Tom, Carolyn and Friends –
There is nothing better than enjoying a night out at one of the outstanding restaurants in Vista, meeting some new friends and trying a variety of food selections offered from a redesigned menu. Wildwood Crossing and Cantina continues to be a major player in the entertainment scene of Vista and as the restaurant expands their food menu it is becoming an eating destination. WildWood offers American Fusion and Fine Mexican Cuisine with a number of selections to choose from.
A Wednesday evening for many eateries is one of the slower days, but the outdoor eating area of WildWood, over-looking Buena Vista Creek and Park, began to slowly fill-up as the evening moved along. The couple we dined with, Paul and Angie Flores, have eaten from the new Mexican Cuisine menu and enjoyed the authenticity. Paul and Angie are both certified Arborists and own Rancho Tree Service & Maintenance in Vista.
We had been invited to try a selection of items from the menu and offer our opinion about the taste and presentation of the dishes. Our waiter was the very friendly and helpful Apple, who knew a great deal about the preparation of the food and what the menu had to offer. Starting with drinks, the bar offers a selection of eight local beers on tap and a number of bottled beers to choose from. Wildwood has a full bar with a variety of mixed and specialty drinks. My wife tried their Moonlight Margarita, which she said was very tasty and strong. I like dark beers and tried the Burl Brown Ale, a good selection on my part. Wildwood offers Happy Hour, Tuesday thru Saturday, from 4 pm to 6 pm. A number of discounts on beers and mixed drinks and a lengthy selection of appetizers are offered.
After drinks, we ordered two appetizers to pass around. The Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes came with an Arugula salad and jalapeno remoulade. They were breaded, very sizable and delicious. We also ordered the Grilled Whole California Artichoke with a garlic butter glaze and basil aioli. They were tasty but a little hard to eat. I think just offering the artichoke hearts, perhaps deep fried, with the glaze and aioli might be a better option for this dish. Three new items are now on the Appetizer list – Wildwood Nachos with fried jalapenos, Mango and Ginger Ahi Tuna Poke and Oaxaca Quesadilla with caramelized onions, corn and Poblano peppers. Terry Woods, NC Daily Star owner said, “The quesadilla is excellent!” Chicken or steak can be added.
We decided to order a Mixed Baby Green House Salad, which came with caramelized pears, walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and red wine vinaigrette. The salad was big enough for all four of us to share and was very tasty. New to the salad selections is a Superfood Kale and Quinoa Salad with apple, almonds, cranberries and a citrus vinaigrette.
Wildwood has a huge selection of dinner choices. There are nine different burgers and sandwiches and nine House Specialties to choose from. Two new sandwiches that have been added are the Blackened Chicken Sandwich on a Ciabatta roll with pepper-jack cheese and a Classic Pastrami Reuben using the WildWood smoked pastrami with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing on Marble Rye. A gentleman across from us said the Awesome Wildwood Burger, was big and delicious.
We decided to order from the House Specialties list. I ordered the 8 oz. Wildwood Slow Roasted Prime Rib Dinner, and chose a baked potato. It also came with Rosemary Au Jus and house horseradish. The meat was Grass fed Nebraska Black Angus. The prime was perfect, I ordered medium, but the potato needed just a little longer in the oven. My wife ordered the Grilled New York Strip, new to the menu, with House garlic butter and a baked potato. Paul ordered the Pan Seared Salmon that came with sautéed kale, Brussel sprouts, quinoa, roasted cauliflower and bacon with a basil beurre blanc. We all got a taste and the Salmon was excellent, no fishy taste at all and was a nice sized portion. Angie ordered the St. Louis Pork Spareribs, hickory smoked with a jalapeno BBQ sauce and seasonal vegetables. One other option for many of the meals was house coleslaw or street corn on a stick. She ordered a Full Rack, so she had enough to pass around with lots to take home. The ribs had a good flavor and the sauce was not spicy at all. A full rack is worth every penny with lots to spare.
There are four new items on the House Specialties – the Grilled New York Strip and three Mexican dishes – Pollo en Achiote Tacos (three tacos, Nopales, tomatillo salsa and guacamole and fresh black beans), Adobe Pork Belly Tacos (three grilled pork tacos, Nopales, salsa and adobo sauce with black Beans) and Mole Negro Chicken Breast Enchilada (grilled, red rice and black beans with queso fresco). Wildwood’s location is the former popular La Paloma Mexican Restaurant and the three Mexican dishes are a salute to the former restaurant.
Special nights includes Burger & Beer Tuesdays, Whiskey and Wings Wednesdays and Tequila & Tacos Thursdays with 20% off all of these items. Wildwood also has a Sunday Brunch with Bottomless Mimosas from 11am until 8pm.
We also decided to order one of each of their dessert selections and they were absolutely amazing – Crème Brulee, Chocolate Lava Cake, Key Lime Pie, Bananas Foster and Tiramisu. There’s always room for dessert.
Along with great food, Wildwood has become a mecca for music in Vista. As we ate, Taryn Donath played some great jazz/blues on the electric piano. She alternates with Clay Colton on Wednesday evenings on the patio.
Wildwood also offers Live Jam Sessions, Karaoke, Traffic Jam, Groove Factory, Totally 80’s and more. Check the Calendar section of their web site for a complete listing – www.wildwoodcrossing.net.
Wildwood Crossing is a unique restaurant offering outside dining, romantic booths inside, a great bar, wonderful food options and entertainment showroom, making this venue unlike any other in Vista. It is a great option for date night or stop by at any time to check out what’s happening.