Everything from beginning to end was absolutely perfect.
Fantastic ambiance, perfect for a date night! Food was unfortunately underwhelming though. The potato pizza was alarmingly salty and the beef ragu ravioli had no flavors of cured egg yolk.
Il Dandy is indeed a dandy! What a refreshing change to the San Diego dining scene! Everything is beautiful here. The design of the restaurant sets the stage for the meticulous presentation of the food. The ravioli is unlike any other ravioli you may have had before. Little globes of heaven floating in the lightest sauce.
Then there’s the tuna tartare wrapped in the lightest burrata. It melts in your mouth. Let’s not forget about the pizza, so light, so delicious! They all sound incredible! Partner and I opted for the first pizza listed. We’ll work our way down the list on subsequent visits.
Top the whole experience off with an incredibly gracious staff. You feel like you’re dining at a friends home. So inviting.
Hats off to a chef who’s willing to introduce San Diego to Calabrian cuisine. We finally have a world class restaurant with a Michelin chef.
San Diego, it was well worth the wait!
Overall the experience was very good. We did "family style" and shared 4 entrees - a fish, steak and 2 pastas. Everything was excellent, especially the service. However both pasta dishes were a little salty. It didn't ruin them and we still enjoyed, but probably just a seasoning issue that evening.
Great improvement from the first time i went, food was exelent as well as the service,
Service was great: waitress Jenna was amazing as well as the other wait staff.
Food: we tried three of the eight antipastas; all were bombs. The flavors were limited to one profile without complexity or layers or aftertastes. The textures were also just ok. The beets were not well cooked (Southern Italian fashion) but otherwise lackluster. The pizza and pasta were very good. They use a fermented dough, which is unusual for the states (and even Italy) but it was yummy. We tried a meat and vegetarian pasta. Both were good: one had foam cheese as the sauce and it was well executed. For dessert we tried the popcorn dish and wish we hadn't. It was also something we never tried before but it wasn't really tasty: yes full of sugar and fat so it was satisfying but it wasn't a dessert I will remember or really enjoyed eating.
Summary: great service and delightful space; food: skip antipastas and desserts; pastas and pizzas very good. We'll visit them again in probably two months to see if the food is part of growing pains or just uneven quality. Do ask to be seated in Jenna's section.
Fine Italian dining. The food is excellent, and they offer a great dining experience.
The food was fantastic! My favorites were the beef ragu ravioli and the pork belly, but the spotted prawns as well as the rib eye were amazing. Can’t say enough about this restaurant. Service was wonderful as well. Caesar and Elena were attentive and spot on in their recommendations. Thank you for a fabulous evening!!
Fantastic meal for our second visit. Not a single dish we tried that wasn't raved about by all members of our party.
Service and ambience were incredible. Our first course items (cauliflower & Calabrian pizza) were good but not exceptional. Our second course items (steak, Branzino and ravioli) were all incredible. The steak was unique w it’s breading Demi glaze and it was cooked perfectly. Dessert was amazing, too. First course items were the only thing keeping this from a 5 star review.
Our server Josh was outstanding. Very engaging, social and recommended some awesome dishes and wine. Will return the next time we're in SD.
Food was incredible. Ambiance super cute, clean, open.
It was a culinary experience beyond belief. Great explanations from the waiters about each dish on menu.
Amazing food. Fight worthy. Great service. All the food tastes light even the steak. Just amazing craftsmanship and creativity.
This place is a complete disaster food-wise. While I can appreciate that they are trying to innovate and elevate San Diego fare, every dish we had was a complete miss. The prawn carpaccio with caramelized onion sorbet sounded interesting, but the flat savory notes and confusing blend of temperatures gave such an icky feeling, we couldn’t finish it. Next we had the seafood gnocchi, disgustingly mushy and lacking in any brightness or acidity at all. Last was a branzino, perfectly cooked but accompanied by mushrooms 4 ways (one of which was raw slices reminiscent of my childhood pizza parlor) that we’re completely lacking in both flavor and excellence in preparation. I get that San Diego is still, in many ways, catching up to larger markets when it comes to fine dining, but to make people pay $36 for the clumsiest entree I’ve ever seen is pretty frustrating. I write this not as a take down but in hopes that the chefs will do better and demand better of their staff, because San Diego deserves better. Other than the disastrous food, it’s way too bright and loud, which feel like amateur mistakes. The somm was also, true to stereotype unfortunately, pretty condescending (sorry sir, I’ve been drinking, selling and serving natural wine for the better part of a decade now...it’s not a “trend.”) On the bright side, our server was excellent and the space is gorgeous. But as someone who recently moved back to town after 6 years in NYC, if I’m going to pay NYC prices I sure as hell better get NYC quality. And at Il Dandy, I certainly did not.
The vegan menu is delicious!!! We loved every dish!!
Family owned, well designed! The pizza is amazing and out experience was very delightful. We will be back many times! The pizza was amazing!
Excellent service and food! The gnocchi was the best I’ve had in a long time. The wine was exquisite.
Strongly recommend! All dishes where amazing. Started with squid anti pasta. Then enjoyed the risotto and vegetarian ravioli, followed with yellowtail and ribeye. Strong recommend the ribeye, it’s breaded which is a unique but delightful presentation. I’m not a meat women but absolutely enjoyed the ribeye over the fish. No complaints with the desert! Popcorn gelato, buttery, creamy, sweet. AMAZING.
Beat vegan pasta dish I’ve ever had...well done to the chef at Il Dandy!
