Monday, 3 March 2014
Cocktails have come a long way from the traditional rum and coke or Seagram’s and seven combos. Modern cocktail concoctions often include items not usually found in mixed drinks, such as flowers, fruits and even savory items.
James Bond might have preferred his martini shaken, not stirred, but these days muddled cocktails have become de rigueur. Bartenders have become mixologists, and mixologists are turning into bar chefs.
Cocktail trends are as tricky to forecast as the weather, but some local restaurants have seen some recent moves to certain types of cocktails and spirits.
Over at Red O in Fashion Island, Manager Ray Wilkins noted that there has been a dramatic rise in the popularity of drinks featuring dark spirits such as bourbon and rye. He also noted tequila consumption has shot way up, a fact that’s become quite clear to SOL Cocina.
Colin Pflugradt, beverage director for SOL, says tequila is rivaling vodka in popularity. He has nearly 100 different tequilas behind the SOL bar, but it’s the fascinating variety of mixed drinks featuring tequila that take center stage.
“We instituted a farmer’s market tequila, which gives us more of an ability to try things out and see what works,” he explained. “We did a blackberry ginger margarita in September that sold hundreds, so we added it to the menu. Right now we have a special one with muddled strawberries and blackberries, Don Julio, lime juice, and agave, then topped with champagne. It’s a really balanced drink.”
Pflugradt said he uses all sorts of interesting ingredients for his cocktails—fruits and herbs, hibiscus and lavender, and various liquors.
Over at Provenance, which opens in March where Sage Restaurant used to be in Eastbluff, chef Cathy Pavlos has a garden where her bar chefs can pick ingredients as needed for the unusual list of vintage cocktail, some of which date back to the 1800s.
Among the classic cocktails: Corpse Revive (1902) with gin, cointreau, lillet blanc, lemon juice and absinthe, Flying Dutchman (1930) with orange gin, orange juice, lemon juice, and bitters, and Knickerbocker a la Monsieur (1869) with Virgin Islands rum, orange curacao, raspberry syrup, lemon juice, orange, and pineapple. They’ll also have a signature bloody Mary with house bloody Mary mix, chipotle, vodka, and a handful of items fresh from the garden.
Getting thirsty? Check out OC Cocktail Week, which runs March 2 – 8. Nearly 50 restaurants throughout OC are participating, including seven in Newport Beach. Most of the restaurants are offering cocktail and food pairings for $20.14, but these aren’t your daddy’s cocktails!
For a quick rundown of local offerings go to http://www.visitnewportbeach.com/blog/cocktails-anyone/
Thursday, 6 February 2014
Locally sourced produce, sustainable seafood, gluten-free cuisine and craft cocktails.
According to the National Restaurant Association, those are just a few of the top culinary trends for 2014.
Of course, many of the chefs and restaurants in Newport Beach have been ahead of the trends, often introducing guests to exotic or unusual dishes that are soon embraced as mainstream.
A good example of that is The Resort at Pelican Hill. Their trio of restaurants – Andrea, Coliseum Pool & Grill, and Pelican Grill – all use locally sourced, seasonal produce from the Irvine Ranch whenever possible. The chefs at these restaurants also take pride in introducing diners to unusual ingredients and entrees, such as a fish known as barramundi, one of the recent delicious Restaurant Week menu items at Pelican Grill. Read more...
Wednesday, 22 January 2014
Newport Beach Mayor Rush Hill and other city leaders have kicked off the New Year by supporting the local restaurant community and dining out during Newport Beach Restaurant Week. The annual event started on Friday, January 17th and continues through Sunday, January 26th,
“Every week, events are taking place all over town,” Hill said. “My goal is to draw attention to some of these events and encourage our residents to join me in attending. I want us to get to know our neighbors better and build an even stronger sense of community. When we interact with one another, we can share ideas, develop relationships, and appreciate the people and places of Newport Beach. Let’s occasionally hit the pause button this year and have fun.”
The first weekend of restaurant week had Council Member Leslie Daigle enjoying lunch at The Back Bay Tavern in Fashion Island, Keith Curry dining at Summer House in Corona del Mar and Tony Petros at Cucina Alessa for Dinner. Ed Selich showed his support for Restaurant Week while having dinner at The Bungalow, and both Mayor Hill and council member Mike Henn are looking forward to dinner at The Cannery Restaurant.
With more than 60 participating restaurants are serving up three course menus at set prices, there are many choices in which to dine out. For a complete list of participating restaurants and their menus go to http://www.newportbeachdining.com/newport-beach-restaurant-week/participating-restaurants.aspx.
