Comfortable 3rd Corner offers unique approach with wines

There’s a corner in The Lumberyard where locals wine, dine and unwind.

That would be The 3rd Corner, a wine shop and bistro owned by Ed Moore, open in Encinitas since 2008. (The flagship location in Ocean Beach opened two years earlier.)

Rather than perusing a lengthy list, patrons can walk around and shop for wines to enjoy with their meals. There’s something to fit every budget, with prices from $7 to $2,000. More than 800 wineries from around the world are represented, and the bottles are sold at retail price and opened tableside for a $5 corkage fee.

Customers may also take their bottles “to go,” and 3rd Corner Wine Club members can receive 15 percent off their purchase.

Third Corner’s approach to wine is much easier on the pocketbook than that of other restaurants, as General Manager T.J. Ryan noted that it’s common practice to significantly mark up vintages.

The restaurant’s fare is also moderately priced, with entrees typically in the $18 to $20 range. And it’s served late into the evening, giving night owls an alternative to taco stands and fast-food restaurants.

“You can get a nice meal at midnight,” Ryan pointed out.

For example, guests can start with the Grilled Shrimp Skewer appetizer, drizzled with creamy lemon vin, resting on a bed of corn salad. Another option is the Cheese & Salami Plate, a smorgasbord of artisan cheeses, meats, fruits, date jam and pecans.

As for main dishes, one of the restaurant’s signatures is the Pan Seared Sea Scallops. These soft, buttery mollusks are among a medley of tomatoes, garlic, capers, olives, green beans and potatoes, dressed with beurre blanc. Another standout entree is the Duck Confit.

Other highlights include the Braised Beef Shortrib, featuring tender meat atop creamy mashed potatoes, surrounded by carrots and green beans; and the flavorful Mushroom Risotto with truffle oil, asparagus and Parmesan.

To round off the dinner, there are desserts such as Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding.

A three-course prix fixe menu is available from 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays for $19, with an optional wine pairing for $10 more.

Guests who want an earlier meal are treated to sandwiches and salads such as the Local Kale Kitchen Sink, with tender greens grown on a nearby farm and a variety of veggies.

Also, brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For $20.95, diners receive mimosas and a choice of entree, such as Chef Lincoln’s Hash or the Cap’n Crunch French Toast.

While 3rd Corner places a strong emphasis on wine, other libations are offered. Cocktails range from the summery Pineapple-Elderflower Martini, sprinkled with thyme, to the Spicy Watermelon Martini, with a cayenne-sugar-ringed glass rim, and the tangy Blood Orange Margarita.

The 3rd Corner, at 897 S. Coast Highway, Suite F-104, is open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday and 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday. Starting Labor Day, Sept. 7, the restaurant will be closed Mondays.

Happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. to close, Monday through Saturday.

Visit www.the3rdcornerencinitas.com or call 760-942-2104.

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