Elegant Christmas Dining Is Your Present To You!
Christmas is only a few short weeks away. I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you some of my favorite places to be wined and dined in style. Just in case you have decided to venture out and “be served”. In some cases it is the commanding views that draw me in, and in other instances it is their precious decorations and finery that reminds me of holidays past. But in all cases, it is the amazing cuisine these passionate chefs put forth for us all to enjoy. And next week we will be exploring New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day spots to ring in the New Year—so stay tuned for that! Happy Holidays to you all. Dine well….
On The Water
21 Oceanfront- Newport Beach
This ocean view restaurant will be open Christmas Eve, with reservations available from 4:30-9:00 pm. They will be closed on Christmas Day. Their decorations are lovely and festive. The menu will be a three-course prix fixe menu, with nine different options for appetizer, and the main course as well. So there are many choices for those dining. The cost is $70 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). Please visit their web site to view the entire menu.
21Oceanfront- 2100 W Oceanfront, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Waterline at Balboa Bay Resort- Newport Beach
The Resort is always decked out for the holidays and a lovely waterfront spot to celebrate Christmas. The Waterline Restaurant will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for Dinner. Here are the details:
-Christmas Eve Dinner: Wednesday, December 24th from 5:00 – 9:00 pm- Enjoy a traditional and delicious four-course holiday dinner served in a relaxed ambiance along the waterfront. Live piano music will be in the dining room. The cost is: $80.00* Adults and $40.00* Children (4 – 12 years old). The complete menu can be viewed here.
-Christmas Day Dinner: Thursday, December 25th from 2:00 – 7:00 pm- Experience the rich tradition of Christmas as you delight in great food with loved ones and enjoy a delightful five-course intimate dinner amidst the views of the beautiful Newport Bay. Live piano music will be in the dining room. The cost is: $92.00* Adults and $46.00* Children (4 – 12 years old). The complete menu can be viewed here.
Note: *Tax and gratuity not included. A 48-hour cancellation policy of $25 per person will apply.
Balboa Bay Resort – 1221 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663
The Winery- Newport Beach
The Winery Restaurant, on the waterfront, will be open for Christmas Eve, however they will be closed on Christmas Day. The Christmas Eve Dinner will feature their full dinner menu, with a few special additions, such as, Chef’s Roasted Free Range Goose. Dinner will be available from 4:00 to 9:30 pm, with reservations highly suggested. (Dinner is also available at their Tustin Marketplace location.)
The Winery- 3131 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Back Bay Bistro Restaurant – Newport Beach
Back Bay Bistro has a special Christmas Eve menu available on Christmas Eve from 4:00-8:30pm. They will be closed on Christmas Day. The Christmas Eve menu is a lovely five-course dinner, and intermezzo, for $75 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). For the main course, for example, there is a choice of three items— Roasted Rack of Lamb Herb Crusted with Goat Cheese Polenta, Filet of Beef Perigourdine with a Port Truffle Sauce, or Roasted Duck Breast with Grand Marnier Orange Sauce. The complete menu can be viewed on-line at their web site.
1131 Back Bay Bistro, Newport Beach
949-720-1144(reservations are required)
Dining Resort Style
The Fairmont – Newport Beach
The Bambu dining room will be open for both Christmas Eve, Christmas Day Brunch and for Christmas Dinner. The food here is superb and I was just here for a charity function and loved everything I had the pleasure to taste. This is on my holiday list for dining this year!
-Christmas Eve Dinner- December 24, 2014 – 5:30 to 9:30pm
Three-course Prix Fixed Menu. The cost is $55 without wine and $75 with wine pairings. (This is exclusive of tax and gratuity.)
-Christmas Day Brunch- December 25, 2014- 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Appetizer & dessert buffet with a table side entrée selection. The cost is $55 per person, and $24 (for children 12 & under). (This is exclusive of tax and gratuity.)
-Christmas Dinner- December 25, 2014- 5:00 to 9:00pm
Three- course Prix Fixed Menu. The cost is: $55 without wine, and $75 with wine pairings. (This is exclusive of tax and gratuity.)
Complete menus can be viewed here.
Guests can enjoy warm chestnuts in their Lounge the whole week of Christmas (Sunday through Saturday), and Executive Chef Brian Doherty has kindly provided us with his recipe! Please click here to view the recipe.
The Fairmont- 4500 MacArthur Blvd-Newport Beach
The Resort at Pelican Hill- Newport Coast
Set above the Pacific Ocean with commanding views, The Resort at Pelican Hill is a special enclave in Newport Coast. I have attended two Holiday Teas this month and it was a spectacular experience. Here is information on their Holiday Teas, and also their Christmas dining options, offering various venues for your dining pleasure. (* Below pricing is exclusive of tax and gratuity.)
