Covering the dining scene in and around the OC
The Newport Beach restaurants participating this year include: Bayside, Brasserie Pascal, Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, Harborside, Newport Landing, Palm Terrace, Port, Rustica, Rusty Pelican, Sage Eastbluff, Sapori Ristorante, SOL Cocina, The Lido Deck, The Crow Bar and Kitchen, The Ritz Restaurant and Garden, Tradition by Pascal, Wildfish Seafood Grille, and Zov’s in Newport Coast.
The special prix fixe lunch and dinner menus being offered range from $15 to $40 and provide an excellent sampling of signature items these restaurants have become known for.
Stasha and I have written about many of these restaurants in our column, but there are a few we haven’t dined at yet, so OC Restaurant Week offers the perfect excuse to dine at a new restaurant or revisit a favorite for a reasonable price. The only problem we have is actually coming to an agreement and making a decision.
“I think the Bayside menu looks good, but only if we can go on a Thursday and listen to the Ron Kobayashi Trio while we dine,” I said, certain there would be no argument. I was wrong.
“Thursday? Maybe, but Brasserie Pascal is offering Mussels Sauvignon Blanc,” replied Stasha. “And I’m craving mussels.”
I was about to interject on behalf of Bayside’s menu & music combo, when Stasha again stopped me.
“Oh no? Palm Terrace at The Island Hotel has their Mac and Cheese with crushed truffles. I could live on that.”
“Yes, well I know that, but…“
“I can’t believe Tradition by Pascal is offering a $30 prix fixe menu!” exclaimed Stasha. “I would sell my soul for the Pan Roasted Duck Magret and the Oeuf á la Neige.”
“I vote for going back to Rustica—Chef MacPherson has his Char-Grilled Octopus and Pappardelle on the menu.”
”I know. But shouldn’t we try a new spot?” asked Stasha. “What about Newport Landing? They offer Macadamia nut crusted Opakapaka, and the New Zealand Rack of Lamb sounds good, too.”
I was about to agree when she cut me off.
“Did you see what Sapori is offering? Linguine Vongole Veraci or Veal Scaloppini Gorgonzola definitely appeal.”
I took a breath to speak, but too late.
“Oh wow!” she barreled on. “Canaletto has Casonzei Con Stracchino E Pere. I love Stracchino cheese!”
Her dramatic monologue continued with rising momentum: “Lido Deck has Grilled Pork Porterhouse, Harborside has Orange Coconut Salmon and Macadamia nut crusted Opakapaka, too, and Sage Eastbluff has Pepitas Crusted Sea Bass with maple bourbon butter nut squash. Ooooh, that sounds yummy.”
She paused long enough for me to speak.
“So does the Pumpkin White Chocolate Cheesecake,” I stated.
“Pumpkin?” Stasha looked up at me. Oh, right–not her favorite flavor.
“What about The Ritz? Their $20 lunch menu includes steak and lobster, plus an appetizer and dessert,” I added enthusiastically.
“Or how about Zov’s? They’re legendary,” said Stasha. “I’m dying to try her famous Golden Lentil Soup.”
“SOL Cocina has a pretty good dinner menu–remember their muddled cocktails?”
“Oh, those were so good,” sighed Stasha. “I can’t decide. I want to do them all. How many restaurants do you think we could do?
“In one week? Well, I’m not sure, but…let’s find out!”
So how many restaurants will you make it to in one week?
For more information, including a list of restaurants and their special prix fixe menus, visit http://www.ocrestaurantweek.com/.