Joining Trust Restaurant in Hillcrest and Hundred Proof in University Heights, Fort Oak features New American cuisine with a subtle French influence. Think farm-to-table and forest-to-table with a seasonal selection of small plates and composed dishes cooked over an open flame, offering live fire flavor.
Fort Oak is the third in the acclaimed Trust Restaurant Group collection established by Co-Owner/Executive Chef Brad Wise and Co-Owner/General Manager Steve Schwob. “You can come to Fort Oak and have five different dining experiences,” said Wise. “That’s was one of the main reasons we took this space.”
Wise explained that he had his team in place for the new location in the historic enclave of Mission Hills. “We open restaurants based our our staff and not much else. We know we can’t do anything without them.”
I asked Wise what he felt would set Fort Oak apart from his other restaurants. “This is what people challenged me on,” he explained. “They ask “how are you going to make it different from Trust?” I said, its easy, we are going to cook different food.”
Wise and his Executive Sous Chef Mark Schmitt use organic, local and sustainable ingredients and produce. “Our food is fun and fresh, and our restaurants are straight forward and to the point,” said Wise. “We have a bit of a different approach to dishes at times. We strive for consistency and Fort Oak follows suit.”
Since San Diego Food Finds is all about finding unique foods about town, Wise makes note of the house plate selection, which includes anything from Coppa Ham with B&B pickles, to Salami with cabecou cheese or Rabbit Sausage with apricot mostarda. “We wanted to create a portion of the menu that was 100% made in house, from the cheese, to meat, to crackers.” he says. “It takes about four to six months in completing these very simple dishes, but when it’s done, it’s very rewarding.”
For a truly memorable dining experience, take a seat at the chefs counter (we did), where you can watch all the action take place in an open kitchen.
Fort Oak is located at 1011 Fort Stockton Drive in San Diego, California (619) 722-3398.
©Written by Maria Desiderata Montana