TOP PICKS FOR ORANGE COUNTY RESTAURANT WEEK
Sunday, March 5th marks the start of the ninth annual Orange County Restaurant Week! So we've compiled a list of some of the most enticing menus for you to add to your dining list during this week of epicurean adventures! Our picks range from Anchor Hitch, the hip seafood restaurant at Kaleidoscope in Mission Viejo, to The Winery, the sophisticated and award-winning restaurant overlooking Newport Harbor and serving California regional cuisine, OC Restaurant Week offers something for everyone. Plus, they are even doing a "Chef's Table" event. If that interests you, you can read more about that here.
The prix fixe menus are priced at $10, $15, and $20 per person for lunch, and $20, $30, $40, and $50 per person for dinner, plus a few special $80 Luxe Dinner options.
This hip seafood restaurant inside Union Market at Kaleidoscope Court is offering a $40 Dinner Menu, featuring soup or salad, an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Want a recommendation? Start off with the Raspberry Prosciutto Salad. Move to the Abalone Panna Cotta. Next, try the Pan Seared Branzino as your entree, and finish off with the Girl Scout Samoa's Chocolate Coconut Caramel Crumble.
?BACK BAY BISTRO
?Located near the intersection of Jamboree and Back Bay Drive in Newport Beach, this restaurant features a waterfront patio with fifteen foot high panoramic windows and a retractable roof. They know how to provide the perfect ambiance for enjoying great food and drinks while watching the yachts cruise along the waters of Newport Bay. Head on over here for a $40 Dinner deal. Depending on the soup of the day, you might want to start with either that or the delicious Seafood Chowder. Next, try the Ahi Tower as an appetizer. Finally, finish off with their signature Filet of Beef, topped with their Back Bay Bistro Steak Sauce, and seasonal veggies served on the side.
Located in our own beautiful Fashion Island, CUCINA enoteca offers 4 different deals, a $20 or $28 lunch and a $30 or $40 dinner. We would recommend the $28 lunch menu, mostly for the short rib pappardelle, (which can also be found on their $40 dinner menu). Start with the kale 'caesar' salad. It's a great take on a classic salad. If you're here for lunch, get the short rub pappardelle for your entree. If you're here for dinner, still do the short rib, but finish off with Nutella zeppole. You will be amazed.
?FIG & OLIVE?
Also located in the premier shopping location, Fashion Island, this upscale restaurant transports guests into a 12,000 square foot French Rivera Oasis. The location is surrounded by olive trees, gardens, and has both indoor and outdoor seating. We would recommend the $20 lunch deal for this restaurant. We would recommend starting off with the Zucchini Carpaccio. Next, move on to the Grilled Thyme Chicken Paillard for a delicious, herb chicken dish. And finish off your lunch with their signature Dessert 'Crostini.'
This list would not be complete without a $10 lunch suggestion. That's where TLT Foods comes in. Located at the intersection of MacArthur and Bison in Newport Beach, this restaurant boasts "New American Cuisine" and is built on taking the boundaries off of traditional foods. Their $10 lunch menu includes a starter—we would recommend the Fresh Corn Chips & Salsa. An entree—their Sweet & Spicy Steak Burrito is a great option. And it comes with a drink; go for the Fresh Fruit Limeade. You won't regret it. And you may have just found a new lunch spot.
TRUE FOOD KITCHEN?
Located next to Fleming's Steakhouse in Fashion Island, this place packs a major punch on flavor. Featuring a $20 lunch deal, your taste buds are in for a treat. First, start off with either their Daily Market Soup or the Edamame Dumplings. For your entree, go for either the Grilled Chicken Salad, or the Grass-Fed Steak Tacos with avocado, greek yogurt, cilantro, pickled onion, anasazi bean, and cotija cheese.
Located at 3131 W PCH in Newport Beach, with beautiful views of Newport Harbor, this sophisticated restaurant is the perfect place to spend an evening during OC Restaurant Week. Their $50 Dinner is one of the most enticing deals of the entire week. Our recommendation? Start off with the delicious Seared Rare Ahi Tuna. Once you're done with that, move on to the Brandt Cajun Flatiron Steak, which comes with black truffle mashed potatoes, and a Bordelaise sauce. To finish off the meal, try their Tahitian Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée. Once finished, get some fresh air while overlooking Newport Harbor. Walk out, victorious.
See something you like? If you're planning to visit one of these restaurants for dinner, we would recommend making a reservation, as these places can get busy during OC Restaurant Week. But it's worth the wait. In addition to all the of food and libations throughout this delicious week, OC Restaurant Week is hosting a launch party, called "First Bites" at the Irvine Marriot on Saturday, March 4th, 2:00PM - 5:00PM. Buy your tickets for that, here.
Happy restaurant exploring!