Sunday, 1 December 2013
Orange County is in a continuous search for its culinary identity. As we move into a more food savvy generation, dining destinations are beginning to surface all over the county that rival great eateries across the country. Newport Beach is taking steps to be the strongest competitor in the restaurant game, and not only the center of the Orange Coast. Here is a list of the restaurants new on the scene or coming soon to your Newport Beach neighborhood.
Sweet potato crumble at Lemonade, Newport Beach.
Summertime saw a fresh new face to the OC restaurant scene. Lemonade’s Chef and Founder Alan Jackson says, “I like to think of Lemonade as a choseyourownadventure for lunch or dinner, a delicious and healthy change of pace, Lemonade marries quality and convenience.” This may be a grab and go option, but it is far from ordinary. The quality of ingredients and the relaxed feel are the closest you can get to luxury in a 30 minute lunch break.
The warm summer sun brought another delicious edition to the dining culture at Newport Beach. Lark Creek is a respected restaurant group from the San Francisco area, and they have decided to bring their concept to the Fashion Island Shopping Center. Lark Creek promotes the idea of seasonal, sustainable, and farmfresh cuisine and blends it with a relaxed environment. Original artwork hangs on the vibrant walls, and the walnut tables warm the space.
Red O dining room in Newport Beach.
Opened in mid November to much acclaim at Fashion Island, this Oaxacan inspired restaurant is the creation of Master Chef Rick Bayless. Rick Bayless is recognized for his regional Mexican cuisine, and this 8,500 square foot restaurant has the class and decorum of a coastal resort. Copper fixtures illuminate the decorative tile work, while the smell of Beer Braised Short Ribs sweep the room.
Fig & Olive
This little piece of the French Riviera will be coming soon to Fashion Island. The menu focuses on highlighting the main component of their longevity: the olive oil. The cuisine is inspired heavily by true French culture, with rosemary, thyme, and basil lining the menu. Deep roasted flavors will be a fantastic pairing with their incredible Old World wine selections. Opening late 2013.
Sea scallops at Fig & Olive, Newport Beach.
Chef Cathy Pavlos will be bringing a “Napaesque” menu to the Newport Beach natives in her new concept. Diners will be able to enjoy fresh ingredients from her 1,300 square foot raisedbed garden. Fresh cocktails will also be created with the same ingredients. Pavlos has always prided herself in local and seasonal ingredients and is sure to incorporate that integrity with this California food concept. Opening early 2014.
The Winery Restaurant & Bar will be bringing their famous concept to the Newport Beach locals. The pride of JC Clow, William Lewis and Chef Yvon Goetz has always been “the guest experience”, and now they are able to pair their already incredible guest experience with the magical aesthetic of the Newport Harbor. The awardwinning chef brings California cuisine with a contemporary flair, bringing Wine Country to the Orange Coast. Six sommeliers will be on staff to accommodate your every wine need, offering a resort quality experience in a highly personalized setting. Opening early 2014.
Blue C Sushi
Modeled after the famous sushi spots in the subways of Tokyo, Blue C Sushi will be bringing vibrant, interactive, and entertaining dining to the Newport Beach dining culture. Rice and sustainable seafood are the pride of this establishment, but the technology makes it incredible. Fresh sushi moves across a conveyor belt of splendid colored plates, take the plate as it moves along the track and your item is automatically recorded on your check, and the chef then makes a fresh portion of that dish.
Margherita pizza at Cucina Enoteca, Newport Beach.
Modern Italian, rustic farm house will be joining the culinary army redefining the dining scene in Newport Beach. Tracy Borkum is bringing her “restaurant to retail” concept into the Fashion Island dining stage. A perfect fit for the shopping scene. The entire restaurant is curated from items hand selected by Tracy, and everything will be available for sale, from vintage light fixtures, to specialty furniture, and retail wine sales.
Some of Newport Beach’s best restaurants will be offering multicourse meals at tiered pricing during this citywide celebration. January 17 26 2014, will be the dates to take advantage of the new hot spots and the Newport staples!
Currently on his quest for the best, this collector of edible experiences studied culinary arts at the Art Institute of California-Orange County before he dove into the biggest dining adventure of his life: 100eats100days. Inspired by hunger, Robert Anthony Navarro has made headlines in multiple publications, including Taste Magazine, the Orange County Register, the San Diego Union Tribune and is a featured contributor in LOCALE magazine’s food section for his fantastical feat of dining in 100 eateries in 100 consecutive days, which he victoriously performed twice.
