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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holiday Dining Options at The Island Hotel - Newport Beach


Holiday Room Packages
Holiday packages are offered through Dec. 30, 2011, with the exception of the New Year’s Eve packages. Based on availability; double occupancy; excludes tax and gratuity. For reservations, please call toll-free, 1-888-321-4752.

Holiday Getaway
- One-night stay in luxurious accommodations

- Breakfast for Two in Palm Terrace Restaurant or In-Room Dining

- Complimentary valet parking for one vehicle

- Starting from $199 per night


New Year’s Eve Getaway
- One-night stay in luxurious accommodations

- New Year’s Eve Five-Course Dinner for Two at Palm Terrace Restaurant

- Complimentary valet parking for one vehicle

- Starting from $495


A Private New Year’s Eve Escape
- One-night stay in luxurious accommodations

- A bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rose Champagne, party favors and chocolate lollipops to end the night sweetly

- Complimentary valet parking for one vehicle

- Starting from $245

THANKSGIVING FEAST
Thanksgiving All Day at Palm Terrace
Chef Bill Bracken will feature a three-course Thanksgiving feast on Thursday, Nov. 24, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., that includes savory appetizers and carved turkey with all the trimmings brought to the table, and Pastry Chef Michael Owens’ irresistible dessert buffet. Menu highlights include: Seared Rare Ahi Tuna with Asian Soba Noodle Salad, Chef Bracken’s signature Macaroni and Cheese, Slow Roasted Tom Turkey with Chestnut-Cranberry Bread Pudding, and Peppered Beef Tenderloin. $78 adults; $39 kids under 12; excludes tax and gratuity.

Also open for Thanksgiving breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m., Palm Terrace will serve a buffet with favorites like Smoked Salmon with traditional garnishes, Chilaquiles Verdes, Crispy Duck Hash, Banana French Toast and a steak-and-egg station. $34 adults; $16 kids under 12; excludes tax and gratuity. To reserve your holiday table, please call (949) 760-4920.

GINGERBREAD VILLAGE

6th Annual Gingerbread Village on View Starting Nov. 23
A true delight for visitors to Island Hotel’s lobby, is the charming gingerbread village in the snow that Pastry Chef Michael Owens and his associates build to serve as a whimsical backdrop for the hotel’s Toys for Tots gift collection. Each year the village changes and gets “upgrades.” Constructed by the talented team of gingerbread builders, this year’s version features 30 different houses of varying sizes and shapes, created over a two month period from hundreds of pounds of white and dark chocolate, red and green cocoa butter, fondant, and sugar – yummily decorated with gum drops, jelly beans, gummy candies, red hots, candy canes, licorice, M&M’s and Lifesavers.

CHRISTMAS DINING

Christmas at Palm Terrace Restaurant
To reserve a table, please call (949) 760-4920.

Christmas Eve, Saturday, Dec. 24 – Enjoy Chef Bill Bracken’s four-course Prix-Fixe Dinner that includes choices such as Roasted Yukon Potato Soup with miniature duck ravioli; Five Spiced Loin of Kurobuta Pork with purple potato puree; and a sweet finale such as Peppermint-Chocolate Pudding Cake with caramel espresso ice cream. Seatings from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Christmas carolers will entertain. Price is $89 adults; $44 kids under 12; excludes tax and gratuity.

Christmas Day Brunch, Sunday, Dec. 25 – Served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Palm Terrace will offer a three-course “table-less” buffet that includes appetizers like Confit of Prawns and Winter Squash and Celery Root Salad brought to the table; and Herb Crusted Prime Rib of Beef, Roasted Breast of Turkey and “Our Version” Green Bean Casserole. Guests can then indulge in Christmastime sweets at Pastry Chef Michael Owens’ dessert table. $78 for adults; $39 for kids under 12; excludes tax and gratuity. (Palm Terrace will also offer a breakfast buffet from 7 to 11 a.m.)

NEW YEAR'S EVE and NEW YEAR'S DAY DINING

New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Reservations are required for Dec. 31 dinner and party. Please call (949) 760-4920.

Five-Course New Year’s Eve Dinner at Palm Terrace Restaurant – Enjoy Chef Bill Bracken’s lavish celebration that will feature a Chilled Seafood Tower, Roasted Breast of Pheasant, Red Wine Braised Veal “Osso Bucco Style” and Sous Vide Lobster. Strawberry Champagne Granite or Chocolate Obsession will be the sweet finale to 2011. Seatings start at 7 p.m. Price is $125 per person, excluding beverage, tax and gratuity.

Party, Party, Party at Palm Terrace Lounge – Ring in 2012 with live entertainment and dancing, party favors and Chef Bracken’s signature bar bites – including sushi, sashimi, Truffle Mac & Cheese with Crispy Sweetbreads, Peking Duck Moo Shoos, Lobster Taquitos and Grilled Lamb Chop – plus a Champagne toast at midnight. From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Price is $110 per person, excluding tax and gratuity.

New Year’s Day Breakfast at Palm Terrace
Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012 – 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Palm Terrace Restaurant to start the New Year. The regular breakfast menu will be offered, with favorites such as Banana Stuffed Brioche French Toast, Poached Eggs on Dungeness Crab Cakes with Truffle Hollandaise, and “Steak-n-Eggs” (beef tenderloin, poached eggs, béarnaise and garlic herb fries). For reservations, please call (949) 760-4920.

WHERE: Island Hotel Newport Beach
690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660-6431
Telephone: (949) 759-0808
www.IslandHotel.com

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

THANKSGIVING DINNER, SIMPLIFIED: LET LUCCA ROAST WHILE YOU HOST!


TWO OPTIONS: Traditional –or- Gourmet Thanksgiving meals with Free-Range Turkeys & all the trimmings available for takeout

IRVINE, Calif., November 2011 – This Thanksgiving, diners will be able to start their own traditions with a little assistance from LUCCA, who is offering to handle everything from shopping for groceries and scrubbing roasting pans, to worrying about whether the turkey is cooked to the right temperature and picking out wines! The best part of the deal? You can choose from either a “traditional” or “gourmet” dinner menu, and both feature Free-Range Turkeys cooked to perfection in combi ovens!

With LUCCA’s Thanksgiving takeout dinner, guests may entertain 2 or 200 guests with ease and offer a special mouth-watering menu guaranteed to delight any budget and palate. Both “traditional” and “gourmet” takeout dinners are capable of feeding up to 10 guests, and include a lavish spread featuring a Free-Range Turkey, stuffed and roasted to perfection, for $325 (add $32.50 per person for each additional guest). In addition, a complete meal for individual diners may be purchased for $32.50 each. All meals must be ordered by Friday, November 18th for pick up on or before Thursday, November 24th at noon. Orders may be placed by calling (949) 725-1773.

LUCCA’s Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner includes:
* LUCCA Free-Range Turkey (12-14 lbs for 10 people; larger turkeys available)
* Apple-Pork Sausage, Fennel and Sage Stuffing
* Rich Turkey Gravy
* Cranberry-Orange Chutney
* Mashed Yukon Potatoes and Parsnips with Parmesan Cheese
* Fire-in-the-Sky Yams with Candied Walnuts
* Farmer’s Market Green Beans with Hazelnuts and Fresh Oregano
* LUCCA Salad: Organic Mesclun Greens, Market Tomatoes, Roasted Peppers, Kalamata Olives and Balsamic Vinaigrette
* Assorted Silver-Dollar Dinner Rolls
* Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

LUCCA’s Gourmet Thanksgiving Dinner includes:
* Lucca Free Range Turkey (12-14 lbs for 10 people; larger turkeys available)
* Pomegranate Molasses-Maple Syrup Reduction Glaze
* Wild Rice, Orange, Almond and Goat Cheese Stuffing
* Rich Turkey Gravy
* Caramelized Apple-Cranberry Chutney
* Mashed Yukon Potatoes, Cilantro, Yoghurt and Roasted Garlic
* Roasted Yams and Carrots with Rosemary
* Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan
* Fresh Arugula and Butter Lettuce Salad with Shaved Fennel, Blackberries, Feta and Poppyseed Dressing
* Assorted Silver Dollar Dinner Rolls
* Pumpkin Custard Profiteroles with Maple Caramel

“I am proud to say that our attention to detail is ‘legendary,’ which means that our customers can relax and enjoy themselves,” comments Cathy Pavlos, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of the Irvine eatery. “I use the freshest, quality imported and domestic products that I can find – products, that in many cases, are natural, organic, and hormone, pesticide and antibiotic-free.”

