Our top 10 picks for NB Restaurant Week

January 13, 2017

With over 60 restaurants to choose from during Newport Beach Restaurant Week, you’ll have your share of great dining experiences. Our favorites from the list that we consider an exceptional choice and value include:

The A Restaurant’s dinner at $50 per person: Chef Jon Blackford is preparing two starters to choose from: Crispy Pork Belly and Blue Lake Beans with sambal glaze, almonds, sesame seed and togarashi; or Potato + Cheddar Pierogies with shredded brussels, caramelized onion puree, and  pickled mustard seed. You have a choice of soup or salad: the Kristi Salad Winter version with medjool dates, acorn squash, spinach, quinoa, pomegranate and onion; or Wild Mushroom Soup with puff pastry, porcini, perigord noir truffles. Three entrees: Imperial Wagyu Striploin; or Colorado Lamb Rack with couscous, mint, medjool dates, smoked eggplant and spiced jus. Jumbo Diver Scallops with anson mills rice, kaffir lime, green curry, english peas, carrots; pureed + whole. The dessert is The A’s famous  Anson Mills Corn Madeleine with fresh crème and berries.

The Coliseum Pool & Grill at Pelican Hill Resort is offering an amazing three course dinner (and lunch) at just $30 per person. You can choose from Lobster Bisque, Flatbread with wild mushroom, fontina, chevre, arugula, frisee and white truffle oil; or Belgium Endive Salad. Entrée choices include: Sea Bass with celery root puree, honey yogurt apple slaw and pomegranate; Braised Short Rib with Anson Mills polenta, crispy leeks, and jus; Jidori Chicken Breast with fingerling potatoes, espelette and piperade. Dessert choices include: White chocolate Panna Cotta with cranberry jelly cup; or Snicker Doodle Blondies with Cinnnamon Ice Cream. Comp. valet parking available.

Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden is Chef Rich Mead’s newest farm to table restaurant in a one of a kind setting. If you haven’t tried it yet, now is a great time. The menu starts with Crudite and Amuse with what’s in season. The First Course is Warm Wild Mushrooms and Bloomsdale Spinach Salad with pancetta bacon, Balsamic vinaigrette, toasted walnuts and bread crumbs. You have two Second Course options: Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks with celery root puree, roast root vegetables, and red wine lamb jus; or Farmhouse Cioppino with shrimp, scallops, mussels, white fish, tomato seafood broth, and grilled garlic bread. Dessert is Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème.

Five Crowns is consistently a NB Restaurant Week favorite. It’s a great time to enjoy their incredible food in a beautiful newly restored setting. The $50 per person dinner starts with a First Course choice of: Lobster Bisque; or Pride of the Crowns salad with butter lettuce, bacon, toasted walnuts, gruyere, and herbs. MainCcourse choices are Five Crowns’ famous Prime Ribs of Beef with your choice of Lawry’s creamed corn, Lawry’s creamed spinach, or mashed potatoes; or Iceland Salmon with baby spinach and mashed potatoes; or Niman Ranch Pork Chop with braised cannellini beans and Swiss chard. Dessert choices include C.C. Brown’s Hot Fudge Sundae with Straus organic vanilla bean ice cream, toasted almonds and whipped cream; or Meyer Lemon Steam Cake with Champagne berries.

We’ve always Muldoon’s Irish Pub and they are offering a delicious prix course lunch and dinner. We love the dinner offering that starts with Housemade Soda Bread with Sweet Butter, and then, Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancake appetizer. The Starters include soup of the day or Pub Salad. The Main Course choices include Irish Stew, Fish & Chips (Harp Batter); Corned Beef & Cabbage; and Shepherd’s Pie. The dessert choices include Hot Chocolate Sundae or Irish Berry Trifle. There’s also a nice selection of drink specials.

