The buzz about town is Lido Bottle Works, a new restaurant in Newport Beach overlooking the water on the harbor. My friends and I had a really lovely experience which makes me all the more eager to return again. The restaurant is small, but stunning, with fine detailing requiring a little attention on your part, as a diner, to fully capture the intricacies of what it is trying to express – check out the wall with the taps, as well as the cushions lining the banquette.
We started with a few drinks: In Rolling Waves ($6) a refreshing beverage composed of grapefruit, rosemary, and ginger; and 50/50 ($6) an orange and vanilla drink resembling cream soda.
Charred Eggplant Hummus ($8) catches my eye early on, and I am so happy we order it. Flavor-wise, it is a solid expression of the traditional offering, but with a little je ne sais quoi to it, which is absolutely welcoming considering how ubiquitous hummus has become these days.
When my friend mentioned she loved the Burrata ($14) I didn’t respond. However, when it hits the table, I am immediately intrigued by its presentation. Chef Joel Harrington has put his own spin on this over-featured dish, in way that is indescribably genius. Instead of beet chunks, he has created golden beet “noodles” and pairs them with whipped burrata, and sprinkled with a dusting of crushed Marcona almonds. Perhaps the most intriguing component of the dish are the green almond rounds which don’t possess a strong flavor to the mix, but do add a perfect textural contrast to the mix.
Tuna Tartare ($12) is a beautifully presented dish with avocado, and chile pop rocks for that little surprise on your tongue. Ponzu sauce is drizzled on after it arrives at the table. I absolutely loved it!
I can’t resist chicken wings, and Jidori Chicken Wings ($10) are tender, enveloped in a slightly sweet glaze with a bit of kick to it. I would have liked the wings to be a bit crispier – the glaze takes away a little – but there is a textural contrast when you do get bits of the crushed peanuts in a bite.
Carnivores should definitely order Steak Frites ($22) a perfectly medium rare prime hangar steak served sliced up with a pat of smokey blue cheese, a compound butter with rogue smoked blue cheese, mixed with butter, smoked paprika, white wine and scallion. There is also a side of fries, and a lightly dressed watercress salad.
If you’re wanting something sweet, Chocolate Mousse ($9) arrives beautifully decorated with malt pearls, edible flowers, sea salt, and olive oil.
However, it is the Vietnamese Coffee Panna Cotta ($9) with Mexican Abuelita chocolate, and garnished with a killer macadamia brittle, that wins my heart.
I can’t wait to come back again! The menu is familiar, yet bold, it is comforting, yet innovative. Lido Bottle Works is one to bookmark!
Lido Bottle Works
3408 Via Oporto #103
Newport Beach, CA 92663