LUCCA also offers both Traditional and Gourmet dinner items a la carte. For more information or to place orders, guests may call (949) 725-1773.

ABOUT LUCCA
LUCCA is definitely more than its name implies – it is an inviting space where casual friendliness quickly meets a few chic big-city elements, including cozy tables on a large banquette, a gas-burning fireplace and sensual curved features. LUCCA, which has been referred to as “an urban concept in a suburban center,” has many facets. Having joined the Orange County dining landscape in 2005, LUCCA in Irvine has become known for its one-of-a-kind dining, off-site catering and wine bar. The eatery offers sandwiches, salads and pastas on its lunch menu, but come dinnertime the café changes to a European-type bistro that serves small plates, cheese and charcuterie. The whole menu is based on the use of healthy and high quality ingredients, such as certified Angus beef, free-range turkey, hormone-free chicken, wild salmon and locally grown organic produce. The bar features more than 30 wines by the glass, with a choice of 2.5-ounce or 6-ounce pour of wine for $5 to $14.

LUCCA is located in the Quail Hill Village Center (6507 Quail Hill Parkway) in Irvine. For more information, make reservations or order LUCCA2Go, please call (949) 725-1773 or visit www.LUCCACafe.com.

Monday, November 14, 2011

THE WINERY RESTAURANT & WINE BAR PRESENTS ITS INAUGURAL TRUFFLE WEEK!


Tustin, CA (November 2011) – The Winery Restaurant will allow guests to indulge in one of the world’s most treasured foods during its inaugural TRUFFLE WEEK celebration November 17th through 23rd. Executive Chef/Partner Yvon Goetz will offer a special three-course menu of dishes featuring truffles, including a decadent dessert ($80 per guest, excluding tax and gratuity).

Prior to the weeklong celebration, on Wednesday, November 16th Chef Goetz will present a five-course TRUFFLE DINNER, accompanied with wine pairings by Managing Partner/Sommelier William Lewis. The price of this extravagant wine dinner is $200 per guest (excluding tax and gratuity), and is extremely limited in seating. Guests are encouraged to reserve early by calling 714-258-7600 to avoid disappointment.


The Winery Truffle Dinner Menu
Wednesday, November 16th – 6:30 PM
$200 per guest++

Menu by Executive Chef/Partner Yvon Goetz
Wine Pairings by Sommelier/Managing Partner William Lewis

Colorado Buffalo “Deux Facons” Carpaccio/Tartare
Truffle Grilled Cheese - Mache Salad
*****
Jumbo Maine Scallops and Burgundy Black Truffle Napoleon
Champagne-Chervil Butter
*****
Italian White Truffles and Porcini Risotto
Red Wine Reduction and Fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano
*****
Black Truffle Crusted Beef Tenderloin
Braised Truffle Potatoes & Organic Baby Vegetables, Cabernet Essence
*****
Warm Black Truffle Cheesecake
Micro Greens and Black Truffle Vinaigrette


Space is limited for the November 16th Truffle Dinner; reservations required by calling 714-258-7600.

ABOUT THE WINERY RESTAURANT & WINE BAR
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar pairs contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. On the heels of being named “Restaurant of the Year” by the Orange County Concierge Association in its first two years in business, The Winery was recently awarded with OpenTable’s Notable Wine List designation, and presented with Sommelier of the Year, 2011 Golden Sceptre Award, and 2011 Golden Bacchus Wine Award for its exceptional wine program from the Southern California Writers Association. Partners JC Clow, William Lewis and Patrick “Irish” Quinn, spent more than 12 years together at Morton’s South Coast Plaza, before embarking on their own journey to open The Winery. The restaurant has migrated from their steakhouse past, as the menu focuses on contemporary California regional cuisine at its finest, with Executive Chef & Partner, Yvon Goetz, directing a team that delivers a culinary experience straight from the Wine Country.

The restaurant’s wine list, which currently offers 650 selections, changes weekly, offering diners a wide range of varietals from around the world. Guests can look into and even tour the restaurant’s 800-square-foot, climate-controlled cellar, which can hold up to 6,500 bottles!

The Winery offers a warm and passionate menu complimented by the perfect wines -- endless possibilities and something to suit every palate. The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar is located at The District in Tustin (2647 Park Avenue, Tustin, California 92782). For more information, call 714.258.7600 or visit www.TheWineryRestaurant.net.

Fashion Island Bakery & Café Le Pain Quotidien Offers Fresh Holiday Pies | Thanksgiving Day Pickup Available!



Newport Beach, CA (November 2011) – Belgian bakery and café Le Pain Quotidien at Fashion Island, will offer new entertaining and gift options for the holidays, including fresh pies that can be pre-ordered for Thanksgiving. Through November 27th, guests may place orders for Le Pain Quotidien’s fresh-baked Pumpkin, Apple, and Pecan pies. All orders placed at the bakery counter by 7 p.m. can be picked up the following day, including Thanksgiving Day until 3 p.m. (after which time the restaurant will be closed until the following morning).

Whole Pie Options are as follows:

* Pumpkin Pie with a whole wheat crust… $18.95
* Apple Pie with a whole wheat crust… $19.95
* Pecan Pie with brown sugar and a touch of bourbon with a whole wheat crust… $21.95

“With an on-site bakery, we are able to bring residents across Orange County fresh baked goods on a daily basis, making it especially convenient to entertain during the holidays,” comments Jonathan Eng, Head Baker at Le Pain Quotidien’s Fashion Island location. “Also popular are our Holiday Gift Baskets, which contain baked goods, along with our signature specialty products packaged together to make the perfect gift.”

Hours of operation for Thanksgiving weekend are as follows: Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving Day) from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday, November 25 (Black Friday) from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.; and Saturday, November 26th from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Normal hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Le Pain Quotidien is located within Fashion Island’s Pacific Court (401 Newport Center Drive #1103, Newport Beach). For more information, including menus, catering information and baking classes, call 949-287-5592 or visit www.lepainquotidien.us (www.facebook.com/lepainquotidien.usa or www.twitter.com/lepainquotidien).

BREAD BAKING CLASSES
Guests are invited to learn the secrets to Le Pain Quotidien’s organic breads during hands-on classes on the Basics of Bread Baking. The classes, which are offered at 5:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Saturday at the restaurant’s in-house bakery, have been a popular holiday gift. Price per student is $55 for an intensive, hands-on three-hour class led by Head Baker Jonathan Eng, who instructs students on the basics of dough and how it can be made into many delicious products, including baguettes, soft, buttery rolls, and fruit and nut loaves. All classes are limited to 6 students, and can be booked online at http://conta.cc/labbcal.

Basics of Bread Baking covers the ten steps in the process of making bread, and students have the opportunity to participate in each one, from selecting ingredients, to kneading a dough by hand, to shaping, scoring and baking (and, of course, tasting).

Each class is conducted under the watchful eye of Baker Jonathan Eng, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, where he gained a strong foundation on the history and baking of artisanal bread. Since joining Le Pain Quotidien in 2010, he has been developing a curriculum at the Bleecker Street Bakery in New York City.

The Fashion Island location is only one of two Le Pain Quotidien locations worldwide to feature an on-site bakery with baking classes open to the public. The bakery, which is in full view of diners, serves as an educational hub highlighting Le Pain Quotidien’s organic bread, which is still kneaded and shaped by hand then baked in a hearth under the watchful eye of artisan bakers. Wheat, rye, spelt, five-grain walnut, baguettes, French rolls, brioche, croissants, muffins and other pastries, will all be baked fresh daily. Friday sees the addition of freshly baked challah.

