5 Spots for Dinner On The Fly
The kids are back to school, work is heating up and the focus has now officially shifted from summer fun to homework, after-school activities and longer days at the office. Some days, this change leaves us at a loss for how to satisfy evening mealtime needs. Here are a five ideas for delivery or take-out to help households find that delicious, creative spark for dinner, and most importantly, to get it on the table quickly.
This haven of freshly made Mediterranean cuisine is tucked in a corner of Newport Coast Shopping Center. Zov Karamardian is a well-known chef, cookbook author and owns four O.C. restaurants. The dining room is expansive and awash in warm earth tones with large picture windows. Zov has created Gourmet-To-Go complete meals for busy families who are just that–on the go! The cost is $29 for two meals, or $49 for a quartet. “Gourmet To-Go” includes: one entrée (Rotisserie Garlic Herb Chicken–half for two or whole for four, Rigatone Lamb Ragu, Chicken Kababs, or Pan Seared Salmon Medallions), a choice of two sides (salad, vegetables, potatoes, rice, salad) and dinner rolls. For an additional $10, the Mezze Trio is served with pita chips and perfect for nibbling. Selections include Hummus, Babaganoush, and Lebni.
The Alley Restaurant & Bar
This popular neighborhood spot near Sunset Ridge Park serves classic cuisine with a gourmet twist. The atmosphere is relaxed, with lots of locals filing in and out on a first name basis. A long wood bar runs the length of the establishment, with arched windows facing PCH. The dining room is spacious and comfortable. Weekly Specials are quite a value, available for dine-in guests only, ranging from $10-15 (including two sides). A few examples include BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Bourbon Meatloaf, Prime Rib, and Tri- Trip. Yum! All other menu items are available for take-out, with orders best placed by phone.
The Pizza Bakery
Westcliff Plaza is a charming boutique outdoor shopping center near Irvine Blvd. that contains this real find. Pizza Bakery is a very accommodating restaurant with lots of locals flocking here for lunch, dinner and after-game pizza parties. An authentic Italian oven is the centerpiece of the open-kitchen with pies flying in and out at quite a pace. The pizza is New York style, with a splash of California flair, and a staggering selection of 34 different toppings! The restaurant also serves salads, spaghetti with homemade sauce, lasagna, subs, and desserts. Larger groups should consider Pasta By The Pan. Guests can call in orders and pick them up. After 5pm, The Pizza Bakery delivers, provided that customers reside in the local trading area and pay a $2.50 charge.
At Fashion Island, within the downstairs Food Court, this gourmet sandwich and salad shop offers curbside pick-up. Call ahead and they will meet you upstairs at the street level between the sign for Dick’s Sporting Goods and Barnes and Noble. They have nine different sandwiches on the menu and each one sounds better than the last. Maybe it’s because of the fresh oven-baked focaccia bread? Tuna Salad is a big favorite. You should also consider Santa Fe hot ham with Cheddar cheese or BBQ Beef Brisket. Salads are equally tempting with a Goat Cheese Chicken Salad and a Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad or how about the Walnut & Green Apple Salad.
In the heart of Corona del Mar and dating to 1977, this establishment originally opened as a local wine and cheese shop. By the mid-’80s, Rothschild’s had evolved into a fine-dining restaurant, and is a local favorite to this day. The dining rooms resemble a classic home, adorned in wood, lace and large picture windows in the main dining room. The bar is intimate, with petite lamps and narrow booths just perfect for whispered conversation. The menu is northern Italian cuisine featuring homemade pastas, fresh seafood, and the finest cuts of beef, veal, lamb, all with flavorful sauces. This menu is packed with delicious options and nine different desserts. Two favorites include Fettuccine Romano (egg pasta with fresh cream, butter, and parmesan cheese with grilled chicken added), and the Lobster Citrus Salad (petite lobster tail, Mandarin oranges, spiced walnuts, apple slices, and avocado, tossed with mixed greens in honey-citrus dressing). They offer home delivery within a 5-mile radius from 5-8pm nightly, with a $25 minimum order and a $4.95 delivery fee per order. Take-out is also available.