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Mar 14, 2010 10:27 PM

Dinner, Newport Beach, Romantic, Dressy, $100.00 Max

Hi Everybody (and a special "Hi" to you, westsidegal. It's Jeff (jwrites4u) and as usual, I need your help. Vivi (one of my "adopted" granddaughters) would appreciate a few suggestions. This weekend she'll be in Newport Beach with the "love-of-her life". (Yeah, they're still together!) She's planning on taking him to dinner Saturday evening to celebrate his birthday. She'd love a wonderful Mexican restaurant (possibly Javier's), with romantic ambience and great food. She's planning on dressing up for the occasion, and she's hoping that she can make it with a max of $100.00 for the two of them. Any suggestions will be deeply appreciated. Thanks, all, Jeff

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  1. Javier's isn't really a "romantic, dress-up" place, it's more of a party/pickup scene, generally, not to say it's not a fun time. For that matter, most Mexican restaurants are going to be more in that genre (at least, the party part). For romantic, I'd highly recommend Basilic on Balboa Island, but it's almost certainly going to end up costing more than $100 total, unless they order very carefully and no alcohol is involved.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mikester

      Thanks, mikester. I will pass on your suggestion.. Jeff

    2. Maybe Las Brisas in's about 5 mins down PCH from Javiers. But I do agree with mikester that Javier's isn't a romantic place. But it depends on where you sit though. Off the top of my head, there really isn't that many "romantic" mexican restaurants in the area.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jaytizzle

        Thanks, again, Jaytizzle. My granddaughter selected Las Bresas. Jeff

        1. re: jwrites4u

          For those that enjoy fine cuisine, I would like to say that Las Brisas is NOT chowworthy COMPARED to other Mexican restaurants in the area. It is romantic, can be dressy (tho lots of beach vacationers won't dress up to go there), and has a wonderful view and is Mexican fare. That's fits the request of original poster. Maybe it is sad that Mexican restaurants aren't usually "dressy." A good choice for her, Jeff. I hope they have a great romantic time.

      2. Amelia's - Balboa Island - Try to book "the" patio table for 2.

        Heads Up - I haven't eaten there in "many" years; however, last time I posted on Amelia's, a recent diner said to order the fish (pretty good +) and stay away from the Italian (basic and ordinary at best).

        A sample Menu Budget could go something like:
        $34.00 ~ Filet Mignon & Scampi * (for him, the most expensive by $8.50 & their #1 seller).
        $25.50 ~ Lady Sole (for her, most expensive fish dish).
        $00.00 ~ House soup or salad included ? ("Included with most dinners").

        $14.00 ~ Bottle of J. Roget Brut (California) Champagne
        $73.50 + Tax & Tip = $95.62

        Obviously, if they don't order the most expensive entrees on the menu, she'd have budgetary room for a dessert, an app, parking, and/or extra change in her purse.



        (*) Just in case he's more of a meat & potatoes kind-of guy.

        5 Replies
        1. re: JBC

          Thank you JBC. I'll forwar5d it to her, Jeff

          1. re: jwrites4u

            i have no restaurant recommendations but dress up or not and romantic and a $100 budget, she could get huge "bang for the buck" with a picnic with favorite treats and a bottle of wine.

            i realize it's not what you asked for but sometimes a different approach gets everyone what they want.

            1. re: appycamper

              Good thought appycamper. Unfortunately this is not what she wants to do. But I appreciate your taking the time to try and help. Jeff

              1. re: jwrites4u

                I notice that Villa Nova has a "dinner and gondola ride" for $100 PER couple, so I imagine dinner for no more than $100 is quite doable here.


                1. re: Servorg

                  Hey, Servorg....that sounds wonderful to me! If I were still of the
                  "courtin' age", I'd certainly be sold! I will forward your suggestion to Vivi. Much thanks. Jeff

        2. i went to a media dinner at The Lido Deck off of via oporto last month (hosted by the restaurant), and that place was nice and delicious.
          very french-y bistro, with lots of wine-oriented foods. we're planning to go back for the rabbit rillette sometime soon.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nomnomnoms

            We love Las Brisas! The viwes are spectacular there, I love their Stuffed Sole and the Guacomole is really good here also and beautifully presented with edible flowers. After dinner they could take a walk on the beach. If she's not totally set on Mexican, there is Claes @ the Hotel Laguna or Splashes @ the Surf and Sand Resort. Hush is a cool, hip place with fantastic food but no pretty oceanviews here. :)