Partake Gastropub Part 3 ~ Soft Opening (AKA Food and Service)

So, it may seem you’re getting a lot of posts about Partake, which you are, truth is I do a 3 part report on any restaurant I’m interested in, I’ve done it with BLVD, Masters,Mission Ave, and others. While usually these reports are weeks or months apart, I came across partake a week and a half out of their opening and was able to do the same work in a short time. Which was actually really nice.

Partake Gastropub is a new restaurant in Vista at 721 South Santa Fe. You can read all about their concept and philosophy here.

exterior 1

Traffic was lighter so I was able to cross the street and take a building pic.

As of now their Grand Opening will be Tuesday March 17th. This past weekend they held two soft openings, Saturday and Sunday, to work out any kinks and let the service staff and kitchen warm up. I was invited to be a fly on the wall for the Saturday service and try some of the menu created by Owner Keith a Chef Ian Smith.


Partake’s Front of House ~ Left to Right ~ Dominic, Tarjn, Lauren, Heather, Rachelle, Kara.

So, first night tests can be stressful. That night The ticket machine went down for about 1/2 hour and tickets needed to be hand written. The staff stayed cool had a few hiccups, but nothing you would not see on any night in any restaurant. I was very impressed with the staff’s attitude, and maturity. There is extra pressure on them since Partake is so focused on boutique wines and beers that require more knowledge from the server. After seeing them in action and behind the scenes, I believe these guys can handle it.

early dinners 2

6 pm and the early diners start arriving.

chef ian working

Chef Ian Prepping his pans.

Chef Working

First order in and Chef plates the Baked Brie


Baked Brie ~ Browned butter mushrooms, spicy lemon curd

This was a very popular appetizer and I believe sold out.


Bacon Wrapped Dates ~ Gorgonzola, almond, lemoncheese plates

Cheese Boards on the pass.

looking glass

Through the looking-glass ~ The restaurant fills up.


Tickets roll in

After spending the first two hours in the kitchen I decided it was time to take a break and eat.


So after being in the hot kitchen I wanted something light to drink rather than a Cab, or other big red. I also wanted to make sure to try Partake’s wine list as it is a focus for the resaurant. I went with the Proulx Rose ~ Willow Creek Farm ~ Paso Robles. Really nice wine, light and dry, with hints of strawberry and bitter cherry. I would order this again.

The food

steak sandwich

Skirt Steak Salad ~ Arugula, fingerling potatoes, gorgonzola, caramelized onion, lemon demi vinaigrette

Great salad, this is to where my comment in my last post mentioned the food as being familiar but using great ingredients and building complex flavors. The lemon demi vinaigrette is made like an Au Jus with chicken stock, reduced giving it an intense meaty back flavor perfect for the hangar steak accompaniment. The pepper quality of the arugula, the gorgonzola, and the sweetness of caramelized onion all work together…you get the picture.

grilled cheese 2

Grilled Cheese ~ Taleggio cheese, braised short ribs, caramelized shallots.

This is an insanely good dish. This is a must order for me from now on. This is what if someone asks what they should order? “the grilled cheese”

Every place has braised short ribs (insert dish here) These are the best short ribs I have had in a long time. Two day process, I was told. I took half home because I still had dessert coming…even better for breakfast.

bread pudding

Bread Pudding ~ bread pudding, beer maple glaze.

No way I was not going to get dessert from Chef Ian Smith. Incredible. Moist, flavorful, you really could not ask for more in a dessert.

There you have it an opening report for Partake Gastropub. I think they are going to crush it and become a staple on the, not only Vista, but North County food scene.

This would be a really good first date restaurant, classy but not over doing it, with great food and wine.

If pressed I would say your first order should be the Grilled Cheese and the Bread Pudding. Nice glass of wine or beer and you are good to go.

Partake Gastropub
721 South Santa Fe
Vista, CA

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