Bertrand at Mister A's

2550 5th Avenue, San Diego CA 92103
$$$$ American Top 10 Recommended Private Room View Gift Certificates Outdoor Seating

Impeccable service, excellent cuisine, and an extensive wine list are to be expected at any Bertrand Hug establishment, and Bertrand at Mr. A’s lives up to the highest of expectations. Perched atop a skyscraper on the brink of downtown, the restaurant offers one of the most outstanding dining experiences in San Diego. Modern American cuisine elegantly complements the cosmopolitan backdrop, with a menu that offers awe-inspiring “glimpses” of both land and sea. The seasonal menu incorporates the utmost quality meats, fish, and accompaniments, resulting in a fresh and tantalizing selection of dishes. The main dining room offers a premier dining experience, while a more casual, although no less sumptuous, selection of dishes is available in the patio and bar.

Finest Flavors and Views in America's Finest City

Review by

Bertrand at Mister A’s is a veritable fine dining institution in San Diego, synonymous with impeccable service, savory cuisine and most notably unparalleled and breath-taking vistas of America’s Finest City. Located on the top of a twelve story building in the heart of Banker’s Hill, Mister A’s provides diners with the unique opportunity of eating a decadent meal with the stunning Downtown and Coronado Island skylines as their exclusive backdrop.  Equally distracting, Executive Chef Stephane Voitzwinkler’s French and California-inspired menu combines gourmet, luxury ingredients with an approachable lightness and seasonal freshness.  

Riding up the spacious elevator up to Mister A’s immediately sets the exclusive tone for our evening.  Upon arriving to the twelfth floor, we are immediately guided through the brightly refined dining room, awash in taupes and shades of deep, earthy eggplants, to our table next to the window.  Hints of vibrant color, like the red and yellow flowers in dark blue glass vases found at every table and Provençal-style printed china, add a cheerful French whimsy.  The view however steals the show: even on this hazy evening, we are able to see clearly all the way to Coronado Island.  Outside, guests enjoy signature cocktails and samplings from the restaurant’s Light Menu while soaking up the sunshine on the terrace.

Chef Voitzwinkler’s menu is a conglomeration of influences.  Originally from Alsace, the region of France bordering Switzerland and Germany, Chef Voitzwinkler’s menu draws heavily on the cuisine of his native country.  Certain German dishes like spaetzel and choucroute, infiltrate the mostly French and California-dominant menu and reflect the multiculturalism of this unique European region.  Additionally, Chef Voitzwinkler is heavily invested in using local, seasonal ingredients, resulting in a menu that is constantly evolving to reflect an emphasis on the freshest of flavors.  Bertrand at Mister A’s staggeringly extensive wine collection of over 500 predominantly Californian and French bottles provides ample opportunities of exquisite pairings with Chef Voitzwinkler’s ever-changing cuisine.  And through it all, Mister A’s knowledgeable and gregarious staff act as expert guides, offering copious suggestions for delicious pairings to ensure that the dining experience is as complementary and personalized as possible.

Our meal begins with the delivery of an amuse bouche of the Macaroni and Cheese, A’s Style.  It is served at the top of a tower of nesting dishes, alternating between blue and white that recalls the colors in the Provençal pattern found on the bottom dish.  The macaroni and cheese itself is piled in a tiny square dish at the top, permeating the air with the pungent aromas of comté cheese and truffles.  Sticking my fork in releases the bubbling richness of the béchamel sauce and forces its tasty surprises up through cracks between the pasta.  Each bite reveals new layers of flavors: the earthy truffles hit first followed by the sharp comté and then the crisp saltiness of pancetta bits.  It is an excellent start to the evening, full of the promise of decadence and awe.

We are next presented a sampling of the Fresh Baked Mussels Provençale.  Served on a bed of sea salt and kelp, each of these massive Carlsbad mollusks have been breaded and lightly pan fried in a garlic Pernod butter before being returned to the shell.  Pungent with garlic and the anise notes of the Pernod, the mussels prove light and refreshing, despite the potential heaviness of their presentation.  Crisp and tender, with powerful flavors and a delicate finish, they are a memorable twist on a familiar appetizer.

One of Mister A’s best known dishes, the Maine Lobster Strudel, more than lives up to its fame.  Large sections of the crisp filo dough-wrapped strudel are arranged architecturally on the plate, displaying their impressive innards in cross section.  A tantalizing cognac lobster sauce forms a pool below the strudel for decadent dipping.  The crisp dough offers textural complexity to the tender lobster morsels inside, while their buttery sweetness similarly contrasts with the strudel stuffing’s mushroom medley.  We are also treated to a small tasting of the Lobster Bisque as a surprising accompaniment, its frothy broth mimicking the deep-bodied cognac sauce with its own hidden lobster nuggets.

