This is the time of year that I normally preview the menus of the dozens of restaurants participating in Newport Beach Restaurant Week.
Unfortunately, Newport Beach Restaurant Week is no more, and it’s not a Covid casualty.
Last spring, the Newport Beach City Council voted to dissolve the Newport Beach Restaurant Association Business Improvement District, which hosted Restaurant Week. It’s a long story, but after 15 years as one of the most popular Restaurant Weeks in Orange County, Newport Beach is not hosting its own Restaurant Week.
Fortunately, there’s still a way for adventurous diners to sample local restaurant menus.
Orange County Restaurant Week returns March 6 – 12, and at last count more than 20 Newport Beach restaurants are offering special prix fixe menus to lure diners.
Here’s the deal: For an entire week, diners can choose their own restaurant adventures and celebrate Restaurant Week their way with thoughtfully crafted Prix-Fixe menus and cocktails designed to showcase Orange County’s diverse dining options.
During the week-long event, over 100 restaurants throughout Orange County will offer special dining experiences with Prix-Fixe Menus and Luxe Menus, many of which will highlight Family Night, Date Night, Vegetarian Dining, a Dessert Spotlight and other options.
Cocktails of Restaurant Week showcases unique creations featuring Grey Goose, Maker’s Mark, Hornitos Tequila, Chambord and Licor 43.
Participating restaurants, menus, cocktails and more are listed online at www.OCRestaurantWeek.com. Note: Not all restaurants have their menus ready, but check back closer to Restaurant Week.
The week kicks off with an exclusive Restaurant Week Masters VIP Preview Party at the Irvine Spectrum Marriott on Saturday, March 5. A limited number of VIP guests will be the first to sample delicious bites from OC Restaurant Week menus, premium wines, fine cocktails, live music by Jabe Amato, and a live broadcast of Neil Saavedra from The Fork Report.
Elevating the event, Bear Robotics will have two state-of-the-art robots mingling with guests and serving charcuterie from Lover Boards. Proceeds from the event will benefit Golden Rule Charity.
I attend the VIP event every year, and it is indeed a fun feature that profiles and previews the OC culinary scene.
“OC Restaurant Week has been a highlight for Southern California foodies for 14 years,” says Pamela Waitt, founder of OC Restaurant Week and President of OC Restaurant Association, Inc. “Now more than ever, diners are hungry to explore all that Orange County’s diverse culinary scene has to offer with their friends and family. There’s no better way to do that than through the limited time menus that are created exclusively for OC Restaurant Week.”
I’ll preview the Restaurant Week menus once we get closer to the event.
The Orange County Restaurant Association works to strengthen, support and promote the Orange County, California restaurant landscape. With a mission to promote and market the Orange County restaurant industry as a whole, the association spotlights Orange County’s incredible talent as a premier dining destination while building the community and culinary family. For more information, visit www.ocrestaurantassociation.org