PRIVATE EVENTS
Le Pain Quotidien offers a distinctive and delicious twist on the traditional cocktail party, with a warm and inviting in-house baker available for private events. Interactive group baking experiences led by seasoned baker Jonathan Eng, along with wine, beer, and a casual menu for sharing around the communal table. Group events for 8 to 25 guests can be customized for an evening of learning, sharing, and conviviality. To book a group event or for more information, guests may email events@lepainquotidien.com.

Le Pain Quotidien is located within Fashion Island’s Pacific Court (401 Newport Center Drive #1103, Newport Beach). For more information, including menus, catering information and baking classes, call 949-287-5592 or visit www.lepainquotidien.us.

ABOUT LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN
Le Pain Quotidien serves simple, elegant boulangerie fare, made with organic ingredients whenever possible. Le Pain Quotidien -- pronounced luh paN koh-ti-dyaN, meaning “the daily bread” -- was founded in Brussels in 1990 by Chef Alain Coumont, whose concept of simplicity and timelessness now has an international presence with more than 150 locations worldwide. In light of its extraordinary expansion, the company makes a continuous effort to stay true to its roots and values of conviviality, authenticity, quality, and simplicity. On a local level, each eatery sources organic ingredients and implements sustainable practices.

Le Pain Quotidien’s menu accommodates vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, and will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner for in-restaurant dining or take-out service. A wide selection of soups, salads, tartines (open-faced sandwiches, a house specialty) all incorporate signature breads. The tartine is one of Le Pain Quotidien’s most popular offerings with more than a dozen varieties, including Paris Ham and Aged Gruyère with cornichons and mustard trio; Organic Black Bean Hummus with avocado and spicy tahini; Smoked Atlantic Salmon with avocado and chopped dill; and Chicken Curry Salad with a side of harissa-cranberry chutney.

Le Pain Quotidien will also present seasonal offerings on a menu that changes approximately five times a year. The artisan bakers will also create new bread and pastries to retail only in the Fashion Island locale. Fall specials will include a Broccoli, Ham and Swiss Frittata; Vegan Cherry Scone; Gazpacho; Roasted Turkey, Brie and Honey Mustard Tartine; Endive, Fourme d'Ambert and Pear Salad; French Lentil, Chickpea and Avocado Salad; Mixed Grape and Walnut Tart; and Sparkling Hibiscus Tea.

Located at Fashion Island, Orange County’s premier coastal shopping and dining experience, Le Pain Quotidien features a communal table, a trademark piece for the brand, inside a 169-seat restaurant boasting an expansive 400-square-footpatio with stunning ocean views unique to its Newport Beach location.

In addition to its signature communal dining table, Le Pain Quotidien features high ceilings, rustic brick walls, expansive windows and classical music for a warm atmosphere, ideal for relaxation and conversation. Wood-crafted tables, chairs, counters and displays give the café a timeless feel. Le Pain Quotidien uses reclaimed wood and recycled Gypsum in its construction with energy-efficient lamps, and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies and packaging.

The bakery-café offers an exclusive line of specialty retail products, including single estate Peruvian coffee beans, Belgian chocolates, jams and fruit preserves, artisanal olive oil from Tunisia, Italian honey, sea salt and black pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Le Pain Quotidien is located within Fashion Island’s Pacific Court (401 Newport Center Drive #1103, Newport Beach). For more information, including menus, catering information and baking classes, call 949-287-5592 or visit www.lepainquotidien.us (www.facebook.com/lepainquotidien.usa or www.twitter.com/lepainquotidien).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

SOL COCINA: Mondays in November = Half-Off Wine by the Bottle!



NEWPORT BEACH, October 2011 – Celebrate the fall harvest at SOL Mexican Cocina, where November has been dubbed wine month! Every Monday night from 4:30 p.m. to close during the month of November, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy ½ off select bottles of wine with any food purchase. The promotion is intended to highlight the thoughtful wine list at SOL, which is known for having one of the most extensive selections of tequila in the region.

“It’s no secret that most of our bar takes a back seat to our expansive tequila selection, but our wine list is worthy of its own attention,” said Matt Baumayr, Managing Partner of SOL Cocina. “From a culinary standpoint, the spices and citrus found in Mexican dishes pairs beautifully with fine wines, and ours has been carefully chosen to complement our Coastal Mexican menu.”

SELECTION OF WINES OFFERED AT 50% OFF:

WHITE
Brander Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley reg. price $35
Conundrum, California reg. price $44
Frog's Leap Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley reg. price $40
Ferrari Carano Pinot Grigio, Russian River Valley reg. price $35
X Winery White, North Coast reg. price $32
Miner Family Vineyards Viognier "Simpson Vineyard," California reg. price $37
Chamisal Vineyards Chardonnay "Stainless," Central Coast reg. price $35
Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County reg. price $44
Michael & David Chardonnay "7 Heavenly Chards," Lodi reg. price $31
Mer Soleil Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands reg. price $53
Trinitas Chardonnay, Carneros reg. price $51

RED
Hahn Pinot Noir, Monterey County reg. price $33
Mieomi Pinot Noir by Belle Glos, Santa Barbara, Sonoma & Monterey Counties reg. price $46
Tantara Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley reg. price $54
Jade Mountain Merlot, Napa/SLO Counties reg. price $31
Cosentino Cabernet Franc "The Franc," California reg. price $37
Joyce Merlot, Monterey reg. price $37
Ravenswood Zinfandel "Zen of Zin Old Vine," California reg. price $31
Candor Zinfandel, California reg. price $39
Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma reg. price $39
Blind Dog by Ecluse “Midnight Run Cuvee,” Paso Robles reg. price $36
Tobin James Syrah, Paso Robles reg. price $39
Adelaida Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles reg. price $51
Earthquake Petite Sirah, Lodi reg. price $42


For more information, menus, hours of operations, online reservations and directions, visit http://www.solcocina.com/.

ABOUT SOL COCINA

SOL Cocina is a unique restaurant and bar celebrating traditional Baja cuisine with a fresh, modern interpretation. Designed to echo the expansive sea, sky, and desert of the Baja peninsula, SOL features old world charm juxtaposed with an urban comfort, including an open exhibition kitchen with counter seating for guests who like to see the bustling kitchen that mimics the Baja taco bar. SOL offers a decadent menu of the freshest seasonal ingredients and authentic Mexican flavors, along with a vibrant bar that honors the flavors of the Baja region with artisan tequilas and mezcals.

In an effort to preserve the timeless beauty of Southern California and Baja, whenever possible, SOL Mexican Cocina utilizes products and programs that we believe to be both environmentally and socially pro-active. By serving as much seafood as possible caught locally or from sustainable fisheries, as certified by MSC and Seafood Watch, SOL resolves to be as environmentally friendly as possible, making sure that everything that can be recycled, is recycled, and all takeout materials are compostable. SOL is a bleach-free facility that uses green ware-washing and cleansing products. Diners looking for sustainable options, may be interested in the sustainable seafood (according to Seafood Watch) used by Chef Deb in SOL dishes.

Located at 251 E. Pacific Coast Highway at Bayside Drive, on the Balboa Marina, SOL is open daily for Lunch (11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; TOUR de SOL tasting menu offered Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.), Dinner (Sun-Wed 4:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Thurs-Sat 4:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.), Happy Hour (4 p.m. – 7 p.m. daily in the bar and patio), and Weekend Brunch (10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday & Sunday). In addition, guests may take advantage of Taco & Tequila Tuesday specials every week (Tues 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.), and Industry Hours with 50% off cocktails, beer and wine to those with proper ID working in the hospitality industry (Sun-Weds 9 p.m.-midnight; Thurs-Sat 11 p.m.-close). Private Room available.