He is host to large-scale events as well as intimate socials in support of others with diverse, artistic visions of short ribs and mashed potatoes dancing in their heads and plans to be an influential contributor to growing and building unique, new food communities around the world. Follow his food journey at 100eats.com
Wednesday, 4 September 2013
Monday, 26 August 2013
As the end of summer season fast approaches, the NBRA BID has been busy launching the start of yet another new Fiscal Year. We are freshening up our look, starting with this newly designed quarterly email.
Check out some highlights of what else we have in the works to promote your establishment this year including: ongoing development of a new long-term strategic plan, the launch of a new mobile web site, targeted distribution of fresh new dining guides, an Instagram promotional campaign, 2014 Newport Beach Restaurant Week and more.
View the new NBRA BID Restaurateur Informational Brochure.
Welcome New Advisory Board Members
NBRA BID Advisory Board Member elections took place in late July. Congratulations and welcome to all NBRA BID Board Members as we look forward to a successful year ahead. Click Here to view the FY 2014 NBRA BID Advisory Board of Directors. Board meetings take place on the fourth Wednesday of every other month at 9:30AM. All members are welcome. Contact Peggy Fort at: (949) 675-0501 for more information.
CRA Serve-Safe Certification Class
NBRA BID members and staff are invited to attend a Serve-Safe Certification class at 8:30AM on September 24th at Harborside Restaurant. The class will be instructed by the California Restaurant Association and is $115 per person. To confirm your attendance, please call the Harborside corporate office at: (949) 261-9013.
NewportBeachDining.com Mobile Site Refresh!
We are excited to announce that the Newport Beach Dining web site is getting a mobile site refresh complete with user friendly features and the latest mobile technology. Check out a sneak preview of our new mobile website for the Newport Beach Restaurant Association. The dynamic new mobile site is set to launch in early fall.
Dining Guides In Full Distribution
Demand for the Newport Beach Dining Guide has never been hotter. The NBRA BID published 100,000 copies of this must have foodie publication. Certified Folder Display and various community partners help to strategically distribute the guide and copies are flying off the shelves. DOWNLOAD A NEWPORT BEACH RESTAURANT DINING GUIDE or ORDER A DINING GUIDE BROCHURE RACK and supply of Newport Beach Dining Guides to distribute at your establishment call Peggy Fort at: (949) 675-0501.
Eighth Annual Newport Beach Restaurant Week
Savor The Dates….The OC’s first and favorite Restaurant Week will take place January 17-26, 2014. Participant sign up will open soon and is exclusive to Newport Beach restaurants only. View the 2013 Newport Beach Restaurant Week campaign results.
Social Media Alert!
Share your restaurant’s foodie photos with us on Instagram today! Simply label your restaurant photos with the #DineNewport hashtag and watch it instantly show up on our Facebook Page promoting your brand and visibility to our online community. Make sure to click on the NBRA BID social media icons at the bottom of this email to follow DineNewport and leverage your restaurant’s social media marketing campaign.
Get them while you can, this year’s Newport Beach Dining Guide has never been fresher!
Packed with all of Newport’s go-to Restaurants, this new dining guide will be sure to keep your reservation list full.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD a copy or keep your eye out for a copy at one of your favorite local restaurants.
CLICK HERE TO ORDER
Friday, 10 May 2013
Newport Beach has long been a destination for the weekend brunching crowd and Mother’s Day is no exception. Many of the restaurants in Newport Beach have pulled out all the stops to make moms special day one to remember. Each restaurant below has something unique to offer moms. You will find everything from waterfront patio destinations like The Cannery and 21 Oceanfront, to live music at Sol Cocina, romantic hotspots like Bayside and Port Restaurant, or tasty food for the health conscious mom at True Food Kitchen, and even some casual low key local treasures like The Alley and Bungalow Restaurant.
From left to right: The Alley Restaurant & Bar, True Food Kitchen, Sol Cocina, The Bungalow, Bayside, The Cannery, Port Restaurant, 21 Oceanfront.
Saturday, 27 April 2013
It’s time for a community celebration! The City of Newport Beach will be hosting a Civic Center & Park Community Celebration and Open House on Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Everyone is welcomed and the event is free of charge. Bring the family and friends out and celebrate with the city and enjoy live music, guided tours of the new space, tasty eats from Newport finest restaurants, and arts and crafts for the kids.