New Year’s Dining

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“I’ll be glad when Christmas is over—I’ve had my fill of holiday songs,” I told Stasha. “I’m looking forward to the week between Christmas and New Year’s, when I can enjoy New Year’s songs.”

“New Year’s songs,” repeated Stasha quizzically.

“Sure. ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ ‘What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve,’ and of course U2’s ‘New Year’s Day.’ Hmmm…I guess that’s a pretty limited song list.”

“Good thing the New Year’s Eve dining options in Newport Beach are unlimited, “ stated Stasha.

“Nice segue,” I said admirably. “You’re right—Newport restaurants, and residents, certainly know how to ring in the New Year. Have you reviewed this year’s dining options for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day?”

“No, but I bet you have.”

“Of course! All of our favorites have special menus and parties, including Ritz Restaurant, Balboa Bay Club, Pelican Hill, Island Hotel, Pascal, and many others. And Back Bay Bistro has a Masquerade Ball.”

“They all sound fabulous,” said Stasha.

“Yes, they do,” I agreed.

Here’s our list of what some of our favorite Newport Beach Restaurants are offering this New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.



Ring in the New Year with a Masquerade Ball at Back Bay Bistro for $85 per person! The waterfront restaurant offers chef attended food stations from around the world. Cuisine includes sushi and seafood, Italian, Mediterranean and South American selections, Nantucket Oysters, Mussels and Clams, Baked Alaska Dessert, and much more. A live orchestra will play everything from Broadway classics to Rock and Roll. Door open at 7 p.m. Details:



The Balboa Bay Club’s First Cabin Restaurant is serving New Year’s Eve dinner from 5 to 10 p.m.. The five course prix-fixe meal ($95 per person) created by Chef Josef Lageder includes Fresh Oysters and Shrimp, Classic Lobster Bisque au Cognac, choice of entrees (Rack of Lamb, Filet Mignon or Maine Lobster Tail), and choice of Dessert.

In the Balboa Bay Club’s ballroom is a Black Tie Gala ($195 per person) that starts at 8 p.m. with passed Hors d’Ouevres and champagne, followed at 9 p.m. by dinner paired with wine. Selections include Crawfish Bisque with Tarragon Chantilly, Smoked Scottish Salmon and Caviar, Duet of Tenderloin of Beef and Baked Lobster Tail, and choice of desserts.

And on New Year’s Day, First Cabin Restaurant serves brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Brunch includes pastries, breakfast favorites such as artesian cheeses, herring in sour cream, smoked salmon, and other treats, and brunch specials such as eggs Benedict, cheese blintzes with fruit and berry compote, and a carving station. For reservations, call 949-630-4245 or visit



Chef Pascal Olhats has two menus available on New Year’s Eve: a three-course ($80) and a four-course ($99) dinner. Both menus include choice of appetizers such as Steamed Oysters, Wild Boar Pate and Cured Salmon Tartare, entrees such as Roasted Quail , Beef Tenderloin and Poached Halibut, and a decadent dessert trio.  Call 949-263-9400, Ext. 1, or visit



At Chef Pascal’s more casual Brasserie Pascal in Fashion Island, New Year’s Eve dinner is a five course affair for $70 per person. The meal is available 4:30 p.m. to close, and includes an amuse bouche, Lobster Bisque, Escargot, foie gras, Surf and Turf with Lobster and Filet Mignon, Duck Three Ways, and other delicious delicacies. There’s also a choice of desserts, including Pascal’s famous White Chocolate Souffle. Call 949-263-9400, Ext. 1, or visit



A variety of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day dining options are available at Pelican Hill, starting with Andrea Restaurant. Chef Luca brings an Italian gala to the Resort with a four course menu featuring multiple course choices with two seating options: 5 – 7 p.m. ($120 per adult and $65 per child) and 8:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. ($160 per adult and $65 per child).

At Coliseum Pool & Grill, Chef Chang creates a California Classic cuisine New Year’s Eve featuring a three-course prix-fixe menu from 5 – 10 p.m. An à la carte menu is available from 10 p.m.- 2 a.m., and includes live entertainment plus a glass of Prosecco for a midnight toast.

The New Year’s Day varies from an à la carte brunch in Andrea Restaurant to a Football Bowl-Games menu in Pelican Grill to a traditional breakfast buffet at the Coliseum Pool & Grill. Prices vary. Call (800) 820-6800 or visit



The Ritz Restaurant in Fashion Island serves a four course prix-fixe ($85) New Year’s Eve starting at 5 p.m. that includes a famous Ritz Egg with Caviar and Vodka, choice of soup or salad (including Lobster Bisque laced with Armagnac), entrées such as the signature Roast Goose with Lingonberry Sauce, Main Lobster Tails, and Osso Buco, and a Chocolate Dessert Melody. Call 949-720-1800 or visit



Say hello to 2012 at Island Hotel in Fashion Island. Palm Terrace Restaurant serves an elegant five-course menu plus live entertainment from 7 to 10 p.m. ($125 per person), while the Palm Terrace Lounge offers Chef Bracken’s signature small bites, live entertainment, dancing, party favors, and a champagne toast from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. ($110 per person). On New Year’s Day, breakfast is served 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. (does anyone really get up that early on New Year’s Day?). Reservations: 949-759-0808 or  



Bungalow Restaurant has a four-course prix fixe New Year’s Eve dinner menu from 4:30 p.m. to close for $55 per person that includes appetizer, soup or salad, entrée and dessert. Call 949-673-6585.

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