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B-Day Dinner for 7 in Laguna Niguel/Dana Point

n
NAspy Nov 6, 2007 08:00 AM

My family is going to be cleaning out my late father's home in Laguna Niguel all day Saturday, and we will be going out to a birthday dinner for my 50-something sister afterwards. The dinner party includes my mom, my sister, her 13 year old foodie, and my family which includes two kids.

While dad was down there, we never ate anywhere better than Mimi's for dinner, although we have had brunch at that poshy place on the water in Dana Point (Las Brisas?), and at the Ritz-Carlton on New Years Day. I'm thinking a nice Italian place or Continental. Mom is paying and blanches at the thought of pricey meals (we were originally going to Vito's because she had a coupon, so there you are), but will want something nice. I would like to have a restaurant lined up before we go down there if possible.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!!

  1. j
    Juji Nov 6, 2007 03:43 PM

    The Beach House in the Dana Point harbor is pretty nice and they offer early dining specials. I also like Peppino's for Italian, they are in Lake Forest or Mission Viejo. There is a nice seafood restaurant at the Shops at Mission Viejo called Oceans 33. I haven't lived in the OC for quite some time, so I'm sure there are other new restaurants that would be nice that I'm not familiar with.

    1. y
      ysr_racer Nov 6, 2007 06:08 PM

      We enjoyed the Cedar Creek Inn

      Here's their website: http://www.cedarcreekinn.com/

      1. brekkie_fan Nov 6, 2007 11:38 PM

        Salt Creek Grille (neither Italian nor Continental, but a nice family place)?

        1. r
          RobertC Nov 7, 2007 10:21 AM

          I suggest Jack's in Dana Point on PCH (Del Prado). Mostly Italian but a very nice restaurant with fish specials, steak and lots of pasta and pizza. You can get a bottle of Italian wine for $22.00. The atmosphere is very charming and the eggplant parmesan is so good. Mostly locals go here and it has become very popular on the weekends so I would make a reservation.

          http://www.jacksdp.com/menu.htm

          1. kc girl Nov 7, 2007 05:45 PM

            I suggest Stella's Italian
            Address: 17 Monarch Bay Plaza, Monarch Beach Dana Point
            Phone: (949) 234-1679
            http://www.stellasitalian.com/
            Prices $15-$30
            Reservations highly recommended for the size of your party.
            Not far up PCH from Dana Point is Monarch Bay, right on Crown Valley Parkway, right into Monarch Bay Plaza.

            When travelling on PCH, you see Salt Creek Grill. Turn there 'cause that's Crown Valley Parkway, then right into the small shopping center, Monarch Bay Plaza. Quaint and tasty.

            If you want something other than Italian, I agree that Cedar Creek Inn is a good choice.

            1. l
              LegallyBlonde Nov 8, 2007 03:51 PM

              Agree with Salt Creek Grill - it should please everyone. if you're willing to go a few exits down the 5, try Gordon James in San Clemente. Or try Sundried Tomato Cafe in San Juan Capistrano or Laguna Beach.

              1 Reply
              1. re: LegallyBlonde
                e
                EclecticEater Nov 9, 2007 02:25 PM

                I agree with Salt Creek Grill. Good food, good service, hardwood fired grill for meat and fish, reasonably priced. A very well run restaurant. What else do you want?

              2. r
                rob.nolen Nov 9, 2007 02:20 PM

                Ristorante Ferrantelli in the Harbor area is very good. The new Fratellos on Niguel road is vastly improved since it was taken over from Peppinos, who has gone down hill. Brio is overpriced and underwhelming in my opinion. Pricewise Fratellos would be a better choice. With as many folks as you have, a drive to Maggianos in Costa Mesa might be worth it for the all you can eat family style meal, which is $25 dollars per person. CALL AHEAD, they get slammed on the weekends. They have great food and the family style is a lot of fun.

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