It’s not often a restaurant springs into place all decked out in its finest; it takes time for most locales to get their sea legs. Crush Italian Cuisine & Lounge, first launched in the sleep party town of Chico, opened its second location in Solana Beach in August 2011 and is already on its way to becoming an area staple.
Crush replaced the former Pacific Coast Grill, slated to re-open at 2526 S Hwy 101, Cardiff.
It's interior is dimly lit and exudes a simple elegance, making for a sweet and romantic dining experience. On the patio, a banquet table with a central fire pit sets stage for alfresco meals prepared by Executive Chef Jason Colabove and his culinary team.
Each flavorful Mediterranean-inspired nibble from starters, salads, pastas and heartier entrees features fresh ingredients, like silky smooth hand-stretched burrata and housemade pesto.
Must tries inlcude the Scampi Prawns from the appetizer menu, sporting a garlicky fragrance, and Crush Bruschetta, delightful layers of that aforementioned burrata, basil pesto and cherry tomatoes on crostini.
With a wine list 160 bottles large, diners can appreciate Euro-style dining during lunch, happy hour and dinner. And wine is just as much a part of the decor as the dining experience, thanks to local designer Gustaf Rooth’s “Barrelly Made It” chairs posing at the entry. Just $15 shy of $1,000, these beauties are handcrafted from refurbished French oak barrels.
Menu items range from $9 for Polenta with balsamic vinegar, truffled mushroom and Parmesan frico (cheese crisp) to entrées in the high teens and mid-$20 range.
The daily happy hour is 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and also 10 p.m. to midnight Wednesdays through Saturdays. It features $3 draft brews, $5 house wines an dwell drinks and more.