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Newport Beach Restaurant Week 2008--which restaurant are you going to try?

So Newport Beach Restaurant Week is coming up (Jan 20-24). Last year, I went to French 75 for lunch and wasn't impressed. This year, I'm not totally sure where I'm going to go, but I'm thinking either The Ritz, Blue Coral, or The Cannery. Any suggestions?

Which restaurant are you going to go to? Did you try any of the participating restaurants last year? How were the portions?


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  1. Went to Sage and Tommy Bahama's last year. Loved both of them. Can't wait to try more this year. Thanks for the head up.

    5 Replies
    1. re: justagthing

      I'm probably going to go to only one restaurant. Which takes the cake--Sage or Tommy Bahama's? Where their portions good?

      1. re: im hungrry

        I loved the scallop slider at TB and I had the beef stroganoff at Sage, also very good, but no longer on their menu. I will be heading back to TB for sure, not sure where else though.

        1. re: justagthing

          Went back to TB again this year for lunch yesterday. Crab Bisque-nice chunks of crab and just a tinge on the salty side, but to be expected as I do not each much salt. Scallop slider, perfectly delicious as last year. Finally, lime tart and 2 cubes of flour-less chocolate cake. The cake was very rich and those 2 bites were just enough and the tartness of the lime was perfect.

          1. re: justagthing

            Just cuz of fellow hounder's recommendation... I did a spontaneous lunch run at TB. Did my opentable reservation at 11:40 for a noon lunch :-p

            Usually I shy away from chain, like Applebee's, Chili's, etc since they are chain. I have to say, I'm actually very impressed by TB. Great food, great ambient, and I really like my waitress Kimberley H a lot!!! She's a sweetie... not to add imo very cute :-)

            I'll have my yelp review up in a little bit...

            1. re: kelvlam

              Can't compare TB to those other chains, much smaller, more like a Roy's type of a chain, if you are going to compare. What did you have?

      2. I'd try Ristorante Max. I've heard good things. Anyone been?

        1 Reply
        1. re: ausfrench

          It's wonderful. Great fresh seafood dishes and very warm service.

        2. Bayside was excellent last year.

          The Ritz was very good.

          3 Replies
          1. re: torta basilica

            So which did you like more--Bayside or The Ritz? Thanks in advance! I went to French 75 last year, and their portions didn't tickle my fancy.. Also, their service was very poor. I seriously waited 40 minutes for my food.

              1. re: torta basilica

                Bayside and The Ritz are very different. I don't think you can go wrong at either. Bayside is lighter and brighter, with a solid menu. The Ritz feels like a private club, complete with elder statesmen at the bar no matter what time you go. The mariner's salad is great and the souffle is top notch.

          2. the bungalow, the cannery and maybe the ritz.

            1. Has anyone eaten at that Royal Thai place on the menu list? I've driven by it several times and always wondered if it was good. I'm new to the area and haven't had chance to check it out yet.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Rachel529

                Royal Thai is solid. I wouldn't say that the food is unbelievable, but it is a good place to eat.

              2. Bayside is always good. They do an excellent happy hour where you can get little portions of real food--not just a few chafing dishes set up on the side. Tommy Bahana has a consistently good menu...must agree with Sage as a good choice as well. I went to Blue Coral when they first opened. Great atmosphere...don't really remember the food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: benken

                  Blue Coral hosted a cocktail party for our Home Tour and the food was excellent... and they served really good wine!

                2. First year going. Planning to do The Cannery for lunch and dinner at Pomodoro ($20). Sage and Tommy Bahama's doesn't have a menu up yet :(

                  1. I tried Bayside this past Sunday... I'll be writing a review about it and post pix of my dishes tonite when I get home.

                    Sorry to say... great disappointment IMHO. It's a little bit more than 3 star, but not a 4 star. I wish there's a way I can make it a 3.5 star on a 5-stars scale.

                    I'm now flip-flopping... whether to do Sage (either one) or Charter House on Thursday. I don't wanna have yet another disappointment to blow away another $40+!!!

                    1. Blue Coral is very good. I'm thinking about BC, Sage, or Pascal.

                      1. My mom and I had lunch at French 75. For $15 pp it was a very nice lunch. :) I had the Shrimp Dijon, beef short ribs and the berries/sorbet. Mom had the french onion soup, chicken/forest mushroom crepes, and orange-cherry creme brulee. The only item I was completely unimpressed with was the short ribs, which had a really heavy flavor to them. I thought the crepes and creme brulee were the best items, and the portions were very decent. Service was eh, a little slow, but they were very busy.

