I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and that some of you had the opportunity to spoil yourselves with a great meal. If Selanne Steak Tavern happen to be your destination of choice, then I commend you for your excellent taste. This beautiful fine dining restaurant is not only a romantic setting for dinner, but the food and service are also, impeccable.
The bar area is always great for a casual bite, but when you want something special, ask to be seated in the “wine room” when you make a reservation, specifically the table by the window.
Then, start with wine or cocktails and the Artisanal Cheese & Charcuterie Sampler ($26), a selection of gourmet artisanal cheeses and fine cured charcuterie, served with Chef Josh Severson’s homemade jams and mustards. On a side note, a lot of the items you enjoy in the dining room can be purchased at TS Gourmet Shoppe, the little shop to the right of the restaurant as you leave.
As I peruse the menu, I see Spot Prawns ($20) seasoned with citronette and chile oil. The prawns are beautifully presented and possess wonderful flavors, a perfect follow up to the charcuterie board.
Scarlett Beet “Ravioli” ($16) is an all-time favorite of mine. This innovative dish uses slices of beets as the “ravioli” – there is no pasta involved – and goat cheese as a filling. Bits of hazelnuts are dotted around the plate all drizzled with a warm golden beet vinaigrette.
Before our main courses arrive, we are presented with a palate cleanser to refresh our tastebuds. I love these little attention-to-detail gestures when dining here. It’s very European and very rare in California.
Our main courses are meat heavy, but there’s a reason to it. At Selanne, they are known for their steaks and it will be a shame if you don’t order one of the beautiful steaks on offer. Filet Mignon 8oz ($48) suffices for smaller appetites.
Rib Eye 14oz ($52) is more up my alley, and it is ample for someone with a healthy appetite, or you can even opt to share.
Of course, you must order some sides. Risotto ($15) is a favorite with a light hint of truffles. Ours arrive with some decadent sautéed mushrooms – which is another side you can order.
Selanne’s Mac and Cheese ($15) uses a blend of five cheeses which creates one of the most decadent sides ever. The brioche breadcrumb topping adds a little crunch.
If you’re looking to add a vegetable, then choose Cauliflower ($10). There is an abundance of food on the table, but now, we have enough for the following day.
Selanne Steak Tavern has definitely secured its place in Orange County as a top fine dining contender. If you’re planning to dine there, don’t show up without one and end up having to wait a long time, or be turned away all together. Valet parking is available in the little lane behind the restaurant, should you not be able to find metered street parking. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch Teemu one evening at the bar chatting to customers.
Selanne Steak Tavern
1464 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651