Entirely ill-informed server, and overall uncoordinated service: no knowledge of the wine menu; little knowledge of the food menu (especially vegan options, for some friends at our table); a couple incorrect dishes were sent out — in fact, one server brought the same wrong dish twice, sent back twice, to be followed by the main server who (bringing the wrong dish a third then) rather strangely insisted on leaving it on table as a complement from the kitchen “to try”. The food itself lacked in quality as well: unseasoned and undercooked, generally. Were it not for the reputation of the chef, I’d warn off anyone from going. For the prices and the noisyness, the food and service had better be impeccable. Quite the opposite proved so. Awful.
Based on all the fanfare, critic reviews and press about this restaurant, I thought I'd really enjoy. It is a lovely space, and I wanted to love it, I just couldn't. I arrived, was seated, ordered a glass of wine and an appetizer, and I was served the appetizer 2 minutes after I ordered it and before I actually tasted my wine. Way too fast! Makes one wonder how pre-fabbed all of their food is and the care that they take to make sure food is carefully prepared and served. Second course entree came out raw and inedible and literally within 5 minutes of my finishing the appetizer - even after I asked them to slow down the service. They only took the plate away when I showed the server the yellowtail was raw.
Appetizer was the albacore, buffalo mozzarella and tomato water. Dish was fresh tasting with the tomato water, though I felt it was an uninspired dish with all the white. All I could really taste was the tomato water - the fish had no flavor and the mozzarella was even tasteless.
The yellowtail was chosen because I wanted a fresh fish and the selection of vegetables - sounded so lovely and fresh and perfect for the start of summer. Again, I found the dish very bland and uninteresting. This time around, the fish was hot and cooked throughout.
I hope it was an off night for the kitchen and servers. It's a lovely looking restaurant- and one that should be enjoyed more than I did.
The drinks were delicious! I ordered the gnocchi and it was too fishy, I tried other food items on menu and was underwhelmed. The restaurant design is beautiful and the service was great, might return for drinks only.
Great service and the Baccalaureate In Pastella is divine! Our other dishes were also very tasty. The demi-glace on the Manzo Frollato was outstanding and the octopus salad is a winner. Prices were a bit high but overall would recommend.
I learned about This restaurant from a write-up on award winning chefs in San Diego. I tried three of the seven mentioned during my recent visit, and I’d rank this third out of the three. The service was excellent, and they were able to seat us early, which was a huge plus. But I felt that the food was a little overpriced. I have no problem with the price point, but the food and experience did not “wow” me the way I’d expect from this level of restaurant. The homemade pasta was good, and the homemade bread was phenomenal. We had the prawn starter, beet salad, seafood risotto and another pasta with rabbit ragu. The rabbit dish was the best of all the dishes we had. We didn’t finish the risotto.
The food and service was fantastic. The pizza for sure is best in SD. It is a little loud but acceptable, there is a slight hint of jazz coming from the speakers which makes the tone more mellow. The only downside to the food is that it is very heavy and is lacking acid. If there were hints of acidity in food along it would cut the fat a little. Other than that I love the place and will be back . 4.5/5 stars
The people were great! Servers, support and owners are all engaged in giving you a good experience. The food was okay - my husband had a pizza that was good but not better than others. I had the special- a house made rigatoni with a broccoli sauce and bacon. It was also good but had I thought of the combination I could have made it myself. The biggest thing is the menu is very limited and to be honest there wasn’t much I wanted on it. I understand being creative but seems there should be some mainstream choices to go with the creative ones. It’s a beautiful space but very very noisy. You can’t carry on a conversation at your table very well. Overall the value of one pizza, one pasta and one bottle of wine for close to $150 doesn’t make sense.
Excellent addition to SD food scene. Perhaps the best, most creative food I have had in SD since moving from the East Coast 6 years ago. The octopus salad and bacalao appetizer were fantastic. Had the Branzino and Yellowtail mains which were perfectly cooked. With dessert, we were full but not stuffed. Service was attentive yet restrained without the typical platitudes of many SD restaurants. Expensive but worth it, and worth supporting SD fine dining. Would return without hesitation.
The food is excellent.
The loud environment takes away from the food quality experience.
Impeccable everything. Wine recommendation was excellent, food exceeded my very high expectations and the service was spot on. Decor was gorgeous and vibe/energy was loud, busy, full of interesting diners soaking up the gorgeous food and drinks.
Excellent food and service in a stylish restaurant .
Maybe - it’s so very noisy. The service was great. The food fine.
Absolutely beautiful new spot in Banker's Hill. They did a phenomenal job with the decor! The service was also great. They made you feel like family and give tours of their kitchen. The manager even came and pulled up a chair and joined us for a bit and brought us extra bread to use for breakfast. Food was very creatively thought and nothing compared to their pizza! Highly recommend!
Ambience and service was really good. Our waiter was amazing. The food was neither the best nor the worst but the restaurant really has not fully opened yet.
The food, atmosphere, and service were excellent. The cocktails and wine were overpriced.
Everything we orderes was delicious. The octopus salad excelent taste. We ordered the coliflor with truffle amazing. The steak was amazing.. the pasta.. we wanted to try a little bit of everything and would def go back!
What an amazing dining experience! My husband and I loved the food, atmosphere and wine selections! The flavors in the food were exceptional and unique and so delightful! We had the squid appetizer, red beet salad, branzino, and the cavatelli with rabbit ragu and truffles. The salad had seared tuna, red beets, fresh strawberries and raspberries, which is an unusual combo, but tasted delicious! And the Cavatelli was just like you would get in Italy with a flavorful sauce and fresh truffles shaved on top. The only thing we thought was average was the chocolate souffle. Otherwise, it was a spectacular meal! We felt like we’re in Italy again! We will definitely be back to try more items on the menu!
Beautiful space, average food and staff needs more training.
Lovely new spot in Bankers Hill! Really enjoyed an evening with friends, we were able to dine at our leisure and not feel rushed! Beverages, meals, desserts- all delicious and highly recommended! Looking forward to the patio opening this Summer!