-Holiday Tea Time Renaissance- now through December 30th- A grand fireplace, ocean views and a classical harpist set the scene in the Great Room for traditional afternoon tea every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. (Tea Service is not available on New Year’s Day.) $55* per adult; $40* per child
-Christmas Day Ballroom Brunch- From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., celebrate Christmas overlooking the Pacific Ocean with an unforgettable feast of traditional cuisine, accompanied by a classical harpist. Children’s activities include Santa Claus photos, cupcake decorating and a children’s entertainment show at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Reservations recommended. $115* per adult; $60* per child.
-Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Andrea Ristorante, Lounge & Terrace- Chef Marco brings an Italian holiday festa to Andrea on Christmas Eve from 4:00- 10:00 pm. On Christmas Day, Andrea features an all-day special menu from Noon to 10:00 pm with a variety of holiday dishes and an acoustic guitarist serenading the ocean-view dining room. $135* per adult.
-Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Pelican Grill & Lounge- Chef Derek presents a California grill three-course Christmas Eve dinner from 5:00-10:00 pm. Live entertainers perform in the lounge from 6:30- 10:00 pm. And on Christmas Day, enjoy a California grill three-course menu from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., as well as a limited regular menu and special lounge menu. $120* per adult; $60* per child.
-Christmas at Coliseum Pool & Grill- Delight in a classic California Christmas overlooking the Pacific Coast, with an ocean-view breakfast buffet from 7:00 am to Noon, three-course dinner menu from 5:00- 10:00 pm, and à la carte menu from Noon to 10:00 pm. Breakfast Buffet: $55* per adult; $25* per child, and the Three-Course Dinner: $85* per adult; $40* per child.
-In-Bungalow & In-Villa Christmas Dining- For those staying at the Resort, guests can cozy up by their fireplace on Christmas Eve with traditional Christmas fare from a special holiday menu, available from 5:00 – 10:00 pm. The full in-room dining menu is also available. On Christmas Day, a special Christmas à la carte menu through in-room dining is offered from 11:30 am – 10:00 pm.
The Resort at Pelican Hill- 22701 Pelican Hill Road South – Newport Coast
Special Spots for Holiday Dining
Oak Grill and the Island Hotel- Fashion Island
-The Oak Grill will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, serving dinner both evenings. On Christmas Eve, Wednesday, December 24 (dinner will be served from 5:00-9:00 pm). On Christmas Day, Thursday, December 25 (dinner will be served from 4:00- 9:00 pm). Experience the chic aesthetic of Oak Grill for the ultimate Christmas meal, while listening to acoustic Fireside music. Chef Marc Johnson will offer a festive Prix Fixe four-course menu, including a shared course of a Chilled Frutti de Mare platter, with lobster, prawns, oysters and mignonette; a second course, including a choice of Winter Forest Mushroom Bisque and Black Forest Truffles or Roasted Beet and Grapefruit Salad with Arugula Feta and Tarragon Vinaigrette; a main course of Slow Roasted Prime Rib, Pan Seared Salmon or Maine Lobster Linguini. Dessert options include warm pumpkin butter cake with cinnamon ice cream and cranberry confit, fried apple pie with eggnog ice cream or dark chocolate fudge cake with English toffee ice cream.
Costs- The Prix fixe dinner is $95 per adult, with a choice of wine parings for an additional $25; and $25 for children’s menu options; under 5 free. (This is exclusive of tax and gratuity.)
-A Christmas Day Brunch will also be available at the Island Hotel Ballroom Thursday, December 25th from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. The ballroom will be themed in a winter wonderland, while listening to live music. Guests will enjoy a glass of champagne and delicious interactive stations. Offerings include: Roasted tenderloins of Beef, Fresh Grilled Salmon, Duck Confit Risotto, Farmer’s Market Salads, as well as globally inspired options such as hand-made Tamales. Choose from holiday sides and an assortment of desserts. A reserved craft corner for children where they can become holiday artists and remember the fun with the family in a photo booth! The cost is: $79, children 12 and under are free! (This is exclusive of tax and gratuity.)
Bayside will be open Christmas Eve for dinner, however they will be closed on Christmas Day. The Chef is preparing a lovely three-course prix fixe dinner for $62, their regular menu, as well as four Christmas Eve specials.
The three -course menu includes: an Appetizer of Compressed Maine Lobster Salad and Snow Crab Claw, Lemon Aioli, Crushed Avocado, Petit Greens, a Main Course of either the Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb with Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Seasons Vegetables, and a Grain Mustard Port Wine Sauce, or, a Mushroom Crusted Chilean Sea Bass with a Riesling Sauce, Asparagus and Potato Puree, and for Dessert a choice of any dessert from the menu.
