A highly anticipated opening, one low-key happy hour, and free confetti cake is what we cover in our weekly guide. Pick and choose what’s right for you, then take advantage of it before the rest come to their senses.
BELLO Launches This Month! – Newport Beach
Chef Sandro Nardone was originally on the blog back in April, when we shared morsels regarding his future dining location and culinary background. Today, we can inform you that opening night for BELLO by Sandro Nardone is slated for November 18. His starting iteration will serve a range of tastes, “If vegans and vegetarians come to my restaurant, I want them to eat as well as guests who are eating meat and fish; anything else is unacceptable.” While you may find familiar Italian specialties such as osso buco over polenta, where Nardone shines is his contemporary viewpoint; a gnocchetti sardi dish topped with bluefin tuna tartare or lobster starter with passion fruit and pickled onions come to mind.
We popped in unannounced a few weeks ago to check on BELLO’s progress, and chef was on site awaiting his next appointment. While there, we were reintroduced to a familiar face: Chef de Cuisine Frank DeLoach. After a couple of stints in Long Beach, it was good to see DeLoach bring his craft back to the county and in good company. The smartly designed space offers an ample bar, a clear, yet decorative division between lounge and dining, plus the coveted chef’s counter. He took a brief call while we finished our espresso (Thank you for the pick-me-up, chef!), and we parted ways once his meeting arrived . . . .a certain Golden Foodie Award winner ready to consult on the restaurant’s progressive bar program. Make your reservations now via Yelp. 1200 Bison Ave.; www.bellobysandronardone.com.
Macy*s Has a Happy Hour! – Costa Mesa
Inside the Home Store Wing of South Coast Plaza, you’ll find Stonewall Kitchen. This caterer/cafe/cooking school is actually best known for rock star jams and oils. However, they recently began rolling out an easy breezy list of deals on those days you find yourself wandering the mall (Hello holiday season!). Every Friday and Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m., swing by for three buck garlic fries and sautéed veggies; five dollar pinots, pilsners and an IPA from Towne Park. Six bills will get you even more wines or a bacon and chicken quesadilla. And for their seven special: your choice of lobster nachos or lobster quesadilla. If you’re gonna be stuck spending lots of time at the plaza, your meal doesn’t have to break the bank. 3333 Bear St., (714) 513-3940; www.macysrestaurants.com/stonewall
2nd & PCH Has Good Taste In Tenants – Long Beach
We may sound like a broken record when mentioning that we need to get our butt over to LBC more often. With the launch of the city’s newest lifestyle center, now we have so many more reasons to. For starters, a Shake Shack closer to home! Bay Area transplants will always be down for a branch of The Boba Guys. Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger have a duo of Border BBQ and Pacha Mamas already up and running. The ultimate bar scene comes courtesy of The Bungalow. Local fave Urban Plates is also on deck to open. Heck, and that’s only half the dining tenants. The rest we’ll get to know as they open in due time . . . .6400 E. Pacific Coast Hwy.; www.2ndandpch.com.
National Bundt Day is Next Week! – Tustin location
A little social media birdie told us that the 15th is NBD (National Bundt Day to the rest of you.). The Tustin branch of Nothing Bundt Cakes is ready to par-tay with a sweet, sweet giveaway. Drop in at 11:15 a.m. that day for one of two prizes: the first 22 guests will receive a punch card good for free bundtlets for a year. The remaining folks get a Confetti bundtlet to chew on until they run out. If you can get away from your work to fall in line, be our guest. www.nothingbundtcakes.com.
The Shortest Drink Lines At AMC Are Here – Orange
It was a Sunday afternoon, and we were waiting for our movie to start at the Outlets at Orange. However, that wasn’t happening anytime soon, and we were super thirsty. The general snack bar line was ridiculous, so we were stuck. What else could we do? Since it was perfect beer weather, we fell in line at their MacGuffin’s Bar. Separate from the snack bar, not only do they solely serve beverages, but they strictly pour alcoholic options. With a mere two people in front of us, we were sipping a refreshing pint in under ten minutes. Remember that the next time you’re parched around prime time. 20 City Blvd. West, Ste. E., (714) 769-4288; www.amctheatres.com.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.