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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

October Celebrations at Fleming’s Fashion Island

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in American, Events, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

 October brings the new Fleming’s 100® featuring 100 celebrated wines by the glass; a sophisticated Halloween 007 Spy night dinner; an irresistible surf-and-turf three-course menu starring a filet mignon and lobster duo; incentives for early holiday bookings for both you and your guests, and more! Fleming’s 100® October 16 is the launch date of the new Fleming’s 100®, an award-winning wine list featuring an internationally curated collection of 100 wines by the glass handpicked by National Director of Wine, Maeve Pesquera. Selections vary from bubbly such as JCB from Jean-Charles Boisset and Complicated Chardonnay, Sonoma County to Paraduxx Proprietary Red, Napa Valley and Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley. Halloween Evening of Espionage Dinner Calling all 007 fans: Celebrate Halloween night in 007 style with a five-course spy-themed dinner and cocktails by Belvedere Vodka, the official vodka brand of...

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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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Bacchus Bar and Bistro: Great Find That’s Easy To Miss

Posted by on Feb 7, 2015 in Featured, Reviews, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Bacchus Bacchus Bar and Bistro may be tucked away in a corner of Irvine’s Quail Hill Village Center but if you’re a wine lover, you won’t want to miss it. Perfect for a girls night out or date night, this wine bar and bistro offers an impressive list of over 350 wines, 60 of them by the glass, 12 wine flights, 12 craft beers on tap as well as 20 bottled micro-brews, and a bistro menu. Though in a typical suburban shopping center surrounded by fast casual restaurants and a grocery store, venture in for a little wine therapy and it’s easy to forget your outside surroundings once inside this warm, casual yet still sophisticated open room. Perch yourself at the bar, in the corner nook, or at a table or high top...

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Chef Insights on TAPS Fall Menu

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in American, Featured, Reviews, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of TAPS We spent a leisurely evening out on the patio of TAPS Fish House and Brewery, socializing with guests during their annual beer dinner in Brea. This event was not only an excuse to sip a few of their notable drafts, but an opportunity to see Chef Manny Gonzalez extend his creative side in the kitchen. Consisting of an amuse bouche, three courses plus dessert; we’re posting in ascending order of our favorite bites. Chef was also kind enough to provide some insight on each dish. We consider this a “Behind the Dinner” feature. Course Four: Lamb Paella – Baby lamb shank with saffron paired with Pumpkin Ale When we hear the term paella, we typically assume sausage and shellfish. While it may have caught us off guard, it was a seriously hearty...

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Bacchus Bar & Bistro… From Wine Store to Wine Bar

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Reviews, Uncategorized, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Bacchus I am all about outdoor dining, but once it starts getting dark before 5:00 I start craving a darker warm, cozy atmosphere to meet friends for a few bites and enjoy a glass of wine. My friend Janice and I have discovered a perfect place to do just that… Bacchus Bar and Bistro in Quail Hill Shopping Center in Irvine. Though I have been to Quail Hill many times I never realized there is a wine bar tucked into the corner. It’s been there for years. How could I have missed it? Well, to be fair until more recently it was a wine store with a space for wine tasting. Now though it has been completely redesigned into a warm, casually elegant wine bar, lounge and bistro. And under the management of...

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Stefano’s Beer Social Fall Opening

Posted by on Sep 25, 2014 in Reviews, Wine Bars and Bistros | 1 comment

 We dined as a guest of Stefano’s My husband and I were guests of Stefano’s Beer Social Fall Opening, featuring everything pumpkin! Stefano’s is located in Yorba Linda on Imperial Hwy and Yorba Lina Blvd behind Chili’s. Stefano’s is so much more than a specialty Italian deli; now you can enjoy dinner with craft beers and wines as well. Sitting on the patio of Stefano’s we chatted it up with Frank Sr. (the owner) and his son, Frankie. Father and son share the same enthusiasm and love for great food. Frankie researched a new twist on the classic mac ‘n’ cheese, and came up with pumpkin, panchetta, and a well aged sharp cheddar “cooked down all day.” The final pizazz are the thick bacon chunks with nutmeg on top. My husband called it, “the so-darn-good-mac’n’cheese” (I tamed down what...