For more information, call 949-675-9800 or visit http://www.solcocina.com/.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Belgian bakery to open first OC location in October




Belgian bakery and café Le Pain Quotidien, known for its simple, elegant boulangerie fare including organic breads and beverages opens its first location in Orange County this October in Fashion Island’s Pacific Court. With a communal table, a trademark piece for the brand, the 169-seat restaurant boasts an expansive 400-square-footpatio with stunning ocean views unique to its Newport Beach location.

Le Pain Quotidien -- pronounced luh paN koh-ti-dyaN, meaning “the daily bread” -- was founded in Brussels in 1990 by Chef Alain Coumont, whose concept of simplicity and timelessness now has an international presence with more than 150 locations worldwide. In light of its extraordinary expansion, the company makes a continuous effort to stay true to its roots and values of conviviality, authenticity, quality, and simplicity. On a local level, each eatery sources organic ingredients and implements sustainable practices.

The Fashion Island location will be only the second worldwide to feature a unique on-site bakery that will offer baking classes to the public.. The bakery, which is in full view of diners, will serve as an educational hub highlighting Le Pain Quotidien’s organic bread, which is still kneaded and shaped by hand then baked in a hearth under the watchful eye of artisan bakers. Wheat, rye, spelt, five-grain walnut, baguettes, French rolls, brioche, croissants, muffins and other pastries, will all be baked fresh daily. Friday sees the addition of freshly baked challah.

“We are looking forward to introducing Le Pain Quotidien to Orange County, and we are excited to offer on-site baking classes to the community,” said Jay Wainwright, President of Le Pain Quotidien US. “We think that this Fashion Island location will be a welcome addition to the region’s rich dining landscape.”

Le Pain Quotidien’s menu accommodates vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, and will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner for in-restaurant dining or take-out service. A wide selection of soups, salads, tartines (open-faced sandwiches, a house specialty) all incorporate signature breads. The tartine is one of Le Pain Quotidien’s most popular offerings with more than a dozen varieties, including Paris Ham and Aged Gruyère with cornichons and mustard trio; Organic Black Bean Hummus with avocado and spicy tahini; Smoked Atlantic Salmon with avocado and chopped dill; and Chicken Curry Salad with a side of harissa-cranberry chutney.

Le Pain Quotidien will also present seasonal offerings on a menu that changes approximately five times a year. The artisan bakers will also create new bread and pastries to retail only in the Fashion Island locale. Fall specials will include a Broccoli, Ham and Swiss Frittata; Vegan Cherry Scone; Gazpacho; Roasted Turkey, Brie and Honey Mustard Tartine; Endive, Fourme d'Ambert and Pear Salad; French Lentil, Chickpea and Avocado Salad; Mixed Grape and Walnut Tart; and Sparkling Hibiscus Tea.

Opening hours for this fall will be 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information, including menus, catering information and baking classes, visit www.lepainquotidien.us.

ABOUT LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN
Le Pain Quotidien serves simple, elegant boulangerie fare, made with organic ingredients whenever possible. The concept remains essentially unchanged since founder Alain Coumont opened the first Le Pain Quotidien in Brussels in 1990. With its communal tables, artisanal dishes and tranquil environment, Le Pain Quotidien transports its customers to the Belgian countryside and a simpler way of life. Le Pain Quotidien is committed to responsible business practices that are good for the community and the environment.

The bakery-café offers an exclusive line of specialty retail products, including single estate Peruvian coffee beans, Belgian chocolates, jams and fruit preserves, artisanal olive oil from Tunisia, Italian honey, sea salt and black pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

In addition to its signature communal dining table, Le Pain Quotidien features high ceilings, rustic brick walls, expansive windows and classical music for a warm atmosphere, ideal for relaxation and conversation. Wood-crafted tables, chairs, counters and displays give the café a timeless feel. Le Pain Quotidien uses reclaimed wood and recycled Gypsum in its construction with energy-efficient lamps, and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies and packaging.

Located at Fashion Island, Orange County’s premier coastal shopping and dining experience, Le Pain Quotidien is situated among many specialty boutiques and world-class department stores. Visited by more than 13 million people annually, Fashion Island offers a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere that is distinctively Southern California.

For more information, including menus, catering information and baking classes, visit http://www.lepainquotidien.us/ (www.facebook.com/lepainquotidien.usa or www.twitter.com/lepainquotidien).


Friday, August 12, 2011

OC BBQ Bonanza coming 8/18/2011-8/21/2011

WHAT
It’s a Texas-sized Barbeque feast, as America’s best BBQ chefs gather together to grill juicy pork ribs, and other mouth-watering dishes. Visitors will enjoy endless summer sides to go with their ribs, and non-stop live country-western entertainment.

Also, a wonderful children’s area for your children to enjoy!



The VIP RIB VILLAGE experience includes all the ribs, sides, drinks and deserts you can eat, as well as exclusive, priority seating to dine and enjoy the live entertainment.
Buy tickets here: http://www.ocbbqbonanza.com/


WHEN
August 18 – 21, 2011
Thursday, August 18th — 5 PM - 10 PM
Friday, August 19th — 11 AM - 11 PM
Saturday, August 20th — 11 AM - 11 PM
Sunday, August 21st — 11 AM - 9 PM


CONFIRMED ACTS FOR THURSDAY AUGUST 18TH:
GRAND JUNCTION


CONFIRMED ACTS FOR FRIDAY AUGUST 19TH:
TEXAS HOUSE PARTY
BENNIE & THE SWAMP GATORS
A.J. GIBBS
The Mydeco Dance King


CONFIRMED ACTS FOR SATURDAY AUGUST 20TH:
MIGUEL GARCIA & THE VAQUETONESMIGHTY CASH CATSBILL MAGGEE
BLUES BANDBONNE MUSIQUE ZYDECOA.J. GIBBS The Mydeco Dance King
CONFIRMED ACTS FOR SUNDAY, AUGUST 21ST :
GRAND JUNCTION UPSTREAMLAZY BRAD LEWISA.J. GIBBS The Mydeco Dance King


Click here for more details on all acts. Links: http://www.ocbbqbonanza.com/music-events.php


BBQ YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS!


Aussom Aussies with over 200 awards for Best BBQ in the USA and Canada.
Porky- N-Beans winning numerous rib cook off titles such as the prestigious Golden Rib Award and the Best Ribs in America.


Howling Coyotes Southwest BBQ specializing in St. Louis style pork spare ribs has won many national and international cook-offs for Best Ribs, Best Sauce and Best Pulled Pork.
Cowboy’s Barbeque & Rib Company with over 150 regional, national, and international titles brings true Texas Barbecue.


Johnson’s Bar-B-Que featuring Colonel Dan himself bringing his top secret recipe that has won over 150 awards and has been known to dare brave rib fans to take the heat and experience his infamous “Thermonuclear Sauce.”


KC BBQ Team all the way from Kansas City bringing their acclaimed KC style ribs and special BBQ sauce.


WHERE
Fountain Valley Sports Park
16400 Brookhurst Street
Fountain Valley, CA. 92708
For directions, please click here: http://www.ocbbqbonanza.com/directions.php


TICKETS
1-DAY GENERAL ADMISSION
$5.00 per ticket
INCLUDES FREE Souvenir E-Photo and a $2 Redeemable Rib Coupon against the purchase of a sampler plate from a participating rib vendor.

Children 12 and under are FREE when accompanied by an adult.
All United States active military personnel (includes Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) receive FREE General Admission* to the Orange County BBQ Bonanza!
*You must present valid military I.D. at the Ticket Box Office to receive Free General Admission. No purchase is necessary to receive Free General Admission. This offer does not include All You Can Eat VIP Rib Village (sold separately).

