Newport Beach Restaurant Week January 21st - 25th
I found the link for the list of participating restaurants, but was hoping to find the set lunch & dinner menus each is offering for $12.95 and $26.95, respectively. Anyone know where to find this?
Link to Restaurants:
Thanks so much for posting this information. I had not heard of Newport Beach Restaurant Week from any other sources, and I plan on having a $12.95 lunch each day this week. Here's what I've had so far:
Monday - Bambu restaurant inside the Fairmont Hotel. This place is next door to my office building, and it's a very fancy hotel so I thought it would be a good way to try it out for cheap. What a mistake! The service was horrid, and the food was mostly terrible. Off the specials menu I had a caesar salad, chicken fried rice, and trio of sorbets for dessert. The caesar salad was by far the best part of the lunch, with shaved parmesan cheese and crisp romaine lettuce. The fried rice was a giant bowl with maybe 4 servings of fried rice in it. In this case, more was not better, as the rice was mushy, tasteless and not edible. By the time we got to the entree, it was already an hour and a half into lunch, and we needed to get back to work so I couldn't really complain or get another dish. Hard to believe service could be so bad, because we were one of only 4 parties there at lunch, and they had 3 or 4 servers. I had to take the sorbet to go; they packed it in a starbucks coffee cup for me.
Tuesday: We tried to get into the Ritz Garden room, but they were booked solid with reservations so weren't taking any walk-ins. Went next door to the Marriott's Sam and Harry's restaurant. This place is fantastic. Beautiful decor, and friendly service. Started off with the house salad, blue cheese dressing. Well tossed, lots of grape tomatoes and crunchy cucumber bits in the salad. Had the petite filet mignon, medium rare, served on garlic mashed potatoes with carrots and asparagus. Cooked perfectly, and very tasty piece of meat. Finished with their chocolate panna cotta (chocolate pudding?) in a pie shell, with whipped cream and rolled cookie garnish. Well worth the $12.95 price of admission.
I'll update more as the week goes along...
i went to the bungalow restaurant with my mom and sister on sunday to partake in the newport restaurant week prix fixe special. since we all heard great things about the bungalow and their menu sounded great, we stopped in for a bite. the choices on the menu were:
- bungalow salad
- grilled wild king salmon with an orange-tarragon and sorrel beurre blanc
- rib eye steak cut from the leaner, loin end of the prime rib for the utmost in flavor
- garlicky chicken breast roasted with a cilantro-lime marinade
- gelato and berries
since great minds think a like, we all chose the rib eye steak for our entree.
on to the food, the bungalow salad was ok. waaaaay too much dressing and the salad was also tart. bad for them because i really do not enjoy tart salads.
the rib eye steak was cooked a perfect rare for me and medium for my mom and sister. spot on babeee! the rib eye was presented atop a mound of garlic mashed potatoes with a side of steamed broccoli. the mashed potatoes were quite good and i think i devoured them before i was halfway done with the steak. the broccoli, was err.....just broccoli. lol. the only gripe i had with my steak was it was quite fatty. i had to pretend i was a surgeon and cut away large veins of fat. however, the tenderness of the steak more than made up for the fattiness.
last came the gelato and berries. this was a very simple dessert and sure hit the spot. the combination of the vanilla gelato and fresh strawberries and blueberries helped wash down the steak and brought a big smile to all our faces.
all in all, the dining experience was good. the service was very attentive, from the server to the busboys to the hostess.
torta basilica, thanks for posting this hot tip. I also hadn't heard anything about it. By the way, where did you hear about it?
Anyway, I had the day off and so did my girlfriend so we drove to The Arches and had lunch. The comfort food here is always dependably good and today was also a great deal too. Each $12.95 prixe-fix lunch included caesar salad. We had the sand dabs with rice and brocoli and the meat loaf with mashed potatoes and brocoli. Both entrees were very good. The cherries jubilee was a simple and nice desert too. Generous portions today also. Forgot to add that we ordered the escargo too ($18.95), that's over $3 a snail. Should have just picked them out of the garden, lol.
Thanks again, we enjoyed our meal.
It's been in the local papers & several friends sent me an email, knowing how much I care about things like this :)
Had lunch today at Bayside - service was off (they were overwhelmed and a new computer system we kept hearing about), but the food was good. Choice of 2 salads or an exotic mushroom soup, which we chose & hit the spot. Salads looked very good & generous servings. A fusilli pasta dish, an open-faced steak sandwich or shrimp on risotto, all of which sounded delicious. Both chose the steak sandwich - on a large piece of foccacia, covered with avocado, arugula, thick bacon, then a perfectly cooked, if somewhat smallish steak, with I believe a pesto sauce squirted around. Very good. Dessert - vanilla ice cream with mixed berries in an elderberry sauce. Yumm. 2 Lunches, 1 ice tea, 1 Pelligrino, tax, tip - $20 even per person. Made me very happy and I'm still full!
Going to hit the Ritz tomorrow - I usually don't like their food, as it's too expensive for what it is, but this deal should make me happy. I may check out Sam & Harry's, as I'm volunteering at a conference there on Thursday - I know their food at the Taste of Newport was good too!
re: torta basilica
Good luck at the Ritz tomorrow, it was so packed today! Although looking at their regular menu prices, the $12.95 prix fixe is a major steal.
I guarantee you won't be disappointed at Sam and Harry's, as we were so pleasantly surprised today. Thanks again for posting this information tb!
I'm thinking of trying Restaurant Abe tomorrow. Is this the same Abe of the Bluefin restaurant that's so loved on chowhound?
Back from a 11:30 lunch at The Ritz. Seated right away & even when we left, it seemed quieter than described yesterday. Restaurant was full, but seats at the bar. Fairly good service. Warm sliced bread or their yummy cheese crackers. Choice of Caesar or Potato Leek soup - the caesar was large, lots of parmesan, a little oily for me, but still good. Entrees - Steak Diane or Salmon. The steak consisted of 3 small, but tasty steaks that all added up to a lot - couldn't finish the 2nd. Served with mashed potatoes, a carrot & brocolli. Really very good & perfectly cooked. Dessert was choice of Sampler plate - mini creme brulee, chocolate cake & cheesecake - looked good, but all my friends had theirs packed up to go, so I couldn't get a taste :-( My profiteroles filled with Haagan Daaz ice cream and with a homemade chocolate sauce drizzled at the table over were just ok. The profiteroles tasted heavy - like they were made days ago. Ice cream & sauce were good, though! Such a deal for $12.95 - couldn't have even gotten the Caesar for that on a normal day!!
What a great idea this restaurant week is. Interesting that this is the first one ever in Newport Beach. Can't wait for the next one. Would be great if they did this once every season or at least twice a year. Just wish I could make it to another restaurant tomorrow. The $12.95 prix-fixe lunch is especially good. Glad I saw this post.