Sessions Public is an easyto-miss, cozy enclave worth seeking out for good food and warm design, complete with punchy orange chairs.
Those saffron chairs are bright beacons that catch your eye as you drive down a particularly congested section of Voltaire Street— smart design choice. Sessions feels like a well-edited Anthropologie store, with rough salvaged wood planks along the walls, vintage window frames topped with votives hanging down from the ceiling and a quirky bumblebee theme throughout, from the logo above the door to the gigantic wall photo of a honeycomb crawling with the buzzing little buggers.
Feel free to scribble on the enormous chalkboard wall in the bar area that advertises beer specials and whatever pretentious/amusing tidbits patrons want to share.
But, hey, there's also food to eat while you're perched in those tangerine seats. Happy hour runs 2 to 6:19 p.m. every weekday, and enjoying $2 off all shared plates is a great way to try a number of things, particularly with a group of pals. The Duck Confit Summer Rolls (not sure what happened to Spring) offered a subtle, unique twist on a pretty standard appetizer, and the Spicy Calamari managed to avoid the dreaded fried-rubber-band taste common to many places.
But I'm still thinking about the Roasted Beets. I'm new to beet eating; we didn't see them in my house growing up.
This delicate dish had sweet little beet gems, both deep pink and golden and dotted with creamy crumbles of goat cheese and bits of pine-nut brittle. Everything worked together perfectly—sweet, tender, crunchy and creamy—and the entire concoction was drizzled with with warm truffle oil, sending the whole shebang over the moon. Maybe it was the Manhattan warming my gullet, but I declared I would eat beets all day long if they were always covered in cheese, brittle and oil. I think I would also eat bees. Full circle!
If the beets are staying on my mind, then the Ribeye Fries are staying on my heart. Specifically, my arteries. Imagine tender, salty chunks of ribeye tossed with french fries, blue cheese, herbs and more truffle oil. This is a dish where you maniacally rub your hands together, thumb your nose at the likes of Dr. Oz—and then regret it later. It's fun to eat bloody meat with stinky cheese and fried potatoes. But it never sits well. For pure deliciousness, though, I recommend it.
If you're upright after the fries, or if you had a sensible salad (try the RLL, named after the owner's grandpa and topped with his luscious homemade garlic balsamic blue cheese dressing—OK, forget sensible), definitely stay for dessert. I enjoyed the orange-scented beignets, pillowy balls of fried dough sprinkled with orange zest and dipped in warm Mexican coco sauce.
Like any new San Diego eatery worth its salt, Sessions has the requisite craft-beer selection (Ballast Point, Lost Abbey, Chimay) and a small but nice selection of wine. Ironic Beer Alert: If you're not into the hoppy goodness of a Stone IPA, why not toss back a Miller High Life? I'm partial to spirits and was very happy with the excellent selection of top-shelf classics like Lemon Drops, Rob Roys and Mules.
So pull up an orange chair and stay awhile.
Sessions Public will give you a good buzz.