VIP Rib Village


INDIVIDUAL TICKET
$100.00 per ticket
ONLY 18 years of age and up.
INCLUDES 1-Day General Admission to be used during regular festival hours to enjoy the day, FREE Souvenir E-Photo, VIP desginated seating at a table, service and dining to include ALL YOU CAN EAT Ribs from our National Award Winning Rib Cookers (taste them all), salad, sides, desserts and ALL YOU CAN DRINK (beer, wine, and non-alcohlic beverages).
The purchase of a VIP Rib Village Individual Ticket GUARANTEES you a seat at a table.
OR
VIP Rib Village TABLE TICKET
$900.00 per table (10 seats per table)
ONLY 18 years of age and up.
INCLUDES (10) 1-Day General Admissions to be used during regular festival hours to enjoy the day, FREE Souvenir E-Photos, VIP desginated table, service and dining to include ALL YOU CAN EAT Ribs from our National Award Winning Rib Cookers (taste them all), salad, sides, desserts and ALL YOU CAN DRINK (beer, wine, and non-alcohlic beverages).
VIP RIB VIlLLAGE HOURS
OPEN 5 PM - 9 PM - THURS.-FRI.
OPEN 4 PM - 9 PM - SAT.
OPEN 12 NOON - 5 PM - SUN.
The purchase of a VIP Rib Village Table Ticket GUARANTEES you table.
PLUS FREE Souvenir E-Picture!
Special admission discounts and packages available only online:




For more information: (562) 495-5959

Friday, August 5, 2011

Restaurants Announced For 2011 OC Wine and OC Beer Weeks!

The Orange County Restaurant Association has announced the restaurants participating in its two new events set to debut this year: OC Wine Week, September 25th through October 1st, and OC Beer Week, October 2nd through October 8th. These back-to-back weeklong events will offer food, wine and beer aficionados fantastic dining options and unbeatable prices at Orange County’s top restaurants.

Following are confirmed to participate in both events (menus will be posted online at http://www.ocwineandbeerweek.com/, the official site for both events):

§ 6ix Park Grill
§ Alcatraz Brewing Company
§ Anaheim White House
§ Andrei's
§ AnQi
§ Avanti Cafe
§ Bacchus Secret Cellar
§ Bayside
§ Bistango
§ Buffalo Wild Wings
§ Bluewater Grill
§ Brasserie Pascal
§ Brix Brews
§ Capital Grille
§ Catal and Uva Bar
§ Chapter One
§ Charlie Palmer's
§ Clancy's Clubhouse
§ Crow Burger Kitchen
§ Enne Cucina Italiana
§ French 75
§ GG's Bistro
§ Great Maple
§ Harborside Pavillion
§ Haven Gastropub
§ Hotel Laguna
§ Hooter's
§ House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer
§ House of Blues
§ JT. Schmid's Restaurant & Brewery
§ Katsuya - coming soon to Laguna Beach
§ Kimera
§ K'ya Bistro
§ K'ya Street Fare
§ Leatherby's
§ LUCCA
§ Luggatti's
§ Lulu's Creperie Cafe
§ Nieuport 17
§ Maggiano's Little Italy
§ Matador Cantina
§ Marrakesh
§ Memphis at the Santora
§ Mozambique
§ Nello Cucina
§ Newport Beach Brewing Co.
§ Newport Landing
§ Nirvana Grille
§ OC Brewhouse
§ O'Neill's Bar & Grill
§ Orea Taverna & Wine Bar
§ Orange Hill Restaurant
§ Pablos Cantina
§ Phans 55
§ Pinot Provence
§ Pizzeria Ortica
§ Primecut Cafe
§ Quattro Cafe
§ RA Sushi
§ Red Table Restaurant
§ Riptide Rockin Sushi
§ Royal Khyber
§ Ruth's Chris Steak House
§ Sage
§ Savannah Chop House
§ silver trumpet restaurant and bar
§ Simply Fondue
§ SOL Cocina
§ South Coast Winery
§ Sundried Tomato
§ taco asylum
§ Tapas Restaurant
§ The Crow Bar and Kitchen
§ The Deck on Laguna
§ The Derby Deli and Dueling Piano Bar
§ The Dock
§ The Loft
§ The Porch
§ The Ritz Restaurant & Garden
§ Tommy Bahama Island Grille
§ Tradition by Pascal
§ True Food Kichen
§ Tusca
§ Wine Lab
§ Zimzala


This unique culinary celebration will replace the fall OC Restaurant Week with prix-fixe menus and wine-pairing options during OC Wine Week, September 25th through October 1st. Immediately following will be OC Beer Week, October 2nd through October 8th with equally interesting beer offerings throughout the county.

“Our goal is to keep things fresh, fun and delicious, so it seemed natural to shake things up by producing OC Restaurant Week just once per year and introduce an event that many other Metro areas throughout the U.S. already know and love,” commented Pamela Waitt, president of the OC Restaurant Association. “The back-to-back weeks of wine and beer fun will offers options for every taste and budget so that those interested may take advantage of amazing deals at the best restaurants in OC and maybe even try new restaurants. Really, there will be something for everyone!”

Presenting sponsors for the 2011 OC Wine Week and OC Beer Week include Orange Coast Magazine, Cox Wireless, OC Metro, LA Times, M Magazine, Socal PBS, Playlist 92.7 FM, Moxxe PR, Greer’s OC, DiningOut Magazine, OCStandard, OpenTable, and OCfoodies. For general information, or to learn about participation or sponsorship opportunities for the Orange County Restaurant Association, please visit http://www.ocrestaurantassociation.org/.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

LUCCA INTRODUCES NEW SUMMER TREATS FOR THE SWEET TOOTH


Chef Cathy’s new lunch and dinner dessert menus feature classics with a LUCCA twist

In an effort to combat the summer heat, LUCCA Executive Chef/Co-Owner Cathy Pavlos introduces new lunch and dinner dessert menus that offer something to please every sweet tooth. The desserts, created by Chef Pavlos and Pastry Chef Jennifer Geffroy, are all made in-house from scratch, with the exception of sorbets and ice creams, which are made for LUCCA locally in Irvine by Le Bon Gouter.

“These menus really do offer something for everyone – with options like our signature bread pudding and strawberry shortcake, to more exotic Euro pastries and tortes,” commented Pavlos, who co-owns LUCCA with her husband, Elliott. “In response to the many LUCCA regulars who crave a little something sweet with their lunch, I’ve created a number of fun ‘desserts on a stick!’”

New desserts at LUCCA include the following:

Local Strawberry Shortcake
Vanilla pound cake, strawberry-Grand-Marnier mousse, chantilly cream, fresh local strawberries
(lunch and dinner)

LUCCA Ice Cream Sandwiches
Chocolate chip cookies with French vanilla ice cream
or
Peanut butter cookies with dark chocolate sorbet
(lunch)

LUCCA’s Signature Bread Pudding
Caramelized apples, pears, and golden raisins, pecans, homemade whipped cream, white chocolate and caramel brandy sauce
(lunch and dinner)

Cheesecake on a Stick
Fluffy vanilla cheesecake dipped in dark chocolate and almonds with raspberry sauce
(lunch)

Red Velvet Cake Pops
Rich red velvet cake with white chocolate and fresh berries
(lunch)
Chocolate-Orange Torte
Dark chocolate marble cake, chocolate ganache,
orange creme brulee with orange reduction and dark chocolate sauce
(dinner)

Mexican Hot Fudge Sundae
Stonefruit and almond cream tartlet (Peach, Nectarine, Plum or Apricot), handmade French vanilla bean ice cream, hot fudge-cinnamon sauce and toasted hazelnuts
(dinner)

Mini Euro Pastries for Two (pictured above)
Chef’s selection of five seasonal mini pastries - changes daily
(dinner)

Seasonal Berry Bowl and Sorbets Trio
Chef’s choice of fresh seasonal berries, with one scoop of dark chocolate sorbet and one scoop of raspberry-chocolate chip sorbet
(dinner)

Reservations strongly encouraged and can be made by calling (949) 725-1773. Free parking available to all guests.