The Multicolored Beet Salad proves a pleasant diversion from the richness of the preceding courses.  Large, round slices of purple, pink and golden beets are sprinkled with candied walnuts, fennel slivers, greens and gorgonzola for a fresh and hearty dish.  A crisp, warm goat cheese-filled filo triangle rests in the center, introducing a gooey warmth that acts in beautiful juxtaposition to the salad’s cool flavors.  The hint of spice from the horseradish vinaigrette activates the beet’s earthy sweetness.

We are served a Fritz Vineyard Chardonnay and a Gunderlach Riesling as accompaniment for our appetizers.  Each offer subtle accentuations of the flavors of the dishes :the Riesling’s candy-like honeysuckle bouquet bring out the sweetness in the beet salad and buttery richness of the shellfish while the crisp, grass notes of the Chardonnay complementing the oceanic saltiness and verdant freshness of these sophisticated dishes.

To cleanse our palate between courses we are served a pink scoop of Blood Orange and Coconut Sorbet swimming in a delicious sea of Champagne.  The tart citrus of the sorbet mingles with the bubbly champagne, tingling the tongue with refreshment.   Our palates primed, we are ready to embark on the rest of the evening’s culinary adventures.

In the spirit of indulgence that has characterized our meal thus far, we are presented with two “duos” for entrees: the Duo of Roasted Rack of Lamb and Osso Buco and the Duo of Alaskan Halibut and Sea Scallops.  Deep, red-blooded scents attract my attention to the Lamb and Osso Buco first, tempting my more carnivorous impulses.  The massive mound of Osso Buco, with a sage leaf stuck jauntily in its bone like a feather in a cap, contrasts markedly with the slender, dainty lamb lollipop balancing next to it.  The Osso Buco proves so impossibly tender that with the slightest touch of my fork it immediately falls apart and dissolves with buttery succulence.  The equally juicy lamb infuses the palate with potent gamey flavors and blends deliciously with its woody rosemary and garlic jus.  The bed of green flageolet beans, red piperade and golden fried pommes dauphines adds a rainbow of color and texture for a pleasing, summery accompaniment.  The Côte du Rhone blend paired with this duo enhances its heartiness with full-bodied, toothsome creaminess.

As much as the Duo of Roasted Rack of Lamb and Osso Buco is a tribute to the delicious offerings of terra firma, the Duo of Alaskan Halibut and Sea Scallops acts as an ode to the bounties of the sea.  A large piece of golden pan fried halibut rests on top of a bed of shaved fennel between two plump scallops all of which is drizzled with a bright yellow saffron sauce and accented by dollops of garlic foam.  The mild, flaky halibut and sweet, buttery scallops, both cooked to mouthwatering satisfaction, are enlivened by the spicy, almost floral exoticism of the saffron sauce.  Two nests of green angel hair peppered with red tomato cubes accompany the fish and add color and freshness to the dish.  The Tantra Pinot Noir proves a surprisingly exceptional pairing, its spicy notes enriching the flavors of the fish with resonant bravado.

In classic French style, we are brought the Artisanal Cheese Plate to help guide our taste buds toward a satisfying conclusion.  Generous pieces of Humboldt Fog, Trésor de Normandie, Tête de Moine and Taleggio cheeses offer a fast education in the complexities and pleasures of fromage.  While the creamy, camembert-like Trésor de Normandie seduces with its richness and the Tête de Moine and Taleggio entice with their pungent, brawny aromas, it is the Humboldt Fog, and its tart, milky decadence, that proves impossible to resist, and has me and my dining companion scooping up every last bite.

Our evening ends on a sweet note with the Blood Orange Tartelette and the White Peach and Brown Butter Torte dessert special.  The Blood Orange Tartelette is dominated by its fluffy meringue top, which blends together with the tart blood orange for a light and airy treat.  A pink rhubarb “soup” delivered in a shot glass and topped with unsweetened cream cheese foam, is a unique and intriguing accompaniment, amplifying the Tartelette’s flavors. 

The unanimous favorite, however, is the White Peach and Brown Butter Torte.  Served with a puckering raspberry coulis, it blends fruity tartness with an almost shortcake-like subtle sweetness that makes our taste buds dance.  The house made caramel ice cream pairing adds additional richness to this dreamy confection, whose flavor memory lingers long after I leave the restaurant.

