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Great Eggspectations

Local chefs gussy up the most important meal of the day

This summer, chef Azmin Ghahreman of Sapphie tweaked his morning offerings for early risers with a new breakfast menu served from 7 to 11 a.m.

Brunch Bash
When chef Yvon Goetz revamped his brunch menu at The Winery Restaurant in June, one key ingredient stayed constant: California wines. His new dishes include such hearty plates as fried eggs with divinely runny yolks plated atop unctuous beef short rib hash braised in a crisp Zinfandel and garnished with duck fat-roasted fingerling potatoes. The vino-influenced menu taps into the sweeter side with almond croissant crème brulee French toast drizzled with berry-Zinfandel syrup.
The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar, 3131 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach, 949.999.6622 :: thewinerynewport.com

The Good Egg
This year OC’s reigning king of wood-fire cooking, Noah Blöm, opened a quaint space named after his wife, Marín Howarth. At the tiny eatery next door to their award-winning restaurant, Arc, the couple embrace the idea of serving eggs all day long. The breakfast menu at Restaurant Marín ranges from hearty fried chicken and eggs to crabcake bene topped with hollandaise to dainty mini egg soufflés. Everything, including the breads and layered cakes, is prepared on-site in Blöm’s signature wood-burning ovens. The steep prices reflect the chef’s craftsmanship and the couple’s love for artisanal ingredients. But Blöm’s take on the classic breakfast sandwich will have you overlooking the $18 price tag. The thick, freshly baked muffin melds well with buttery eggs, charred layers of bacon, crisp green spinach and gooey melted cheddar. It’s simple and scrumptious.          
Restaurant Marin, 3321 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, 949.402.3974 :: restaurantmarin.com

The Breakfast Club
Sapphire is one of Laguna’s quintessential neighborhood spots. When it opened nearly a decade ago, the eatery found its niche tucked away in the Old Pottery Place just steps away from Coast Highway. The restaurant, which expanded over the years, now includes the adjacent Sapphire Pantry. Complete with a cheesemonger, 100 varieties of cheese, artisanal honey sourced from regions as far off as Java and Spain, and fresh-squeezed juices, the pantry satisfies cravings for locals on the go. This summer, chef Azmin Ghahreman tweaked his morning offerings for early risers with a new breakfast menu served from 7 to 11 a.m. The homestyle fare features classic buttermilk pancakes topped with a sweet compote made with locally grown berries and savory egg white scrambles with fresh garden vegetables and feta cheese.
Sapphire, 1200 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, 949.715.9888 :: sapphirellc.com

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