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Need Suggestion for WIFE 30th Bday. (anything like PROVIDENCE in OC? )

Just had the best meal of my life @ Providence. We were celebrating our 6th year anniversary.

Her 30th Bday is coming up in three weeks. We will not have time to travel to LA, since we are having dinner on a Friday.

Is there anything similar to PROVIDENCE in OC?

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  1. Does it have to be seafood like Providence or 5-star dining like Providence?

    4 Replies
    1. re: attran99

      Both.. Haha.

      5 star dining, it does not have to be seafood-centric.
      Cause our other "BEST MEAL EVER" before providence was at CraftSteak in Vegas..

      1. re: broncophil

        Has anyone been out to Studio since Craig Strong took over? However, if their strangely uptight attitude remains, it may not make a difference. I'm assuming you want the complete experience of food, service, atmosphere. Off the top of my head- Stonehill Tavern, Napa Rose (Disney), Pinot Provence (aging), The Hobbit (haven't been for a while), Andrea (Pelican Hill- some friends said it was pretty good), Charlie Palmer (though I've been greatly underwhelemd last few visits). Each place has its little quirks and I think if you try to directly compare them to Providence, they'll come up lacking. There are of course a bunch of other places in OC that serve great food, just that the service and surroundings may not be as polished. So just have fun, make the best of it, and enjoy the company!

        1. re: kdoc

          Will concur w/kdoc's post.....

      2. I don't think there's anything at Providence's level in OC, but perhaps you can look into Napa Rose (in the Disney Grand Californian Hotel) or Marché Moderne (in South Coast Plaza).

        3 Replies
        1. re: mrhooks

          thats funny you mention, NAPA ROSE, that was the one of the restaurants I had in mind.

          Been to MM and was not impressed.. nor was I impressed with CHARLIE PALMER @ SCP.

          1. re: broncophil

            Napa Rose! Had 3 great meals there in one week! Liked the chef's counter immensely!
            Happy Anniversary! Aloha & A hui hou!

            1. re: manomin

              Wow, you must have really liked it! Personally, I've had good to very good meals there, but never great. Not surprisingly, it feels kind of corporate- a nice corporate, but corporate none the less. Sat at the chef's counter once; they had a large party going on and the experience was kind of meh. Large room, and servers wearing the same ubiquitous name tags as everyone else at Disney. But it is nice to stroll around the area after dinner.

              I actually forgot about MM (see below). Have had some nice meals there. Definitely sit outside, preferably in one of the booths. Inside is very cramped.

        2. broncophil,

          imho marche moderne can do something like that. what we have done is call up, speak to chef florent (or talk to alyssa - the manager), tell her what you have in mind, and they will be happy to blow you mind with however many courses you want. i remember a few times we've done that, like when we got either a christmas or new year's eve menu, and requested if he could tailor a tasting to incorporate all the choices that we liked (as the menu specifies asking for this OR that). amelia, his wife, is a phenomenal pastry chef. you can tell them the guy with 3 girls who love foie sent you. :)

          happy birthday to your wife - enjoy, wherever you end up.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. If you want an event dinner, the Hobbit is the place. I have not been (it has been highly recommended by foodie friends), and it get a few mixed reviews, but it is a full evening, and they make it very special.

              Tabu Grill is my pick for my favorite spot in the OC. The closest I have found to the great neighborhood places you find all over San Francisco. Small, intimate, great food, friendly staff, open kitchen.

              I have not been to StoneHill Tavern is a few years, but it was the best meal I had eaten in the OC from the tasting menu. Very proper service (fish forks!) overall, but I almost gave up on the place when we were left sitting unattended for about 30 minutes at the end of the night. They made up for it, but I strted very unhappy.

              I have not been to Marche Moderne, but it is inside South Coast Plaza. I had eaten at the previous tenant, and you do get shielded from the mall feeling by the 3rd floor location, but you still have to walk through. Maybe you can treat her by stopping at Tiffany's then marching upstairs for dinner.

              There is no way I would go to Napa Rose. While the food is good, there is just no way to have a special dinner if there is a table of 10 next to you wearing Disney T-shirts and the kids are watching DVDs at the table.