Get the New Year started on January 1, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., with a New Year’s Day Recovery Breakfast in the Palm Terrace Lounge at the Island Hotel (949.759.0808, islandhotel.com). The exquisite buffet will feature a bloody Mary and mimosa bar replete with all the garnishes. Cost, $35 per person, $55 with unlimited Champagne.
Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern has a new happy hour, Monday through Friday, 4-6 p.m. The assortment of small and large plates includes turkey chili, Angus ground beef sliders and fire-grilled flat-bread with an elaborate topping, and are available with prices starting at $4. Draft beers are $2 off the regular price and premium well drinks are priced at $4. Signature cocktails include a skinny margarita, lemonade made with Ketel One vodka and a cucumber cooler.
Currently open for dinner, Fig & Olive in Fashion Island (949.877.3005, figandolive.com) will begin serving lunch on January 6.
Through January 31, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (949.720.9633, flemingssteakhouse.com) is offering a two-course, prix-fixe menu of a forest mushroom and housemade ricotta crostini and cedar-smoked charred prime New York strip for $40.95 per person. Fleming’s has also launched its new nationwide menu featuring dry-aged steaks, and new steak companions that include truffled poached lobster; diablo shrimp; king crab with herb butter; and a flavor trio with three steak spreads.
Bruxie, popular for its gourmet waffle sandwiches (bruxie.com) opened its seventh location in the space formerly occupied by Greek Town Grill on 17th Street in Costa Mesa. Along with its unique light and crispy waffle sandwiches, Bruxie also serves salads, locally produced old-fashioned cane sugar sodas and real Wisconsin frozen custard, the base of its shakes, sundaes and floats. Nothing on the menu exceeds $10.
Savannah Chop House in Laguna Niguel (949.493.7107, savannahchophouse.net) has revised its new Perfect 10 menu that is served all night, Sunday through Thursdays. Appetizers are priced at $5.95. The perfect $10 dinner entrees include a choice from five entrees – petite lamb rack, pork osso buco, seared ahi tuna, chicken breast, and basa fish filet – and come with two sides. The next cooking class at SCH is January 8, 11:30 a.m. The theme, Italian Cuisine, includes lasagna and tiramisu. Cost, $35 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations a must.
Sandy Caouette (949.500.3866) a manager at Savannah Chop House, will teach Mama Mia! Pizza for kids, 7-12, at the restaurant on January 11, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. A second cooking class, Homemade Hummus & Pita Chips, is planned for January 25. Each class is priced at $44.95. Book two classes and get a free apron and a SCH kids’ certificate.
Exclusive to JT Schmid’s in Anaheim (714.258.0333, jtschmidsrestaurants.com) are the new Beer Tails, a line of innovative drinks that showcases the versatility of quality, hand-crafted beer. Beer Tails have catchy names such as Beergarita, Melonweizen, Strawbeeri Blond, Snakebeer, and Peachbeeri Fuzz. Each drink has the inclusion of tequila, midori, Stoli vodka, or peach schnapps, fruit and appropriate flavorings. The concoctions are then blended with the perfectly-paired hand-crafted beer.
SeaLegs (714.536.5700, sealegswine.com) and Arc (949.500.5561, arcrestaurant.com) have new fall dishes on their menus. SeaLegs pumped up the comfort food list to include pumpkin coconut curry lump crab bisque, and chipotle stout-braised short ribs. Arc Chef Noah Blom is now serving American roast specialties. Executive Chef Deborah Schneider at SOL Cocina (949.675.9800) offers more than 30 vegan, vegetarian or wheat-free items on her menu.
Scott’s Restaurant & Bar (714.979.2400, scottsrestaurantandbar.com) has a new brunch menu served Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Nutella brioche French toast, crab eggs Benedict, and a bacon and egg flatbread, are just a few of the scrumptious selections. A bloody Mary cart visits each table. Champagne drinkers can order tableside endless mimosas for $10. The $30 per person brunch includes one starter, one entrée and endless Champagne, plus tax and gratuity. A la carte pricing is available, and a children’s menu can be requested. Scott’s new winter handcrafted cocktails are created by new lead mixologist James Wood. Wood’s previous stint was at Hopscotch in Fullerton.
The family-owned Artisan Bread in Santa Ana (949.429.5301, breadartisanbakery.com) sells fresh bread from the oven to the public at wholesale prices on Thursdays, 4-7 p.m. and 9 a.m.-noon on Saturdays. The bakery, located at 1943 E. Pomona St., Santa Ana, carries baguettes, brioche and its specialty, kouign amann, a round, crusty Breton cake. The bakery is known to sell out quickly.
Chef Justin Monson and his wife, Dorine, who put Vine in San Clemente on the map (949.361.2070, vinesanclemente.com), have since sold to Russ Bendel, a managing partner at Fleming’s Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Newport Beach. Bendel has appointed Jared Cook as the new executive chef. Prior to his promotion, Cook was sous chef at Vine.
Veggie Grill (veggiegrill.com) introduced a new seasonal menu. New are the Harvest Bowl, made with field roast “sausage,” veggies, grains, mushrooms, miso gravy, and hemp seeds, and the Bombay Bowl, a combination of veggies, grains, kale, cannellini beans, cilantro/green curry sauce, almonds, and hemp seeds. A quinoa power salad, herb-roasted veggies and mondo nachos are also new.
JC Clow, William Lewis and Chef Yvon Getz, the team that opened The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar at The District at Tustin Legacy six years ago (714.258.7600, thewineryrestaurant.net), has targeted February for the opening of their second location on the waterfront in Newport Beach. Located on the site of the former Villa Nova, the new Winery will be a 10,000-square-foot, two-story structure, complete with a 700-square-foot patio and two fireplaces. Cigar smokers will enjoy their own heated patio with a bayfront view. The Winery in Tustin was recently named the “2013 Restaurant of the Year” by the Orange County Concierge Association.