Fall Menu Standouts Part One
As the summer sun fades, and there is a crisp-ness in the air, our attention turns to comfort foods, fall colors and the scent of pumpkin and cinnamon is in the air. We welcome fall with open arms and applaud the creative creations and fanciful treats that Chefs are creating for us. Take a visit with us as we peruse some of the menus here in Newport Beach and Cannery Village (Part One), and Corona del Mar (will follow in a Part Two article). We have discovered a treasure-trove of delicious bites we know you too will want to enjoy this fall…
Eat Chow– North Newport Beach– Breakfast is served! Eat Chow offers an eclectic menu from morning to night—from salads and soups, to burritos, burgers, and albacore tuna melts. When asked about what was new on their menu for fall, this Grits special came to light. The Chorizo cheddar grits are served with spicy prawns, sausage, bell peppers, tomato and garlic, topped with two sunny-side-up eggs, parmesan cheese and a Smokey pepper cream sauce ($13).
Bluewater Grill- Cannery Village- This waterfront treasure of a restaurant in Cannery Village on the Rhine Channel is reminiscent of a New England Chowder House. With recently added public docks, it is also a popular spot for leisure travelers and locals alike to pull up and dine, or place an order to go. Seasonal offers for Fall are tempting me as I write this….
During October, guests can enjoy a “Fire Roasted Oysters Platter”. This includes: a dozen fire-roasted Mendocino oysters served in three distinct styles: Pacific Rim-style with Thai green curry, coconut milk and lemongrass; Provencale-style with bread crumb, Parmesan cheese, butter, garlic and fresh herbs; and the Original Mendocino-style with spicy-sweet barbecue sauce. They all sound heavenly!
During November the special seafood offering turns to the always popular Holiday “Baked Stuffed Maine Lobster”. For my father who grew up in Boston, this is a “must dine here” adventure each year. According to the Chef, this is their most popular monthly celebration of the year. And we will plan to partake!
And here is the great news… Bluewater Grill co-founder Jimmy Ulcickas shares with me that their Maine lobster is purchased from a fishery that ensure that both lobster populations and the environment are protected. “In keeping with Bluewater Grill’s mission to practice 100% responsible harvesting and purchasing, this fall menu offering of sustainable Maine lobster is a natural for us. They harvest their lobsters the same careful way they have for over 125 years — by hand, one trap at a time — thus protecting the quality of their product and the marine environment.”
SOL COCINA- Newport Beach- Executive Chef Deborah Schneider has introduced a new menu of fall favorites to her widely celebrated menu of Baja-inspired cuisine. Chef Deb commented, “Our new fall menu at SOL shifts towards Mexican comfort foods. The tenderness of our marinated meats and fresh seafood featured in these new dishes are complemented by rich fall flavors and bold ingredients.”
The new menu features fall’s freshest ingredients artfully presented in dishes such as ‘Firing Squad’ Mezcal Shrimp— a unique interpretation of the Mexican classic featuring quickly sautéed shrimp, chipotle, pineapple, fresh tomato, and mezcal fired up in an iron cazuela served atop butter lettuce leaves for wrapping. Other fall offerings include: Sweet Corn and Crab Soup, Free Range Half Chicken with Chile Con Limon, Longaniza Sausage with Torta E Elote, Grilled Giant Shrimp and of course her creamy, dreamy flan.
Among the new items mentioned above on the SOL fall menu, here are two stand-outs: “Puerto Nuevo Lobster Tacos” which are back by popular demand. These tacos feature succulent lobster meat sautéed with garlic and butter (mojo de ajo style) and are topped with three signature salsas: mango habanero, raw tomatillo and pico de gallo. The second dish is the “Charro Bone-In Rib Eye Steak”. This is a top-quality Angus beef rib eye steak, grilled on the bone and then finished with an herb & garlic butter.
Bayside Restaurant-Newport Beach- Their Austrian-born Executive Chef Paul Gstrein, has created three amazing dishes available for the whole month of October. The Oktoberfest inspired menu includes: “Schweinerucken Cordon Bleu” (a lightly breaded Berkshire Pork Loin Cordon Bleu “inside-out” with Black Forest Ham and Cave Aged Gruyere Cheese, Wilted Spinach, Blistered Tomato Vinaigrette), a “Kase Drainer Bratwurst” (smoked Pork Sausage Emmenthal Cheese Infused Sauerkraut, Roast Potatoes, Sweet and Spicy Mustard) and thirdly a “Wiener Saftgulasch” (a Vienna-style Braised Beef Short-rib, Potato Puree, Roasted Red Sweet Peppers). I was not quite sure when I read the descriptions, and my husband provided some translation, however when I saw the pictures I thought, we must go there and try Paul’s amazing menu! Bravo Chef!
Moulin French Bistro–Newport Beach– This is a newly opened bistro in the location where Pascal had his “Epicurian” café. The décor, the staff, the cuisine and the passion of the Owner Laurent Vrignaud are evident everywhere your eyes wander. Importing from France their Rotisserie, Mixers, Ovens and so forth, it helps them to create the most authentic products possible. My favorite spot is the outside patio with a restful fountain to calm the day. There is a very robust “take away” business and soon they will be able to expedite that right from your car! Stay tuned for more on that.