Lucca is definitely more than its name implies – it is an inviting space where casual friendliness quickly meets a few chic big-city elements, including cozy tables on a large banquette, a gas-burning fireplace and sensual curved features. Lucca, which has been referred to as “an urban concept in a suburban center,” has many facets. Having joined the Orange County dining landscape in 2005, Lucca in Irvine has become known for its one-of-a-kind dining, off-site catering and wine bar. The eatery offers sandwiches, salads and pastas on its lunch menu, but come dinnertime the café changes to a European-type bistro that serves small plates, cheese and charcuterie. The whole menu is based on the use of healthy and high quality ingredients, such as certified Angus beef, free-range turkey, hormone-free chicken, wild salmon and locally grown organic produce. The bar features more than 30 wines by the glass, with a choice of 2.5-ounce or 6-ounce pour of wine for $5 to $14.

LUCCA is located in the Quail Hill Village Center in Irvine (6507 Quail Hill Parkway) in Irvine. For more information, make reservations or order Lucca2Go, please call (949) 725-1773 or visit www.LuccaCafe.com

Monday, July 18, 2011

Royal Hawaiian Announces New Polynesian Inspired Brunch Menu

(Portugese Sausage and Fried Rice)

Royal Hawaiian
331 North Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-8001
http://www.royalhawaiianlaguna.net


I don't know about you, but I am a huge fan of brunch. The Royal Hawaiian in Laguna Bech has just announced a new brunch menu. They have done a great job with their taco Tuesday. Hopefully we will see a brunch that is executed just as well.


ROYAL HAWAIIAN ANNOUNCES NEW KAKAHIAKA MENU
Laguna Beach's landmark Hawaiian restaurant launches new Polynesian inspired weekend brunch menu

Royal Hawaiian has launched a new weekend brunch menu inspired by traditional Polynesian dishes as well as popular breakfast and lunch entrees. Highlights of the menu include Portuguese Sausage and Eggs with fried rice and green papaya slaw; Coconut French Toast made with sweet bread, Portuguese Sausage and coconut syrup; and a Kalua Pork Scramble with Swiss Cheese, green onions, peppers and breakfast potatoes. In addition guests may also choose from their favorites like the Ala Moana Style Spare Ribs and Royal Hawaiian Burger. Chef James Harris designed the new brunch menu, which he hopes will bring more focus to the food aspect of Royal Hawaiian. Chef Harris has also recently launched a new dinner menu and a 'Tiki Taco Tuesday' that is very popular with the locals. Guests can enjoy the brunch menu, which features dishes priced $5 to $13 on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

General Manager Colleen Oyler adds, "We hope that these new changes will help reintroduce guests to Royal Hawaiian's revamped menu and atmosphere. As we like to say, welcome back to paradise."

(Coconut French Toast)

(Loco Moco)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Celebrate Summer Culinary Offerings at The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Chef Yvon Goetz Introduces Dinner Menu with the Season’s Freshest Ingredients

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar’s Executive Chef/Partner Yvon Goetz introduces a new dinner menu featuring an abundance of fresh, flavorful dishes. This seasonal Chef's menu will be offered in addition to the restaurant’s regular menu from Tuesday, July 5th through Friday, September 30th during dinner. Priced at $39.95 per guest (exclusive of tax & gratuity), Chef Goetz presents the following menu of Contemporary California Regional Cuisine:


YG’s Summer Dinner Menu
Tuesday, July 5th – Friday, September 30th


Beginnings
Choice Of:
The Winery House Salad
Organic Baby Greens, Candied Walnuts, Roquefort Cheese, Red Grapes, Tomatoes, Apples, Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

Soup Du Jour
Chef’s Daily Market Inspiration

Santa Barbara Heirloom Tomatoes
Fresh Burrata Cheese, Micro Arugula, Lemon Mosto Olive Oil, Aged Balsamic

Main Courses
Choice Of:
12oz USDA Prime Cajun Flatiron Steak
Black Truffle Mashed Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus, Bordelaise Sauce

Chili-Lime Rubbed Hawaiian Mahi-Mahi
Tropical Fruit Chutney, Ginger Jasmine Rice, Lemon Gewurztraminer Butter

Sonoma Free Range Chicken Risotto
Wild Mushroom, Fresh Soy Beans, Shaved Parmesan, Cabernet Reduction

Dessert
Choice Of:
Organic Fruit & Almond Cobbler
Tahitian Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Tahitian Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee
Chocolate Fleur de Sel Cookie


There may be no substitutions or splitting with this menu. To view The Winery’s regular lunch and dinner menus, visit www.TheWineryRestaurant.net.

ABOUT THE WINERY RESTAURANT & WINE BAR
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar pairs contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. Located at The District in Tustin, The Winery was named “Restaurant of the Year” by the Orange County Concierge Association in its first two years in business. In addition to wild game and USDA Prime steaks, the menu is peppered with Pacific Rim flavorings, such as fresh line-caught Opah, Mong Chong, Ono & Mahi Mahi flown in daily from Hawaii. Tying the expansive wine list into the menu, award-winning Chef Goetz features additions such as Gewurztraminer vinaigrette and roasted garlic-syrah essence into many of his signature dishes.

The restaurant’s wine list, which currently offers 650 selections, changes weekly, offering diners a wide range of varietals from around the world. Guests can look into and even tour the restaurant’s 800-square-foot, climate-controlled cellar, which can hold up to 7,500 bottles! The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar offers a warm and passionate menu complimented by the perfect wines -- endless possibilities and something to suit every palate.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar is located at The District in Tustin (2647 Park Avenue, Tustin, California 92782). For more information, call (714) 258-7600 or visit www.TheWineryRestaurant.net.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tour d’Italia at Prego Ristorante!



Prego Ristorante
celebrates its Italian heritage with a five-course menu paired with exclusively premium Italian wines that are modern in style but deeply rooted in tradition by Masi Vineyards. On Friday, March 4 at 7 p.m., Chef Ugo Allesina presents a menu created to complement fives wines, each with unique personality and style, having earned Masi recognition for having “revolutionized the art of wine-making in the Veneto.” The dinner, priced at $54.95 per guest (excluding tax & gratuity), will be held at Prego in Irvine (18420 Von Karman Avenue). For more information or reservations, call 949.553.1333.

Masi Vineyards Wine Dinner
Friday, March 4, 2011 | 7 p.m.

Antipastini Assortiti
Masi Modello Delle Venezie

Timballo di Melanzane
Fresh eggplant lightly breaded and filled with mozzarella then baked in a wood-fired oven in a roasted bell pepper puree
Masi Masianco Pinot Grigio/Verduzzo

Crespelle alla Genovese
Delicate crepes filled with porchini mushrooms and Fontina cheese topped with a creamy pesto béchamel sauce
Masi Ripasso Rosso del Veronese

Capesante allo Zafferano
Pan-seared Jumbo scallops in a delicate saffron lobster sauce
served with spinach and Potatoes
Masi Brolo di Campofiorin

Torta di formaggio al Caffe
Cheese cake with espresso coffee served in a Kahlua cream Englaise
Masi Dessert Wine


For more information or reservations, call 949.553.1333 or visit www.pregoristoranti.com

Island Hotel Presents Friday Night Supper Club With Jimmy Hopper



NEW FRIDAY DINNER AND “UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL” JIMMY HOPPER SHOW AT ISLAND HOTEL STARTS FEBRUARY 25

Signature Saturday Night Hopper Performances Continue

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (February 23, 2011) – Starting on Friday, February 25, and continuing every Friday night, the high-energy, multi-talented Jimmy Hopper and his bandmates will perform their “Up Close and Personal” unplugged set at Island Hotel Newport Beach, while guests savor a Three-Course Dinner prepared by Island Hotel’s Executive Chef Bill Bracken.

What: Island Hotel’s Palm Terrace Lounge turns into an intimate supper club every Friday night beginning Feb. 25. Dinner seating starts at 6:30 p.m. and the “Up Close and Personal” live performance by Jimmy Hopper and his band starts at 8 p.m. sharp.

Executive Chef Bill Bracken presents his own entertainment – a delectable Three-Course Dinner that starts off with a Tower of Seafood and a glass of champagne. Then there’s a choice of Roasted Prime Rib with Herbed Potatoes, Broccolini and Au Jus; Pan-Seared Red Fish with Organic Vegetables in Lobster Meuniere Butter or Roasted Breast of Chicken with Barley Risotto in Madeira Sauce. “To End It All”: enjoy a selection of Pastry Chef Michael Owens’ most popular Small Bite Desserts.

