Serving Up 10 Newport Beach Steaks
Steak is one of life’s great comfort foods. The cow has a lot to give, and whether it’s skirt, strip, hanger, Porterhouse, tomahawk or filet, the results can be wondrous. The same goes for the cooking method. Wood-grilled, gas-grilled or broiled, steaks can all deliver great results. Learn about 10 different steaks in Newport Beach that all warrant attention.
Paul Fleming and Bill Allen got Fleming’s rolling at Fashion Island in 1998, and steaks still end up on most white tablecloths in this modern steakhouse. Each steak is seasoned with Kosher salt and black pepper and broiled at 1,600 degrees. You also have the option to have your steak iron-crusted, which sounds like something out of “Game of Thrones,” but actually refers to cooking on a hot iron slab with olive oil to increase the char. In that case, butter and fresh parsley finish the job. Dry-aged rib-eye or New York strip are formidable on their own, but consider topping your steak with truffle-poached lobster, Diablo shrimp or King Crab with herb butter.
Photo Credit: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Executive chef Josef Morphis presides over the Crystal Cove branch of this luxury steakhouse chain, which now stretches to Washington, D.C. This location contains dining rooms with elaborate chandeliers and tree-lined patios, one of which has wall-creeping ivy, a fireplace and ocean views. Since Mastro’s is by the water, expect more seafood than in Beverly Hills, but they still serve cuts of steak like bone-in rib-eye and Kansas City strip. Mastro’s might offer the deepest selection of side dishes of any steakhouse, including lobster mashed potatoes, Gorgonzola mac & cheese and “colossal” onion rings.
Photo Credit: Mastro’s Ocean Club
This Craftsman-style restaurant from Jim Walker and Louie Feinstein in Corona del Mar features an inviting patio with stone fireplace, dining room with big tan booths and a colorful wall mural that depicts the city and key ingredients. The biggest cartoon stars steak, since The Bungalow specializes in USDA Prime beef. Popular options include a bone-in rib-eye that comes with mashed potatoes and a New York strip with potato gratin, both plated with a light demi glace. Boost your steak for only $2 by adding blue cheese, Béarnaise, mushrooms, onion strings or peppercorn sauce.
Managing partner JC Clow, executive chef Yvon Goetz and sommelier William Lewis spun off their Tustin original by opening a second Winery outpost right along PCH with patio seating that overlooks the harbor. The Winery stays true to its name by offering a wine list that’s 650 bottles deep and changes weekly. Four different Brandt Family Reserve steaks are dinner staples, including Cajun flatiron, bone-in rib-eye, and New York steak, all seared on the grill at the recommended temperature: rare to medium rare.
Photo Credit: The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
This Cannery Village restaurant from Overstreet Proprietors resides across the water from Bluewater Grill, and they deliver a totally different dining experience. The space sports a clear roof, wood floors, and patio overlooking passing boats, some of which pull up and dock for white tablecloth dining. The Dock has a deep wine cellar, which complements luxurious dishes like Angus beef rib-eye with potato gratin, roasted root vegetables, caramelized onion marmalade and red wine “paint.”
This moody pub with dark wood and an inviting patio has stood at the intersection of PCH and the Balboa Peninsula for more than two decades. Their kitchen serves some standout steaks at dinner, all available either grilled or blackened and including a choice of two sides. The beef comes from Double R Sustainable Ranch in Loomis, Washington. While it’s possible to stay judicious with Prime filet, most people go for the gusto with Prime rib-eye, or even better, a 16-ounce, bone-in Tomahawk.
This classy Corona del Mar steakhouse from the Lawry’s family looks like a set from the English countryside, with modern touches like a greenhouse-framed patio, a dining room with wood beams and rafters, and paintings that accent muted yellow walls. Lawry’s is famous for rosy slabs of Prime Rib, and of course they’re available in a range of sizes at Five Crowns. Whether you invest in California Cut “for lighter appetites” or a more magnificent Henry VIII Cut ($47), each serving comes with au jus, Yorkshire pudding, whipped cream organic horseradish and a choice of two sides. We’re partial toward creamed spinach and buttery mashed potatoes.
Photo Credit: Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc
Since 1965, The Quiet woman has been a Corona del Mar institution. Owners Lynne Campbell and husband Sean continue to rely on a stately restaurant with leather banquettes, art-lined walls and a mesquite grill to delight locals. Wood smoke helps flavor five different dinnertime steaks, including T-bone, tenderloin, and rarely seen baseball cut, a 12-ounce, center-cut round of Prime black Angus. Sides include The Purist (steamed vegetables) and The Hedonist (steamed vegetables blanked in melted cheddar).
Chef Rick Bayless, a Chicago legend and “Top Chef Masters” champion, brings his high-end Mexican cuisine to Fashion Island after launching Red O in L.A. The restaurant uses fruitwood to grill their steaks, including a deluxe take on carne asada called Carne Asada Brava ($48). This Prime, 12-ounce New York strip steak comes with roasted tomato salsa huevona, sweet corn tamales, and grilled knob onions.
Balboa Peninsula bikers, skaters, sunbathers and pier-goers all stream past 21 Oceanfront, a classy restaurant with sumptuous black booths, crisp white tablecloths, palm trees out front and Pacific views. They butcher steaks daily in-house and seasoned with secrets before they’re grilled over gas and finished in the oven. Old school preparations like Filet Oscar are available with filet mignon blanketed with Alaskan King crab and Béarnaise, or Steak Diane with butterflied filet and Cognac mushroom sauce. Still, it’s hard to argue with a straightforward New York strip, which is a substantial 14 ounces and well-seared.
Photo Credit: Bobby Palmer