No Valentine? No Problem
This year Valentine’s Day happens to fall on a Saturday, so that means a full weekend of blazing, blooming love-birds and starry-eyed couples enjoying this heart-filled celebration. For those diners who are without a special someone —- have no fear. Newport Beach serves up a variety of alternatives for a delicious weekend alone or with your favorite group friends.
Lonely Hearts Club
Party of 1 this year? A&O Kitchen+Bar has you covered with their Lonely Hearts Valentine’s Day event! Join other singles out there for an evening of great food, drinks, and music! Who said being single had to be boring?!
Cocktail Bars Sans The Romantic Lighting
Here’s a list of bars that don’t scream romance. They are cool bars, with a fun or elegant setting, and most offer flexible seating so your group can grow organically, and allow you to pull up a chair easily. This includes: Bluewater Grill, The Cannery, Pizza Nova (can dock and dine), Pelican Grill (don’t miss the outside balcony with commanding views), 3-Thirty-3 Waterfront, SOL Cocina, Gulf Stream (the outside fire pits on the patio provide a casual, beachy setting), Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, Quiet Woman, Side Door, and Javier’s in Crystal Cove (also with fire pits on the covered patio).
The Ultimate “To Go” Dining And A Movie
Sometimes, taking a delicious dinner home and turning on a coveted Netflix movie spells P-E-R-F-E-C-T. Not only relaxing, but you can pour your favorite beverage to your heart’s content and no one is counting how many scoops of ice cream you enjoy! My favorites include the following: Pei Wei (at Bison and MacArthur) because I love their ten minute parking up front and can easily call ahead, and keep the menu in my car. Moulin, is a fairly new and fabulous French-style bistro in Newport offering: sandwiches, complete dinners, rotisserie chicken, and desserts that make you want to crawl inside the glass case with just a fork and plenty of time. Zov’s in Newport Coast has a wonderful selection of Mediterranean cuisine, and always packages items so nicely. Bandera in Corona del Mar does a suburb job with their dinners, and especially their rotisserie chicken. They have a ten minute parking spot right up front and center. With a “to go” window inside, guests can quickly pay and be on their way in mere minutes.
A Market, on PCH, is an iconic spot offering delicious food all day and evening. From soup, to the sandwiches, and the hot entrées, to the desserts—- it is all “not to be missed” fare. A Market has perfected the concept of “to go”—-so go, and enjoy!
Live Music and Cocktails
There really is nothing like live music to ignite the soul. Live music is available nightly at these local mainstays: Billy’s at the Beach, 21 Oceanfront, The Blue Beet, Bayside and Mastro’s Ocean Club in Crystal Cove.
In addition, other venues offer music on specific nights including: Tommy Bahama Island Grille has island & contemporary music Thursday thru Saturday evenings and Sunday’s at lunch time. The Aqua Lounge offers DJ music Thursday thru Saturday, and on Wednesday evenings they offer live music adjacent at the Oak Grill Fire Pit. Pelican Grill has music Thursday thru Saturday. Muldoon’s offers music Thursdays thru Saturdays, Quiet Woman has music Tuesdays thru Saturdays, Alta Coffee & Restaurant on the Peninsula has music Friday & Saturday evenings with everything from jazz to folk music. The Village Inn on Balboa Island has music various nights and has the full schedule posted on their web site.