The Smoking Goat Restaurant
Inspired by his European Farm-to-Table up-bringing and culinary training at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, Executive Chef and Owner Fred Piehl, marries classic French cuisine with the bounty of San Diego in a way that is rustic, yet refined, imaginative, yet unpretentious.
The dinners served feature in-season local, sustainable and organic ingredients and provide guests with a unique culinary experience, reminiscent of the European countryside.
Boasting an eclectic and carefully selected wine, beer, craft aperitifs and cocktail list with selections from both the old and new world, The Smoking Goat assures there is always the correct pairing available.
Love this place as I've always had delicious food, great service, and wonderful ambiance. We live in Orange County now and every time I come to San Diego for the weekend we come here for dinner as it's our favorite restaurant in San Diego.
We arrived at the restaurant for our 5:45pm reservation on time. We booked the reservation well in advance because we were attending a later concert at North Park Theatre and didn't want to hurry through dinner. Because of the early time we arrived, we were one of only a few other couples that were seated.
The host escorted us outside to the patio in front of the restaurant. Immediately I expressed concerned to the host. There was a cool chill in the breeze and I did not want to eat dinner outside and have to put on my coat while eating. I was assured that it would soon get warm and be no problem. He was wrong. Also, there were speakers mounted outside over every other table. Techno-music typically found at Forever 21 or similar was playing.
The food was good. We enjoyed some excellent wine, appetizers and dinner. It was not remarkable enough to suffer through being cold and assaulted by a techno beat so loud that I couldn't hear every other word the waiter or my husband said during the two hours we were there.
Then came the fun. A family of five people, two "adults" and three children of varying ages from about 7 - 12 were seated behind us. It was a free-for-all. The father literally yelled at one of the boys to stop eating like a barbarian, while sucking down Moscow Mules. The youngest was standing on his chair and attempting to walk on the table when the father once again, yelled at him to stop. Mom was on her 2nd glass of white wine. The kids did not care. The circus carried on.
With that said, I would still recommend the restaurant. The restaurant should not seat anyone who does not specifically ask for the patio or does not want to sit on the patio outside. When we arrived there were no customers and no doubt our experience would have been better indoors. We had made a reservation well in advance, a few months ago and so other than some arbitrary reason the restaurant had for putting us outside, it isn't entirely clear to me why that happened. Too bad.
This is one of the best gems of the North Park neighborhood --incredible food, especially enjoyed the salmon --cooked to perfection, and we appreciated the special-to-order meal for an elderly diabetic. Outstanding service. Great wine list too! The romantic environment brings my husband and myself back time and again
The food was amazing and delicious and the service was outstanding!
Great food! Great for a night out or a family dinner.
Have never been disappointed at Smoking Goat. Top quality ingredients cooked to perfection. Very friendly service.
Main dishes portions were larger than I expected, preparation fairly straightforward but good (eg, NY steak had no bells and whistles, but I asked for "rare" and back came something between rare and medium rare, which is better than most that tend to overcook, plus a huge pile of frites). Best were the appetizers (octopus and, particularly, mussels). The creme brulee for dessert had ab overly thick sugar crust. But so far so good. I was surprised by the $22/9oz and $18/9oz glasses of wine ($40, which could have been a bottle). And the Smoking Goat brand Bordeaux Rouge was subpar.
We made a reservation and were seated at the bar by the kitchen and serving station. Waiter gave us utensils that had been used (they had food on them). When our food arrived our waiter took our utensils to give us clean ones but did not bring back clean utensils until asked. The duck was delicious, food was cooked well and reasonably priced. Service was poor our waiter often forgot items we ordered or basic elements of restaurant service.
The food is always excellent. Greeting and service got off on a rocky start but recovered when they realized we were serious about dining and accompanying bill of $200; seemed they saw the potential tip and poured on the attentiveness toward the end. The first bill was inaccurate so be sure to look yours over. I noticed how the space itself could use some freshening up, particularly wall paint that's all marred and scratched up. And what's up with using the tight hallway space into the restrooms as storage for table chairs and highchair? It's definitely the food that keeps me coming back.
We had a challenging experience in that we were seated across from the kitchen and had to endure a very strong cleaning agent smell throughout the meal. A staff member was drying silverware close to us and the incessant bang was rough on conversation and nerves. Two in our party questioned the "9" ounce glass pour and I was sorry the server negated her because they won't be back. How easy it would have been to pour more into her glass and make a continuing customer. I wish restauranters would realise it's getting to be less fun to dine out when staff is less than professional, music is deafening, parking is a real challenge and it's all quite costly. I would still come back for the chicken, though.
The grilled banana bread is phenomenal!
The croquettes, bisque, steak, truffle fries and seafood platter were delicious. However, the music didn’t match the ambiance at all. The ambiance was that of a countryside home and the music was like that of a rave? Huh? Kinda contradicts a nice meal and evening out with my wife.
Loved the in house red wine. Baked brie was awesome. Always end up losing their chefs special. Got lucky and managed to snag the last plate.
We were a group of seven and had a wonderful experience. The food as well as the wine was delicious.
Overall one of the best meals dining out in a long time. Service was outstanding as well.
