An invite to Eclipse Chocolate for dinner was bewildering. Only because I had no idea this chocolate shop—whose bars can be found at shops throughout San Diego—is a full service restaurant with vegan options. From start to finish the menu is sprinkled with hints of a pastry chef—a little coco here, a splash of vanilla there—all in a savory context.
We kicked off the meal with cocktails. As sweet as should be expected in a spot that specializes in chocolate, the Muddled Blood Orange Basil with sparkling cava ($10) and Vanilla Bean Sangria ($8) were too syrupy for my taste.
Pricing are fixed at $12 per entree +$5 per side. After mulling over the choices we started with the Quinoa Stuffed Red Pepper with chives, watercress, and hickory salted avocado plated over cocoa mole plus a Grilled Panini with a dense housemade sage focaccia stuffed with portobello, pesto, tomato, and arugula with a side of rainbow carrot and chocolate sauce. I’m sure the pepper is well intended, but it sorely reminded of a meal a catering crew threw together at a wedding ill prepared for a veg guest. The sandwich was fine, it was all eaten. But I strongly encourage you to consider this next plate:
The Crispy Quinoa Fritter at comes precariously balanced on a roasted tomato and polenta cake crowned with little chives and served in a pool of cocoa mole with a swipe of black garlic puree. I loved this but could have used triple… nay, quadruple the amount of sauce which I’ve since been told they will provide if asked. I didn’t know to ask. Now you do.
On the side is the Beet & Green Apple Salad with baby greens, avocado instead of chevre, and candied cocoa nib tossed in a vanilla vinaigrette. If you are wondering how candied cocoa nibs taste in a salad, the answer is “awesome.”
There is only one vegan dessert at Eclipse Chocolate but the waitress assured me it was not a compromise. She was correct! The Olive Oil Almond Torte, served warm, comes drizzled with a tart strawberry rhubarb compote, fresh strawberries, and vanilla salted pecan granola. Complex, rich, and not too sweet. We may have even ordered another to take home.
Continuing the meal after the fact, we brought home a box of Vegan truffles stuffed with:
- Coffee Caramel (my favorite)
- Blood Orange Olive Oil
- Champagne Cherry
- Coconut Lime
- Salted Coconut Caramel
2145 Fern St.
San Diego, CA 92104