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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Hot Dining Spot: Hendrix Now Open

Posted by on Apr 9, 2017 in Date Night, Dining News | 0 comments

  The team behind Driftwood Kitchen and The Deck on Laguna Beach concepts, has introduced its newest restaurant in Orange County, Hendrix, at the Ocean Ranch Village in Laguna Niguel (32431 Golden Lantern, Laguna Niguel). This neighborhood restaurant offers a style of cuisine that reflects the current “New American” trend, which assimilates flavors from the melting pot of traditional American cooking techniques. Executive Chef Rainer Schwarz’s menu items include recognizable preparations and emphasize the main ingredient at its best. These include popular cuts of fish, steaks and chops as well as rotisserie items with interesting and flavorful accompaniments and appetizers reflecting seasonal availability and quality. Some of the standout dishes from Hendrix’s rotisserie will include spit-roasted Porcetta and Colorado Rack of Lamb, which will be available for takeaway and in-house dining as entrees or sharable platters. The menu also...

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Hidden Gem: The Crooked Duck in Long Beach

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Date Night, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 When I heard about the upcoming Dine Out Long Beach, Restaurant Week 2.0, I realized that I rarely dine in Long Beach. I am always dining around Orange County, San Diego, and Los Angeles, but for some strange reason often skip Long Beach. It was time for that to change so I planned a date night with my husband at the popular local dining destination, The Crooked Duck. We dropped the kids off at their grandparents house in Huntington Beach and enjoyed a scenic drive along Pacific Coast Highway to the restaurant. When we arrived at The Crooked Duck, we were surprised with the location. The restaurant is located right in the heart of a residential community in Long Beach and looks just like a house that has been converted into a local eatery. Inside the restaurant was one...

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OPM Serves Up Bold Flavors

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in American, Asian, Date Night, Italian, Reviews, Seafood | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue One of the aspects I enjoy most about food blogging is having the opportunity to try restaurants I might not have heard of or thought of because they’re not in my neck of the woods. Such was the case when I was invited to try the recently opened OPM in Huntington Beach. With Chef’s Tastings and special events, including an 80’s New Wave Music night, a masquerade party, a fashion show, speed dating, live DJs and more, OPM is part restaurant and part club attracting a young couples and girls’ night out crowd. Having taken over and completely redefined the space for what was once The Tap House, there is plenty of room for large parties and dancing. There is even a speakeasy downstairs with it’s own bar for private parties...

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Enjoying Wine Tasting and Tapas at We Olive in San Juan Capistrano

Posted by on May 11, 2015 in Date Night, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of We Olive Anyone who has been in my kitchen, knows I am somewhat of a collector of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. I always have an assortment of both to cook with and I’ve even been known to do shots of balsamic plain when it’s good. I love the stuff! But it does have to be good and by that I don’t mean purchased in the everyday chain grocery store. No offense Ralphs. I’ve found my favorite olive oils and balsamics in vineyards and small shops who are selective about their sources. One such place is We Olive. Part shop and part wine and tapas bar, We Olive offers an assortment of locally sourced flavored olive oils, balsamic vinegars and other gourmet specialty items that will elevate the dishes you prepare at home....

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Calivino Wine Pub Weekly Events and New Menu Items

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Date Night, Dining News, Events | 0 comments

  Calivino Wine Pub has unveiled a new menu for 2015 which includes many enticing food, wine and craft beer selections. Lunch is now being served daily from 11-3pm and there continues to be weekly specials including live music, Happy Hour, Tuesday Trivia Nights, Wine Wednesdays and much more. Select Food Additions for February 2015 include: Cauliflower Gratin – Gruyere, white cheddar, parmesan Ahi Salad- Seared ahi, soy-citrus dressing, avocado Crab Cakes – Jumbo lump crab, house remoulade lemon zest Calivino Weekly Events: Lunch – Monday – Friday | 11 – 3pm Happy Hour – Sunday – Friday | 3 – 7pm Trivia Tuesday – 7pm | Free to play – win prizes Wine Wednesday – 7pm – Close | 1/2 off select bottles Thirsty Thursday – 7pm – Close | 1/2 off select glasses of wine Friday Live...

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Luxurious Dining at Bayside Restaurant

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in American, Date Night, Events, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Bayside Restaurant In anticipation of the Dine Newport Beach Restaurant Week, we got a sneak peek of the menu at the popular coastal Bayside Restaurant. I have not eaten at Bayside since we celebrated my daughter’s baptism at Bayside almost nine years ago, so I was excited to return. Since the restaurant has such a strong meaning for my daughter, I decided to bring her with me to dinner. We both got dressed up and drove to the beautiful restaurant for a mother-daughter dinner. Bayside has a chic ambiance where guests feel at home. When we arrived, we had the option of sitting in the quiet dining room or the dining area that surrounds the bar where live music was playing. Since we both have a love for music, we sat at a...