Pizzeria Mozza is offering both lunch and dinner. At dinner, for just $30 you can enjoy one of the best salads in OC, Insalata Mista or Mozza Caprese; and your choice of about a dozen excellent pizzas such as Funghi misti, fontina, taleggio and thyme; Salame, mozzarella, tomato and fresno chiles; or Pizza alla Benno with Speck, pineapple, jalapenos, mozzarella and tomato. Dolci choices include Sorbetti e Gelati or Butterscotch Budino, Maldon sea salt, rosemary pine nut cookies.

Oak Grill is offering a prix-fixe lunch and dinner. We especially love the dinner at $40, where you can choose from a First Course of Golden Beet Soup; Kale and Pork Belly Salad with sahved jicama, candied pecans, cambozola & blood orange vinaigrette. Second Course choices include Roasted Chilean Sea Bass with farro, charred Bok Choy, tangeries and orange ginger miso glaze; Chicken Marsala with sautéed green beans, mashed potatoes, and forest mushroom cream; and Braised Short Ribs with Anson Mills Corn Grits, Portobello mushrooms and sauce Bordelaise. Dessert choices include Carrot Cake with maple walnut ice cream; or Guanaja Cremeux with Valrohona 70%, Guanaja silky custard, salted chocolate streusel and sassafras whip cream.

Pelican Grill at Pelican Grill Resort is offering a prix-fixe lunch and dinner. We love the lunch menu that’s only $20 per person. It starts with a choice of one appetizer: Red Kuri Squash Soup with aji Amarillo, crispy plantains and cilantro; or Arugula salad with baby carrots, breakfast radish, asparagus, charred onion petals, pecorino and Champagne vinaigrette. Entrée choices include a Beef Short Rib with creamy polenta, cippolini onion, baby carrots, Tokyo turnips and carrot reduction; or Loch Duart Salmon with baby carrots, haricot vert, fennel, cauliflower puree, and grapefruit gastrique; or Jidori Chicken Breast with barley, chanterelle mushrooms, pickled persimmon, grilled Treviso, smoked maple and jus. Complimentary valet.

You have to check out Tackle Box, a local grub shack on Corona del Mar Main Beach that we love. Their $10 lunch includes a choice of Grilled Chicken Club with smoked bacon, lettuce and tomato, lemon garlic dressing; Fried Catfish with cornmeal crust, lettuce and tomato, remoulade; or Apple Smoked Pork Shoulder with whole grain mustard fennel slaw with Huskey bbq sauce. There’s a vegetarian option with Chickpea patty, lettuce and tomato, pickled fresno chili and chipotle tzatziki. You can choose between these sides, too: Baby Kale salad with currants and lemon garlic dressing; Buffalo Cauliflower with celery and house ranch; Soup of the day; and house pickles, bread and butter style with an assortment of vegetables. Jones sodas on tap for your beverage.

We are thrilled about the new Zinqué that just opened at Lido Marina Village. They are offering a great prix-fixe lunch and dinner. We love both menus, and the lunch menu at just $15 is a great offer. The First Course starts with a choice of Broccoli, Spinach and Green Curry Soup, with Tomato Mozzarella Salad with Salami Toasts. Second Course is a choice of a Grass Fed Beef Burger with lettuce, tomato, gruyere, Sriracha on Brioche Bun or a Bowl; Moules Frites also known as mussel and fries; Lasagna with three cheeses; Quiche Lorraine with pancetta and aged gruyere; Quiche Zucchini with French Blue Cheese; and Le Bowl with brown rice, avocado, tomato, arugula, comte and Sriracha, chicken or egg frittata or substitute cauliflower rice.

Greer's OC
Blogger | Journalist

Since 1993, Greer has been writing about fashion, dining and trends in Orange County, as a popular columnist for the Los Angeles Time Community Newspapers (Daily Pilot, Coastline Pilot and HB Independent) and now as founder of Greer’s OC.

Chef Richard Sandoval
Newport Beach Restaurant Week Jan.16-29

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