Gastropubs are super trendy right now. The Washington Post described them as, "Not quite a bar and not quite a restaurant, the gastropub is a British hybrid of sorts, offering a casual-meets-refined atmosphere that welcomes beer drinkers and wine snobs, non-fussy eaters and foodies alike."
That pretty much sums up Carlsbad's one and only gastropub, located at 300 Carlsbad Village Drive Suite #202. The Compass opened Dec. 20 2011 where used to be. Owner Sarra Costello said her and her partner Andy Davis knew they wanted to open something different in North County, "so when Mr. Peabody's went up for sale it was a given," explained Costello.
They hired chef Craig Jimenez from Craft and Commerce in Little Italy as a consultant to create the menu. "We knew we wanted a forward innovative farm to fork type menu with many options not offered at any other establishments," said Costello, "We really focus on fresh ingredients and go as organic as we can."
Not many places in Carlsbad service brussel sprouts, one of Costello's favorite dishes on the menu. "I can never get enough of them," she said. Her other top picks are the quinoa burger, the braised short rib grilled cheese, and The Compass burger.
Prior to opening The Compass, Costello was a bartender for 10 years at Mas Fina Cantina, owned by her business partner Davis. The two of them started out as bartenders there together. Davis purchased Mas Fina with another partner. "Then when the purchase of another bar came up he knew he wanted to bring me on as a partner," explained Costello. Hence, The Compass came to be.
While we've only tried four dishes on menu, the bruschetta was absolutely amazing and the steak sandwich was also delicious. We are looking forward to coming back and testing out more of the menu.
Have you tried The Compass? Tell us your review of Carlsbad's first gastropub in the comments section below.