THIS RESTAURANT IS NO LONGER OPEN FOR BUSINESS. - Georges on Fifth offers two things not common in the San Diego restaurant scene: dining in the company of San Diego’s elite and a twelve-ounce Prime Filet Mignon of Certified Angus Beef ®. The first takes the form of a vibrant mural of accomplished San Diegans which adorns the restaurant’s two-story walls; the latter is one of the most exceptional cuts of meat in the city. Georges’ menu, with culinary highlights that include USDA Prime steak, day boat scallops, and the highest grade sushi, prioritizes quality ingredients highlighted by beautiful presentation. Factor in its unique location in a former gambling hall and saloon in the Gaslamp, elegant historic private dining rooms and Grammy-nominated pianist Tom Barabas performing on weekends, and you have one exceptional dining experience.Read More ...
Georges on Fifth sits on the ground floor of one of the most photographed buildings in the Gaslamp quarter, occupying a notable historical space. In the 1880’s the restaurant was home to Wyatt Earp’s (then-legal) gambling hall and saloon, The Oyster Bar. Today, Earp’s presence permeates the restaurant, from the giant mural of his likeness overlooking the bar to the preserved card room where he dealt cards, which now serves as a private dining room offering an unrivaled view of Fifth Avenue.
Upon arriving at Georges’, we received a gregarious greeting from George L. Harrington III, the restaurant’s owner and namesake. He led us through the gentle curves and bold colors of the main dining room to a plush semi-circular booth against the building’s original brick wall. We passed by the grand piano where, on weekends, Grammy nominated pianist Tom Barabas graces Georges on Fifth with his talents.
Seated, our eyes were drawn to the dramatic two-story walls, which are adorned with vivid portraits of significant San Diego personalities. Wyatt Earp is in good company--figures from Dr. Seuss to Dr. Salk have been painted on the walls by former Disney and San Diego Zoo portrait artist John Wismont. After testing our knowledge of the accomplishments of various San Diegans, we turned our attention to the menu.
The menu at Georges focuses on quality, epitomized by a commitment to serve only USDA Prime steaks. Georges’ generous selection of Prime steak cuts are joined by a seafood selection of equal quality, as well as veal, lamb, pork, duck, and free range chicken. Our server, Kirsten, enthusiastically recommended many of George’s Signature Dishes, all starred on the menu, highlighting the Grilled Pork Chop and the Prime Filet Mignon as staff favorites.
It is because of these Signature Dishes that Harrington is reluctant to call his restaurant a steak house, although steak and seafood are what Georges on Fifth is known for. The menu refuses to conform to the traditional “steakhouse way” of serving unadorned entrees while offering vegetables and starches a la carte. At Georges, while the selection and preparation of meat receives enormous attention; equally doted on are the accoutrements and, not least of all, the presentation. Executive Chef Jose’s Kelley’s talent lies in his ability to focus on appearance and flavor simultaneously without detracting from either.
We started our meal with a sampling of signature starters, along with a glass of medium-bodied 2003 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay, which proved a well-suited accompaniment. Kirsten first brought us Dungeness Crab Cakes drizzled with a colorful array of sauces—red bell pepper cream, classic béchamel, and delicate chive oil. The aroma of the two crab medallions wafted up to awaken our senses as we eyed the festive dish. With each bite a delicate crunch gave way to a creamy center that resonated with intense flavor. The red bell pepper cream was sweet and rich, while the unique flavor of the chive oil offered a subtle bitterness.
Next we sampled the California Seafood Bisque, which again delighted our eyes before our palates. The rich golden soup was populated by a New Zealand green-lipped mussel, a solitary prawn, and a small square of salmon, all aligned as if they were marching across the bowl. To their side an unassuming poppy seed crouton floated atop the viscous soup. The soup itself was rich with flavor yet somehow not that heavy, offering up a creamy essence of the sea with each bite.
While many of the salads looked appealing, we decided we could not pass up the Tower of Tropical Tuna Tartare, which upon arriving confirmed our decision. The dish was beautifully plated, running the gamut of colors and textures. A thin layer of sauces coated the plate in a prism-like effect, with brown hosin glaze fading into golden citrus ponzu fading into light green chive oil. Crowning the plate was a lively bright pink stack of saku tuna topped with a pale layer of pineapple, deep green seaweed salad and an explosive nest of crunchy wontons. We found ourselves reluctant to dig in, not wanting to disrupt the beautiful presentation. But dig in we did, and we were delighted. The saku tuna, which is sushi grade yellowfin from the underbelly, was more flavorful than most sushi. Firm, with a satisfying give and bursting with flavor, we almost forgot it was uncooked. My date, ordinarily not a tartare fan, was especially surprised at how much he enjoyed the dish.
