New Belgium Beer Dinner, Tomato-Mania and More
WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Find out what's new in Orange County food and dining.
On September 6, 7 p.m., Five Crowns (949.760.0331) will present a six-course New Belgium Beer Dinner presented garden-style. Held in the Greenhouse Patio, the guest speaker for the evening will be Master Brewer Eric Salazar, creator of Eric’s Ale. Each course will be paired with different beers, with selections of specialty beers in the Lips of Faith Series. Souvenir glasses will be given to each guest. Cost, $69 per person, all inclusive, food only, $34.50.
Every Tuesday night at AnQi by Crustacean at South Coast Plaza (714.557.5679), Owner/Master Chef Helene An works solo in her Secret Kitchen preparing her signature roasted Dungeness crab. The whole crab, approximately two-and-a-half pounds, is served in the shell ($48) or unshelled ($53), and is accompanied by AnQi’s famous garlic noodles. To ensure that they are not sold out, the crab dinners can be reserved 24 hours in advance. Dinner only.
Rustica is out and Great Maple is in at Fashion Island (949.706.8282). The Italian concept has been replaced with seasonal plates and libations that represent more worldly kitchens. Selections range from ahi tuna tartare with mango and spicy grilled shrimp prawns, to pulled pork sandwiches, pasta dishes and protected seafood entrees. Heartier appetites will enjoy a gilled beef tenderloin, orange-smoked baby back ribs or maple balsamic bone-in pork chops. A jumbo red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting, a fresh seasonal pie or a peanut butter banana split are among the desserts.
Five Guys Burgers & Fries (949.219.0655) opened its first Newport Beach location in the Atrium Cafes at Fashion Island. Hamburgers are grilled to order, as well as hot dogs, grilled veggie and cheese sandwiches, and fresh cut French fries and Cajun fries. Also open in the Atrium Cafes is Sbarro (949.760.2520), where diners can customize their pasta dishes with any sauce and any topping. If freshly-baked pizza from the brick oven is preferred, similar to the pasta station, guests can top their pizza with their favorite toppings.
Leatherby’s Café Rouge at the Henry and Renee Segerstrom Concert Hall (714.429.7640) will offer a Latin-themed, pre-theater, prix fixe menu during the performance of West Side Story, September 6-18. Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan’s creations include “Maria,” an appetizer of poached tiger shrimp; “The Sharks,” an entrée of grilled shark; and for dessert, “Cool,” dulce de leche and a roasted pineapple empanada. Cost, $39 per person, $54 per person with wine pairing.
On September 10, noon-3 p.m., at Hidden Valley Park in Irvine, Fallen Firefighters will be honored at the 2nd annual OC Brew Ha Ha Festival fundraiser. More than 100 custom craft and imported beers from more than 50 breweries will be available for tasting. The event includes food trucks, live entertainment and exclusive beer seminars. Off duty firefighters will pour and serve brews throughout the event. General admission, $40 per adult, and $55 for VIP tickets that offer an 11 a.m. admission. A $10 Designated Driver ticket is available to non-imbibers who accompany paid entrants. For more details, or to purchase tickets, call 949.363.1774, or visit ocbrewhaha.com.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (949.720.9633) is offering the very special 2007 Silver Oak Alexander Valley wine at the very special price of $100 per bottle. Normal list price is $150-$175. The offer lasts through September 30, or until inventory runs out. A Silver Oak wine dinner is planned in September at all 64 Fleming’s. Contact your nearest Fleming’s for the exact date.
Executive Chef Pascal of Brasserie Pascal in Fashion Island (949.640.2700) has created Tomato-Mania, a special prix fixe summer menu that continues through September 15. Paying homage to the jewel of summer, every dish incorporates the tomato, including dessert. Three-courses are priced at $34, two-courses, $26.
Executive Chef Greg Daniels of Taco Asylum (714.922.6010) has put a healthy spin on his new taco plates. Recognized for his non-traditional gourmet tacos, Daniels has swapped his “rice and beans” for Israeli couscous and a cold lentil salad. The two-taco plate is priced at $14 and is available from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Beginning September 7 through October 1, Angelo's and Vinci’s Ristorante in Fullerton (714.879.4022, angelosandvincis.com) celebrates its 40th anniversary with Festival Italiano. Diners can expect to see magicians, strolling musicians and other live entertainment throughout the month. Other specially planned events will include California and Italian winemaker dinners; Popcorn and Pinot nights; a Tuscany Brunch; and Spaghetti Tuesday.
The OC Restaurant Association is hosting two back-to-back events. The first is Wine Week, September 25-October 1, followed by OC Beer Week, October 2-8. During these two weeks, food, wine and beer are offered at bargain prices. Visit ocwineandbeerweek.com for participating locations and menus.
On September 20, the fall menu edges into place at Seasons 52 at South Coast Plaza (714.437.5252) when pumpkin pie with double-gingersnap crust gets added to its mini-indulgence menu. Likened to a pumpkin chiffon mousse, this great alternative to a dense pumpkin pie, contains only 475 calories or less.
Islands Restaurants (islandsrestaurants.com) have introduced the Margarita Lite, a delicious and waist-friendly margarita made with premium Silver Patron tequila, organic agave nectar, lime juice, and triple sec. In addition, Islands offers specialty burgers, soft tacos, salads, and other exotic drinks.
Bruxie, the gourmet waffle quick-serve eatery, has opened its second location on the Birch Street Promenade in downtown Brea (bruxie.com). Bruxie’s Belgian waffles first became a hit in Old Towne Orange. The waffles are used in everything from breakfast items to dessert.