Dining at Jeremy’s On The Hill, located high in the mountains above San Diego and just off the Great Southern Overland Stage Route, provides spectacular food and an adventure worth taking. Steep, winding roads led us to the old gold mining town of Julian.
Mid-town we turned left and curved our way along to Wynola, just minutes away, where Jeremy Manley, Executive Chef, works his wonders. Jeremy’s philosophy is to keep it fresh, keep it simple, and keep it tasting great.
Jeremy’s On The Hill is a California-style bistro. Comfortable, casual but professional, intimate yet friendly. Nearby ranchers and vegetable growers drop their goods off daily. A large selection of local wines on Jeremy’s list is produced within forty miles of the restaurant.
As Penny Collins directed us through the wine list she referred to the vintners by their first names. At Shadow Mountain Vineyards, it was “Alex and Pam.” Penny paired their Merlot 2009 and 2010 as well as Orfila Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011 and Orfila Vineyards Syrah Benign Neglect 2010 with our menu choices.
The slight smokiness of the syrah, the light fruit forwardness of the pinot noir, and the tannin finish with the merlot, were perfect with the right-in-your-mouth, worth-the-drive flavors of the food.
Garlic Herb Fries and Chipotle Aioli. Unlike any other we have ever tasted. Fresh, golden brown, finished with a real garlic confit.
Lobster Bisque, Jeremy’s On The Hill signature dish. Not surprising. It photographs well, too.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts marinated in citrus Ponzu Sauce. Tart, smokey, natural sweet vegetable candy.
Quinoa Lunch Bowl with red and white quinoa, apple wood smoked bacon, avocado, and apple carrot slaw. Loaded with protein.
Bacon Wrapped Bison Meatloaf. If only cameras could record the aroma of the red wine jus and caramelized onions, the gentle texture of the bison, and the tangy touch of the Manchego cheese.
Triple Layer Organic Carrot Cake. Edible art.
Jeremy Manley, 27, is a young chef and entrepreneur. He graduated from high school to Cordon Bleu. Cooking since he was 10, he was recently named Julian’s Merchant of the Year. In addition to constantly creating new dishes at the restaurant he runs the Farm to Table School Program in the area, providing nutritional menus for cafeteria-style service. When kids express excitement about being a chef one day, Jeremy lets them hang out in the kitchen. When the Girl Scouts came calling he taught them how to make cheesecake with a Girl Scout Cookie crust.
Jeremy’s On The Hill definitely receives The Cooking Ladies’ seal of approval.