An Ode to New York in the 1980s | Chef Anthony Sinsay Returns to San Diego in a Big Way with AD Nightclub's Dinner Club Kick-Off

February 5, 2015
Photos by TJ Sinsay/Sinsay Fitography

Chef Anthony Sinsay
On Thursday, January 29, Chef Anthony Sinsay's San Diego homecoming came in the form of a five course pop-up supper at AD Nightclub, entitled An Introspective Look at New York City in the 1980's. The sold out crowd was excited to welcome Chef Sinsay back to his hometown after a year-plus relocation to Los Angeles. Sinsay seemed exceedingly elated to be back - vowing never to leave again! -  and proceeded to present a riveting dinner experience before announcing his new job as Executive Chef of the incoming Duke's La Jolla.

Sinsay's Ode to New York was the official kick-off to the AD Nightclub's monthly Dinner Club, which will bring a new chef on board each month for a themed, multi-course dinner for a limited number of guests. The Dinner Club offers an all-inclusive menu, uniquely prepared by each chef that visits the quaint AD kitchen, boasting distinct experiences based upon the chef's vision. Chefs Simon Dolinky and Marc Thierren are tentatively scheduled for February 26, with Chef Carlos Vargas and Chef Craig Jimenez taking over in March.

Sinsay's meal was inspired by New York City in the 1980s and the culinary happenings of that time in the five boroughs. The evening began with tray passed appetizers during a Coney Island Cocktail Hour. Guests mingled in AD's bar area as servers dished out chili cheese dog croquettes, foie gras candy apples, citrus and uni snow cones and foie gras kettle corn.

Guests were then ushered to their seats in AD's exhilarating, makeshift dining room, a true "Dinner Club" that featured neon lights and beats by AD's resident DJ. We sat at a table with the likes of Carnitas' Snack Shack owners Chef Hanis Cavin and Sara Stroud, Catalina Offshore Products' resident fishmonger Tommy Gomes and even the gal behind Eater San Diego Candice Woo. The dining room was filled with the who's-whos of San Diego's culinary community, eager to welcome back their old friend and colleague.

Speaking of 'Welcome Back' - once everyone was seated, before the first course came out, the big screen on AD's wall lit up. The Welcome Back Kotter theme kicked in, and a short but hilarious film played. Check it out below.

The first course was a most delicious bagel and lox, inspired by the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Salmon is not usually my favorite fish, and I hate to say, that has kept me from ever enjoying a real bagel and lox (I know!), but Sinsay's version was fantastic - crisp, light, fresh, creamy, salty and full of flavor - probably my favorite course of the night.

The second course paid homage to the multi-ethnic borough of Queens - a crab filled Xiaolongbao (steamed dumpling) with hamhock shanton broth came atop a spoon for easy popping, sided by a lap cheong (Chinese sausage) and XO sauce.

The Staten Island-inspired course came inside an adorable mini pizza box - a lamb and pepperoni tartare with smoked tomato pulp, fennel, warm burrata cheese and garlic knots!

On to the borough everyone knows as New York City - Manhattan. Sinsay went Throwback Thursday with this course (even hash tagging the menu) and presented a black cod with artichoke a la Barigoule, artichoke puff, Uni artichoke emulsion and parsley stem.

Our last course was a sweet and delicious dessert inspired by the Bronx. "If You Like Pina Coladas" was the name given to this pineapple braised pineapple, coconut sponge, coconut marshmallow and Bacardi soft gel dessert.

We could not be more thrilled that Chef Sinsay is back in San Diego and are eager to sample his fare at Jake's Del Mar and the incoming Duke's La Jolla. Welcome back, Chef!! You've been missed.