Off the Menu: Time to Vote for the Golden Foodie Awards

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The second annual Golden Foodie Awards take place September 29 at the Fairmont Newport Beach hotel, and we’re looking forward to once again applauding the award-Bluewater 2winning chefs and restaurants that help make Orange County an enviable culinary destination.

So who votes on the Golden Foodie awards? You do.

There are four weeks of voting, from August 4 through 31. Each week, the public can vote on a handful of categories, with the top three vote-getters in each category vying for a Golden Foodie Award.

Week one voting is done, but there’s still time to vote for this week’s batch of categories, and the following two weeks. Go to the website to sign up and cast your vote.

We reviewed the categories and have selected our candidates. We’ve tried to focus on Newport Beach restaurants, but a few of our favorites are just outside the city limits.

 Week 2: August 11-17

Best Italian Food: Tie between Andrea Restaurant at Pelican Hill, which takes Italian cuisine to a new level, and Il Barone, where Chef Franco Barone (formerly of Antonello) is doing magical things in the kitchen.

ARC burgerBest French Food: For ambiance and classic French bistro food, you can’t beat Brasserie Pascal in Fashion Island. It’s consistently good food at affordable prices.

Best Steak: We’ve had many good steaks, but we’re still talking about the New York Block Cut we had at A Restaurant more than two weeks ago. It’s nirvana on a plate.

Wine List: The Winery in Tustin is our top pick, partly because of knowledgeable sommelier William Lewis, and partly because of their extensive wine list. We can’t wait for their Newport Beach location to open this December.

Best Mixologist: We have several favorite bartenders, but Koire Rogers at ARC Restaurant gets our pick for most creative cocktails.

Best Indian: Tamarind of London. Creative Indian food unlike anywhere else.

WEEK 3: August 18-24

Best Burger: A tie between the larger than life ARC burger (you need three hands to hold this monstrous masterpiece) and Great Maple’s lamb burger.

Best Asian: No recommendations.

Best Mediterranean: Lucca Cafe in Irvine, which opens a sister restaurant (Provenance) this fall in Newport Beach, is turning Mediterranean cuisine on its head–and that’s achocolate souffle good thing.

Best Californian: Flemings fits the bill, so does The Winery. But DivBar might just sneak into the running–it’s certainly become one of our favorites.

Best Service: The restaurant that came to mind first is Andrea Restaurant at Pelican Hill. Exceptional service throughout the entire resort, particularly in the restaurant.

Best Seafood: It’s tough to beat Bluewater Grill for the best and freshest seafood in town.

 WEEK 4: August 25 – 31

Best Sushi: We don’t often eat sushi, but Bluefin in Crystal Cove has taken sushi to new heights.

Best Tacos: A three-way tie between SOL Cocina, Taco Asylum, and Newport’s best hole-in-the-wall Mexican, Great Mex.

Best Dessert: We’ve had so many great desserts, but our favorite is still the chocolate soufflé at Brasserie Pascal.

Best Happy Hour: Everyone has their favorite. Ours is Brasserie Pascal.

Best OC Food Writers: That’s easy–Christopher Trela and Catherine Del Casale of Off the Menu!  


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