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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Incredible Gnocchi at Nello Cucina in South Coast Plaza

Posted by on Jan 4, 2015 in Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

  To escape the chilly weather we’ve been having recently, the kids, and I spent the day walking around South Coast Plaza. We rode the holiday train, admired the holiday decorations and did a little shopping. Before we left the mall, we stopped for lunch at Nello Cucina. It was the beautiful indoor “garden” patio that caught our eye and the gracious staff who immediately welcomed us while we looked over the menu that won our hearts. We received a basket of bread upon seating under the flower trellis. The kids devoured the pesto spread not leaving a single crumb behind in the bread basket. After getting settled into our seats, we ordered a plate of the fried mozzarella. It was not the traditional fried mozzarella that the kids were normally used to eating. It came in a lightly...

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Johnny’s Real New York Pizza Opens in Irvine

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Johnny’s One of Orange County’s most sought after pizza joints, Johnny’s Real New York Pizza, just opened a new location in the Quail Hill Shopping Center in Irvine. Conveniently located at Sand Canyon and the 405, families can get authentic New York style pizza in a fun dining atmosphere. The restaurant has a 50’s diner decor with big screen televisions to ensure that dad and the boys doesn’t miss the big game during dinner. When our family went to Johnny’s for lunch earlier this month, the kids felt right at home in a relaxed environment. The friendly staff helped our family to order the perfect pizza and sides so that everyone in our family had an enjoyable dining experience. We started our meal by sharing a caesar salad. Our kids love caesar salad,...

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Really FRESH pizza at Fresh Brothers

Posted by on Sep 7, 2014 in American, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of Fresh Brothers If your family is anything like ours, you will definitely LOVE Fresh Brothers! I mean, who doesn’t like pizza and wings??? I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody who didn’t like pizza and wings… My kids and I were fortunate enough to attend the Media Day at Fresh Brothers in Newport Beach. We had a GREAT time! All the food, the hospitality, entertainment for the kids…it was a slice of heaven (!) in a local strip mall… First and foremost, their pizza!!! Simply…To Die For! They have their Thin Crust, Skinny Crust, and Deep Dish. All of their toppings are fresh and everything tasted so delicious and FRESH!!! Like homemade and healthy, right out of your oven FRESH! They have a sauce called The Fresh Kids Special Sauce which has finely...

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A Touch of Italy at Brio Tuscan Grille

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Featured, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Brio One of the newest dining additions to the Irvine Spectrum is Brio Tuscan Grille. Families can enjoy the flavors of Tuscany at this plush new restaurant. The inside of the restaurant has a modern sophisticated feel while the outdoor patio is more relaxed and casual. We dined at Brio Tuscan Grille for the first time as a mother daughter date night with my girlfriend and her daughter. While the girls started dinner with a refreshing lemonade, my girlfriend ordered the white peach sangria, and I treated myself to their raspberry mojito. The Raspberry mojito was made with Bacardi black razz rum, fresh lime juice, crushed mint and raspberries. The white peach sangria was made with peach nectar, berries, citrus fruits, peach Schnapps and Chardonnay. The sweet cocktails were the perfect prelude to...

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Dining at Z Red Table

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in American, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Zpizza   Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love pizza? Whether it’s a classic tomato sauce pizza with all of it’s gooey cheesy goodness or a more gourmet style pizza that incorporates pretty much any ingredient you can think of, it’s all irresistible and so satisfying when you’re hungry. So when I was invited to dine at Z Pizza’s Red Table in Laguna Beach, I was excited and intrigued. I mean, what is The Red Table? Well, this marked the beginning of a multi-city tour…The Red Table Pop-Up City Tour, which will travel to 8 other cities across the country this year including San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix, Columbus, Alexandria, Raleigh, Los Angeles, and Sacramento as a way to thank Z Pizza’s fans and to introduce them to some of their latest mouth-watering...

