives, all scrumptious and interesting. Nearly everything this chef cooks is perfection: the only dud I've found on the menu is the vegetable fritter (nice idea, blandly executed---some chipotle or something would punch up the fondue). Better eat there now because the price will triple once this place is discovered.

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Thank roeslers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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