wolfies wagyu tartare

Restaurant of the Week: Wolfie’s Carousel Bar

Cocktails and carousel dreams abound at Wolfie’s Carousel Bar at the edge of the buzzing Little Italy area of San Diego. This lively hot spot opened in 2021 and offers the perfect stop for cocktails and appetizers, sipping and soaking in an experience like no other.  

Wolfie’s Carousel Bar is named after Charles I.D. Loof, a German carver and carousel builder and his 1881 revolving masterpiece that has become the centerpiece of this San Diego hot spot. “Wolfie” built more than 40 carousels in his time, and the restaurant patrons are lucky to be able to experience such opulence while dining in the round. The ornate décor mixes with a bit of modern, including a full wall of fun house mirrors strategically placed to bounce light from the carousel, creating a classy nostalgic vibe and antiquated ambiance.

Photo credit: James Tran

Woflie’s has limited seating, so reservations are encouraged to grab a prime spot at one of 20-plus bar seats to begin the journey of slowly revolving around the room on this famed carousel. It takes about 15 minutes to complete a full 360 ride, and bar seats are limited to 90-minute increments. There is also traditional table seating and standing room areas to enjoy the ambiance and watch as the world turns before you.  

An extensive wine list, Champagne and cocktails are the ringleaders here. Try the signature Wolfie’s Connection, a refreshing and aromatic drink that combines Cognac, amaretto and raspberry, finished with a sprig of rosemary. Guests can also enjoy unique concoctions like Fleur de France (finished with delicate floating violets), Mezcal Old Fashioned or The Lumiere with gin, elderflower, chartreuse and lime. Spirits abound at Wolfie’s Carousel Bar – gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, scotch, cognac and absinthe complete this impressive offering.

The Lumiere

The bulk of Wolfie’s menu is made up mostly of sharable plates with a myriad delicious options such as mussels, oysters, wagyu tartare (seen at top of page) and the warm and bubbly French onion soup. The Fromage du Jour features a wonderful collection of creamy and crumbly French cheese, seasonal fruits, olives, honey and crispy toasted bread.  

A few salads to choose from include the endive saladand the beet and warm goat cheese salad, with a bright citrus-tarragon vinaigrette. The steak frites (14-oz. ribeye steak with pomme frites) or the burger royale will satiate a hardier appetite. Celebrating something special or feeling really fancy? We suggest the caviar.

Wolfe’s Carousel Bar has thought of everything to enhance the regal dining experience, from the gorgeous glassware and plates that feel like your great grandmother’s wedding china to the beautiful silver serving trays. There is no corny carnival here; Wolfie’s is a class act where good food, crafty cocktails and merriment abounds in a one-of-a-kind setting.

Wolfie’s Carousel Bar is open Tuesday through Sunday starting at 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.wolfiescarousel.com

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