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Chef Oge Dalken Brings Glamour to Bar Food at The Slidebar

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Reviews, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of The Slidebar Downtown Fullerton is a well-established area full of bars, restaurants, and music and The Slidebar is an integral part of that scene. With an atmosphere that celebrates rock n’ roll, a stage for popular local and touring bands in back, a spacious open bar area in the front with TV screens for viewing sporting events, and now a recently added outdoor patio area that feels like someone’s funky backyard in the city, it’s a fun energetic place for a casual afternoon or evening out. Last week my sister, Shan and I headed up to try out some of their latest dishes. I love being outside, so when we arrived and were asked to sit wherever we wanted in the outdoor patio area I was thrilled. The grounds were lined with casual...

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Calivino Wine Pub: A Neighborhood Gem By Angel Stadium

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in Reviews, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest fo Calivino I’m kind of a sucker for independently owned businesses, especially restaurants. I’m always excited to see someone who loves food and wine make a go of their dream and succeed. For business owner, Daniel Bradley, his dream became a reality five months ago with the opening of his first restaurant Calivino Wine Pub in Anaheim. Last week I was invited to come to try their new Fall menu with wines paired by Daniel. Located in a storefront surrounded by office space, apartments, and Angels stadium, Calivino draws not only a local crowd, but also business people and game and concert goers. The first thing I noticed when walking in were the polished concrete floors, reclaimed wood tables, modern lighting, and salvaged wood art collection which gives the wine pub a modern industrial...

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Aqua Lounge at the Island Hotel

Posted by on Sep 6, 2014 in Reviews, Travel, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of the Aqua Lounge The Aqua Lounge is one of the newest additions to the Island Hotel including Oak Grill. It is not a place for families, but a cool bar scene for couples to enjoy during a date night or while staying at the resort for a nightcap. I was able to sample three of the appetizers from Aqua Lounge including the fried green tomatoes. The deep fried tomatoes came paired with a spicy remoulade dipping sauce that was perfectly paired with a cucumber cobbler cocktail. The cocktail was light, refreshing and made with coast sage infused Hendricks Gin, fresh apple, cucumber puree, housemade ginger syrup and fresh lemon juice. While the cucumber cobbler was a perfect summer cocktail, my favorite cocktail of the evening was the moscow mule. Who doesn’t love a...

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Magical Dinner at Quinn’s Old Town Grill

Posted by on Aug 31, 2014 in Best of OC, Featured, Reviews, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Quinn’s Quinn’s Old Town Grill is a family-friendly Irish pub with comforting food, festive ambiance and Wednesday night magic shows. Quinn’s Old Town Grill is one of the first Irish pubs that I have dined at that caters to families, couples and singles alike. Our family dined at Quinn’s for the first time last month during their Wednesday night magic hours. When our family stepped into the festive restaurant, we were immersed into the feeling of dining at a pub right off the cobblestone streets in Dublin. Within moments after we sat together in the plush leather booth, Stryker (the magician) came to our table for a magical magic show. He got the kids involved in a close-up magic show right at our table getting them excited about magic like they’ve never been...

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New Summer Cocktails Take Center Stage at ARC

Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Dining News, Featured, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

 Summer is here, and so is a new line-up of refreshing cocktails at ARC. Koire Rogers, ARC Bar Chef, has created a Julep-inspired summer craft cocktails with a fresh focus. Julep was once prescribed by doctors for it’s medicinal qualities, and has now evolved into a recreational beverage. When dining at ARC this summer, try one of their all-new summer craft cocktails. Big Popa pilar rum, sherry, yellow chartreuse Framboozled mezcal, raspberry, sour beer, chile Jill’s Julep amaro, vermouth, lemon, bubbles Prescription Julep brandy, rye, mint Upstairs cocchi americano, lemon, seltzer Chartreuse Swizzle green chartreuse, lime, pineapple Hemingway pilar rum, lime, maraschino Friendly Fire gin, apple, allspice, fire “The goal of our Beverage Program here at ARC is to provide our guests with an enticing array of classic cocktails, and then expanding on that by presenting them with our...