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Date Night at SeaLegs Wine Bar

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in Date Night, Featured, Giveaways, Reviews | 25 comments

 We dined as a guest of SeaLegs Wine Bar After having the kids home during the summer, most parents are in dire need of a romantic date night. After finally finding a babysitter for the evening, the last thing that parents want is to be rushed through a meal. At SeaLegs Wine Bar in Huntington Beach, guests are encouraged to take their time, and enjoy every mouthwatering moment while indulging in delicious small plates perfectly paired with wine. My husband and I recently had a date night at SeaLegs Wine Bar, and it quickly became one of our favorite date night dining destinations in Orange County. The restaurant features an intimate dining room with cozy seats and fragrant ocean breezes. It has modern comforts with unparalleled service that sophisticated couples expect when seeking a date night destination in Orange...

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Leatherby’s Café Rouge – Jersey Boys Menu

Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 in American, Best of OC, Date Night, Events, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Leatherby’s If you are planning on seeing the Jersey Boys at The Segerstrom Center for the Arts, then I recommend having the complete Jersey Boys night out. Your night starts off with a unique dining experience at Leatherby’s Café Rouge.  Leatherby’s Café Rouge is offering a three course prix fixe Jersey Boys menu from June 24-July 13 which includes Tomato watermelon gazpacho, Sherry braised beef short rib and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Trio to name a few. My husband and I went before the show and wanted to share our mouth-watering night. For the first course, my husband ordered the Summer: a tomato watermelon gazpacho.  Grilled watermelon, Dungeness crab, cucumber gelee and crème fraiche espuma make this summer soup a masterpiece paired with a fabulous pinot.  It was light and refreshing,...

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Date Night at The Citrus Fresh Grill

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Date Night, Reviews | 0 comments

  My favorite thing about Springtime is that there are more opportunities to eat outside, and the Citrus Fresh Grill at the Renaissance Club Sport Aliso Viejo is one of my favorite outdoor dining destinations in Orange County. Not only can my husband and I enjoy a cocktail and dinner on their outdoor heated patio, but they also have a wonderful on-site childcare facility so we don’t have to worry about a babysitter canceling on us last-minute. The Citrus Fresh Grill just re-introduced their Friday night live music nights, and if we are in town, you’ll always find us on the patio listening to their Friday night music. On April 18th, The Flock of 80’s will be playing, and on April 25th Entropy will be rocking the night away. The Citrus Fresh Grill has a wide variety of dining...

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Iconic Captain Jacks in Sunset Beach

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in Date Night, Reviews, Seafood | 0 comments

 I have lived in South Orange County most of my life and never knew where Sunset Beach was until my Junior year in college. Granted North and South county sometimes seem much further apart than the 15 minutes that they are, but this little gem was not to be missed! Sunset Beach is a tiny beach town nestled between Seal Beach and Huntington Beach right at the front of Huntington Harbor. It’s a tiny strip off PCH – as in just a handful of stop lights – but it has huge character all its own. It’s a beach community right out of the 60s and something you simply will not find in the vast majority of Southern California, let alone Orange County. One of the icons of Sunset Beach is Captain Jack’s. This Prime Rib and Seafood Restaurant is...

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The Perfect Date Night at Fleming’s

Posted by on Mar 23, 2014 in American, Date Night | 0 comments

 When was the last time you had a date night with your husband? Yeah..me too. Three kids later, my husband and I, finally planned a romantic weekend alone without the kids. Before heading to Temecula for a romantic getaway, we enjoyed dinner at Fleming’s in Newport Beach. My husband has dined at Fleming’s a zillion times when awarded for high performance at work, but this was my first time dining at the steak house that I’ve heard so much about from my husband. Since my husband dines in the wine cellar of Fleming’s on a monthly basis, I let him lead the way on how we should order the food for our date night. He insisted, we start with a seafood appetizer, but since I have developed a recent allergy to a mystery raw fish, we went with the...

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Date Night at Pelican Grill

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Date Night, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

  Looking for a romantic place to have a date night? Recently, we had a the most romantic evening at Pelican Grill. From the moment that my husband and I were first seated in front of the beautiful panoramic ocean view, all of our worries of leaving the kids at home were gone. The ambiance created the perfect setting for, my husband and I, to relax, reconnect and rekindle our romance. The ambiance, music and the view were just the beginning of an amazing evening. Since we dined during Newport Beach Restaurant Week, we opted to order from the prix-fixe menu. The chef at Pelican Grill designed a true epicurean experience with the elaborate restaurant week menu. My husband started the evening with the Tombo Ahi Crudo that came with caramelized pineapple, wasabi oil, cucumber and ponzu sauce. The...