We next turned our attention to the entrees, but not before chatting with the sommelier. Rick Bates joined Georges on Fifth about two months ago, bringing expertise from the Napa Valley Grille and the Yard House in Irvine. His first move was to revamp the wine list to provide an accessible selection of familiar wines alongside those from lesser known vineyards, hoping “to introduce folks to wines they might not try.” At Rick’s recommendation, we opted for a 2002 Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, which seemed fitting as we had sampled their chardonnay earlier.
As we let the wine breathe we took in the entrees as they were set in front of us. The Jumbo Sea Scallops presented a delightful array of four panko-coated scallops arranged around a nest of crunchy chives and tomato coulis. Atop each scallop sat a generous dollop of sundried tomato tapenade, while underneath hid a thin sliver of new potato, all drizzled with house made Green Goddess sauce and red pepper cream. Chef Kelley uses only dry day boat scallops, which are sold the day they are caught and are not preserved with any additives. The difference is phenomenal, as these scallops are intensely flavored, deliciously sweet, and firm to the bite. Each bite of the gently seared scallops provided an intense burst of almost buttery sweetness.
Then there was the steak—the signature dish on the menu. An eight ounce Prime Filet Mignon of Certified Angus Beef® commanded its plate, sitting tall in a shallow sea of port wine demi-glace. Accompanying it were sliced fingerling potatoes, shitake mushroom ragout, and a generous cut of Roquefort cheese. The sensation of biting into Prime Angus filet mignon deserves a moment’s contemplation: the meat, soft to the touch and barely requiring a knife to slice through its tender grain, feels like velvet and practically dissolves upon touching the tongue. After a pause, savoring our first bites, we ecstatically tackled the rest of the dish, delighting in the firm give of the fingerling potatoes, the woodsy bite of the ragout, and the ideally-suited port wine demi-glace and creamy Roquefort. The dish was absolutely sublime.
Feeling that we could not be more satisfied, we were surprised when our desserts proved us wrong. Several of Georges on Fifth’s desserts are prepared in house, and their freshness is evident. The Grand Marnier chocolate mousse, served in a wafer-thin candied almond bowl rooted to the plate with crème fraiche, was an explosion of decadence. The Berries and Cream, also served in a candied almond bowl with airy crème fraiche, offered refreshingly light sweetness, an ideal conclusion to a decadent meal. We also sampled the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake which, while not prepared in house, was admittedly addictive, with a tart creaminess and gentle texture.
Georges on Fifth was developed as a “local’s place”—and everything from the portraits on the walls and the building’s rich history to the inviting atmosphere suggests that locals will feel at home. The staff is friendly, the sommelier approachable, and the owner one of the most gregarious hosts around. Details such as a low-priced children’s menu and live entertainment clearly have the local in mind. However, the menu, with its exclusive selection of Prime meats and quality seafood, makes Georges no ordinary “local’s place.” Whether you are in San Diego for the weekend or have lived here for years; whether you are looking for a taste of history or a taste of Prime Certified Angus Beef ®, Georges on Fifth provides an elegant and epicurean dining experience for San Diegans and visitors alike.
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Food delicious and wine at terrific prices! Would definitely return.
Well, here we go again! It is Valentines Day and I am searching for a restaurant for my Honey. I have been wanting to go to Georges for a while now and figured tonight woudl be the night. Well, I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with the location, service, and especially the food. I have read many reviews about this place with some recommendations. I followed most, if not all of them. We started off our night with some crab cakes that were delicious. We followed it up with their seafood bisque (just about every review recommended it). It was fantastic and the portion was definitely a bit generous. For the main course, I had their double sized pork chop. It tasted great with their vinegary sauce and the sweet potato mash was very delicious. My wife had the lobster linguni. She did not care for it too much, but it was a very generous portion and the taste was ok. We finished it all up with their creme brulee. Overall, we were not disappointed at all with Georges. Our waiter, Mike, was very good and his supporting cast were very attentive to all of our needs before we even asked. I would definitely return to Georges again!!
As wonderful an overall experience I had once again at Georges on Fifth in the Gaslamp District, I found the chef's soup of the day was a BEST BUY. Frankly speaking, for the $6.00 a bowl charge I don't believe they can stay in business. The soup could have been considered a whole meal by itself: Beef/vegetable with enough steak tenderloin cuts and mixed vegetables to have taken care of my appetite all by itself. I had the teriyaki stir-fry vegetable dish as the entree for $18.00 which could have accommodated two people. On top of the reasonable cost for the delicious meal, George's offered a 20% coupon I found online good for Saturday evening during Restaurant Week. Bon Appetit!!
