Last weekend, we became privy to a private space about to go public. While it is situated towards the ever-popular 17th Street in Costa Mesa, the exact location caught us off guard.
Named The Boathouse Collective, it's a building with a past: Newport Harbor's first wooden-hulled ships were made on site, post-World War II. Over the years, this same space also housed a surfboard manufacturer and even a recording studio. Current owner and Costa Mesa native Clay Peterson restored the Boathouse using vintage hardware (a steam pipe converted to house beer taps, for example) and reclaimed materials, resulting in a multipurpose event venue.
Starting October 8, the doors will open for lunch and dinner service. Chef Mathieu Royer is overseeing the kitchen, bringing culinary expertise from Pizzeria Ortica, Hinoki and the Bird, and the Napa outpost of Morimoto. His "Creative California" cuisine toys with other 'C' descriptions like coconut curry and chimichurri. But for the purposes of this column, we'll focus on the cocktails.
The Boathouse Sour is classic with a twist. Bourbon whiskey, maple simple syrup, fresh lemon, egg whites and some Angostura bitters are all dry shaken until frothy. Then it's poured over a single hunk of ice. Citrus peel and skewered Luxardo cherries finish it. Your mouth puckers with each sip, forcing you to nurse this particular drink while playing nice with those at the bar. Between the chef, their enclosed garden patio and that sour, you'll get used to this quick–stay tuned for the inevitable Edwin review…
The Boathouse Collective is located at 1640 Pomona Ave, Costa Mesa.