Even though I posted about A Restaurant not so long ago, I wanted to showcase its new spring menu which is now available. To me, Jon Blackford is a chef who has all the talent in the world, is a crazy great cook and everyone needs to know that! I still can’t believe it when people tell me they’ve not been to A Restaurant.
The spring menu has some absolutely delicious dishes, all made from scratch. I highly recommend Spring Garlic and Wine Sausage ($12) a house-made sausage using the seasonal garlic which has just sprung and not as pungent as “old garlic”. Served with an herb spaetzle, charred cabbage and mustard emulsion, this was one of my favorite dishes of the evening. The sausage has perfect texture with a beautiful crunchy exterior and flavors are wonderfully robust.
Even though meat is generally the highlight of a meal at A Restaurant, I believe the seafood also shines here. You won’t see me ordering halibut usually at a restaurant because often, it tends to run more on the overcooked side. But Chef Blackford is a master at his craft and Alaskan Halibut ($34) was prepared to perfection, not the least bit overdone at all. Tender, flaky fish, seasoned perfectly with well paired accoutrements such as scallion, mustard, asparagus, oyster mushrooms and black garlic come together creating a perfect plate.
Ironically, another protein I don’t usually order is pork so I was amazed by the Niman Ranch Pork Tenderloin ($26) served alongside crispy pork belly pieces for incredible texture contrast. Green garlic pierogi is interesting and brings Chef Blackford’s childhood to the fore. The use of chervil is delightful as it is not a readily found herb on most restaurants’ menus.
The piece de resistance of meals at A Restaurant is almost always, a perfectly executed piece of meat. Imperial Wagyu Strip grade 9-10 8oz ($80) is a stellar dish which I recommend sharing, especially if you’re sharing appetizers as well. Whenever I’ve dined here, we’ve asked for steaks to be sliced before being brought to table. This way, we can all enjoy without overindulging. Chefs who are able to season a piece of meat correctly always have my utmost respect. You’d be surprised how often I am presented with a piece of under-seasoned steak.
This Sunday, a special three-course prix fixe Mother’s Day brunch will be offered from 11am to 2.30pm. The regular dinner menu will be available from 4pm to 8pm. The brunch is $40 per person and $25 per child under 8 years old (excluding tax and gratuity), check out the menus below.
I urge you all to make your reservations now for a taste of Chef Blackford’s ingenuity!
3334 W Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663