This fall, guests will enjoy three traditional dishes that Moulin plans to serve during this fall season. They will appear as a plat du jour and/or on the Tuesday night Chef’s Dinner menu. The Chef’s Dinners are served each Tuesday at 7:00pm and have become quite popular. Reservations are required as it is a sell-out. All very classic French dishes, this includes: Canard à l’Orange (duck a’la orange), Souris d’agneau (braised lamb shank) and Blanquette de veau à l’ancienne (old fashioned French veal ragout). The Poulet Frites is served with a green salad and your choice of hand-cut frites or small roasted potatoes for $15. The tender, organic Mary’s Chicken is slow-cooked in the Rotisserie for two hours. This item is available now and all through the fall season anytime from 11:00am to 7:00pm.
The Bistro is open 7:00am to 7:00pm every day!
Fig & Olive- Fashion Island- We are so pleased that Fig & Olive has joined the coveted collect of fine dining restaurants here in Fashion Island. As the weather turns cooler, Executive Chef Pascal Lorange’s passion for the best olive oils, cuisine and influences from the Mediterranean region can be found in his new fall menu. Each meal begins with a taste of three distinct extra virgin olive oils with the restaurant’s freshly baked Rosemary Olive Oil Fougasse Bread. Desserts crafted by Pastry Chef Andrew LeStourgeon. Some interesting Prix Fixe menus grace the table. The Prix Fixe Brunch is $28, and includes: A beverage (Bellini, Mimosa, Bloody Mary, Sangria or Fresh Juice), a three course brunch from a variety of choices. Prix Fixe Lunch is $28 and served Monday through Friday, and includes a three course menu with a host of options. The new fall menu of Prix Fixe Dinner is a three course experience for $45, and is offered Sunday through Thursday evenings. Here are the highlights from the dinner menu, to illustrate the lovely selection being offered this fall.
For Starter– Choice of One: Maine Lobster Bisque (add $6), Provencal Heirloom Carrot & Thyme Soup, The Fig & Olive Salad, Truffle Mushroom Croquette, Crab Cake, or Beef Carpaccio.
Main Course- Choice of One: Truffle Risotto (and with grilled chicken add $6),
Pumpkin Sage Ravioli, Fig & Olive Chicken Tajine, Riviera Salmon, Paella Del Mar (Black tiger shrimp, sea scallop, calamari, mussels, saffron and arborio rice with chicken, green pea, red bell pepper, and artichoke), Filet Mignon- 8 oz. (add $8).
For Dessert– Guests can select from this choice of either: Dessert “Crostini”, or Chocolate Pot De Crème.
*Note: Eating raw or undercooked fish, shellfish, eggs, or meat increases the risk of foodborne illness. Offer is limited to parties of 12 or fewer. Price does not include gratuity and taxes.
The Resort at Pelican Hill- Newport Coast– This resort has so many activities and special culinary wonderments going on each season, it is always a pleasure to explore their many, many offerings. Here is a sampling of some of the fall happenings and splendors that will be offered here this fall. The choices are aplenty, and I am having a hard time deciding just which one to experience!
-Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Specials- During the months of October & November, the Coliseum Pool & Grill presents seasonal pumpkin delights in both savory and sweet varieties, such as pumpkin risotto and pumpkin cheesecake. This is one of my favorite little hideaways, and they offer free valet parking right outside the door.
–La Bella Moda- This is an Italian-inspired “Fashion & Prosecco Brunch Series” to be enjoyed in the elegant Andrea Ristorante. This brunch will be held select Sundays in November (9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th) at 11:00am. Each week will feature a different fashion theme, from Coastal Casual Chic, to Festive Seasonal Fashions, Glamorous Cocktail Collections, and Holiday Jet-set Styles! Partnering with Fashion Island, many of their exclusive boutiques & Jewelers will showcase their special fashions. Meanwhile, Chef Marco and his team will create a lovely 3-course Prix Fixe brunch inspired by Milan, one of the world’s top fashion capitals. The cost is $49 per person, including the Prix fixe Prosecco Brunch a complimentary gift bag. (However, this price does exclude tax and service charge.)For a complete menu, please visit this web site: www.pelicanhill.com/la-bella-moda/
-Pelican Grill Interactive Tasting Table- Epicureans and Foodies can be seated right next to the restaurant’s open-concept kitchen in the main dining room. This interactive, chef-led dining experience presents guests with exclusive daily dishes featuring the freshest seasonal ingredients and creative presentations. Pelican Grill chefs prepare the day’s selection of prix fixe specialties before guest’s eyes, and then pass each course over the kitchen counter to the adjacent rustic, wooden table set for up to 10 guests. As they converse with the chef across the pass counter, diners savor Napa-inspired cuisine paired with fine California wines. (Advanced reservations are required for this special epicurean experience.)
So, there you have it—a plethora of fall menu selections to choose from. Enjoy your culinary discovery of what makes fall menus special here in Newport Beach!