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Down to: Stonehill Tavern or Pinot Provence

techiecool Sep 5, 2007 02:18 PM

This is for my wedding anniversary. I am torn...analysis paralysis...so any votes one way or another would be great.

  1. l
    lawdog262 Sep 6, 2007 11:07 AM

    Been to both one time within the past year. Stonehill Tavern was excellent, and despite some LA-centric naysayers, was comparable to the best that SF and NYC have to offer. Again, I've only been there once, but it met my very lofty expectations. Also, ask for a booth when you make your reservation.

    6 Replies
    1. re: lawdog262
      OCKevin Sep 6, 2007 11:15 AM

      Russ, I knew I was gonna get some raised eyebrows about that Michelin comment. Hence, I chose my words carefully. It is a really nice dining experience, particularly for an anniversary, and I found the service, ambience to be comparable to the starred restos I've been to on the Continent. To be honest, I even liked it more than Providence (shudder!) if only because Stonehill is a bit easier on the eyes! Providence has that wall crockery which I found a bit unsettling. Anyway, it's just my humble opinion (and I wish I had an expense account which allowed me multiple experiences at all of the restaurants you mentioned!). I am very curious what that Michelin L.A. Guide is going to say about Spago, Melisse and Providence -- no way I'm dissing those grand places. But I'm willing to expect the guide may give props to a couple of OC establishments, Stonehill included.

      1. re: OCKevin
        russkar Sep 6, 2007 08:56 PM

        Hey Kevin, The way the Stars have been passed out lately in SF it's hard to imagine that there won't be lot's of Stars in LA and OC. The problem is what do the stars mean? If your in Europe , a lot!
        In America maybe not so much although we still really like French Laundry and it does have 3 stars.

        1. re: russkar
          lawdog262 Sep 7, 2007 05:42 AM

          Hopefully any LA- area Michelin guide will be more accurate than the SF one...

          1. re: lawdog262
            russkar Sep 7, 2007 01:59 PM

            No kidding Lawdog.
            Below are the SF Restaurants that received the Stars and how many. I agree with FL and La Folie and that's about it. We have been to 60 percent of the restaurants listed.

            Here are the official results from the press release: (which I ripped off the SF Corkage Post)

            3 STARS
            - The French Laundry

            2 STARS
            - Aqua
            - Cyrus
            - Manresa
            - Michael Mina

            1 STAR
            - Gary Danko
            - Fleur de Lys
            - Rubicon
            - Bushi-Tei
            - Quince
            - Range
            - Acquerello
            - La Folie
            - Masa’s
            - Ritz-Carlton Dining Room
            - Boulevard
            - Fifth Floor
            - Chez Panisse
            - Sushi-Ran
            - Chez TJ
            - Auberge du Soleil
            - Bistro Jeanty
            - Bouchon
            - La Toque
            - Terra
            - Dry Creek Kitchen
            - Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant
            - K & L Bistro - Sebastopol

            For more info, see the official release here:

            1. re: russkar
              lawdog262 Sep 8, 2007 05:06 PM

              Its actually not just an issue of the subjective rankings -- my personal experience at Gary Danko has been incredible and I beleive it deserved a second star -- but with accuracy of the underlying info. There was quite a buss in the Bay Area last year about how many objective facts the Guide was simply wrong or years out of date on, that called into question its methods and accuracy.

              1. re: lawdog262
                russkar Sep 8, 2007 10:36 PM

                Totally agree about Danko. We have had many good experiences there over the years, even though I'd rather be at La Folie. I don't get Cyrus which to us isn't even close even thought it's affiliated with Danko?.

    2. OCKevin Sep 5, 2007 04:36 PM

      Stonehill has (IMHO) the dining experience of a Michelin-starred restaurant with a view of the St. Regis and Monarch Beach to add to it all. I don't hear much about Pinot Provence these days, particularly since the buzz in the South Coast dining scene lately has been coming from Marche Moderne, the restaurant of Pinot's ex-chef, Florent Marneau.

      4 Replies
      1. re: OCKevin
        russkar Sep 5, 2007 10:23 PM

        OCKevin, having dined at Stonehill a few times it doesn't measure up to a decent Restaurant in LA (Melisse, Providence, Spago) let alone Michelin Star level? In fact SHT is pretty average more than above average. Your correct about MM at SCP but it's pretty basic also. Pinot Providence has really slipped recently. OC is pretty much a Restaurant Wasteland and I've live here 45 yrs. The Great Chef's are in LA , SF, NYC.

        1. re: russkar
          lawdog262 Sep 6, 2007 11:09 AM

          My SHT experience is in line with that of OCKevin. Granted it was only one dinner, but it was comparable to some of the best that SF and NYC have to offer

        2. re: OCKevin
          brekkie_fan Sep 8, 2007 01:18 PM

          I've got your back on this one, OCKevin. The whole SHT experience is comparable to the likes of LA/SF/NY. Marche Moderne is my new fave in the South Coast Metro. I just disagree about the wall art at Providence.

          1. re: brekkie_fan
            OCKevin Sep 8, 2007 04:25 PM

            Don't get me wrong, I loved Providence. It deserves to be listed in Gourmet Magazine's Top 50 restaurants in the county. I just tried not to look up at the walls, because all I'd think about was how the stuff on the walls looked like petrified Tribbles from a "Star Trek" episode. The real art is on the plate?

        3. l
          LAJay Sep 5, 2007 04:07 PM

          Stonehill is awesome - if you want a Patina Group meal in OC try Leatherby's Cafe Rouge. It deserves the three stars it got if Mark Gold is still in the kitchen. Cheers LAJay

          1 Reply
          1. re: LAJay
            russkar Sep 5, 2007 04:20 PM

            Mark Gold has been gone from Leatherby's for months and it's not the same as it was in it's hey day.
            I would drive to LA for a upscale experience.

          2. 1000steps Sep 5, 2007 02:35 PM

            Stonehill by a good margin. Quite a bit cost difference.

            3 Replies
            1. re: 1000steps
              techiecool Sep 5, 2007 02:40 PM

              well...hmmm...we aren't wine drinkers so that probably helps. what's the average tab for two at both places. i was looking t both and Stonehill is listed as less expensive than Pinot...this was at OpenTable.

              1. re: techiecool
                1000steps Sep 5, 2007 02:43 PM

                Well, without wine, Pinot will run about $60-$70. Stonehill will run in the $100 range for two. Jack it up for wine. Side note, Pinot used to have free corkage, not sure if they still do.

                1. re: 1000steps
                  techiecool Sep 5, 2007 02:46 PM

                  welll last year we went to Ti Amo for our anniversary and it was good/ok...i think it ran us nearly $80-90. so if Stonehill is that much better choice for $100 for two, then that makes good sense.

                  not to sound ignorant, but Stonehill isn't the type of place that serves you a 2oz entree and hopes you are full when you leave?

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