Off the Menu OC

Covering the dining scene in and around the OC

A Trip to Italy at Pelican Hill’s Third Annual “Festa dell’ Autunno” Sept 20-22

x_MG_2788Autumn is almost here, and with its arrival comes Pelican Hill Resort’s third annual “Festa dell’Autunno,” September 20-22 in Newport Beach.

The Italian themed celebration is fitting for Pelican Hill, which appropriately bills itself as a Tuscan seaside village. The resort is inspired by 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, who built magnificent villas that were said to embody Renaissance architecture.

The art and architecture of Pelican Hill is reason enough to spend an afternoon at the resort, but “Festa dell’Autunno” adds another layer to the resort’s appeal, and then some.

According to Pelican Hill’s “Festa dell’Autunno” announcement, guests will experience authentic Italian cuisine (including a guest chef wine dinner at Andrea Restaurant, where Italian cuisine is taken to new levels of refinement), live entertainment, art, and children’s activities.

The highlight of “Festa” is an Italian Street Festival on Saturday, September 21, from noon to 5 p.m., which features regional Italian cuisine, wine tasting, live music, visual arts, automobilex_MG_3218 exhibitions, chalk artists, dancers, Italian flag procession and performance, pizza tossing exhibition, wine and cheese pairing, Bocce ball, and an olive oil pressing demonstration.

We attended last year’s “Festa,” held on a cozy tree-lined street inside the resort near bungalows and villas. We felt as though we’d walked into a festive Italian town, albeit an upscale and classy one.

The food was fantastic and plentiful, and the wines were yummy. We enjoyed the olive oil pressing demo and tasting, and the live entertainment including a quartet of costumed flag bearers who performed a well-choreographed and dazzling demo.

Other “Festa dell’Autunno” weekend highlights are:

x_MG_3185–Andrea Guest Chef Wine Dinner on September 20 prepared by chef Angelo Auriana, executive chef of San Francisco’s celebrated Northern Italian restaurant FARINA and previously executive chef of the critically acclaimed Italian restaurant Valentino in Santa Monica.

–Festa dell’Unitá on September 21, a family-style dining experience with live opera performances, music and dancing in a rustic outdoor setting.

–Prosecco Brunch & Art Auction, September 22, an alfresco brunch with live jazz and an art auction, featuring the presentation of charitable donations to the winning artists of the Resort’s second annual Festa Plein Air Painting Invitational.

There will also be a variety of activities for children, including Carnevale dei Bambini on September 21 (held simultaneously with Street Festival), where children can create their own artistic masterpieces of hand-decorated flags and Venetian masks, and a cooking class on Saturday night where kids can learn the art of pizza making before enjoying popcorn and a movie.x_MG_2837

Special accommodation packages are also available that weekend.

Events range from $35 to $175 per person. To purchase event tickets and packages, or for more information, call 855-55-FESTA, or visit

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This entry was posted on September 14, 2013 by in Decadent Dining, Foodie Event, Newport Beach, Special Event and tagged , , , , , .
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