Celebrating ten years, OC Restaurant week continues in 2018 with over 150 of the best restaurants in Orange County. Enjoy a selection of specially priced lunch, dinner and luxe-fixe menus from select eateries – eat, drink and repeat runs through March 10, for more information and for a list of participating restaurants, visit www.ocrestaurantweek.com. Here are our picks from some of our favorite OC restaurants.
SeaLegs Restaurant & Wine Bar
SeaLegs, 2017 winner for Best Waterfront Dining, is located on the sands of Bolsa Chica State Beach, where ocean and sky, both usually blue, dominate the view. This establishment offers a wonderful boozy brunch but exclusive for OC Restaurant Week, the kitchen will be serving a $30 dinner that includes a crostini starter and cheese mongers dream – Humbodlt County Chevre, dried figs, Mandarin orange slice, toasted almonds and Mexican blue agave. And for the main dish, there’s no going wrong with a comforting cast iron ratatouille of fresh herb roasted winter veggies layered in a cast iron skillet, baked with savory marinara sauce and topped with micro basil. 21022 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 536-5700; www.sealegswinebar.com.
Chef Katy Smith is serving up a delicious $15 lunch and $30 prix fixe dinner only available during OC Restaurant Week. Highlights include crab guacamole (mashed avocado, cilantro, onion, fresh squeezed lime and orange, habanero chilies and lump blue crab), zucchini and cactus tacos (crispy melted cheese, calabaza, nopales, avocado and zesty cilantro-tomatillo) and pina colada carrot cake with sweet pistachio sauce and candied carrot. 8577 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, (949) 608-9990; eatpuesto.com.
Experience the creative American cuisine of chef Paul Villa with zinfandel braised Colorado lamb shank (sunchoke tapenade puree, mint yogurt, toasted feta, topped with English cucumber salad), a bowl of the chef’s nightly soup and a glass of Angeline Reserve ($5). 25250 La Paz Rd., Laguna Hills, (949) 446-8772; www.ironwoodlagunahills.com.
Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens
Enjoy a carefully orchestrated four-course dinner by owner/executive chef Rich Mead on the beautiful terrace overlooking Roger’s Gardens scenic greenery. OC Restaurant Week is the perfect time to try Farmhouse’s garden-to-table Schaner Farms citrus and avocado salad with sesame vinaigrette and toasted pine nuts. Pair your meal with an award-winning cocktail for only $10 more. 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona Del Mar, (949) 640-1415; farmhouserg.com.
For lunch, Haven is offering their fried chicken sandwich – a crispy jidori thigh topped with creamy aioli, heirloom tomato and shredded lettuce on an OC Baking Company brioche bun. It’s available as part of a $20 deal that comes with a starter and your choice of a house-made maple glaze doughnut with Jacobsen flake sea salt or bread pudding (brioche, dark chocolate and poached pears served with cinnamon-brown butter ice cream). 190 S. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 221-0680; www.havengastropub.com.
Cynthia Rebolledo covers anything and everything food, culture and spirits.