Performance and Dinner are $65 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. For reservations, please call 949-760-4920.

When: Starting Friday, Feb. 25, and continuing every Friday night.
Seating starts at 6:30 p.m. and live performance begins at 8 p.m.

Also, every Saturday night, Jimmy Hopper and his band perform their eclectic repertoire from 8:45 p.m. to closing.

Where: Palm Terrace Lounge at Island Hotel Newport Beach

690 Newport Center Drive

Newport Beach, CA 92660

949-760-4920

www.theislandhotel.com

Friday, February 18, 2011

ORANGE COUNTY RESTAURANT WEEK KICK-OFF EVENT HOSTED BY THE DISTRICT AT TUSTIN LEGACY




To kick off the 2011 Orange County Restaurant Week
, on Saturday, February 26th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., The District at Tustin Legacy (2437 Park Avenue, Tustin, CA 92782) will host a launch party. This event will take place throughout The District Promenade (between AMC Tustin 14 and Borders Books & Music), with live music on two stages, appetizer sampling from The District restaurants and complimentary cocktails (guests must be 21 to partake in the cocktail sampling). Participating restaurants at The District will offer OC Restaurant Week menus one day early for launch party attendees to enjoy.

There is no cost to attend this event, but guests must RSVP in advance at http://orangecountyrestaurantweek.com/Launch_RSVP.html.


For the event, guests are encouraged to enter The District at the Tustin Ranch Road entrance, which is just off Barranca Parkway. For convenience, The District at Tustin Legacy offers valet parking next to Bluewater Grill Seafood Restaurant operated by Ace Parking and presented by The Tustin Auto Center. Valet parking is located near JT Schmid’s in the lifestyle portion of the center and is available for $6, or is complimentary if validated at participating District restaurants.

About The District at Tustin Legacy

The District at Tustin Legacy is a one million square-foot lifestyle and entertainment center featuring top retail, dining and entertainment tenants. It is located at the northwest corner of Jamboree Road and Barranca Parkway in Tustin, Calif. For more information, visit
http://www.thedistricttl.com.

About Orange County Restaurant Week
Orange County Restaurant Week is the region’s fastest growing and most anticipated culinary event. 2011 Orange County Restaurant Week will be held February 27 through March 5 with 100 restaurants participating in the annual culinary event. Dining options range from upscale and fine dining, to casual and family friendly establishments. For a complete list of participants, menus, pricing and reservations, visit http://www.orangecountyrestaurantweek.com/Participating_Restaurant.html.

In addition, debuting in late-2011 will be OC Wine Week & OC Beer Week, a two-week event during which restaurants throughout Orange County will create fantastic meals to enjoy with wine or beer pairings.

Presenting sponsors for the 2011 Orange County Restaurant Week include Orange Coast Magazine, OC Metro, LA Times Community News, M Magazine, SoCal PBS and 92.7 Jill FM. Additional sponsors include Moxxe PR,
OCStandard.com, Cox Wireless, AnaheimOC.org, OpenTable, Segerstrom Center for the Arts and OCfoodies. For general information, or to learn about participation or sponsorship opportunities during Orange County Restaurant Week, please visit http://www.OrangeCountyRestaurantWeek.com. To learn about or join the Orange County Restaurant Association, visit http://www.OCRestaurantAssociation.org.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hamamori Valentine's Day Special

HAMAMORI
Restaurant and Sushi Bar
South Coast Plaza
3333 Bear Street, level 3
Costa Mesa, CA
714.850.0880


If you're anything like me, you've been wanting to try Hamamori for a while. This sushi bar and Japanese restaurant on the third floor of South Coast Plaza's "Crystal Court" side boast some of the finest Japanese cuisine in Orange County. Hamamori is offering a 3-course price fixed meal for $47 per person. This sounds like the perfect excuse to try them out!

VALENTINE’S MENU

Available Friday, February 11 – Monday, February 14. 2011

First

Wagyu Beef Tartare with Pickled Daikon and Negi, Ponzu Sauce,

Japanese Mustard, and Quail Egg, served with Lotus Root Chips

or

Cured Yellowtail and Watercress Salad with Watercress

Vinaigrette, Daikon, and Cherry Tomatoes

Second

Housemade Ravioli with Lobster and Tokyo Onion Filling,

Black Truffles and Beurre Noisette

or

Filet Mignon with Soy-Sesame Sauce, Asparagus and Cream Croquette

Third

Chocolate and Yuzu Honey Tuiles with Yuzu Meringue,

Yuzu Honey, Black Berries and Calpico Sorbet

or

Strawberry and Shiso Sorbet with Orange Supremes,

Strawberries, and Orange Infused Sake

For Three Courses

47

(courses available a la carte)

Reservations: 714.850.0880


Monday, February 7, 2011

Morton's Valentine's Day Special



Morton’s The Steakhouse restaurants in Orange County (Anaheim and Santa Ana) are offering a special prix fixe “Steak and Seafood for Two” three-course dinner specially priced at $109 per couple, or $54.50 per person. This menu is available throughout the entire Valentine's Day weekend

First Course:
Two: Caesar Salads or Morton's Salads

Second Course:
Two: Single Cut Filets
Two: Broiled Sea Scallops, Colossal Shrimp Alexander, Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
One: Signature Potato to Share
One: Fresh Vegetable to Share

Third Course:

Two: Morton's Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake, Key Lime Pie or Creme Brulee

Additionally, Morton’s is offering The Red Velvet cocktail for Valentine’s Day. The cocktail is made with Prosecco, Chambord, and Lindemans Raspberry Lambic and is priced at $14. This cocktail is available February 11 - February 14 (Valentine's Day weekend).


Reservations are a must for Valentine’s Day. Restaurant details:

* Morton’s The Steakhouse Anaheim (1895 South Harbor Blvd.; 714-621-0101)

* Morton’s The Steakhouse Santa Ana (South Coast Plaza, 1641 W. Sunflower Ave.; 714-444-4834) .
www.mortons.com

More Valentine's Day Specials at Fleming's, Rustica, Agora and Britta's Caf

February 11 – 14 - Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar – Valentine’s Weekend Promotions

From February 11 - 14, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at Fashion Island will offer a special Tickled Pink cocktail as well as a decadent Valentine's Sharing Menu for Two with choices including filet mignon and crab-stuffed shrimp. In addition, each party that dines at Fleming’s Valentine’s weekend will receive a gift card worth $25. Both the Sharing Menu and regular a la carte menu will be offered all weekend. For reservations or more information, please call (949) 720-9633.


February 11 – 14 - Rustica – Valentine’s Day Weekend Dining Specials

Rustica at Fashion Island is also offering a special five-course menu over Valentine’s Day weekend, Friday through Monday, February 11 – 14. The five-course menu offers two selections for each course, including entrees of a Petite Filet with Foie Gras Mashed Potato in a Cabernet Wine Reduction or Beer Braised Kobe Short Ribs with Brown Sugar Yams and Natural Jus for $55 per person. Wine pairings will be offered with each course for an additional $40 per guest. For reservations or more information, please call (949) 706-8282. Rustica is located in Nordstrom Court at Fashion Island.


February 11 – 14 – Brazilian Style Valentine’s Day at Agora

Treat your loved one to a unique Valentine’s Day experience at Agora Churrascaria, Irvine’s premier Brazilian steakhouse. Agora offers guests the restaurant’s sumptuous hot and cold premium salad bar and 16 of the restaurant’s

finest skewer-roasted meats, served tableside by Gauchos for $41 per person, as well as a “Special Valentine’s Package para dois”, a special menu with a Valentine’s dessert and two glasses of champagne for $51 per person. Agora Churrascaria is located at 1830 Main Street, at MacArthur Blvd., in Irvine. For reservations or more information, please call (949) 222-9910.

