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Newport Beach One Night Only [moved from Los Angeles board]

stangoldsmith Sep 19, 2007 12:23 PM

What is the best restaurant in Newport Beach? We are staying for one night in the OC.

Anywhere near the Fairmont would be prime as we will probably take a taxi.

Looking for wine type nice romantic stuff.

Thanks gang,


  1. s
    stangoldsmith Oct 9, 2007 10:39 AM

    Thanks all for your recommendations.

    We had a great meal at Basilac with 8:30 reservations (they close at 9 though! even on Saturday, so that meant the place was less crowded by 900). We did the Prix Fixe menu which included so many great dishes. Some were on the salty side and the fish was a little bland but overall it was a great experience with attentive staff and the chef was there and said hello, I think he actually cooks the food too, in his own restaurant!

    For a drink we hit up the Village Inn beforehand and we almost stayed there for dinner because it was more casual, but several patrons were screaming at a college football game so we decided to go with our original plan.

    Peace out Newport, you got a nice little town.

    - Stan

    1. OCKevin Sep 19, 2007 09:41 PM

      I haven't eaten at Basilic, but it's located on Balboa Island, which is about fifteen to twenty minutes depending on how many lights you hit. Another poster offered Bayside as a choice, and I tend to agree that it may fit the bill a bit more. For one thing, it's slightly closer to your hotel than Bayside. For another, it promises a nice view of the Newport bay (hence the name "Bayside"). Bayside also has a nice wine list. Its wine bottles are displayed behind glass near the center of the restaurant. Should you decide on Basilic, give yourself some time to walk around the island a bit and ooh and ah over the yachts and sailboats you see docked.

      6 Replies
      1. re: OCKevin
        brekkie_fan Sep 20, 2007 12:54 AM

        Isn't Bayside just down the street from the Balboa Island walking bridge? If so, that's not really much of a difference in distance.

        I still haven't been (prob because I am not a big fan of French), but I'm wondering if Tradition by Pascal would fit the bill?


        1. re: brekkie_fan
          OCKevin Sep 20, 2007 07:57 AM

          Brekkie, you're probably right about the distance. I think that the traffic gridlock once you go over that bridge adds on some precious minutes to a taxi ride. Pascal is a good choice if you're going just for the food. It doesn't have much to offer an out-of-town visitor in terms of views, except for maybe the Jaguars and BMW's in the parking lot. :-)

        2. re: OCKevin
          jbeecher Sep 20, 2007 02:21 AM

          indeed, the distance between bayside and basilic is negligible, though parking on the island can be a bit of a hassle if they don't have valet. bayside does have the view but for my money the picturesque post-dinner walk around balboa island's shoreline (there is a nice path between the houses and the sand) beats a view through the windows anyday.

          1. re: jbeecher
            lawdog262 Sep 20, 2007 08:00 AM

            Basilic is a wonderful choice for a great NB area restaurant and the Balboa Island experience. It doesn't quite rise to the level of best rest. in NB, in my book at least. I think I would still give the nod to Pascal. If a 30 min. drive is not too far, I think the best rest. in OC is the Stonehill Tavern. Another post suggested French 75 in Laguna. This rest. used to be our favorite event rest., but we feel it has declined concurrently with the other locations opening up and the gift cards becoming available at Costco.

          2. re: OCKevin
            torta basilica Sep 20, 2007 09:48 AM

            It's 10 minutes / 5 miles max - if bridge traffic is backed up (which it usually isn't this time of year & is never all that bad), have them drop you off on the corner of Jamboree & Bayside & walk onto the island. Or, better yet, have dinner at Bayside & walk over to the island for an after dinner stroll. Or, have drinks at Bayside & walk over to Basilic for dinner. It's all easy.

            1. re: torta basilica
              OCKevin Sep 20, 2007 09:10 PM

              TB, my wife corrected me on the distance and time, also. We usually drive down to Balboa from a couple of miles north of the Fairmont, and the drive down Jamboree probably just seems long and aggravating to me. Living just 3 miles away from the airport, and having had to take a cab to or from John Wayne (a one way fare can get up to $12 just for this short ride!), I guess I was just trying to save the poster a few bucks. Reading all these entries, it's interesting that we don't really have a consensus on the best restaurant in Newport Beach (although we have some consistency in recommendations for an out-of-town guest).

          3. s
            stangoldsmith Sep 19, 2007 09:10 PM

            Geez everything sounds great, thanks so much. I think the Basilic is right on the money for what it sounds like, unless anyone thinks it's not any good.

            1. soilchem Sep 19, 2007 08:41 PM

              if your going as far as laguna try french 75

              i will second the ritz in fashion island

              save some cash and go out to the end of the balboa pier and have a burger and a shake at ruby's then go over to the fire pits on the beach, make a fire, make some smores. thats romantic.

              or, in south corona del mar there is the 5 crowns known for thier prime rib. great wine list. after dinner your a short block from a beach called little corona. walk down the path or find a bench on the bluff. again thats romantic and you even get to spend lots of money at dinner.

              1. c
                cdmedici Sep 19, 2007 08:19 PM

                I live in Newport and love their restaurants, but for a nice romantic evening, you might consider heading down PCH to Studio in the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach.

                1. Servorg Sep 19, 2007 05:00 PM

                  We had dinner once at Bayside in Newport (maybe 5 miles or so from your hotel) and it was excellent. Not cheap but damn good.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Servorg
                    torta basilica Sep 19, 2007 05:10 PM

                    I love Bayside - and their 3 course set menu is a great deal. Although you'd mis the foie gras...

                  2. Josh Sep 19, 2007 02:15 PM

                    I suggest you check out Basilic, on Balboa Island.

                    Make reservations, it is *extremely* limited seating. And make sure you order the raclette appetizer.

                    It's very good Swiss-French cuisine, and is cozy and romantic. Plus Balboa Island is kind of cool to walk around, lots of quaint little shops.


                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Josh
                      stangoldsmith Sep 19, 2007 04:18 PM

                      Thanks all.

                      The Basilic sounds perfect. Is it far from the Fairmont?

                      Has anyone heard of Napa Rose and would that be too far? I think it's in Anaheim.

                      Thanks again,


                      1. re: stangoldsmith
                        Das Ubergeek Sep 19, 2007 04:29 PM

                        Napa Rose is in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and is (in my oh-so-humble opinion) well worth the drive... it's about 30 minutes in normal traffic from Newport Beach.

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                          torta basilica Sep 19, 2007 04:41 PM

                          Only problem is that it's not so romantic if you have a family next to you with overly tired & cranky kids from their long day at Disneyland... I wonder if there's a way around that, as there always seems to be at least several families in similiar states. And they always seem to be seated near me :(

                          1. re: torta basilica
                            Das Ubergeek Sep 19, 2007 06:42 PM

                            The way around that is to find out when the park closes and then arrange to eat just prior to that.

                        2. re: stangoldsmith
                          Josh Sep 19, 2007 09:13 PM

                          Not sure about distance. I'd check maps. I actually foundout about Basilic from checking on Chowhound when in your same position. We were both pleasantly surprised by it.

                      2. t
                        torta basilica Sep 19, 2007 02:06 PM

                        You'll get more responses if you post this on the LA Board - it includes Orange County.

                        I think 21 Oceanfront is very romantic, though.

                        1. g
                          Gail Sep 19, 2007 12:31 PM

                          THE RITZ RESTAURANT AND GARDEN
                          880 NEWPORT CENTER DRIVE
                          NEWPORT BEACH, CA. 92660
                          PHONE (949) 720-1800 FAX (949) 720-1886


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