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A rehearsal dinner in the Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach or Irvine area?

I am looking for a place to have my rehearsal dinner. The wedding rehearsal is in Newport Beach right off the harbor (Via Oporto) we are all from Huntington Beach so anywhere in the general are would be great.

The stipulations:

My fiancé and our friends are foodies his family is not. They do like good steak but on a daily basis think Olive Garden. So not TOO adventurous.

There will be 12 of us

Under 70pp including drinks and salad

His family doesn't like fish...but if they will go to a fish house if the serve steak...

Placed already ruled out:
Five Crowns (don't really know why)
Sparks (it is kind of his sister's place)
Il Fornio (Sister had her rehearsal dinner there)
Morton’s (too expensive)
Dukes (future mother in law said she heard they had bad service)
Chimayo (don't remember why)

Thanks a lot, I am happy to answer any other questions!

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  1. Check out Golden Truffle on Newport Blvd. They have a private room (wine cellar) and might work with you on menu/pricing. Duke's isn't a bad place, if you want the beach vibe; I've never had bad service there, although it does get crowded. Chimayo has gone downhill, so can't recommend it. Red Pearl (asian fusion) might be an interesting choice as well, on Main in HB. If you want casual Italian, Lugatti's on 4th or 5th at Walnut is nice (traditional red-sauce kinda place, very casual, nice patio).

    1. Check Nesai at 215 Riverside, one block off PCH and very near your rehearsal. They have a private room that will take up to 20 or so. They have an excellent filet plus a varied menu of (they call it) "Cal-Ital". I call it creative dishes with an asian touch.

      949-646-2333

      1. Might not be upscale enough for your friends but Gulliver's by the airport might fit the bill. Better than average prime rib with a fun theme.

        Another idea that would probably fit all parties is Agora, the churasscaria. The meat quality is really good and would satisfy the steak lovers and hounds alike. The salad bar has a great variety. Service there is excellent, good wine selection, ambiance is of a nice restaurant and not a high volume buffet. Dinner pp will be about $38 leaving more than enough for alcohol.

        Its different but familiar enough with the meats that it shouldn't scare off even OG devotees.

        1. I'd recommend the First Cabin at the Balboa Bay Club or Onotria in Costa Mesa.

          1. you might be able to squeeze in under budget at either roy's or fleming's in newport beach, and either place would provide plenty of options to please everyone.

            4 Replies
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Ruby Palace in Huntington Beach, They have fried rice for Grandma! What about Finnbars, the one in Seal Beach not one in the Metro Center. I have also heard the Golden Truffle is great.
              Choice outside the area in Cerritos is Arte Cafe they have super cool food and are more than willing to put fun tasting menus together.
              Zov's and Barolo Cafe in Tustin or Yen Ching in Orange.
              Hope that helps a bit chicka.

              1. re: bubbles4me

                We had our son's rehearal dinner at Villa Nova. We had about 30 people there and most of those present were not from the beach area. The food was ok but everyone was impressed with the location and loved that we were upstairs in a private room overlooking the water. The price was good, we had lots of wine, decent food, super view, etc. and it remains memorable. Something to check out.

                1. re: jsl

                  Oops- should have read the whole thread before posting my recommendation! We loved our rehearsal dinner which was also upstairs. What entree did you guys select? I thought the swordfish was the best entree of them all.

                  1. re: jsl

                    The VN is a great suggestion if is works for the budget. The food is good and the upstairs room is a great venue. On a nice night the view is terrific and could certainly make the event memorable. The staff seems very willing to make a group event work.

              2. You must check out Villa Nova on PCH. We had our rehearsal dinner there. The food was fantastic and it's right on the harbor. They also have several party menus to choose from so you should be able to come in on budget. I think we chose one of the more elaborate menus (2 apps, salad, 2 entrees, etc.) and came in around $80/pp or so. You could have a simpler (but still delicious) menu for well under that. You can call the manager and arrange to have a tasting in advance. Honestly, these people were so easy to work with and the food was really delicious.