Press Release

A.R. Valentien Restaurant
Named Best New Restaurant by Esquire Magazine

December 2002

First San Diego restaurant to make the list

LA JOLLA, California (October 2002) – A.R. Valentien, the signature restaurant at the Lodge at Torrey Pines®, was named one of America’s Best New Restaurants in the November 2002 issue of Esquire Magazine. Joining such top dining destinations as New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Chicago, A.R. Valentien is the only restaurant to date from San Diego to ever make this coveted list.

Restaurant Critic, John Mariani had this to say about A.R. Valentien, “…A.R. Valentien – named for an early-twentieth-century California artist—offers big flavors and big portions via superb young chef Jeff Jackson. Try the foie gras with warm Ranier cherries, a perfect roast chicken with morels and more foie gras, and wild sturgeon with caviar and braised lettuce in a sumptuous beurre blanc. Eat, drink, sleep and play one of America’s top public courses with sublime abandon.”

At the helm in the kitchen is executive chef Jeff Jackson, formerly of Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, California and Le Francais outside Chicago. Jackson’s menu draws inspiration from the best local provisions available during each season, and changes regularly depending on products offered at local farmers’ markets, and from other local growers, ranchers, and fishermen. Jackson places emphasis on basic ingredients, preparing food with minimal handling, and in simple combinations to highlight the textures and flavors inherent to each element.

“We are fortunate to live in a part of the country where there is such an abundance of foodstuffs being grown or raised by individuals with a passion for what they do and a respect for the environment. This passion and respect spreads to those who utilize the fruits of their labors and enables us to prepare and create dishes based on the inherent flavors and textures of these ingredients,” stated Jackson.

The restaurant itself is a tribute to Southern California heritage and Craftsman architecture, with a metal-strap post-and-beam structure, handcrafted wood-framed windows, and stained-glass lanterns. The layout of the restaurant is suited for elegant dining, with several small rooms, and plush booths to lend intimacy.

A.R. Valentien is located at the Lodge at Torrey Pines®, which is owned and operated by Evans Hotels, San Diego. For reservations call 858-777-6635 or for further information, visit

The Lodge at Torrey Pines® is owned and operated by Evans Hotels, San Diego, and is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. For reservations call 888-826-0224, or for further information contact Steve Pelzer at (858) 777-6706,, or visit