Located on the lush, tropical flower-laden grounds of the famous San Ysidro Ranch, recently named the "best hotel in America" by Forbes Traveler, is The Stonehouse, the fine dining room at the hotel. In this relaxing yet elegant restaurant, you will be surrounded by art, crackling fire places, twittering sconces, and gentle laughter, and in the summer the joy of outside dining under a canopy of bright stars.
This restaurant boasts large herb and vegetable gardens and citrus orchards on the property. When you taste the excellent Meyer lemon meringue pie, or the lemon beurre blanc drizzled on the Grilled Maine Lobster, the lemon you taste was grown about 200 paces from your table.
Extensive and careful use of freshly picked tarragon, rosemary, basil, peppers and tomatoes and other seasonal delights complement delicious menu offerings such as fresh Abalone (an old-California favorite, almost fished out, and now farm-raised on the islands off Santa Barbara), Parmesan crusted halibut, roasted Colorado rack of lamb with vegetable cassoulet, or the Carnaroli Risotto, served with artichoke hearts and asparagus.
Chef John Trotta has stuck with The Stonehouse for some time, and his understanding of what can be termed California "regional cuisine" (artichokes, tri-tip beef, indigenous seafoods such as Dungeness crab, use of local herbs and vegetables) really shines at this fine dining establishment.