Tastemaker Stan Frazier’s Top 5 Picks for Restaurant Week
For the past twenty-five years, Stan Frazier has been the drummer and principal songwriter for the band SUGAR RAY. After racking up six Top 10 hits and selling over 10 million records, he decided it was time to trade in his drumsticks for a set of new Japanese knives and chase his culinary dreams, and his future plans include a new cooking reality show. Stay tuned and stay hungry!
If I could dream up a great restaurant concept, it would be Cucina Enoteca. Everything these guys do is on point. Great décor. Check. Killer vibe. Check. Outstanding food. Check, check! I really love the “vasi” dishes (mini mason jars filled with deliciousness) and the pizza’s are tasty too. The short rib pappardelle is fantastic as is the grilled Rib Eye steak. My wife and I like to do early dinners here to avoid the rush on most nights. The outdoor patio with fireplace is super cozy and romantic as well. Don’t forget dessert here either. The chocolate Nutella Zeppole among others will knock your socks off! I highly recommend checking them out during Dine Newport Beach Restaurant Week!
This place is legend. An institution in Orange County dining. I’ve been going to Five Crowns my whole life and for good reason. From the minute you see the antique English phone booth outside, you are magically transported to the old world English countryside with the rustic décor and amazing food. They are famous for their Prime Rib and Yorkshire pudding but everything on the menu here has validity. During Dine Newport Beach Restaurant Week, I’m excited to try the Berkshire Pork Chop or the pan roasted Sea Bass. With the recent addition of “SideDoor” (a hip, new, very popular gastropub), Five Crowns really delivers on all levels. I’m slightly saddened that they got rid of the “wench” outfits on the waitresses but that would never stop me from going there. In fact, if they had rooms for rent or a hotel portion of Five Crowns, I would stay there often.
This little gem is located in Crystal Cove and my wife and I have been going there since it opened. “Modo Mio” means my way in Italian and that’s exactly what they do there. And it’s great! Simple Italian food, big flavors and moderately priced is what keeps us going back. For Dine Newport Beach Restaurant Week, I really look forward to trying the Guazzetto Di Clalamaretti (Calamri in light tomato sauce with black olives and capers) and the Tagliatelle Capesante E Salmone (Spinach tagliatelle with bay scallops and smoked salmon). They do an amazing job with the raw mushroom appetizer that’s “on the house” before dinner. The daily specials are always tasty and the grilled and sliced steak drizzled with herbs and butter makes me want to go there tonight!
Corona del Mar is lucky to have a rockstar restaurant like Rothchild’s. Amazing hand rolled pasta’s and elegant entrees have kept the place in business for over 30 years. Next week, I can’t wait to try the Short Rib Cabernet and the Lobster Maremonte. After restaurant week, Rothchild’s offer home delivery so crank up the fire, open the wine and call them immediately.
Chef Deborah Schneider has cracked the code with delicious, upscale Mexican food, stunning bay views and fantastic cocktails. Situated on Pacific Coast Highway and Bayside drive, SOL Cocina is a real treat. The “Baja” inspired cuisine is authentic and well thought out. The seafood is fresh and the meats are done to perfection. I really haven’t had a bad dish here. You can usually get a table right on the water and watch the boats go by as you sip top-shelf tequila and snack on the best ceviche I’ve been able to find in Orange County. I plan on heading over to try the Canarditas Duck Tacos and the Pollo en Mole Rojo. For dessert, I’m ordering the chocolate banana Bread Pudding. One of my all time faves!