From start to finish, a dinner at Bertrand at Mister A’s promises incomparable indulgence. The stunning view, Chef Voitzwinkler’s impeccable cuisine and the attentive staff all ensure that diners at Mister A’s are treated to an unrivaled experience of full-sensory pampering.  

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Reservations

Booking Notes:

A credit card is required for all groups of 5 or more and for all reservations on Friday, Saturday, during holidays and the whole month of December.

Business Info

  • Address: 2550 5th Avenue, San Diego CA 92103
  • Cross Street: Laurel Street
  • Location: Downtown | Bankers Hill
  • Cuisine: American | California | French |
  • Cost: | Expensive
  • Category: Fine Dining
  • Star Rating:
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Meals Served: Brunch | Lunch | Dinner |
  • Parking: Street | Valet Parking |
  • Payment Options: VISA | Amex | MasterCard | Discover | Cash |
  • Corkage Fee: 30.00 | Per 750ml bottle. Two bottle max.
  • Staff: Stéphane Voitzwinkler | Executive Chef
  • Phone: (619) 239-1377
  • Features: Full Bar, Ocean View, Sunday Brunch, Famous Chef, Outdoor Seating, Private Room, Prix Fixe Menu, Smoking Area, Winning Wine List, Wheelchair Access, Valet Parking, Happy Hours,
  • Occasion: Romantic Dining, Dining Alone, Business Dining, Meet for a Drink, People Watching, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Trendy / Hip,

Photos

Bertrand at Mister A's - Main
Bertrand at Mister A's - View of Downtown San Diego Bertrand at Mister A's - Executive Chef Stéphane Voitzwinkler Bertrand at Mister A's - Chocolate and Caramel Trio Bertrand at Mister A's - Dessert Bertrand at Mister A's - Dessert Bertrand at Mister A's - Duo of Pan seared alaskan halibut and sea scallops Bertrand at Mister A's - Filet of wild caught Salmon Bertrand at Mister A's - Lobster Spring Rolls Bertrand at Mister A's - Filet of wild caught Salmon Bertrand at Mister A's - Beautiful views of San Diego while dining Bertrand at Mister A's - Bertrand at Mister A's Bertrand at Mister A's - Long tables for larger parties Bertrand at Mister A's - Ocean view Bertrand at Mister A's - Bertrand at Mister A's

Business Hours

Reservations Available
Monday
Lunch - Main Dining Room 11:30 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Dinner - Main Dining Room 5:30 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.
Happy Hours - Bar & Terrace 2:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Tuesday
Lunch - Main Dining Room 11:30 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Dinner - Main Dining Room 5:30 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.
Happy Hours - Bar & Terrace 2:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Wednesday
Lunch - Main Dining Room 11:30 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Dinner - Main Dining Room 5:30 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.
Happy Hours - Bar & Terrace 2:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Thursday
Lunch - Main Dining Room 11:30 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Dinner - Main Dining Room 5:30 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.
Happy Hours - Bar & Terrace 2:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday
Lunch - Main Dining Room 11:30 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Dinner - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.
Saturday
Dinner - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.
Sunday
Brunch - Main Dining Room 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Dinner - Main Dining Room 5 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.
Happy Hours - Bar & Terrace 2:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.

F.A.Q.s

Frequently Asked Questions
Valet parking fee is $10 for dinner and $2 ($16 max) per every 30 minutes for lunch.
Bertrand at Mister A's is located on the twelfth floor
The distance is a little over a mile. It’s about a 20 minute walk, or a 6 minute drive.
No, Bertrand at Mister A's does not feature live music.
The restaurant offers views of Downtown, the airport, San Diego Bay, and Balboa Park
Fashionable evening attire is acceptable for dinner. For gentlemen collared shirts and slacks are appropriate. For ladies a dress or blouse with a skirt or slacks are appropriate. Jeans are permitted, provided they are not ripped or torn. No shorts are allowed during the evening. Beach wear, gym attire, athletic apparel, hats, flip flops, and open-toed shoes for men are never permitted.
Yes, Bertrand at Mister A's is open for lunch on Monday through Friday, from 11:30am to 2:15pm.
Yes, you can have flowers delivered no later than 4pm the day of your reservation and the restaurant will set them up at your table. Be sure to include the name of the reservation with your flower delivery.
There is street parking and valet parking available.
Yes, Bertrand at Mister A's does have a full bar.
Yes, Bertrand Hug also owns Mille Fleurs.
Yes.
No, happy hour is only served Sunday through Thursday in the bar and patio areas, and runs from 2:30pm until 6pm. The Happy Hour menu can be found in the Menus section of Bertrand at Mister A's page.
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Menus