Friendly and very helpful staff. Great meal. Relaxed atmosphere. Would definitely recommend going. Would go back any time
We ordered the Brie appetizer and it was pretty awesome. We Also both ordered steaks. My only complaint is there isn’t much to their menu
Great staff. Ricky was fun and helpful. The food is a ticket to paradise.
One of the best restaurants I have been to in San Diego. Family owned business that is clearly passionate about their food! Plan on going again!
The food? We had the mussel, escargot, and cauliflower appetizers, and the duck entree. The appetizers were fine -- the cauliflower, which was called out as a "steak," was actually a dish of "florets." It had a very sweet cheesy base and a sweet/spicy sauce. Interesting but I wouldn't do it again -- needed more savory and acid. The escargot seemed to please the other people at our table -- I didn't try them. The mussels were fine, but unremarkable. The duck? It was described by our waiter as "skin-on, and cooked so that "the skin would be crispy," with a "red-wine reduction." The skin was oily/greasy, and definitely not crispy, and the red wine reduction was present in a miniscule amount on both plates. We asked for and received (good service!) more of the red wine reduction, which helped. But the oily and chewy duck was a disappointment, even with more sauce. The service, overall was great!! Our waiter, Caleb, was elegant, responsive. and attentive. We brought our own champagne, and before we'd met him, he showed up at our table with champagne flutes!! That was impressive. Overall, great service, food -- not-so-much.
Excellent food and great service!
Love this place, the salmon was wxquisite
We barely had a conversation with the waiter. He seemed very busy; after the main course and waiting for 10 minutes he dropped the dessert menu without even asking. We had already decided to go for a dessert, so this time he made the right judgement, but again - he did not ask. However, it took another 10 minutes before he came by taking the order for desserts.
Also, serving a pinot noir in a bordeaux glass is not ok when it is clear that they have pinot noir glasses in the restaurant.
Food was outstanding though.
Steak was amazing!!! Awesome spicy “margarita”!!
The staff was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, it just seemed a bit undermanned. However, the food was extremely delicious and the portions were plentiful. We really enjoyed everything we got from the salad to the Brie to the enteees and dessert. Very well done.
The Place was Amazing
Service was slow but Everything else was okay.
Had a wonderful 3 course meal that is offered on Wednesdays. The octopus appetizer was tender and grilled to perfection. The main courses, duck breast and pork chop, nicely prepared and served with delicious potatoes and vegetable sides. We did find that the Manhattan cocktail that were served was a little diluted maybe caused by too much ice. All in all it was a good date night dinner and we will return.
Perfect dining experience. Food is always exceptional!
Food and wait staff were all amazing! The only downside was the manager on duty, who appear to have a bit of an attitude problem. The hostess and waiters all appeared to be much more attentive and helpful. Management could learn a thing or two from the wait staff.
My wife and I came in for our wedding anniversary, while visiting San Diego. Fabulous experience. We would especially recommend the escargot appetizer for a very special treat!
We went for dinner on Saturday March 30th. We have eaten here may times as the food is always high caliber. However this time what stood out most was the service. From the hostess and manager, to the busser/runner and our graceful waiter. We wanted a table outside and rather than making us wait they moved some heaters to get us a table right away. We had a number of food substitute requests and the waiter made no fuss and was very accommodating. A++ for service guys. It was really just a delightful experience. And of course the food was good as always. Keep it up!
One of the best meals I have had in awhile. Go on Wednesday evening. They have a wonderful special.
My whole family went out for my mother’s 60th and the staff went above and beyond to make it a special experience! They were absolutely excellent and the food was delicious!
My second time ever but first in probably 5 years. Service was extremely slow and hurried...one waiter and one busser. They did the best they could but it does affect ones overall experience. Didn’t bother with dessert bc it would’ve taken forever. Familiar theme nowadays with less wait staff and slow service. Positives: Food delicious and great ambiance.
Before reading this review I was to preface by saying it was a busy Saturday night and I've taken that into account concerning service. I don't like to give bad reviews because it could be a one-off night,but we've eaten here before and hadn't been back for over a year.
We were seated outside near a portable heater and not given the option of eating inside or told when reservations were made. I was uncomfortable most of the night and wore my coat.
The food was delicious except it took forever to come out (30 minutes at least) and then my dish (duck) was warm. Rather than sending it back I accepted this is what comes with bad service, also someone else was paying and I didn't want to bring it up at the time. The other people at my table had steak and said it was good. The waitress did not come and check on us regarding the food so it was not possible to ask where or when we could expect dinner.
The food is lovely but the noise level is beyond comfortable both inside and out on the patio. This is one reason we don't eat there often. The experience is not comfortable and the only reason we go is if one of our party requests it.
With all that said if I were to recommend this restaurant it would be with the caveat to expect excellent food (might be warm and not hot) but noisy and slow service.
It's amazing what we put up with for delicious food when served hot.
The roast duck and griddled banana bread were phenomenal!
All around great
Very fun and nice place. Service was good. Food was excellent. Atmosphere was fun and light.
Great service. Appetizers were fantastic and a good wine selection.
Entrees were "ok". I expected them to be a notch or two better.
Flourless chocolate cake was disappointing.
Banana bread, foster-style was a highlight.
It was a nice chill evening.
Great food, great service. We will be back.