The Barrel Room Opens in Carmel Valley

The Barrel Room Opens in Carmel Valley

Since The Barrel Room opened in Carmel Valley a few months back, it has already become a welcome addition to the neighborhood! Located at Merge Carmel Valley off Carmel Mountain Road, this spot offers good food, good wine, and good whiskey. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with General Manager Brett Preston to talk about the vision for The Barrel Room Wine Bar and Bistro and, of course, to sample some of the delicious menu items they’re cooking up.


As Brett mentioned in the video, The Barrel Room was conceived as a community spot where locals can go to enjoy dinner with the family, a romantic date night, or even an office happy hour. Owned by 3LB Restaurant Group, The Barrel Room is another fantastic entry from the people who brought you Urge Gastropub, Mason Ale Works (their tasting room and kitchen is also in the Merge plaza), and Brothers Provisions. This casual, yet classy eatery has an inviting ambiance, rustic modern décor, and friendly, knowledgeable staff like Brett.

The menu is best described as a fusion of American and European style Bistros and Restaurants. You’ll find classics like soup, salad, and steaks, but perfected with unique ingredients and accompaniments. Their most popular menu item is their meat and cheese board. You have the opportunity to create your own board by choosing from premium options like Port Salut Smoked Gouda, Chorizo, and Hot Coppa. But no matter what items you pick, you can’t go wrong – Brett and I enjoyed one of these famous boards during filming and it was absolutely delicious! I also sampled the Pistachio Crusted Seabass and Brett’s favorite menu item, the Jambalaya. Both were outstanding! I can already see myself coming back to The Barrel Room in the near future to enjoy a date night with my wife.

My favorite cocktail is an Old Fashioned, so trust me when I say they know their whiskey here! The Barrel Room offers diners an extensive list of specialty cocktails, but if you’re more of a wine drinker, they’ve definitely got you covered. You can order wine by the glass or bottle at a variety of price points. Not sure what to get? Order a wine flight instead! They also have beer on their menu from neighboring Mason Ale Works, AleSmith, and others.

The Barrel Room is open for dinner every day, with lunch served Monday through Saturday. On Sunday you can enjoy a special brunch menu with tasty items like the Crab Cake Benedict, Chicken Chilaquiles, and their special Barrel Room donuts. They also offer daily happy hour specials from 3-5pm.

Have you checked out The Barrel Room yet? What did you think? Leave me a comment below. And with so many new spots opening Off the 56, let me know what I should visit next!

Gravity Heights Opens Off the 56 in Sorrento Mesa

Gravity Heights Opens Off the 56 in Sorrento Mesa

Sorrento Mesa isn’t typically the first place that comes to mind when you think “cool beer spot” or “fun restaurant to enjoy with the whole family,” but the newly opened Gravity Heights is determined to change that. I recently dropped by to talk with General Manager Jon Broesel about the vision for Gravity Heights and of course, to sample some bites and brews.

The brainchild of Whisknladle Hospitality Inc.’s Arturo Kassel and the original Alesmith brewmaster, Skip Virgilio, Gravity Heights is a 12,000 square foot brewpub just a stone’s throw away from Qualcomm’s massive campus. Part restaurant, part bewery, and part event space, Gravity Heights is a feast for the eyes and the palette. Vibrant, California modern dining spaces flow seamlessly from outside to inside, with seating options allowing for everything from intimate conversation to casual gatherings to large celebrations.

Rather than restricting their clientele to the 21+ crowd, Gravity Heights has embraced families by filling their outdoor side yard with games and AstroTurf. As Jon Broesel explained, the vision for Gravity Heights was to create a space that families could enjoy as well. I’d say this vision has been well executed. On any given visit to the brewpub, you’re sure to find the crowd is representative of the diversity of people living in our Off the 56 community from young professionals to families to retirees.

But what really makes Gravity Heights stand out in my opinion is the quality of the food AND the beer. Like I said in the video, usually when you find a place with good beer, they don’t have good food and vice versa. But the team at Gravity Heights has really nailed it on both fronts. While I was meeting with Jon, I got to try a few of their beers and the Meat pizza. That pizza is honestly one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had in San Diego – I’m still looking for an excuse to go back and order it again! And the beers were outstanding. I particularly enjoyed the June Gloom Hazy IPA.  Though if you’re not into IPAs, they have plenty of other beers on tap including some collaborations and guest beers, hard kombucha and cider, mixed drinks, and wine. To try the menu for yourself, make plans to join them for daily happy hour from 3-6pm in the bar and beer garden!

If you’re looking for a space to host your next event or celebration, look no further. Gravity Heights is equipped to handle parties of all shapes and sizes. They also have a private mezzanine you can book that overlooks the brewery and restaurant below. In addition to having its own bar and lounge, the mezzanine also has a pool table, shuffle board, and arcade games.

Gravity Heights is open every day except for select holidays. Click here to browse their dining menu and their current drink list. They do accept dining reservations, which I highly recommend as they have been quite popular since the brewpub opened at the end of January.

Have you checked out Gravity Heights yet? If so, let me know what you thought by leaving me a comment below. And if you’ve got a business Off the 56 I should hit up next, just post it below!

Behind the Curtain of Off the 56 With Bern McGovern

Behind the Curtain of Off the 56 With Bern McGovern

When I moved to Torrey Highlands three years ago, I discovered that it was really hard to find any information about what was going on in the community. So one day I had a flash of inspiration: why couldn’t I create a place to post about all the cool things going on in the area? I started with a community Facebook page and then about a year and a half ago I started working with Ollie Patterson to do video interviews with local businesses off the 56. It has grown tremendously in such a short time, from 100 followers to almost 1500 today!

Off the 56 is about the people and the businesses that make our community great so one of the things I’ve been very conscious of is not to make this a real estate blog. But I’ve never really come out from behind the curtain before to share about my own work. Until now.

I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the day in the life of a Realtor. Rather than make a boring Realtor video about why you should use me if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in San Diego, I decided to stick with the same format we always do here on Off the 56: an interview with the owner or manager that takes you behind the scenes of the business to learn about what makes them different.

I also wanted to say thank you for being part of the Off the 56 community – every time you take a moment to comment, share my content, or send me a message about what business I should highlight next, you help make this community space that much better. I truly believe we live in a very special part of San Diego that is typically overlooked, so it’s my pleasure to continue to make Off the 56 an invaluable resource for you.

And (shamless plug here) if you or someone you know IS looking to buy or sell a home in San Diego, please give me a call at (858) 900-1797. I’m always here to help!

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