Tick tock. Christmas dinner Will soon be served. The countdown to our festive Christmas celebrations begins. So with that in mind, I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you some of my favorite places to enjoy Christmas dinner out. I have some spots that will make your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day extra special. I even have a few “to go” dining options!
In some cases it is the commanding views that draw me in, and in other instances it is their charming decorations and finery that reminds me of holidays past. But in ALL 12 cases, it is the amazing cuisine these passionate chefs put forth for us to enjoy.
ON THE WATER…
21 Oceanfront- Newport Beach This ocean view restaurant will be open Christmas Eve, with reservations available from 4:00-9:00 pm. They will be closed on Christmas Day. Their decorations are lovely and festive. The menu will be a three-course prix fixe menu, with six different options for the first course (my favorite is the goat cheese tart). There are also six selections for the main course, and honestly I would have a difficult time to select just one—from Rack of Lamb, to Diver Scallops, Grilled Scottish Salmon, and the list goes on and on. Dessert options include: Panettone Pudding, Crème Anglaise or indulge in their homemade Chocolate Pecan Tart. The cost is $70 per person and children 2-10 are $25 (excluding tax and gratuity). Please visit their web site to view the entire delicious menu. 21Oceanfront- 2100 W Oceanfront, Newport Beach (949) 673-2100 http://www.21oceanfront.com/PDF/Christmas-Eve-2015.pdf
Waterline at Balboa Bay Resort- Newport Beach This resort is always decked out for the holidays and a lovely waterfront spot to celebrate Christmas. The Waterline Restaurant will be open both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for Dinner. Here are the details: -Christmas Eve Dinner- December 24th from 5:00 – 9:00 pm- Enjoy a traditional and delicious five-course holiday dinner served in the elegant ambiance of décor in blues and golds to complement allure of the waterfront. Live piano music will be featured in the dining room. The cost is: $95.00* Adults and $46.00* for Children (4 – 12 years old). The complete menu can be viewed here: http://balboabayresort.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Waterline-Christmas-Eve-Dinner-Menu-2015-BBR.pdf
-Christmas Day Dinner- December 25th from 1:00 – 6:00 pm- Experience the rich tradition of Christmas as you delight in great food with loved ones and enjoy a delightful five-course intimate dinner amidst the views of the beautiful Newport Bay. Live piano music will be featured in the dining room. The cost is: $95.00* Adults and $46.00* for Children (4 – 12 years old). The complete menu can be viewed here: http://balboabayresort.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Waterline-Christmas-Day-Dinner-Menu-2015-BBR.pdf Note: *Tax and gratuity not included. A 48-hour cancellation policy of $25 per person will apply.
Waterline Restaurant at the Balboa Bay Resort 1221 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach (855) 923-8301 http://balboabayresort.com/newport-beach-ca-restaurants/holiday-events/
The Ritz Prime Seafood This restaurant is sold out in the dining room for Christmas Eve, however will be accepting walk-ins for the bar area. This new darling on the coast is offering a Christmas Eve three-course prix fixe including wine pairings for $150 per person (not including tax and gratuity). They also will have menu offering nine different appetizers & soups/salads, their Shellfish Tower, Oysters & Caviar, as well as a selection of seafood, steaks and chicken. They will not be open on Christmas Day. The Ritz Prime Seafood 2801 West Coast Hwy, Newport Beach (949) 720-1800 www.ritzrestaurant.com
Back Bay Bistro Restaurant – Newport Beach Back Bay Bistro has a special Christmas Eve menu available from 4:00-8:30pm. They will be closed on Christmas Day. The Christmas Eve menu is a lovely five-course dinner, and intermezzo, for $75 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). For the main course, for example, there is a choice of three items— Roasted Rack of Lamb Herb Crusted with Goat Cheese Polenta, Filet of Beef Perigourdine with a Port Truffle Sauce, or Roasted Duck Breast with Grand Marnier Orange Sauce. The complete menu can be viewed on-line at their web site. Back Bay Bistro 1131 Back Bay Bistro, Newport Beach 949-729-1144(reservations are required) www.newportdunes.com/back-bay-bistro/menu/
Dining Hotel & Resort Style…
The Resort at Pelican Hill- Newport Coast Set above the Pacific Ocean with commanding views, The Resort at Pelican Hill is a special enclave in Newport Coast. I have attended two Holiday Teas this month and both were a spectacular experience. Elegance and grace describes this resort, with commanding views. Here are the details on their Christmas dining options, offering various venues for your dining pleasure. (* Below pricing is exclusive of tax and gratuity.)