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Prego Ristorante New Spring Menu

Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Featured, Italian, Reviews | 1 comment

  Prego Ristorante has been serving excellent Italian cuisine in Orange County since 1986. Executive Chef and Partner, Ugo Allesina, has designed multiple savory spring dishes for guests to enjoy on their beautiful al fresco patio this Spring. The restaurant features room for 150-250 guests, a lavish bar and beautiful outdoor alfresco dining area. The restaurant is within walking distance of multiple business complexes in Irvine, making it a popular lunch destination for guests working at local businesses, and for families during the evening and weekends. Before trying the new Spring menu at Prego Ristorante, I sipped on a glass of 2012 Sofia Blanc de Blacs while savoring their fresh appetizers. My favorite appetizer of the evening was the bruschetta paired with cheeses and pancetta. After mingling on the patio, we retreated into the dining room to sample the...

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Authentic NY Pizza at NYC Cafe & Catering in San Juan Capistrano

Posted by on Apr 25, 2014 in Featured, Italian, Mediterranean, Reviews | 0 comments

  After a fun day exploring the Mission San Juan Capistrano, the kids are always ready for a big lunch. All the excitement from exploring and learning in the hot sun builds up a big appetite for the kids. During Spring Break, the kids and I went to the Mission, and decided to try a new place for lunch, NYC Cafe & Catering. I was able to pull-up a deal on my Groupon app, so we drove over to the cafe for lunch. Italian and Mediterranean Food in one place? I was a little nervous when first walking in the door, but the kind employees helped us to navigate our way around the menu. Pizza or gyros? It was a tough decision, and the kids ended up all voting for the pizza. We started lunch with our all-time favorite...

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Zpizza introduces a spicy new twist on pizza

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in Featured, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

  Do your kids like food that has a kick? Then the all-new Zpizza Buffalo Bleu Pizza is just what to order for dinner. Now your kids can have their buffalo wings and pizza together! The new pizza comes loaded with buffalo chicken, gorgonzola cheese, scallions, mozzarella and buffalo sauce all on a perfectly crisped pizza crust. My kids love spicy food and when their tastebuds first met this pizza – it was love at first taste. Normally, when ordering a chicken pizza, most places seem to skimp on the chicken, but not at Zpizza. The pizza we ordered was protein packed with just the right amount of chicken for my kids to be satisfied with just one slice. Since my husband and I have been trying to “cut back on the carbs” we ordered their new Chopped California...

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Pizzeria Amore

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 in Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

  When you have three little kids, somehow it is easy to find the best pizza places in town. Living in South Orange County, we are subjected to mostly chain pizza joints, except for Pizzeria Amore. This gem is hidden in the community of Laguna Woods and makes the most delicious authentic pizza in South Orange County. My kids are always begging me to get them a slice of their pizza, whenever we are grocery shopping at the Stater Brothers next door. I also like bringing the kids to have lunch at Pizzeria Amore because of their reasonable lunch specials. For just $5.99, we can get a lunch special large enough to feed all three of my kids – you can’t beat a deal like that! The pizza has an authentic NY style crust, and the cheese is always...

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Spin Pizza Spins into Los Alamitos

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014 in American, Featured, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

  Orange County families are falling head over heels in love with Spin Pizza. As the love for Spin Pizza has continued to grow, so has the addition of more locations including their newest in Los Alamitos. We drove up to Los Alamitos last weekend to see how the new location compares to the already popular location in Orange, and what we found was that it quickly became our all-new favorite location. The new Spin Pizza location is bigger than ever with beautiful rich wood furniture, an expansive bar and comfortable booths. We hardly ever come to a restaurant at 6pm on a Sunday night to find a line out the door, but that is exactly what we found at this new pizza place. When we walked into the doors, we saw a festive and fun family dining environment....

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Blaze Pizza in Irvine

Posted by on Feb 15, 2014 in Featured, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

  Do you like Wetzel’s Pretzels? Then you are going to love Blaze Pizza in Irvine because it is owned by the same family. Whenever we are in Irvine, we cannot wait to come to have lunch at Blaze Pizza. When we told the kids were going to the park, and then to have lunch at Blaze – they screamed with excitement. What makes Blaze so special compared to other pizza places is how quickly they can cook a pizza. When you first walk into Blaze, you will begin to create your own pizza. They customize the pizza just how you like it, and even offer gluten-free crust! They have a variety of pre-designed pizzas, and they also offer the build your own pizza. My husbands favorite signature pizza is their meat-eater pizza. It comes with pepperoni, meatballs, red...

