Time to grab a fork and dig in to Newport Beach Restaurant Week, which returns January 14 and runs through January 27.
Wait—that makes two weeks, which means more opportunities to visit the 70+ restaurants participating in Restaurant Week.
Some of my favorites are on the list, but many new restaurants are participating this year: Lido Bottle Works, Mayor’s Table, Taco Rosa, A&O Kitchen + Bar, Olea, Moulin, Current Coastal Cuisine, Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza Store, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood (formerly known as Wildfish) , Pandor Bakery and Café, Waterline, and Jan’s Health Bar.
Prix fixe lunches are $10, $15, $20 or $25, while prix fixe dinners are $20, $30, $40 or $50.
Restaurant Week was created by the Newport Beach Restaurant Association to drive business to its member restaurants and build awareness of the Newport Beach culinary community, which it certainly has done. The event not only introduces new customers to restaurants, but also enhances the economic vitality of Newport Beach.
Translation: Entice new customers to sample signature dishes at a good value, thereby encouraging them to return another time.
After perusing the Restaurant Week menus as posted on DineNB.com, I selected some of the most interesting and best value menus—although most restaurants are indeed showcasing their best dishes at reasonable prices. And per usual, the lunch menus seem to offer the best values.
Some of the Restaurant Week menu highlights:
· 3-Thirty-3: $15 lunch. Three courses including chowder, soup or salad, choice of four entrées, and a homemade brownie a la mode for dessert. An excellent value.
· A Restaurant: $50 dinner. Pricy but worth it. Four courses with choice of starters, choice of soup or salad, choice of three entrées including diver scallops, and an insane blueberry + lavender cheesecake dessert.
· Avila’s El Ranchito: both the Newport and Corona del Mar locations have $15 lunch and $30 dinner specials that include Mama Avila’s Chicken Soup as a starter.
· Balboa Lily’s: This Balboa Village eatery has a nice two-course $15 lunch menu and three-course $20 dinner menu, plus great deals on wine pairings.
· Bayside Restaurant: One of my favorites, Bayside has an impressive three-course lunch menu for $25 with choice of four entrees, and a $40 dinner with five entrees options (I have my eye on the linguini scampi).
· Bluewater Grill: $25 lunch menu includes four courses, and don’t forget about the fresh baked sourdough bread!
· Bluefin: $25 lunch. Includes four courses. A great intro to one of the best sushi restaurants in OC. A dinner option for $50 is also available.
· Campus Jax: Two-course lunch menu for $10 might be the best deal in town! Last year I had the gumbo and jambalaya—for 10 bucks!
· Canaletto: $25 lunch. Choice of four starters, six options for entrée, and dessert. A great value.
· Cappy’s Café: A $15 lunch menu at this iconic Coast Highway diner.
· Circle Hook Fish Company: Newcomer in Lido Marina Village offers a three-course lunch menu for $20 and a $30 dinner menu.
· Current Coastal Cuisine: $20 lunch and $40 dinner menus, simple selections but great food.
· Eddie V’s: Formerly known as Wildfish, the $50 dinner menu is four courses with nice entrée options including filet mignon.
· Farmhouse: Four course dinner menu for $50 that is fairly limited in choices but everything chef Rich Mead creates is always fabulous.
· Five Crowns: This classic restaurant has a classic $50 dinner menu with three courses—a good value if you order the prime rib entrée.
· Fleming’s Steakhouse: Speaking of value, Fleming’s has a tantalizing three-course menu for $25 that includes soup or salad, choice of four entrees, and dessert.
· Fly ‘N’ Fish: Once again, this restaurant outdoes itself with a $20 lunch menu featuring soup and salad plus choice of entrees. Also a nice $40 dinner menu.
· Harborside: Nice $20 lunch with choice of seven entrees. $40 dinner menu is three courses including a glass of house wine.
· Hook & Spear: $30 dinner menu is three courses, only two choices for each course but they’re all good.
· Jan’s Health Bar: $15 for three items—half sandwich or wrap, salad, and smoothie. An amazing deal, and healthy too.
· Juliette: $50 menu is four courses with nice options. Also a $25 lunch menu.
· Lido Bottle Works: Another newcomer, the $20 lunch menu is three courses, a good value and good food.
· Lighthouse Bayview Café: $15 lunch menu has great options, and a great view. $30 dinner menu has three courses—choose the beignets for dessert!
· Malarky’s Irish Pub: The $10 lunch menu includes house salad or corned beef sandwich, and choice of sides. $20 dinner menu is salad or prime rib sandwich, choice of sides, and dessert.
· Mariposa in Neiman Marcus: $25 lunch is three courses, a perfect spot for dining while shopping.
· Mayor’s Table: $25 lunch is three courses including the famous cheeseburger.
· Modo Mio: $25 lunch is a three-course menu with several excellent entrée options. Always one of my Restaurant Week spots.
· Moulin: The $20 lunch menu is three courses, starting with the best French onion soup I have tasted, plus half chicken with fries or roasted potatoes, and dessert. An incredible deal.
· Muldoon’s: $20 lunch. Includes the addicting soda bread, a starter, choice of four entrées, and dessert. As always, a great value.
· Olea: Newcomer to Restaurant Week has a three-course dinner menu for $50 that includes the duck liver pate (my favorite) and Napa lamb shank as options. Fabulous food.
· Pelican Hill Resort: Andrea has a three-course $25 lunch menu with choice of starters, three entrees plus dessert. The food alone is worth it, but add that view and the service, and it’s a terrific value. Coliseum Pool & Grill has a $25 lunch that includes two courses, but the three-course dinner for $30 is a fantastic value. Pelican Grill has $25 lunch and $50 dinner options.
· Pescadou Bistro: Cozy French bistro has a terrific $40 dinner menu packed with classic French dishes.
· Provenance: The $20 lunch menu is a three-course affair with choice of starters, entrees and dessert. Also a nice $40 dinner menu.
· Red O: $20 lunch with choice of appetizer (including the famous duck taquitos), entrée and dessert. A fantastic deal.
· Rockin Baja Lobster: Three-course lunch for $15 or $20 depending on entrée (including a lobster burger!).
· Rusty Pelican: $20 lunch is three courses with lots of fish options.
· Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza: $20 or $30 dinner menu features meatballs and pizza, of course.
· SOL Cocina: $20 lunch includes choice of starters, entrees, and dessert.
· Stag Bar: $10 and $15 lunch menus, both awesome. The $20 dinner menu is similar, but add a glass of beer, wine or cocktail.
· Summer House: $15 lunch menu is three courses including starter, choice of entrees, and dessert. Terrific value.
· Sushi Roku: $25 lunch. Three courses, great food, classy ambiance.
· Tackle Box: $10 lunch. Located at Corona del Mar beach. Choose an entrée with house chips, a side, and Jones soda on tap. An amazing value.
· Taco Rosa: $15 lunch is insane—soup or beet salad, choice of seven entrees, plus dessert. $20 dinner menu includes more entrée options.
· The Beachcomber: Two course lunch is $20. Spectacular beachside setting no extra charge.
· The Bungalow: $20 lunch includes chowder or salad, choice of eight entrees. I dined here twice last year during restaurant week, good food and ambiance.
· The Winery: $50 dinner. Begin with the Alsatian pizza, followed by choice of three starters, several entrees (including the signature short ribs with prosciutto wrapped asparagus) and dessert. Classy restaurant, great experience.
· Woody’s Wharf: $15 lunch menu has choice of three starters and three entrees. Add dessert for $5.
For complete menus of all the restaurants participating in Restaurant Week, visit DineNB.com.