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Newport Beach Blog

Date Night- Two Hidden Gems At The Waters Edge

September 19, 2014
  • The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove

Who doesn’t want to have a romantic little getaway right here in your own backyard? It’s easy. Select from one of these two hidden treasures, put in on the calendar, make the reservations, and be an instant hero for Date Night! From a walk on the beach, to a dock-side hideaway—we have the perfect recipe. Grab that “someone special” and escape your ho-hum schedules. Even if it is just for a few hours— recharge and reconnect.

Deck from their we4b siteThe Beachcomber Café & A Romantic Walk On The Beach
I call this one a “toes in the sand” experience, and what can be better than that when you live in sunny, Southern California? This location also has such a rich history, which I will touch on briefly…

If you have not been to this historic spot at Crystal Cove, it is really worth a visit. The Crystal Cove State Park has 3 ½ miles of pristine coastline. The Historic District was first developed as a South Seas movie set. The community thrived and loved its relaxed, friendly atmosphere and picturesque landscape. In 1979, the Crystal Cove State Park Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built as a seaside colony in the 1930s & 40s, Crystal Cove endured over the years as a magical escape for visitors. Thanks to the efforts of the Crystal Cove Alliance, all of the original cottages are still standing today – spared from the hands of developers. Twenty-one cottages have already been authentically restored to reflect the era between 1935 and 1955, when the Cove evolved as a community. And most can be rented overnight.

The Beachcomber Café at Crystal Cove provides ocean front dining in the Historic District of the Crystal Cove State Park with breath-taking views of the Newport Coastline and Catalina Island. Just steps from the sandy beach, The Beachcomber’s outdoor patio provides the perfect spot to enjoy a brief escape. And while guests are waiting to be seated, a stroll on the beach is the perfect way to idle the time away. The restaurant provides patient guests with a pager to ensure a speedy return. Now, how brilliant is that!

The Beachcomber opened on August 2, 2006. The Beachcomber was remodeled as a restaurant from an existing cottage in the park. It used to be called the Whistle Stop. The Bootlegger Bar is a full bar, offering all types of cocktails, wine, beer, and appetizers. Guests enjoy joining the crew every evening at 5:00pm, or at sunset, as they raise the martini flag and salute the Crystal Cove Historic District, which is a tradition here on the beach.

But certainly, dates don’t have to be for dinner. Sometimes a breakfast or lunch date can be just as special. The Beachcomber offers one of those “something for everyone” type of menus— and each meal time has an excellent selection. For breakfast, there are the usual suspects of egg dishes, however they also have a selection of: Benedicts—(from Ham to Crab Cake & Florentine), Turkey Chorizo, Salmon Latkes, and sweet offerings from Brioche French Toast to Blueberry Buttermilk pancakes and even Beignets. The lunch menu includes nine different appetizers, sandwiches, soups & salads, entrees, and a stable of signature cocktails, martinis, Bloody Mary’s, beer and wine. Dinner includes burgers, steaks and so many options, guests are ensured of something delicious!

The Historic District has some specific requirements that guests planning “a date” might want to be aware of, so here it is:

Parking – Parking for the entire Historic District is located across the street at the Los Trancos parking lot (on the east side of Pacific Coast Highway). Guests pick up The Beachcomber Shuttle, or walk through the footpath and tunnel from the Los Trancos parking lot. It takes approximately 10 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the restaurant. (Please visit their web site for details on parking and shuttle fees.)

Making Dining Reservations– They have a limited number of reservations through Opentable.com. They do not make reservations over the phone, or directly at the restaurant. The majority of the restaurant seating is available on a walk-in “first come, first serve” basis.

Information about Renting the Restored Cottages- The best way is to visit www.crystalcovebeachcottages.org to see photos and descriptions of the cottages. All cottages are rented through Reserve America at www.reserveamerica.com which is the California State Parks camping reservation website.

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The Beachcomber Café
Crystal Cove
949.376.6900
www.thebeachcombercafe.com
Hours:
Breakfast is served from 7:00am to 11:30am
Lunch is served from 11:30am to 4:30pm
Dinner is served from 4:30pm to 9:30pm
Bootlegger Bar is open M-F from 11:00am to 9:30pm, and
on weekends from 10:00am to 9:30pm.

526929_10150889291283715_1475287050_nThe Dock Restaurant & Dock Side Boating Fun
This is a charming restaurant that is almost hidden on a quiet side-street in Lido Village—overlooking the Rhine Channel on the Balboa Peninsula. This is a perfect spot to pull up in a Duffy Boat, or even a kayak, for an evening of intimate dining and fun. Dock-side boat parking is so Newport!

The dining room is rectangular in shape and opens out onto a lovely patio with umbrellas to shade the dusk-time sun. The menu includes 8 different starters—from Butter Poached Petite Lobster Tail, to Soup of the Day, and Albacore Tataki. For main courses, there is always a Fish du Jour, and seasonal offerings that the Chef selects weekly. Currently this includes: Main Diver Scallops, Wild King Salmon, Braised Short Ribs, Bone-In 16 oz. Rib Eye, Duck Duo, Lamb Rack and a Free Range Pork Chop.

Making Date Night Fun On The Water- Consider the use of a kayak or boat for a dramatic waterside arrival and departure. Tuck away glasses and a bottle of wine, or after-dinner cognac to toast the evening’s escape under the stars. Lingering on the water with it slapping the sides of the boat can be very soothing, quiet and romantic.

The Dock Dock sorbeto dessert

The Dock
2816 LaFayette Avenue
Newport Beach, CA 92663
949.673.3625
www.eatatthedock.com
Hours: Monday & Tuesday-Private parties only
Dinner Hours: Wednesday & Thursday 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Friday & Saturday 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Sunday Brunch 10:30am – 1:30pm & Dinner 5:00pm – 8:00pm

So there you have it, two special spots—one on the bay and one by the ocean. Romance will be in the air at either of these restaurants. The rest is up to you! Enjoy!

Photo Featured on main slide provided by The Beachcomber Café

Written by Deirdre Michalski

Deirdre Michalski is a travel and culinary writer covering topics near and far. You can read more about her adventures on her web site www.TastesAndTravel.com

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