The four Christmas “specials of the evening” are a plethora of elegant and traditional choices, including: Roasted Goose Breast for $39 (served with Braised Red Cabbage, Potato Dumplings, Lingonberries, Sauce Chasseur), Grilled Loin of Venison for $36.75 (served with Roasted and Crushed Garnet Yam, Red Anjou Pear, Brussels Sprouts, Ginger Cranberry Coulis, Fall Spice Red Wine Reduction Sauce), Roasted Moscovy Duck Breast for $39 (served with Organic Woodland Mushroom Risotto, Micro Greens Walnut Salad, Red Wine Reduction) or Ragu of wild Boar “Bolognese” for $22 (served with Tossed with House Made Potato Gnocchi, Parmesan and White Truffle Essence).
Bayside Restaurant- 900 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach
(949) 721-1222 (reservations are recommended)
Fig & Olive Restaurant-Newport Beach
The Fig & Olive Restaurant in Fashion Island will be open Christmas Eve for lunch and dinner, however they will be closed on Christmas Day. The lunch menu will be their regular menu, however in the evening Fig & Olive will be offering a special menu, highlighting some of their most prized dishes. Here are a few examples of what will be featured. For appetizer, Roasted Butternut Squash Cappuccino, Grilled Maine Lobster with Artichoke Tapenade, and for main course Roasted Turkey Breast with sautéed wild mushrooms, butternut squash puree toasted pumpkin seed, rosemary, thyme, l’orange spice, micro rainbow greens, and Arbequina Olive Oil.
Fig & Olive, 151 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach
A Restaurant-Newport Beach
A Restaurant will be open Christmas Eve with their new seasonal menu (recently unveiled) and opens at 5:00 pm. They will be closed on Christmas Day.This classic restaurant is always a pleasure, with its low ceilings and red leather, half round booths. It is old school, and offers a delicious selection. Chef Jonathan Blackford is known for creatively marrying classic pairings with a modern technique and presentation. Here is a sampling of some of his new items: Duck Liver Pate with huckleberry and port gelee, and golden raisin mustardo accompanied with baguettes; a Flatbread with Portobello mushrooms, taleggio, arugula, parmesan, truffle oil and fleur de sel, as well as his ever-popular Steak Tartare with capers, mustard, black truffles, a quail egg, romano and arugula. New soups and salads and new entrees include: wild caught John Dory, Sake Braised Prime Short Rib, Duck Breast + Confit Leg, and Niman Ranch Pork Tenderloin with spaetzle stroganoff, Portobello, garlic, parsley, roasted brussels and pickled mustard seeds. A Restaurant also has new cocktails on the menu, and here are two of their fun new drinks. Santa’s Little Helper is perfect holiday cocktail or after dinner drink made with Rumplemintz, Godiva dark chocolate liqueur and cream, and the rim garnished with crushed candy canes. The Other Woman, a beautiful pinkish-red cocktail made with Cachaca, Pom juice, housemade simple syrup and lime, and garnished with pomegranate seeds. Cheers!
A Restaurant – 3334 W Coast Hwy., Newport Beach
Muldoon’s Pub- Newport Beach
From December 12th through Christmas Eve, Muldoon’s (near Fashion Island)will be featuring their 27th Annual Irish Dickens’ Christmas. This includes Charles Dickens-era costumes, festive foods, Wassail, Irish bog Nog, Roasted Chestnuts, crisp Duckling, and holiday decorations galore! Open for lunch, dinner and special parties.
Muldoon’s- 202 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Five Crowns- Corona del Mar
Five Crowns is completely sold out for their Christmas Eve feast. They will be closed for Christmas Day. However, for those interested in bringing Five Crowns home during the holidays, Executive Chef, Stephen Kling, will create your holiday dinner to-go (with at least 48 hours advanced notice). Guests can pick up a complete Roasted Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus dinner with all of the classic accompaniments and simple cooking and reheating instructions to enjoy the seasonal tradition at home. (Also, receive a $25 bonus gift card with every $125 in Gift Cards purchased by December 31, 2014.)
Guests can view the menu here.
Five Crowns -3801 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, CA, 92625
Zov’s Bistro- Newport Coast
Zov’s Bistro has four restaurant locations in Orange County, including: Newport Coast, Irvine, Tustin, and the newest restaurant in Anaheim just two blocks from the Angels Stadium. Zov encourages her staff to enjoy time with their family, so all her restaurants will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Fans can still enjoy her delicious cuisine by ordering her “to go” menu which is available for pick up prior to December 24th. Orders can be made by calling 714.838.8855 x21 and arrangements will be made at that time for pick up at their Tustin location.
Zov’s Bistro – 21123 Newport Coast Drive- Newport Beach
Provenance- Newport Beach/Eastbluff
Provenance will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, returning to the kitchen on December 26th for lunch. They have big plans for New Year’s Eve, and I will share that with you next week!