                        Last night, my husband and I hit Oysters. The tempura wild salmon rolls were delicious! I had the steak "frites" which were done very nicely, with yummy sweet potato fries. Portion size was so-so. My husband had the salmon which was also delicious - perfectly flavored and grilled. The chocolate souffle doesn't measure up to Roy's (our favorite) but the peach cobbler was great. I was very unhappy with our server, who was all smiley until we didn't order drinks (I'm pregnant) and then proceeded to ignore us the rest of the evening.

                        I really wanted to try Sage, but the prix fixe menu didn't look that interesting to me. Maybe next year!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jaia

                          Last year I had the beef stroganoff and it was fantastic, at Sage.

                        2. I had 3 meals total for this year's restaurant week
                          - sunday dinner at Bayside
                          - wednesday lunch at Tommy Bahama
                          - thursday dinner at Chart House

                          I've yelp about them already... and sad to say, my lunch was the best meal outta the three. How ironic?!

                          Next year I know what I'll try now... Thinking about The Ritz, The Cannery, and French 75.

                          How's everyone else experience of this year's menu? It's my 1st year only, so I'm curious of people that had tried the restaurant week of 2007.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: kelvlam

                            Just read your yelp post. Glad to hear that you enjoyed your slider as well as the desserts. I am so jonesing for more sliders!

                            1. re: kelvlam

                              This is my first year as well and I did The Cannery for lunch which was for the most part tasty. Had:

                              1) Crab Cake - Yummy, lots of big chunks of crab. Crunchy from the panko and the sauce and mango relish added a nice little sweet note.
                              2) Salmon w/mashed potatoes and veggies: Salmon was seared with a nice crust but was a bit dry, like it was sitting in a chafing dish. Potatoes were bleh, a bit pasty and not fresh.
                              3) Creme Brulee Trio: Online menu had pumpkin trio, but loved the replacement dessert! 3 small pots of cinnamon, tahitian vanilla, and espresso (quite strong).

                              They give you nice crusty bread to start as well. The next day, off to Pomodoro for dinner. I know this is a chain, but it included bread, 3 courses, and a glass of wine for $20...great deal. Besides the price, the highlight was definitely the butternut squash ravioli! I guess it's one of their most popular items. It's covered in a brown butter and topped with fried sage and amaretti cookie crumbles for texture. One of the desserts was a nice ricotta and marscapone cheesecake, different taste and texture from the traditional.

                              Can't wait for next year!

                              1. re: groover808

                                Completely agree with groover808 (looks like we made the exact same choices in our Cannery tasting menu :).

                                Loved the Crab Cake (huge portion and delish); Salmon had a nice seared crust but was too dry; and the Creme Brulee Trio was nice.

                                Great atmosphere also. The Seafood Salad looked amazing (and I'll probably try that next time we go).

                                1. re: exilekiss

                                  exilekiss, I almost went for the beef, but you have to do seafood at The Cannery :)

                                  If you ever do happy hour or something at night, the bar at top is great. Nice loungy area and sushi bar. The octopus man of war looking light fixtures above the stairs are pretty at night.

                            2. At little late, but we had lunch at the new Arches. Charming space & I like it much better than when it was Aubergine. Owner was there to greet us warmly. For $15, not bad. Was supposed to be a Caesar salad, but we had a choice of house salad or French onion soup, which was very good. Tons of entrees, crab cakes, salmon, ribs, short ribs, sand dabs, I can't remember the rest, but I received 4 very large pieces of sand dab in a decent caper sauce, a limb of broccolli & a weird scoop of what I think were red mashed potatoes, but that was not worth pursuing. Dessert was cherries jubilee. Main complaint was only white wines by the glass were Chateau St. Jean Chard & Beringer Sav Blanc, which was fine, but... For $15 for the lunch, a glass of wine for myself, an ice tea, tax, over 20% tip, came to $31 pp - I was happy.

                              The lunches are definitely the best deals by far.

                              1. Boyfriend and I went to The Cannery for lunch. We had:

                                1st course:
                                (1) New England Clam Chowder: Portion is tiny. But the chowder is rich and delicious.
                                (2) Panko-Crusted Crab Cake: One giant crab cake full of yummy crab meat, served with mango sauce. The plate was hot, but the crab cake was cold. It was still good though.

                                2nd course:
                                (1) Cannery Seafood Salad: Crab, Lobster, Shrimp, Scallops with Citrus Vinaigrette. Delicious.
                                (2) "Brendon’s Filet" Tournedos: Cooked perfectly. Very tasty.

                                3rd course:
                                (1) Chocolate Molten Cake: On the menu, it was supposed to be Creme Burlee Trio, but they ran out. Chocolate Molten Cake was very rich. Too rich for boyfriend so he only had a few bite. But I finished the whole cake and wanted some more. haha..

                                Pictures: http://flickr.com/photos/eileen216/se...