Chef Scotty Wagner debuts his fresh, playful and seasonally inspired menu
SAN DIEGO -- Eden's unveiling of Executive Chef Scotty Wagner's new spring menu will coincide with the first day of spring on Sunday, March 20.
In keeping consistent with a tradition of playful dishes that combine both style and substance, Wagner new menu will serve up fresh flavors inspired by comfort classics and local ingredients.
"First and foremost, my new menu is all about fresh, bold flavors," Wagner said. "I have tried to maintain consistency by keeping some of the fan favorites on the menu while adding new dishes that highlight the local products that are coming into season. This spring I've definitely put my twist on comfort classics, but don't be mislead. These aren't the plates your grandma's makes. They're better."
With a quirky and colorful persona that translates into a culinary style that can only be described as eclectic and delicious, Wagner's new menu will feature innovative twists on traditional fare and includes concoctions like "Angels-n-Demons" which features angel food cake French toast, sinfully dark chocolate mousse, brandied bing cherries and pistachio gelato.
Many of the new dishes, like the "Poke-O-Choke," a sushi grade ahi tuna, avocado-n-heirloom tomato stack with yuzu crème, ponzu and dulse won-ton chips, employ garden elements that are equally pleasing to the palate.
Chef Wagner tells San Diego Gay & Lesbian News that in order to keep things fresh and still appease their newbie status as Hillcrest's "go-to" restaurant, he took off a few items and doctored up a few of the other entrees.
"Our spring menu still holds many of our patrons favorites with the addition of a few uplifting and innovative culinary treat. I am super excited to feature our skirt steak and ribeye with tableside grated horseradish," Wager said. "And I am pleased with the slight adaptations to our Ribeye (the filet is being replaced with lamb chops) and Cuban Conquest (the pork tenderloin is moving to a braised pork belly)."
Wagner also adds that fans of Eden's signature Jerked Chicken, the Beef Short Ribs and the Eggplant Raw have only a few days to enjoy them because they will be taken off the menu.
Many of the new menu editions have some Asian flare and that is because Wagner said, " Asian cuisine epitomizes balance or "yin-n-yang" in any dish. I love the fresh flavors of ginger, mint, lemongrass and of course - the passionate heat of chile!"
His personal favorites menu items include the Drunken Noodles because it is "classically delicious, especially for a late night culinary redemption," and the "Hong Kong Ho-Ho's" for their "combination of the best of the chimichanga with kung-pao and shrimp curry."
Wagner also can not say enough about the Ribeye Steak addition. Known as the "Big Daddy," this 12-ounze steak is served with a cream of corn twice baked Idaho potato and a huge broccoli spear smothered with melted cheddar, and topped with a few onion rings and freshly grated horseradish.
"This is my favorite steak in the world, and the dish is absolutely yummy for the tummy," Wagner added. "The spring menu is also designed to highlight the seasonal ingredients through specials like the 'Wok with Me' and the GMFQ 'gourmet mother f . . . quesadilla' in which we will showcase such delectables as fiddlehead ferns, artichokes and wild ramps.
"We are also highlighting the new greens coming in to season as well as the bounty of locally grown ingredients from our San Diego farms."
Upon the request of his father, Wagner added his "Double Smoke" creation to the spring menu. It is his his savory interpretation of the chicken and waffles that features smoked-and-fried chicken with smoked hamhock waffles in a balsamic-rum reduction, with cabbage slaw and blue potato salad.
"Dad likes his comfort food!" Wagner added.
The spring menu also boasts some delicious new libations - like the "Young Grasshopper" a crème de menthe induced ice cream drink with salted chocolate-chip cookie “pla-doh" and the "Cumquat" a muttled cucumber mojito with, Bacardi rum, Moroccan mint-kumquat granite and fresh lime juice.
Additionally, Wagner announced that Eden has a new partnership with The Cravory.
"We will feature their cookies as a retail item," Wagner said. "I have always loved their cookies as they embody my culinary philsopophy of 'uber creative with taste and balance in mind.' My favorite cookies are the rosemary-balsamic, the pancakes and bacon, and the salted caramel stout."
Eden diners will also be able to enjoy these delicious Cravory cookie creations: red-velvet, peanut butter overload, birthday cake, and the gluten free ultimate chocolate chip.
About Eden: Located in the heart of Hillcrest, Eden opened to rave reviews in October of last year. The 15,000-square-foot restaurant and entertainment venue is under the direction and ownership of David Laurent (NightlifeSD and SideBar) and Executive Chef Scotty Wagner. 1202 University Ave | Hillcrest | (619) 269-3336