Special Occasion Dinner OC
4th Anniversary coming up, where to? Budget is maybe around $100 before tax and tip so somewhere like Studio at the Montage is out. Maybe somewhere new? Some places we've already been:
Pizzeria Mozza (Ortica and Ecco too)
At a loss for more options besides The Ranch and Napa Rose?
Easily Marche. $15 corkage. Start with a glass of champagne each. Be sure to get an order of langoustine each. Too good to share. Seriously.
For something not on your list, Bluefin in Newport Coast. Sit at the bar. Order omakase with both cooked and sushi items. Very nice ambiance for a sushi restaurant.
Perhaps Andrea at Pelican Hill? Stunning space and the food is good. Probably at the upper end of your price range.
Tabu in Laguna Beach. At $100 pp you are going to be right there, unless you like a lot of wine.
There is no way I would recommend Napa Rose for a special occasion. I have read recommendations for the tasting counter, bu the place is huge and filled with large groups of tourists with kids in tow fresh out of the House of Mouse. Not my idea for a special occasion dinner.
Other options you might consider are Golden Truffle and K'ya in Laguna (have cocktails at the rooftop bar before dinner). If you don't mind the din, you can also try Watermark in Laguna. For me, I thought it was overpriced and nothing special, but I have seen severl favorable mentions, so I thought I would toss that out.