A New Captain Sails Smooth at Leroy's Kitchen + Bar

Diver Scallops + Shrimp
July 3, 2013

When the news broke that Chef JC Colón would be taking over the executive chef position at Leroy's Kitchen + Bar, we knew that a return visit to this Coronado hotspot would soon be in order.   Chef Colón, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, boasts an impressive resume that includes roles in the coveted kitchens of both CUCINA urbana and Kensington Grill, so we were enthusiastic to see how this classically trained chef would embrace and evolve the eclectic, farm to table cuisine that Leroy's has become known for.  A recent dinner revealed that Chef Colón has settled right in, incorporating influences from positions past, and making the menu an extension of his own culinary personality while maintaining the quality and form Leroy's patrons have come accustomed to.

Leroy's Kitchen + Bar is a favorite of locals and a destination spot for in-the-know diners.  Located on Coronado's main drag of Orange Avenue, the eatery falls comfortably under such genres as "California modern," "farm-to-table" and "local and sustainable," and the menu alters with the seasons.  The craft beer movement is embraced, wine is reasonably priced and of substantial variety, and craft cocktails are creatively constructed. Leroy's is hip and laid back, but it doesn't relax on the quality of its output.  They do it right on all fronts.

Bavarian pretzel
We began with a few local, craft beers and a glass of house sangria, a delicious concoction and a labor of love that packed an unsuspecting punch, at first masked by the sweetness of St. Germain.  In perusing the menu, we noticed similarities from our last visit as well as tempting alterations.  Our server was extremely helpful in guiding us, and even explained that they'd be happy to modify items according to any dietary restriction.  We had a vegan in our company, but we were assured that this was a non-issue, as Chef Colón would happily make a custom dish showcasing his fresh produce.

Chorizo stuffed calamari
We began with the Bavarian pretzel ($6), which comes hot and soft, accompanied by a side of house made mustard and beer and cheddar fondue.  We had studied the menu by this point, so we also asked for a small sampling of the bacon jam (from Leroy's burger) and the hot pepper jelly (from the bleu pepper chips).  Dip party!!  We suggest you do the same.

The grilled chorizo stuffed calamari ($9) came to the table with authority, demanding attention with its presentation.  The smokey squid, busting at the seams with spicy chorizo, was surrounded by a heaping salad of arugala, radicchio, cherry tomatoes, croutons and baby squid, and served with a side of pimenton sauce.  This innovative take on surf and turf was far more comforting than we'd anticipated.  The Spanish chorizo beaconed with flavor, the squid added texture and smokiness, and the salad lightened the overall experience.

We also were provided an order of Leroy's Niman Ranch deviled eggs ($7).  A take on green eggs and ham, the preparation is adorable - four cute little egg halfs garnished with asparagus heads, crispy prosciutto and pickled mustard seed.  The flavors were clean and earthy, and popping those devils could become addicting.

We cleansed our palates with more hoppy beer and a refreshing local beet salad ($10).  Beets are all the rave this time of year, and Leroy's put on the best showing we've seen all season with this salad of red and gold beets, bucheron cheese, watercress and spicy almond brittle.  How did they get those red beets so tender?  It was so good that we even abandoned all of our sauce options and began dredging Bavarian pretzel tears across the mosaic of colors left on the salad plate.  

For our mains, my partner ordered mushroom and ricotta ravioli ($18) - house made ravioli in a light butter cream sauce, tossed with king trumpet and shitake mushrooms, peas, and topped with an array of micro greens.  She seemed stoked until mine came, triumphantly, and buyer's remorse set it.  My diver scallop and shrimp dish ($28) looked and smelled magnificent - three perfectly seared scallops with three gorgeous prawns over a fresh succotash of corn, fava beans, mini bell peppers and roasted baby corn. As pleasing as this dish was on the eyes and nose, the pleasure aroused by its taste far surpassed. It was delicious and rustic, a dish that I would swim to Coronado for!

I thought I had the order competition on lock until the humanitarian of our group received his custom creation - a fresh veggie terrine, featuring harvest mushrooms, roasted baby corn, eggplant, and herbs, topped with a sweet and savory San Marzano tomato sauce.  This dish was gallant and would satisfy even the most devout carnivore. And coming from a family with three vegans, it's heartwarming to see a chef and restaurant eager to curtail their menu to ensure that every patron gets a delicious meal, regardless of any dietary limitations.

Leroy's definitely moved forward in the right direction with Chef JC Colón, and we eagerly anticipate his continuous revitalizing of the menu.  The energy of the establishment remains upbeat, friendly and welcoming, and the dishes continue to impress, making Leroy's a true destination dining establishment.

Leroy's is located at 1015 Orange Avenue in Coronado.  For more information, visit Leroy's website or call (619) 437-6087.

1015 Orange Ave., Coronado
(619) 437-6087

Mon-Tues: 11:00am - 10:00 pm
Wed-Fri: 11:00 am - Midnight
Sat: 10:00 am - Midnight
Sun: 10:00am - 10:00 pm

Brunch Sat+Sun: 10am - 4pm
Lunch: 11am - 4pm
Social Hour: 4pm - 6pm
Dinner: 5pm - 10pm
Late Night Social Hour: 10pm - Midnight

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