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Canaletto Ristorante Newport Beach

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Events, Featured, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

  Canaletto Ristorante located in the heart of Newport Beach embodies an elegant atmosphere. The restaurant is an exquisite treasure that few can match with their modern Tuscan elegant ambiance. When dining at Canaletto last weekend, we were immersed into an epicurean experience at their Italian retreat. The evening began with their Insalata Caprese with warmed vine-ripened tomatoes that tasted like they had just been hand-picked from a vine in the rolling hills of Italy. It was topped with creamy mozzarella, basil and drizzled with the perfect amount of olive oil. Our senses were then tantalized with their Insalata Di Pere featuring arugula, radicchio, frisee, grilled pears, grapes, Belgian endive, blue cheese and toasted pecans blended perfectly with a pomegranate dressing. We discovered Italy’s best kept delectable meal for our Secondi at Canaletto. Casonzei Con Stracchino E Pere was...

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Dinner Made Easy with Z Pizza Take n’ Bake

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in American, Featured, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

  The holiday season can be one of the most challenging times of the year for families to get dinner prepared at home. With all the holiday shopping, kids events, and family obligations, I have been struggling to find time to cook a delicious meal at home. When I discovered the Z Pizza “Take n’ Bake” dining option, I knew it would be the perfect solution to our holiday dining dilemmas. After a busy week with non-stop commitments, our family was in need of a quiet night at home. I picked-up the Z Pizza Take n’ Bake pizzas, movies and popcorn with excitement of our relaxing family movie night. When everyone came home, and expected me to say “we need to eat out again tonight,” I surprised the family by tossing a Z Pizza Take n’ Bake pizza into...

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Time is Running Out to Enter the Burrissimo Challenge

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in Dining News, Italian, Mexican | 0 comments

  Are you ready? For the ultimate Italian Burrito Challenge? Burrissimo is challenging all food lovers to enter the challenge, and they will get a free Italian Burrito! But wait..to be eligible for your free burrito – foodies must enter the challenge by this Friday, November 15th at Burrissimo.com/Challenge! “This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who hasn’t yet experienced the concept for themselves,” said Burrissimo General Manager Marlinda Bojorquez, “Our Bpoints Rewards Members can also earn a free Italian Burrito if they refer a friend who accepts the challenge– it’s an exciting, win-win opportunity for everyone!” From grilled chicken and steak, to homemade meatballs and sautéed vegetables, Burrissimo sets out to offer something delicious for everyone. Freshly grilled salmon, vegetarian options and gluten free pizza crust will please guests with dietary restrictions. Guests can dine-in or enjoy patio...

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Prego Ristorante Francis Ford Coppola Wine Dinner

Posted by on Sep 27, 2013 in Events, Italian | 0 comments

  Prego Ristorante is hosting a special Francis Ford Coppola wine dinner on Friday, October 18th at 7pm. Executive Chef Ugo Allesina will feature a 5-course dinner perfectly paired with the perfect Francis Ford Coppola wine. The dinner is priced at $64.95 plus tax and gratuity, and reservations are currently available by calling 949-553-1333. The special menu will feature: Hors d’Oeuvres Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Blanc De Blanc, Monterey County Salmone Norvegese Smoked Salmon with Fennel, Mango and Arugula Drizzled with Lemon Vinaigrette Francis Ford Coppola, Pinot Grigio, California Pappardelle ai Porcini e Goccie di Tartufo Homemade Ribbon Pasta with Porcini Mushroom and Black Truffle Cream Sauce Francis Ford Coppola, Director’s Merlot, Sonoma County Spiedino Rustico Skewer of Spicy Imported Italian Sausage, Beef Tenderloin and Chicken Served with Sautéed Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes Francis Ford Coppola, Director’s Cut...

