Friday, January 18, 2013

It's Restaurant Week in Newport Beach

If you’re like me, you tend to drive through/around/over/under Newport Beach without ever considering stopping there. Not that it isn’t beautiful or offers lots to do, but for the simple fact that it’s expensive. Like take-a-loan-out-to-eat-there expensive.
Okay I exaggerate. A little. But all that changes beginning today, when Newport Beach begins its Restaurant Week. Now in its seventh year, the event is the biggest it’s ever been, with 70 restaurants participating. This means all over the city some of the best restaurants will be offering dishes in prices that range from $10 to $20 per person for lunch, and three-course meals for $20 to $40 per person for dinner.

It’s a long list but here it is, along with the recommendations of Orange County Register reporters Nancy Luna, Cathy Thomas and Brad A. Johnson about which ones they think are worth checking out. 
21 Oceanfront

Amelia’s Restaurant

Avila’s El Ranchito

Back Bay Bistro

Back Bay Tavern

Balboa Bay Club - The First Cabin 
For $20, you can lunch on brandied lobster bisque, almond-crusted rainbow trout and Little Gem potatoes.

Bambu Restaurant & Lounge

Barolo by the Sea 

Bayside Restaurant

Bistro Le Crillon

Bloomingdales 59th and Lex Café

Bluefin Restaurant
Brad advises that for a $20 lunch, this popular sushi restaurant is going to be packed. His highlights to try include blue crab salad, green tea tiramisu and of course, the assorted sushi.

Bluewater Grill

Brasserie Pascal
Brad A. Johnson recommends the onion soup, braised short ribs, and Parmesan risotto at this "true French bistro."

Café Jardin

Canaletto Newport Beach

Chart House

Coliseum Pool and Grill at the Resort at Pelican Hill 
For lunch, try a vegetable soup made with veggies straight from the Irvine Ranch. There’s also a winter green salad served on grilled ciabatta bread.

Crow Burger Kitchen

Cucina Allesa

DivBar Smokehouse BBQ
Per Brad A. Johnson: "Rock 'n' roll. Cold beer served by the jug. Barbecue beef brisket. A spectacular view of the harbor. What else could you need?" 

Eat Chow
Considered "a pretty good deal for $30 at dinner  for three courses," Brad lists the fried green tomatoes, roasted chicken and banana chocolate chip bread pudding as the must-tries. 

Five Crowns
The OCR recommends you “dig into the crisp bricked chicken” as one of the entrée choices for the three-course dinner. The chicken is brined for 12 hours before being cooked, and if that doesn’t provide flavor, nothing will.

Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar 

Fly N Fish Oyster Bar & Grill

Harborside Restaurant

Il Farro Café

First course options include deviled eggs, tuna dip or hummus, and second course is your choice of gumbo or Caesar salad. Follow this up with your choice of voodoo chicken pita, BBQ pulled pork sandwich or wild salmon & avocado tacos. Did we mention it’s $10? Hungry now?


Malarky’s Irish Pub

Mariposa at Neiman Marcus

Mario’s a Taste of Italy

Mayur Cuisine of India

Modo Mio Cucina Rustica

Muldoon’s Irish Pub

Newport Beach Brewing Company

Newport Landing Restaurant

Ohana House 

Orange Coast Winery

Palm Terrace Restaurant
Proclaiming this as the best food served at Taste of Newport, Nancy Luna described their braised short ribs as “melt-in-your-mouth.” There’s also poached salmon on wild mushroom risotto available as part of the $40 dinner package.

Pelican Grill at the Resort at Pelican Hill 

Pescadou Bistro
For the $30 three-course special, OCR foodie Cathy Thomas suggests this menu: Cream of mushroom for the first course, followed by duck for the main course. 

Pita Jungle
OCR’s Nancy Luna loves Pita Jungle’s offer of being able to choose any of its entrées as part of the $20, three-course special. She suggests the hot pitas or wood-fired pizzas; all meals are served with hummus dips and one of four different desserts.

Port Restaurant & Bar
Two words: Breakfast Pizza.

Rockin Baja Coastal Cantina

SHOR American Seafood Grill

Sol Grill

SOL Mexican Cocina
Cathy Thomas raves that the achiote-grilled salmon is to die for – it’s one of the entrée choices for a $30, three-course dinner.

Rothschild’s Restaurant

Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine

Royal Thai Cuisine
Nancy Luna recommends the “stand-out” appetizers and entrees like spicy coconut soup with chicken, hot sour chicken soup, fired snapper, honey duck and the Crying Tiger. With courses for $10, this is a great value.

Sam & Harry’s
Summer House
Tamarind of London
Based on the restaurant across the pond, some things worth trying are the butter chicken naanwich and beef vindaloo.  

Ten Asian Bistro

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