RVOC November 2015 : Page 174

FOOD & DR INK g ui d e cheese and pomegranate seeds. Lunch Wed.-Sun., dinner nightly. The Resort at Pelican Hill, 22701 S. Pelican Hill Road, Newport Coast, 855.467.6800, andreanb. com $$$$ Back Bay Bistro Newport denizens love this bistro for its chic atmosphere and scenic environs (waterfront dining, anyone?), in addition to its lineup of delish dishes. And with new Executive Chef Bruno Massuger at the helm, the fare is on course to get even better. The evidence? He spent 16 years heading the kitchen at Center Club, was a touring chef for the James Beard House and recruited talent from the national headquarters of the CIA. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun., brunch Sat. and Sun. 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, 949.729.1144, newportdunes.com $$$ Bayside Restaurant We adore the harbor-front eatery for its view, its environment and its heavy-on-the-fish menu of new American cuisine created by pro Paul Gstrein. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner nightly, brunch Sun. 900 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach, 949.721.1222, baysiderestaurant. com $$$ The Beachcomber Crystal Cove’s delish sandside tenant serves up an iconic O.C. experience and fresh coastal fare. Watch for the martini flag heralding sunset and salute! Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 15 Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, 949.376.6900, thebeachcombercafe. com $ Bear Flag Fish Co. Although technically a seafood market, we don’t know where else you can find better fish tacos, real New England clam chowder and some of the freshest sushi in Orange County. Lunch and dinner daily. 7972 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Coast, 949.715.8899, bearflagfishco.com $ Bluefin Takashi Abe’s got some serious cred—his work experience includes a stint under L.A.’s Nobu Matsuhisa. We suggest ordering one of the omakase prix-fixe menus. For $100, the chef will select an inspiring menu with everything from an amuse to a sashimi salad to dessert. Lunch and dinner daily. 7952 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach, 949.715.7373, bluefinbyabe.com $$ Bluewater Grill When you’re in the mood for fish, this is the place. Bluewater offers natural gas-broiled seafood, with up to 15 fresh fish items on the seasonally changing menu. Lunch and dinner daily. 630 Lido Park Drive, Newport Beach, 949.675.3474, bluewatergrill. com $$ Bosscat Kitchen & Libations When chef Peter Petro says he’s serving up Southern-style cuisine, he means business—he regularly travels to Atlanta and North Carolina to get a taste of the regional fare, which he then concocts for the menu here. Cajun brick chicken with Carolina dirty rice, cornbread madeleines with huckleberry sweet-cream butter and whiskey-scorched okra are dished out alongside some equally fitting cocktails, including the Bosscat mules (that’s Kentucky, Irish and Reyka) and The Mark Twain. Now that’s soul food. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. 4647 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach, 949.333.0917, bosscatkitchen.com $$ Canaletto This Il Fornaio restaurant brings the regional cuisine of Veneto to Newport, thanks to chef Moises Mendoza Islas. Stars on the menu include Venetian thin-crust pizzas, fresh pasta and risotto seppie nere , a black risotto brimming with seafood. Lunch and dinner daily. Fashion Island, 545 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.640.0900, ilfornaio. com/ canalettonewportbeach $$$ The Cannery The former commercial fish cannery is known as a go-to spot in Newport for top-quality, locally sourced seafood (of course). Those in the mood for a fine-dining experience can enjoy Executive Chef Nick Weber’s menu downstairs, where white tablecloths and alfresco harbor-front seating abound. Those looking for a different scene can head upstairs to the sultry Jellyfish Lounge for sushi and sake, and its daily happy hour. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat. and Sun. 3010 Lafayette Road, Newport Beach, 949.566.0060, cannerynewport. com $$ The Crow Bar and Kitchen This gastropub offers delicious comfort food from Executive Chef Matthew Robinson, including duck-fat fried chicken, the award-winning Black Label Burger and the Kitchen Sink Salad. Add to that more than 50 craft beers on draft and in bottle, a new cocktail program and an extensive wine list, and you have a flyaway combination. Lunch and dinner daily, late night Thu.-Sat., brunch Sat. and Sun. 2325 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, 949.675.0070, crowbarcdm. com $$ Cucina Enoteca Fans of Tracy Borkum’s eclectic and charming kitchen in Irvine now have a second O.C. location to frequent. The restaurant (which doubles as a wine shop) boasts an inventive menu of Italian classics served with a Cali twist— including a constantly changing lineup of crudos and an amazing grilled TOP FIVE Maize Craze Corn concoctions are popping up around O.C., and here’s where you can reap the harvest. –Kristen Schott 1. Lillie’s Q There’s a reason why chef Charlie McKenna advises against sharing his shrimp and grits—the lush bowl of yellow goodness is crowned with plump shellfish and Lillie’s sauce. $18, lilliesq.com 2. Memphis Cafe Get a veggie fix with the calabasitas —aka Mexican ratatouille. Though the dish is named for the squash and includes queso fresco and a cumin-tomato broth, the sweet grilled baby corn is the highlight. It’s completely edible—down to the tender cob. $8, memphiscafe.com 3. Oak Grill Chef Marc Johnson is giving us the bird—more specifically, a roasted quail stuffed with housemade cornbread, allowing it to soak up the juices and flavors of the protein as it cooks. $15, oakgrillnb.com Here, a whole ear of corn is roasted and wood-grilled with butter, chipotle salsa, California chiles, cotixa cheese and green onions. A server will cut it from the cob when it arrives at your table, allowing the ingredients to meld into a smoky, spicy and sweet blend. $3.75, solitatacos.com 4. Solita Tacos & Margaritas 5. Vine It’s all about the fried green INGRAINED The fried green tomatoes at Vine are crusted in a beautiful cornmeal crumb. tomatoes: These juicy veggies (grown in the on-site garden) are crusted in a crispy yet light cornmeal crumb and topped with crunchy serrano ham chicharrones, a vibrant hazelnut romesco and fresh burrata. $13, vinesanclemente.com 174 MODERN LUXURY ORANGE COUNT Y NOVEMBER 2015 PHOTO BY AUSTIN TRASK

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