7 Food + Drink Pairings You’ll Love This Winter
With the new year well underway and the crisp chill of winter in the air, we’re embracing our short-lived sweater weather with some cozy, candlelit dining and rich, refined cocktails. And while Newport Beach may be a stranger to snowy streets and barren treetops, the winter months offer an excellent excuse to dust off your favorite coat and explore the plethora of world-class, upscale dining options Newport has to offer. Whether you’ve been craving a smooth aperitif before a comforting classic or a glass of red alongside a decadent dessert, these food and beverage pairings are sure to hit the spot.
Pairing: Spaghetti Squash & Braised Green Enchiladas + Capsicum Annum cocktail
When it comes to creating extraordinary culinary experiences, chef Rich Mead is a master of utilizing unique, locally-sourced produce to elevate and inspire. And his decadent yet clean spaghetti squash and braised green enchiladas are no exception. This dish is covered with a creamy yet light cauliflower bechamel and an herbaceous cherry tomato avocado relish and is served on hand-crafted Tehachapi Heritage Grain Project blue corn tortillas. Pair it with their signature sweet yet zesty Capsicum Annum cocktail for a true taste of winter in SoCal.
Pairing: Vegan Coconut Curry + Green Tea ‘Gin Fizz’ cocktail
For those seeking a food and drink pairing that is equally as enriching as it is delicious, look no further than Malibu Farm. With a stunning view of Newport Harbor, Malibu Farm continually impresses its guests with an extensive array of unique, healthy dishes, drinks and desserts. A true highlight, however, continues to be their Vegan Coconut Curry. Featuring a hearty medley of tofu, asparagus, broccoli florets and fresh peppers served under an ample spoonful of their coconut curry sauce, this dish continues to shine for being both delicious and health-conscious. We recommend pairing it with their ever-popular green tea ‘gin fizz’ mocktail, which offers the aromatic and fruity sensations of a classic cocktail without the buzz.
Pairing: Chocolate Honey Truffle Bar + Dawn Patrol cocktail
With a modern interior that’s perfect for a cozy, candlelight meal, Lido Bottle Works just added a plethora of warm, inviting winter delicacies to their already impressive menu. Leading the charge is their chocolate honey truffle bar, which features rich, silky honey bee chocolate topped with fresh meringue and a bit of truffle, making this dessert equal parts sweet and savory. Similarly, their Dawn Patrol cocktail, which combines infused vodka with coconut and cold brew, acts as a great pairing, adding a saccharine touch to this already amazing dessert course.
Pairing: Truffle Honey & Pear Flatbread + Common Bond cocktail
A pioneer in healthy, conscious eating, True Food Kitchen continually raises the bar for great-tasting, innovative dishes. Exhibit A: their truffle honey and pear flatbread. This flatbread is far from your ordinary tavern-style pizza; it features fresh, locally sourced, organic arugula, pear, butternut squash, goat cheese and crispy walnuts atop a flaky, artisan crust. Pair it with the Common Bond cocktail—one of their many signature creations—which features a sweet mixture of bourbon, apple and chai.
Pairing: Bourbon Braised Kurobuta Pork Short Rib + Red Light Special cocktail
Love is in the air this February, and there is no better way to celebrate than with a red cocktail and a decadent dish at one of Newport Beach’s finest restaurants. Olea’s featured cocktail of the month, aptly titled the “Red Light Special,” is a rather sultry take on a classic Negroni, adding in vanilla-infused Campari and Bols Genever—the perfect drink for a night out. Try pairing it with their smoky bourbon braised kurobuta pork short rib for a meal that is sure to satisfy.
Pairing: Winter Burrata + “Side Hustle” cocktail
In the spirit of winter, A+O Restaurant | Bar is offering up a seasonal twist on a well-known classic. The award-winning eatery, located at Balboa Bay Resort, is featuring a deliciously rich and creamy winter burrata with caramelized onion, fig balsamic, apples, micro arugula, and a savory bacon jam. Pair it with the “Side Hustle” cocktail, which combines aromatic Fiorente elderflower liqueur with a citrusy flair to create a drink that will entice and excite your taste buds.
Pairing: Brie & Fig Salad + glass of Triennes Rosé
While the temperatures may be cooler, with sunshine year-round, February is as good a time as any to indulge in a light, fresh and fruity selection of salads. Among these, Arc Butcher + Baker’s Brie and Fig salad stands out. Featuring a creamy wheel of brie atop a crisp bed of fresh greens, this salad is earthy yet rich and refined. Arc also offers an extensive wine list, so try pairing this staple with a glass of Triennes Rosé or any bottle of your favorite blend.
Written by: Kaylin Waizinger