Music and food are a perfect match, however at many venues that combine the two, the sound over powers the dining experience. Not so at the Wellington Steak and Martini Lounge.
“Our goal is to be the most unique music venue in San Diego,” said Trish Watlington, who owns the Mission Hills location alongside her husband Tom. With ten tables, it’s a small, comfortable place to eat or simply have a drink and take in some great music. “Here you can see and talk and have conversation with the performer, who will more than likely be having dinner just a few feet away between sets,” she said. “We want to make it so that it’s almost like being in somebody’s living room. It’s a really intimate experience and it’s really up close and personal with whomever is playing” she said.
As for the type of music to be found there, Watlington explains. “It has to be acoustic, something that fits well – dinner music, because primarily people are having dinner while they play. The music is in addition, it’s an extra energy, but it can’t be too much energy.”
Music will be featured on Tuesday through Thursday each week, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Performers will each have a weekly residency. While the Tuesday night lineup was still being worked out at press time, Wednesdays will feature music from acclaimed guitarist Fred Benedetti, while Thursday will be soundtracked by the duo of ukulele strummer Sarah Maisel and bassist Paul Tillery. Others who have performed there include Stick player Tom Griesgraber.
She points out guests should not expect typical singer-songwriter type artists. “We like jazz and acoustic guitar, but we really like things that are not your every day fare. We’re looking for really unique performers that bring an entirely new style of music to the table. I mean I love jazz, and if we could be just a jazz club, that would be great, but there are so many great performers that don’t fall under a specific label.”
My husband and I had the great pleasure of eating at the Wellington to celebrate my birthday the other night and all I can say is that the meal was superb. We had a lovely cheese plate, followed by a Caesar salad for him and a creative salad with tangelos, mixed greens, beets (all home grown), and macademia crusted goat cheese croutons for me. Next came the best steak I ever had: a filet mignon, which was melt in your mouth delicious. My husband had the signature dish of the restaurant – Beef Wellington, a filet with mushroom sauce encased in puff pastry. And if that wasn’t enough, we couldn’t resist ordering dessert — an orange/cardamom creme brulee and chocolate mousse adorned by berries. Everything was cooked to perfection. A most memorable meal indeed, enhanced by a cozy decor, a gracious waiter, and the music of local musician Tom Griesgraber on Chapman Stick. It may not exactly be the place for our “starving musicians,” but it is certainly a go-to place for special occasions. Thanks to the chef and staff at The Wellington for a most memorable meal.
– Liz Abbott, Publisher