-Christmas Day Ballroom Brunch- From 10:00am to 4:00pm, celebrate Christmas with an unforgettable feast of traditional cuisine, accompanied by a classical harpist. Children’s activities include Santa Claus photos, cupcake decorating and a children’s entertainment show at noon, 2:00 and 4:00pm. Reservations are recommended. Costs are: $120* per adult, $60* per child under age 12 and $20 for children under 5 years of age.
-Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Andrea Ristorante, Lounge & Terrace- Chef Marco brings an Italian holiday festa to Andrea on Christmas Eve from 5:00- 10:00 pm. On Christmas Day, Andrea features an all-day special menu from noon to 10:00 pm with a variety of holiday dishes and an acoustic guitarist serenading the ocean-view dining room. $140* per adult.
-Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Pelican Grill & Lounge- Chef Luke presents a California prix fixe Christmas Eve dinner from 5:00-10:00 pm. Live entertainers perform in the lounge from 6:30- 10:00 pm. And on Christmas Day, enjoy a California grill three-course menu from 11:30am to 10:00pm, as well as a limited regular menu and special lounge menu. $125* per adult, and $60* per child.
-Christmas at Coliseum Pool & Grill- Delight in a classic California Christmas overlooking the Pacific Coast, with an ocean-view breakfast buffet from 7:00 am to noon, a three-course dinner menu from 5:00- 10:00 pm, and à la carte menu from noon to 10:00 pm. Breakfast Buffet: $60* per adult; $30* per child, and the three-course dinner: $85* per adult; $40* per child.
The Resort at Pelican Hill- 22701 Pelican Hill Road South – Newport Coast (855) 467-6800 www.pelicanhill.com
Oak Grill at the Island Hotel- Fashion Island Oak Grill will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, serving dinner both evenings. On Christmas Eve, December 24 (dinner will be served from 5:00-9:00 pm). On Christmas Day, December 25 (dinner will be served from 4:00- 9:00 pm). Experience the chic aesthetics of Oak Grill for the ultimate Christmas meal, while listening to acoustic Fireside music. Chef Marc Johnson will offer a festive prix fixe four-course menu for $100 per adult (with a choice of wine parings for an additional $25) and $25 for children’s menu options, with those under 5 free. (This is exclusive of tax and gratuity.)
Their Christmas Brunch (both Christmas Eve and Day) will be available in the Island Hotel Ballroom from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. The ballroom will be themed in a winter wonderland. Guests will enjoy a glass of champagne and delicious interactive stations. Offerings include: Roasted tenderloins of Beef, Fresh Grilled Salmon, Duck Confit Risotto, Farmer’s Market Salads, as well as globally inspired options such as hand-made Tamales. Choose from holiday sides and an assortment of desserts. Oak Grill at the Island Hotel- 690 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach Oak Grill (949) 760-4920- http://www.oakgrillnb.com/events/christmas Island Hotel (949) 759-0808- www.islandhotel.com
Bambu Restaurant at The Fairmont – Newport Beach The Bambu dining room will be open for both Christmas Eve, Christmas Day Brunch and for Christmas Dinner. The food here is superb and is on my holiday list for dining this year!
