First Look: Farmer’s Table Opens in La Mesa
The gist: Fans of Farmer’s Bottega in Mission Hills should drive east to La Mesa to check out sister restaurant Farmer’s Table, which opened on February 16. Executive chef Alberto Morreale is leading both farm-to-table focused restaurants, but in La Mesa, Morreale is working with a much larger restaurant and has developed a broader menu, which includes wood-fired pizzas.
Photos by Darlene Horn
The food: Like the Mission Hills eatery, the new La Mesa spot offers an all-day menu with now familiar standbys like roasted carrots and pecan-crusted chicken. Brunch consists of egg dishes, pancakes and French toast, while lunch and dinner dishes are filled out by appetizers, wood-fired vegetables and big entrees like pork chops and steaks. Pizzas, flatbreads and calzones are proving to be popular must-orders. Cooked in an imported blue Stefano Ferrara oven anchoring one end of the kitchen, pizzas range from $13–$15 and come with toppings such as fresh milk mozzarella and portobello mushroom, as well as specialty meats like pork belly or short rib.
The drinks: The full bar offers several beers on tap, a selection of red, white and sparkling wines and handcrafted cocktails. Specialty brunch cocktails include mimosas incorporating fresh squeezed juices and fully loaded Bloody Marys like the four-person, $36 Barn Yard, which comes "garnished" with a whole roasted chicken, roasted and pickled seasonal vegetables, bacon-wrapped shrimp and skewered shrimp and mozzarella cheese.
The space: Located in the heart of La Mesa at the former Sanfilippo’s Pizza, the restaurant plays off its farm-to-fork slogan incorporating vintage elements into multiple aspects of the decor. Look for a hand-cranked sewing machine holding water glasses, farm tools displayed on the walls and reclaimed boxes scattered throughout. The theme goes further than that, though, with impressive statement pieces like a red tractor that welcomes diners inside the restaurant. Turquoise upholstered chairs surrounding the smaller tables add a bit of pop to the rustic decor.
Seating includes a few communal tables, one of which acts as a chef’s table by the glass-enclosed kitchen, and a private dining space separated by a wall of planters. There's also patio seating and a wraparound bar. Diners can bring a bit of Farmer's Table home with them — included in the restaurant is a retail space selling branded shirts, local wines and canned goods.
The details: Unless you’re willing to wait, reservations are highly recommended for dinner and weekend brunch. Daily operating hours are 8 AM–2 PM for breakfast and lunch and 4:30–10 PM for dinner.
8141 La Mesa Blvd.; 619-724-6465
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