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Anniversary weekend at St Regis Monarch Beach

t
themegt May 25, 2011 07:40 PM

We will be spending a long weekend at St Regis in Dana Point for our anniversary and are looking to splurge on delicious and romantic meals. We are not wanting to travel too far from the hotel. We will be there for 3 nights and so far have booked dinner at Stonehill Tavern and Studio at the Montage Laguna Beach. Any other recommendations? We are not familiar with the area at all. Thanks in advance!

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Stonehill Tavern
St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

  1. j
    josephnl May 25, 2011 10:43 PM

    This is a simple one! For sure have dinner at Raya at the Ritz Carlton just across the highway from the St. Regis. The nueva Latina cooking of Chef Richard Sandoval is exquisite (although as a celebrity chef, he will likely not be there), as is the wonderful waterfront setting of the restaurant. Tell them about your special occasion, request a window table, and if you can have Jennifer serve you, you will have a wonderful evening. I've been to all three restaurants, and Raya is right up there. Also, if you want a really romantic dinner at the Stonehill, request one of their glassed-in booths in the bar area.

    Please let us know how your weekend turns out. Happy Anniversary!

    1 Reply
    1. re: josephnl
      t
      themegt May 26, 2011 07:44 PM

      Thanks so much! Great suggestion, and I did make a reservation with all of the requests you mentioned. I will post a report on all 3 restaurants after next weekend.

    2. j
      josephnl Jun 8, 2011 02:14 PM

      How did your weekend go? Love to know how your dinners were!

      4 Replies
      1. re: josephnl
        t
        themegt Jun 8, 2011 08:22 PM

        Thanks for reminding me to post! We had such a great weekend. By far, the best food of the weekend was Stonehill Tavern. We did the food and wine pairing, and all 5 courses and the wine they served was really delicious, creative, and cooked perfectly...and worth the 150/person. We sat in a glass booth and had a really wonderful night.

        The 2nd night we went to Raya, and overall the food was good, but not great. The ceviche appetizer and my husband's paella were the best picks. The table and service was stellar (thanks for the rec to tell them it was our anniversary....we had a table overlooking the water and saw the sunset). They made the night very special for us. I would recommend that people go a bit early and have a cocktail at the rooftop bar...beautiful view and good drinks.

        Our least favorite (and most expensive) meal was our last night at The Studio at The Montage. The view is breathtaking, but we were really underwhelmed by the food. The menu was not that interesting and we didn't care for several of the options on the tasting menu. However, I do want to mention that the sommelier was exceptional and the property was beautiful.

        This post is making me want to go back! Thanks for all of your advice!

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        Stonehill Tavern
        St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

        1. re: themegt
          OCAnn Jun 9, 2011 02:51 PM

          I'd put Stonehill Tavern as my top 3 in OC, with the other one being Napa Rose (only @ the Chef's Counter ordering the Chef's menu) and the third spot undetermined....

          Congrats & thank you for reporting back!

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          Napa Rose Restaurant
          1600 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

          Stonehill Tavern
          St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

          1. re: themegt
            j
            josephnl Jun 10, 2011 03:11 PM

            Glad you enjoyed your weekend. I must say I agree with you and would rate the 3 restaurants exactly as you have...1. Stonehill Tavern, 2, Raya, and 3. The Studio at Montage. Every time we go to Studio we are expecting great things because the setting is so wonderful, and every time we leave disappointed.

            Agree with OCAnn that Stonehill belongs in the top 3, but we have not been that impressed with Napa Rose, although it's been at least 3-4 years since we've been there. The last time we were there, we were so distracted by two young children who were crawling and running about, obviously after a day at Disneyland, that it was impossible to enjoy our dinner...but we don't remember the food being that great either. Has it improved?

            For us, a clear choice for top 3 in OC is Marche Moderne. We've had several excellent dinners there, and have had truly spectacular tasting menus there as well.

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            Stonehill Tavern
            St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

            1. re: josephnl
              b
              bllrdfam Jun 10, 2011 05:31 PM

              My experience was the opposite. While we enjoyed Stonehill Tavern, our experience at The Studio was much nicer.

        2. s
          schrutefarms Jun 8, 2011 02:55 PM

          Ha! Just spent a long weekend there as well-wouldn't be surprised if it was the same weekend! I thought Stonehill Tavern was great, as well as the poolside noshes, but the most romantic night was my SO and I ordering room service and a bottle of wine. Hope you had as much fun as we did!! (And no, I didn't mean that in some weird pervy way!)

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          Stonehill Tavern
          St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629

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