Celebrity Chef Michael Mina recently closed Stonehill Tavern at Monarch Beach Resort and rebranded the space, reopening as Bourbon Steak. My only experience with Bourbon Steak goes back six years when I visited the Washington DC location. When I was invited to check out the Orange County location, I was not only excited to see the transformation, but also, curious to see how the restaurant has been re-imagined.
The spectacular view is one of the many reasons to visit Bourbon Steak, not to mention the impeccable service. I was presented with a cocktail shortly after, complete with my logo floating on top of the gimlet glass.
At Bourbon Steak, in lieu of a bread basket, diners are treated to a trio of French Fries: regular topped with a pinch of fresh parsley; parmesan; and Tajin accompanied by three sauces: Green Goddess, truffle aioli, and ketchup. Being a French fries fiend, I found it extremely difficult to stop, and would have ordered an additional portion except I knew there was a lot of food on the way.
To start, an amuse bouche of Chilled Asparagus Soup dotted with little pearls of fish roe is a delightful offering. I love how the roe pops in my mouth, adding hints of umami along the way.
The caviar program here entails a traditional service, or, Signature Parfait with your Caviar Selection choices of Imperial Osetra ($160) or Royal Osetra ($95). Our Signature Parfait is a composed version of a traditional caviar service with layers of ingredients including finely chopped boiled egg. I enjoyed the flavors tremendously.
Michael’s Ahi Tuna Tartare ($26) is served table-side and allows diners to interact with staff during this process. This dish is one of my favorites and sees tuna chunks, Asian pear, and pine nuts, tossed together with dried scotch bonnet powder, mint chiffonade and sesame oil. There was a tad too much sesame oil, which overwhelmed the dish ever so slightly, but we love sesame oil, so it wasn’t a problem at all.
Next, a sizzling Cast-Iron Broiled Shellfish Platter ($85) is brought to the table. A lemongrass tea is drizzled over the layer of salt causing steam to rise, wafting over the oysters, gulf shrimp, lobster, and king crab legs. The seafood is seasoned with red miso butter, while charred lemon and lime are served on the side for you to use at your pleasure. My son thoroughly enjoyed the oysters, which I am allergic to.
Our entree is Hay-Smoked Snake River Farms Rib Eye Cap ($82) another table-side presentation. The dish is brought to the table under a smoke-filled dome. The steak is then sliced and plated with sides of fingerling potatoes and maitake (hen of the woods) mushrooms.
We also tried a delicious and perfectly executed Grilled Broccolini ($14) with Calabrian chile topped with crispy fried shallots …
And a spectacular Black Truffle Mac & Cheese ($15) which was not at all heavy and had the perfect amount of black truffle.
Bourbon Steak is a gorgeous spot to take a special date, or celebrate various milestones. Service is absolutely impeccable, super attentive without ever feeling intrusive. I love the genuine approach of every staff member we came across, which makes a visit to Bourbon Steak not only memorable, but also, creates a feeling of true welcoming hospitality for every diner who walks through the door.
at Monarch Beach Resort
One Monarch Beach Resort N
Dana Point, CA 92629