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5th Annual Cabernet Cookoff

Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Events, Travel, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

 On Sunday, May 18 from 11am to 2pm, HALL Wines will bring together local foodies and wine for a good cause featuring 15 chef teams competing for a local charity by creating small bite dishes paired with the recently released HALL 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. During the event, guests will be invited to taste farm-to-table dishes from each chef team paired with the wine and vote on their favorite for the People’s Choice Award. The 2013 HALL Cabernet Cookoff drew more than 480 culinary and wine lovers and raised $30,000 for the top four winning team’s sponsored charities. Chef teams participating in the HALL Cabernet Cookoff include: • Tyler Rodde, Oenotri • Victoria Acosta, The Grill at Meadowood • Rodney Worth & Audrey Perrone, The Pear Bistro • Corrie Beezley, The Farmers Market Pantry • Christopher Ludwick, Earth’s...

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The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar Opening In Newport Beach Tomorrow

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in American, Dining News, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

  The highly anticipated time has come for The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar to open their second location in Newport Beach, tomorrow, April 15th! The gorgeous waterfront location will offer diners an unforgettable dining experience with delicious cuisine paired with the perfect wines. The new restaurant was designed by Richard McCormack Design of Orange County. The restaurant is a two-story 10,000 square-foot building with a large outdoor patio with two fireplaces and unforgettable views of the marina. The first floor will offer views at every table. On the second floor there is a cigar patio with plush sofas, dual-sided fireplaces and flat-screen televisions. Upon entering the luxurious restaurant, guests will bask in the beauty of the stone slab, wood flooring, fourteen-foot high wine display, majestic stone, and sparkling light fixtures. Guests will experience the finest culinary dishes designed...

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Creating the Perfect Gourmet Dinner at The Meat House

Posted by on Mar 19, 2014 in Reviews, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

  When I was invited to attend a Wine Tasting & Food Pairing at The Meat House in Mission Viejo, it was a place I wasn’t familiar with and based on its name, I imagined it might be a steakhouse that served large sized luscious steaks and chops accompanied by big bold wines. A quick search on the internet revealed it’s actually a butcher and market. As a 10-year resident of San Clemente who frequently drives to Carlsbad and L.A. to buy meat and specialty items, how had I missed this place located just up the road? I was excited! And since I was able to bringing a guest, I immediately called my sister and partner in crime, Shan, who loves good food and wine as much if not more than I do. Upon arriving we were greeted by...

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Holiday Wine Pairing with California Square Fine Wine

Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Reviews, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

  When planning your upcoming holiday celebrations, you’ll be able to impress your guests when serving the exquisite West Coast Original California Square Fine Wine from Paso Robles. Your guests will taste the difference of this wine with every sip while basking in the joys of the holiday season. It is not just the beautiful designer bottle that makes this wine unique, but also the flavor. There are three different types of California Square wine available at Total Wine & More including a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Three Red Blend and Chardonnay. While I have never been a fan of red wines, the Three Red Blend caught me by surprise. The wine has a dark blueberry and vanilla oak spice aroma that is combined with ripe sweet blackberries and chocolate flavors. It is perfectly paired with red meats and pasta...

