RVOC April 2016 : Page 148

FOOD & DR INK g ui d e e Winery’s rst dining establishment in Tustin (Executive Chef Yvon Goetz, sommelier William Lewis and managing partner JC Clow) now have a second restaurant—and it truly is magni cent. e menu of contemporary Cali cuisine is a perfect t for the abundant vino selection (the cellar can house up to 6,000 bottles). And the landmark waterfront location (it’s in the former home of Villa Nova) mixes SoCal sophistication with Napa style. Dinner daily. 3131 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach, 949.999.6622, thewineryrestaurant.net $$$$ Zov’s Local treasure Zov Karamardian’s cozy-chic site in Newport Coast is a gem. Our favorite meal comes during weekend breakfast, when you’re certain to nd us seated on the patio, munching on Zov’s special omelet. Breakfast Sat. and Sun., lunch and dinner daily. 21123 Newport Coast Drive, Newport Coast, 949.760.9687, zovs. com $$ arcrestaurant.com $$ Bistro Papillote O.C. has become quite the spot for authentic French fare, and chef Laurent Brazier’s cafe is among the best places for it. Case in point: He has a secret recipe for his unbelievably good French onion soup. e broth is aromatic and much lighter than other versions, and it brings herbaceous notes to the baked Gruyere and crouton crown. ere’s thyme too—and a bit of je ne sais quoi . Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner u.-Sat. e OC Mix at SoCo Collection, 3313 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, 949.375.0749, lacuisineculinaryarts.com $$ Ecco Pizzeria & Bar With an emphasis on simplicity, this Italian eatery serves up seasonal, ingredient-driven fare. Try the namesake Ecco pizza (crushed tomatoes, mortadella, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, fontina, garlic) in the modern dining room that features exposed brick walls, marble countertops and dark-wood accents. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat. and Sun. e Camp, 2937 Bristol St., Ste. A103, Costa Mesa, 714.444.3226, eccopizza.com $$ La Cave A favorite since 1962, this place keeps cool with entertainment nightly and good American steak and seafood in the dining room. Dinner Mon.-Sat. 1695 Irvine Ave., Costa Mesa, 949.646.7944, lacaverestaurant.com $$$ Mesa With a juicy fresh-squeezed cocktail menu, carefully considered wine list and seasonally inspired fare, Mesa really CHEF CHAT Stag’s Leap If you’ve been to the revamped Stag Bar + Kitchen (stagbar.com), you know the iconic spot (it opened in 1908) is now stocked with gourmet grub to pair with your pool game and whiskey. Yes, Executive Chef Jeff Moore is cooking up everything from meatballs to pizza, and we’re wild for it all. –KS We’re addicted to your Stag Balls. Which do you like most? e house ball: We grind prosciutto, mortadella, pork fat and pepperoni into our brisket, chuck and short-rib beef blend for a unique avor. Your inspiration? I took Mario Marovic’s vision and turned it into a reality. … We are o ering the type of quality and timeless food our customers will always enjoy. What’s not to love about pizza and meatballs? Touché. Do you have a favorite experience at Stag? Testing meatballs during our menu creation was awesome. I’d imagine! And what’s it like working in such a historic spot? I like that at one point in the 1940s, it was a martini bar. Very classy. [Otherwise,] I can’t say it’s much di erent. It’s what you do inside that makes a place unique. Having an open kitchen with a view of the boardwalk is a plus. What are you cooking in that kitchen right now? We’re rolling out a new breakfast pizza! We’ve also toyed with the idea of making fresh pasta. e one product you can’t live without is... herbs. ey go on everything. Now, what’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten? When I was a kid, my dad took me to e Original Pantry Cafe before a Dodger game. I’ll never forget that. And do you play pool? ey called me Minnesota Slim when I was younger. is kid Eddie beat me real good years ago, and I gave it all up for a saute pan and a knife. COSTA MESA Arc Noah von Blöm and Marín Howarth von Blöm’s eatery continues to impress. Sit at the counter for a view of all the action, and qua one of bar chef Koire Rogers’ new spring libations—the Bertha, for example, is crafted with tequila, apple brandy, pomegranate and Meyer lemon. (His lineup changes ve to six times per year, so drink up while you can.) Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat. and Sun. SoCo Collection, 3321 Hyland Ave., Ste. F, Costa Mesa, 949.500.5561, 14 8 MODERN LUXURY ORANGE COUNTY APRIL 2016 PHOTOS BY ALAN DE HERRERA

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