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An Unforgettable Dining Experience at Ways & Means Oyster House

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Date Night, Featured, Seafood | 0 comments

 A distinctive oyster house has just come to Old Towne Orange with the opening of Ways & Means. The all-new restaurant specializes in oysters, but also has a bountiful array of dishes for guests to have a memorable dining experience. We visited Ways & Means earlier this month to try some of the unique and intense flavors of their food paired with their extensive wine offerings. We started off the evening sitting at the intimate oyster bar while sinking our taste buds into their Salmon Rillettes served on homemade Guinness bread with red onion, watercress, and lemon aioli; and their Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs with wild watercress and lemon oil. The Guinness bread on the Salmon Rillettes is baked fresh daily on-site at Ways & Means creating an incredibly fresh appetizer. I have tasted many Lobster Emulsions before, but...

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Artful Open House at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney

Posted by on Sep 11, 2013 in Date Night, Disney | 0 comments

  Downtown Disney offers a wonderful selection of restaurants and entertainment.  We love strolling through the district after a day at Disneyland and California Adventure Parks…the live music pulls us in each and every time.  Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney recently held their Artful Open House adding to the appeal of this high energy locale. Combining art and food felt like heaven in the traditional French Quarter architecture found at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. Guests enjoyed the open air and courtyard while surrounded by art and amazing food. Savory New Orleans cuisine was served as we enjoyed live jazz music and a tour of the five ‘Big Easy’ themed dining rooms that can be found at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney.  Food art was plentiful for us to enjoy both on our plates and throughout...

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Hip and Superior Quality Sushi at H2O Sushi and Izakaya in Costa Mesa

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Asian, Date Night, Reviews | 0 comments

  Finding restaurants that truly make an impact on you is one of the things we love about dining out.  Heading out for date night with my husband, we tried a relatively new sushi restaurant and were delighted to learn they would strive to make an impact.  The hip vibe and superior quality sushi at H2O Sushi and Izakaya in Costa Mesa makes for a perfect date night, family sushi night, or a night out with friends. What’s immediately striking about H20 Sushi and Izakaya when you first walk in is the atmosphere!  Not only is interior design amazing, but it’s very spacious and extremely well laid out.  Offering multiple dining options; you can choose to sit right at the bar, or at one of the numerous tables, or if you want or more private options – reserve one...

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Maro Wood Grill Restaurant ~ A Gem in Laguna Beach (Restaurant Review)

Posted by on Jun 20, 2013 in American, Best of OC, Date Night, Reviews | 0 comments

  There are so many wonderful restaurants in Orange County so when you find one you love…the one you will return to time and time again…it is pretty exciting!  That is how we feel about Maro Wood Grill in Laguna Beach. Maro Wood Grill had us falling in love with it’s vibe immediately.  The feel is one that is warm and welcoming from the moment you enter. The patio is cozy offering guests the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather that Orange County offers as they soak in the contagious energy of Laguna Beach. Eating healthy foods is important to us as a family, especially with young children.  Learning that Maro Wood Grill uses only the freshest, local and sustainable ingredients definitely pulled us in.  The menu features organic and grass fed meats that are delectable. Maro Wood Grill...

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Hidden Vine Wine Shop Grand Re-Opening

Posted by on May 5, 2013 in Date Night, Featured, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

  The popular wine tasting room and retail shop, Hidden Vine Wine Shop, has re-opened under new ownership. The intimate wine shop featured panoramic views of Mission Viejo Lake for guests to enjoy while sipping on their favorite bottle of wine. The wine shop hosted a festive grand re-opening celebration on May 4th with live music and discounts on wine tastings. New owners Marty Cruz, a sommelier, and Ken Domagalski, have expanded the offering of wine, champagne and dessert wines at the shop to include many rare vintages and small release wines. In addition to the retail shop, guests can sample wines from three recently installed Napa Technology wine stations that allow 12 bottles of wine to be showcased and kept at ideal temperatures. A Hidden Vine houses more than 650 wine labels, and an extensive variety of gourmet...

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WineWorks for Everyone Makes for a Perfect Date Night

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Date Night, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

   There are so many fantastic restaurants in Orange County; since moving here last summer, we have enjoyed trying many new places.  WineWorks for Everyone has been on our list to try for awhile now and we finally had the chance to experience it this week. Why was it on our list of restaurants to try?  Its southern Orange County location is convenient and the cozy bistro feel make this an ideal wine bar for us.  We LOVE wine and as our collection grows we truly love to try new wines.   WineWorks for Everyone also has a fantastic menu, which looked like we could go for just nice appetizers and wine or for a full meal. It’s always nice to have options to try for those spontaneous date nights. Last night’s visit to WineWorks for Everyone was completely...

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Tabu Grill Tasting Menu

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Date Night, Featured | 0 comments

  Tabu Grill is located at 2892 South Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651 – Map...

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