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Fig & Olive Opening in Orange County this Month

Posted by on Dec 8, 2013 in American, Dining News, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

  The highly anticipated opening of Fig & Olive at Fashion Island will be just in time for the holidays on Friday, December 20th. The restaurant has already begun taking reservations for dining in their all-new 12,000-square-foot, 330-seat dining destination. The new restaurant will feature a decor rich in natural limestones and white stucco walls. The menu is crafted by Executive Chef Pascal Lorange, and aims to capture the essence and flavors of the coastal towns along the French Riviera. Chef Pascal Lorange has carefully chosen farmers and hand-selected ingredients to design a seasonal menu for guests. Guests can savor in the delicious culinary offerings at the Crostini Station that will include shareable small places such as Zucchini Carpaccio, Octopus a la Gallega, Fig Gorgonzola Tartlet, and a Marinated Beef Tartar Filet Mignon. For lunch, they will have a...

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Holiday Spirits at Scott’s Restaurant & Bar

Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in Featured, Reviews, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

 After a day of holiday shopping, if you’re anything like me you look forward to resting your feet and unwinding with a cocktail and a few lite bites. I now know where I will be doing just that after my next shopping excursion to South Coast Plaza. This week I had the opportunity to sample an innovative and sophisticated selection of Winter Crafted Cocktails created by lead mixologist, James Wood at Scott’s Restaurant & Bar in Costa Mesa. Winner of The Reader’s Choice Vote for Best Bartender and Best Signature Cocktail as well as OC Weekly’s Drink of the Week Award twice, James was snapped up three months ago by Scott’s and has embraced the restaurant’s “organic and sustainable” philosophy in the mixes and garnishes he uses as he creates their ever evolving cocktail menu. There is something for...

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The Winery Named 2013 Restaurant of the Year

Posted by on Dec 5, 2013 in Dining News, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

  OC Mom Dining would like to send a big “Congratulations” to The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar for being named the 2013 Restaurant of the Year by the OC Concierge Association. The Winery has been given the honor of this pristine title in 2008 and 2009, making them a three-time award winner. “It is with great pleasure that we announce The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar as ‘Restaurant of the Year’ again this year. Selecting one restaurant that meets the criteria for excellence established by the Association is not an easy task,” explained Lisa Carpenter, Public Relations Manager for the Orange County Concierge Association and Concierge at the Island Hotel. “Members from the top hotels throughout Orange County base their decision on the quality of food, service, ambiance and, of course, the restaurant’s working relationship with concierge. Once...

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Five Holiday Cocktail Recipes From Local Orange County Restaurants

Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Featured, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

  Planning a special holiday celebration? Trying to find that perfect holiday cocktail recipe? Five Orange County Restaurants have offered their favorite holiday cocktail recipes for you to enjoy making for your guests this holiday season. Antonello Ristorante, Zov’s, Back Bay Bistro, Bayside and L’Opera Ristorante share their favorite holiday cocktail recipes below.. Antonello Ristorante 1611 Sunflower Ave Santa Ana, CA www.antonello.com “Nutty Pumpkin” Latte Combine: · 1 ounce Nocello Italian Walnut Liqueur · 2 ounces of our signature spiced pumkin puree’ · 1 ounce hot espresso · 3 ounces of steamed whole milk Top with: · Whipped cream · Powdered cocoa In an 8 ounce coffee mug, add the Nocello, pumpkin puree’ and espresso. Steam up the 3 ounces of whole milk and add to mug. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a shake of powdered...

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Season Brews Beer Tasting Event

Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Dining News, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

  California weather is cooling off, and now is the time to try out some beers with more thickness and bite to warm you up! Get a taste at Total Wine & More’s all-new Winter Warmers & Holiday Brews beer tasting event on Thursday, November 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Guests will satisfy their winter palates with an array of beers layered with flavors like cinnamon, caramel, gingerbread or smoke.Enjoy a wide selection of brewed beverages, including winter seasonal and special-release beers exclusively selected by Total Wine & More’s wine experts. Coupons will also be available for tasting selections. This tasting event will be held at all California Total Wine & More stores, including Redondo Beach, Northridge, Thousand Oaks, Roseville, Sacramento (Arden), Folsom, Laguna Hills, Brea, Tustin, Huntington Beach, Palm Desert, and Rancho Cucamonga. The Winter Warmers...

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