So I live far north of S.D. and took my lady to dinner there just by looking through the internet, I made reservations. We arrrived to a nice little spot with a private patio. We chose to eat inside. There is quite a bit of history to this place, I won't ruin what the history is you have to go find out for yorself. But the filet they have there is hands down thee best steak I've ever had. Cooked to perfection upon your request and the flavor was incredible and this is NO small filet by any means. The waiter there was mollasses for only 3 tables being there but that wouldn't stop me from coming back for this steak again. Ill just make sure and ask for another waiter..and I still tipped him very generously just because of my meal. So hats off to the chef.
This is a great restaurant with delicious steaks and a nice atmosphere. We had a great waiter, and although the menu was pricey (as to be expected in an upscale restaurant downtown), I was actually suprised at how reasonable the bill was at the end for a party of 7 (even with an appetizer, dessert, and 2 bottles of wine).
Great Food, Great Service
The diamond next to the dish on the menu is the clue to George's specialties.
WE loved the cozy and warm atmosphere along with the food. The booths are great for intimate dining.
This was our second time dining at Georges. The atmosphere was comfortable and warm. The service was good and food outstanding.
My bosses loved this restaurant! They said it was fantastic all around.
I Love G5. THis is one of my fav resturants in San Diego. The food is great and love the history of the building.
My fiancé and I went there for our first time on his 24th birthday and our last date night before he was shipped out for boot camp. This place was the perfect place for our last date night. The decor was beautiful, the waiter was amazingly nice, food was delicious and the bar was amazing. Definitely recommend this place!
Quaint, throwback type of restaurant...Quiet, very nice...Food was excellent..The Tuna tatare was very good ...Service was top rate
Surprizingly a great place for a large group.
It is an above average restaurant with above average food and service for an above average price. I would absolutely go back again.
Nice restaurant.Good service,but the entrees for the price should of included a side dish!
Overall, a nice experience. A little pricey for the average joe, but very good food, nice ambiance, friendly waiters.
Food is excellent and service efficient, but not overpowering (not pushy). The atmosphere is quiet, allowing an intimate private evening evening. The history connection with the early west's Earps is interesting.
Restaurant has a nice feel, I liked it.
We had 7:30 reservation and arrived on time. I was surprised that the crowd was a lot older than we are(mid 30 - 40) at that time of evening. By the time we left, the crowd was closer or even younger to our ages. With that said, the service was really great. Our server knew alt about the restaurant history and the building, and of course the food and wine selections. He told us what he restaurant was known for as well as what his favorites were and why. As a result we got exactly what we expected and enjoyed everything.
The steak and martini and dessert (key lime pie) was excellent. The side dish of vegetables was just so-so for having to pay extra for it. The potatoes were good. The service was excellent! The bathrooms are a little shotty for such a nice restaurant and the table for 2 felt a little cramped against the wall or next to a pillar. Otherwise the atmosphere was very nice.
The restaurant was a differerent experience for the 2 of us, who really dont go out to classy restaurants. The food was wonderful and had good flavor.
I visited G5 on Friday Feb 6th 09. I made reservations in the Wyatt room, and had a special request for the pianist to perform a certain song for me. The reservation request, (my first through this SDR website) went through without any hassles or hold ups, and within approximately one hour or less I had confirmation on the request from G5. I was sorry to hear that the pianist was no longer performing at G5, however they were in the process of trying to find a replacement so that I could hear my requested song while dining, (very thoughtful of them).
When I showed up, the hostess was very welcoming and polite, and not to mention she was extremely cute as well. I was also sad to see George did not greet us though. We were promptly seated at our table. The service then and through-out the rest of the night was great. First up was the bread and butter to hold us over. It was absolutely incredible. Small pieces of french bread with a light butter, it was so good.
Then we ordered Banko fried shrimp and a bowl of their seafood bisque soup as an appetizer. The seafood bisque soup was a bit overdone with the seafood portion I thought with large mussels, shrimp, and clams/oysters in the shell, however the flavor was good. The Banko friend shrimp were excellent, crispy and crunchy. Next, for our meals we ordered a bone-in Rib Eye, an 8 oz. prime cut Filet Mignon (not the certified Angus beef cut) and the Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken, with baked potatoes and asparagus as sides. The Filet I had was very tender, although a smidgen bland in the flavor department. The cut itself was a very nice cut of beef however. The potatoes were nothing to rave about. Per my other guests, the Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken breast and bone-in Rib Eye were excellent.
As we were finishing our meals George made an appearance and greeted the guests dining at the table behind us, and spoke with them at length. As he finished speaking with them, he moved out of the Wyatt room and never spoke to us. We did not try any desserts, but they had a nice selection of after dinner drinks and desserts and a lot of them sounded delicious. My experiences were not bad by any means, just a few things left out that would of made the night and experience exceptional.