-Christmas Eve Dinner- December 24, 2015 – 5:30 to 9:30pm 2 course Special Menu for $38 (wine would be additional) Pricing does not include tax and gratuity.
-Christmas Day Brunch- December 25, 2015 – 10:00am to 2:00pm Appetizer, Entrée and Dessert Buffet Brunch for $55 for adults, and $24 for children 12 & under. Pricing does not include tax and gratuity.
-Christmas Day Dinner- December 25, 2015 – 5:00 to 9:00pm with Entrée Specials Offered by the Chef.
The Fairmont- 4500 MacArthur Blvd-Newport Beach (949) 476-2001 http://www.fairmont.com/newport-beach/
Special Spots for Holiday Dining….
Bayside Restaurant-Newport Beach Bayside will be open Christmas Eve from 4:00-10:0pm, and live music will play from 5:00-9:0pm. They will be closed on Christmas Day. The Chef is preparing a lovely three-course prix fixe dinner for $60, and their regular menu will also be available. I must admit, this makes it easy to accommodate everyone’s preferences. From steaks to rack of lamb and from the sea, this is a delicious restaurant to enjoy the holidays. Bayside Restaurant- 900 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach (949) 721-1222 (reservations are recommended) www.baysiderestaurant.com
Provenance- Newport Beach/Eastbluff Chef and co-owner Cathy Pavlos honors local and natural ingredients, many of which come from Provenance’s organic raised-bed garden visible from the patio and dining room. The Provenance menu focuses on the finest ingredients with a nod to the Napa-style cuisine. Every evening there is a delicious surprise as I always adore when she unveils her “specials of the day”. Provenance will be open until 2:00pm on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day. They have big plans for New Year’s Eve, and I will share that with you next week! Provenance 2531 Eastbluff Drive, Newport Beach (949) 718-0477 http://provenanceoc.com/
HOLIDAY DINING “TO GO”…
Five Crowns- Corona del Mar Five Crowns is completely sold out for their Christmas Eve feast. They will be closed for Christmas Day. However, for those interested in bringing Five Crowns home during the holidays, Executive Chef, Stephen Kling will create your holiday dinner to-go (with at least 48 hours advanced notice). Guests can pick up a complete Roasted Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus dinner with all of the classic accompaniments we know and love. The orders come complete with simple cooking and reheating instructions to enjoy the seasonal tradition at home. (Also, receive a $25 bonus gift card with every $125 in Gift Cards purchased by December 31, 2015.) Guests can view the menu here: http://www.lawrysonline.com/FC_Holiday_ToGo_2015.pdf
Five Crowns -3801 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar (949) 760-0331
Zov’s Bistro- Newport Coast Zov’s Bistro has four restaurant locations in Orange County, including: Newport Coast, Irvine, Tustin, and Anaheim, just two blocks from the Angels Stadium. Zov encourages her staff to enjoy time with their family, so all her restaurants will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Fans can still enjoy her delicious cuisine by ordering her “to go” menu which is available for pick up on Thursday, December 24th between 11:00am and 1:00pm. Orders can be made by calling 714.838.8855 x21 and arrangements will be made at that time for pick up at their Tustin location only (17440 E. 17th Street). Guests can view the complete menu here: http://www.zovs.com/zovs-events/special#zovs-holiday_2015
Zov’s Bistro 21123 Newport Coast Drive- Newport Beach
Cucina Enoteca- Fashion Island, Newport Beach If you’re planning a holiday party at your home, lasagna is always a great menu option. Everyone loves the cheesy baked goodness of pasta, meat, cheese and sauce. Cucina Enoteca is offering full and half trays of their signature lasagna that guests can pick up and re-heat. Guests can order their lasagna on-line or at the host stand of any of our restaurants! Find the details here: http://www.urbankitchengroup.com/cucina-enoteca-newport-beach/happenings/holiday-goodies/
Cucina Enoteca- Fashion Island 951 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach (949) 706-1416