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Family Celebrations at The Anaheim White House

Posted by on Aug 22, 2013 in Best of OC, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

  Oh the joys of being a foodie at the Anaheim White House Restaurant (AWH)! My first visit was a celebration of my mother’s birthday. We are a foodie family, and that means our world and special celebrations always revolve around, you got it, food! We love finding new restaurants together to bond over delicious flavorful foods. Many times we decide where to go on vacation based around what new restaurants we can discover. I was excited I had the opportunity to experience the Anaheim White House again. It is no surprise that the Anaheim White House has received many awards and continues to be named a must go to restaurant in Orange County (Especially around the Christmas holidays, with falling snow). This second trip to Anaheim White House did not disappoint. I even stopped a new diet for...

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Best Pasta at Disneyland the Count-Down Chicken Fusilli

Posted by on Aug 21, 2013 in Disney, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

 We attended as guests of Disney. There is one reason why my family always eats at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port in Tomorrowland during every visit we make to Disneyland. It is for the best pasta at Disneyland; the count-down chicken fusilli. This tantalizing creamy pasta cannot be found anywhere else. What makes this pasta so unique? It could be the perfectly grilled chicken, the garlic, the basil, or the parmesan cream sauce, but I believe there is a secret magic ingredient that makes it perfect. Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port is also one of our family favorite dining destinations in the park because of the relaxed, and casual environment. The restaurant is loud enough for kids to giggle, laugh about their day and even be a little silly without interfering with anyone else’s dining experience. There is plenty of tables...

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Guide to Dining at Johnny’s Real New York Pizza

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in Featured, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

   Our family loves pizza…if we could eat any food for breakfast, lunch and dinner…pizza would be it.   So finding a great pizza place in Orange County makes for a happy family in our home.  We spent an amazing evening with fellow media friends and the owners of Johnny’s Real New York Pizza last night and have your guide to dining at this authentic New York Pizzeria. Johnny’s first location in Corona del Mar opening in July of 2011 but recently opened their second location at The Bluffs Shopping Center in the heart of Newport Beach.  This larger location is set up perfectly for comfort, family, friends, and most importantly, amazing food. When you arrive at Johnny’s Real New York Pizza, walk to the counter to place your order.  There are so many delicious items to choose from...

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Guide to Dining at Gina’s Pizza

Posted by on Jul 18, 2013 in Featured, Italian, Reviews | 0 comments

  There are few restaurants that have not changed over the past twenty years in Orange County, and Gina’s Pizza is one of them. I have fond memories of ending our summer days at the beach with my family around a “Sweet Pig” pizza at the Gina’s Pizza in the Albertsons parking lot in Corona del Mar. Since my family now lives closer to Laguna Beach, we love visiting the Laguna Beach Gina’s Pizza location after a fun day at the beach. When planning on dining at Gina’s Pizza, we recommend coming after 5pm to help with parking. If you cannot get a parking place close to the restaurant, just park anywhere close to a “Catch a Wave” sign, and the free trolley will bring you right to the restaurant. We usually plan to have lunch or dinner at...

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Get Fast Fresh Italian with Burrissimo (Restaurant Review)

Posted by on Jun 28, 2013 in Featured, Italian, Reviews | 2 comments

  Costa Mesa has a new restaurant – Burrissimo: Fast. Fresh. Italian. – and it truly lives up to it’s name! Burrissimo is grab-and-go Italian dining, custom made right in front of you, but loaded with fresh ingredients. Your kids won’t even notice they are getting an extra serving of veggies in every bite. We ordered a Burrissimo (Italian burrito), a salad bowl and a pasta bowl. And that was plenty for our family of six because of their large portion size. I just asked for two extra bowls and we divided up the pasta among the kids. They have a simple menu but the fun comes as you customize any meal by adding as many toppings as you like, for no extra charge. See Burrissimo’s full menu here. Burrissimo is located at 1534 Adams Ave #D Costa Mesa,...

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