If you're one to trust the kitchen at your favorite spot, the prix fixe was made for you. A set amount for a pre-determined meal, the places that offer these menus are confident that diners will not only enjoy their food, but will be repeat offenders. Sometimes you get to choose-your-own-adventure with 'A' or 'B' options. At other restaurants, you engage in whatever special is served that day. Relaxed to award-winning, these seven cover your weekday and weekend needs.
Easily the finest lunch special in Orange County, you cannot go wrong in the cozy dining room on the
third Penthouse level of South Coast Plaza. For a reasonable $25, expect a trio of courses showcasing the style of cooking Florent and Amelia Marneau are notorious for. Salad, seafood, pastry or something else, French cuisine is always properly represented.
For Tuesday and Thursday night suppers, Moulin is where you should be. A plat du jour is updated weekly on their website for the Tuesday special. Yet carnivores know to drop in on Thursdays for perfect rib eye, duo Bearnaise/pepper sauces with salad and unlimited frites ($29). A bustling setting, this is the after-work spot to converse and uncork a bottle of red.
The Golden Truffle
Chef Alan Greeley owns Soul Food Wednesdays at his Newport Boulevard mainstay. Giving a global perspective each week, dinner is a delicious, cultural experience. Everything Greeley plates is thoughtfully planned, likely utilizing his vinegar or vast salt collection. Book when you're feeling wanderlust.
Tasting menus Wednesday through Saturday at this highly regarded space have the intimate feel of a dinner party. Trust in the menu and ability of this team, led by one Carlos Salgado. You will understand the accolades for this OC Mix favorite from start to finish. Also noteworthy: an equally memorable Sunday brunch.
Napa Rose Chef's Counter
Reserving two months ahead is key to scoring the best seats along this Disney Grand Californian resort counter top. With only a dozen seats for diners, being their guest is an interactive experience. After a few questions to gauge your preferences, the kitchen is assigned their courses. A customized meal, including an amuse, intermezzo and dessert accompany your other dishes. The 'show' of preparing meals is your entertainment, as cast members orchestrate expertly crafted dinners nightly.
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Leatherby's Cafe Rouge
For theater nights at Segerstrom, begin at this Patina Group dining room. Chef Ross conjures up elaborate tasting menus to go along with the featured performance next door. Never sacrificing quality for creativity, dining in Leatherby's chic space is the ideal complement to your showtime. Check their website for upcoming menus.
A breakfast, brunch and lunch destination, weekend dinner at Grits is a revelation. While there is a full menu selection to choose from, regulars know it's all about that fried chicken only served Sunday evenings. This crunchy all-you-can-eat feast runs for $26, and includes salad, dessert and sides that vary from week-to-week. Think duck fat mashed potatoes or spinach and asparagus saute. Good times await.