February 17 - A Celebration of Sparkling Wine - Wine Dinner at Britta's Cafe

On Thursday, February 17, join Britta’s Cafe for a special Celebration of Sparkling Wine at 6 p.m. The special wine dinner is $59 per person and will include an around the world bubbly tour, featuring Vilarnau Brut Nature 2006, from Cava, Spain; Graham Beck Brut Rosé, from South Africa; Jean Laurent Blanc de Noirs Champagne, from France; La Spinetta Moscato d’Asti 2010, from Italy; and Four Courses, and Four Wines. Reservations are required. For more information, please call (949) 509-1211.

El Torito Grill Valentine's Day Special

The Grill's Cupid Special! Pre-Fixe Menu for Two $45 February 11-14th

Try a Delicate Kiss Martini or a glass of Columbia Crest wine for $6

Starters - each chooses one:
-Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- The Grill's Garden Salad

Entrees
- each chooses one:
- Chicken Milanesa--Chile-rubbed chicken breast in a tarragon-cotija panko crust with vegetables and organic arugula
- Carne Asada--Mesquite-grilled skirt steak with a cheese enchilada and peruvian beans
- Fajitas Supremas--Citrus-chipotle natural chicken breast, grilled skirt steak and wild-caught mexican shrimp
- Fire-Grilled Salmon--fresh organic salmon served with grilled vegetables and fennel potatoes

Decadent Finale
- choose one to share:
- Housemade Churros (Allow 15 minutes for preparation)--Delicious churros with fresh berries and dipping sauces
- Berry Tostada--a sweet almond shell filled with fresh berries and mango ice cream

For more info, go to: http://www.etgrill.com

SOL Cocina's Valentine's Day Specials



SOL Cocina
251 E. Pacific Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA
949-675-9800

SOL Cocina is inviting guests to bare their SOLs this Valentine’s weekend. In addition to Executive Chef Deborah Schneider’s award-winning regular menu, guests may enjoy Valentine’s dinner specials Friday, February 11 through Monday, February 14 and Weekend Brunch specials Saturday, February 12 and Sunday, February 13. Chef Deb’s special twists on traditional Baja cuisine, include the following:

Valentine’s Dinner Specials

Served 4:30 – 11 p.m. | Fri, Feb 11 – Sat, Feb 12
Served 4:30 – 10 p.m. | Sun, Feb 13 – Mon, Feb 14


Angus Filet and Grilled Shrimp on Corn & Rajas Torta, with roasted chile cream


Mexican Baquetta Sea Bass roasted with Agave Honey and Ancho Chile, on calabasa, apple and leek sauteed with light butter sauce

Perfect for a little romance is a special on J Vineyards & Winery’s J Cuvée 20 Brut ($10 glass/$45 bottle), in addition to SOL Signature Cocktails and margaritas such as SOL’s classic House Margarita or the more exotic Raspberry-Serrano and Cucumber-Jalapeno margaritas.

Valentine’s Weekend Brunch Special
Served 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Sat, Feb 12 & Sun, Feb 13


Huevos Enamorados (EGGS IN LOVE
) - Eggs Cooked in Black Oaxacan Mole with Queso Fresco & Crisp Tortilla Strips

In addition, Executive Chef Deborah Schneider has recently added six exciting new dishes to SOL’s already celebrated brunch menu of Coastal Mexican cuisine. Guests may enjoy a Bottomless Mimosa, an endless glass of fresh orange juice and sparkling wine, for $10 with any food purchase, and the SOL Premium Margarita Bar, where guests can create custom margaritas from fresh & premium ingredients for only $9.

Reservations are recommended by calling 949.675.9800. More information, hours, directions and full menus can be found online at http://www.solcocina.com/.

Valentine's Day Special at Lucca Cafe


Lucca Cafe
6507 Quail Hill Parkway
Irvine, CA
www.luccacafe.com


At LUCCA there’s only one way to the heart – through the stomach. Husband-and-wife team Elliott and Cathy Pavlos have built LUCCA with lots of heart, which means great attention to its seasonal menu, reminiscent of a Euro bistro, complete with an exquisite wine bar. This year, they showcase their offerings through a truly heartwarming Valentine’s Weekend Dinner Tasting Menu of four plates paired with five wines, as well as a special Valentine’s Day three-course prix-fixe Weekend Brunch.

The special Valentine’s Dinner Menu will be offered on Friday, February 11 through Sunday, February 13 alongside LUCCA’s regular dinner menu (each course may be ordered à la carte), and on Valentine’s Day, Monday, February 14, this is the only menu for the evening. The expandable menu is $65 per guest for an American 4-course or $71.50 for a European 5-course or $78 for a European 6-course.

Those who would like wine paired with their meal may add five wines, chosen especially for this menu, for $20 per guest or Elliott’s reserve pairings of five finer wines for $35 per guest. All prices exclude tax, gratuity and additional beverages. Vegetarian options are available, as are cheeseboard addition and wine flight upgrades for every course. Reservations are highly recommended and gift certificates will not be accepted for this holiday tasting menu.

Valentine’s Four/Six Plates-Five Wines Dinner Tasting Menu
“ATTRACTIVE OPPOSITES AND OTHER NICETIES”

Friday, February 11 - Monday, February 14

(menu items available à la carte and alongside regular menu Feb 11-13)

And we begin!
crostini, gougeres and olive crisps...oh my!

Amuse(d)
Wild mushroom crème brulee with a splash of truffle oil and caramelized onion jam paired
with a shot of velvet chicken consommé
with
Canella Prosecco di Conegliano

Sweet and Spicy
Radicchio, baby spinach, bacon and pancetta confit, roasted market beets,
torched blood oranges, honey and cayenne pecans and
vanilla bean-black cherry vinaigrette
with
Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio 2009

Brazen Beef and Kinda Wild Seafood
Lucca’s individual petite Black Canyon beef Wellingtons, port wine reduction,
olive oil poached Alaskan halibut, butter poached diver scallop and jumbo shrimp,
Meyer lemon confit, fennel pollen, Yukon gold-parsnip-Parmesan mash, local asparagus
with
Willakenzie Estates Pinot Noir 2009
and
Consilience Santa Barbara Syrah 2006

The Finale
Handmade dark chocolate sorbet with a selection of Lucca’s favorite mini Euro pastries and chocolate strawberries
with
Nivole Moscato d’Asti


85. per person; 65. per person without wines; vegetarian options available
Wine Flight upgrades available 15.
Artisan Charcuterie and Antipasto Plates available for the table 13.
Cheeseboard with Artisan and Imported Cheeses, Chutneys, Sweet Bread and
Seasonal Fruit available for the Table 13.


The special Valentine’s Day three-course prix-fixe Sunday brunch will be offered on Saturday, February 12 and Sunday, February 13 for $16.95 per person (excluding tax, gratuity and additional beverages). Guests may add additional beverages, cheeseboards and charcuterie plates for the table. Reservations are highly recommended and gift certificates will not be accepted for this holiday prix-fixe menu.


Valentine’s Day Three-Course Prix-Fixe Sunday Brunch
Saturday, February 12 and Sunday, February 13


First course:
your choice of:

Lucca salad with organic mesclun lettuces, roasted peppers, grape tomatoes,
Kalamata olives and balsamic vinaigrette


Our own signature Minestrone Soup

Seasonal Fruit Cup


Second Course:
your choice of:

French rolled omelet Provencal with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts,
asparagus, and breakfast potatoes


Pain perdu made with our challah bread, pecans, and orange crème fraiche,
with applewood smoked bacon on the side


Fresh Linguini with tomato ragu, fresh basil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese


Grilled all-natural chicken breast wrap with avocado, market tomatoes,
mixed organic greens and chipotle aioli with house made pickles

The Sweet Endings:


A Selection of Lucca’s Favorite Mini Euro Pastries and Chocolate Strawberries

Includes Lavazza coffee or decaf

Add a glass of Champagne 7.
Add a Mimosa 7.


Guests should make reservations by calling 949.725.1773.