Recently, I dined at Mayor’s Table as a guest of a Yelp Elite event. I must admit, I have not attended any Yelp elite events for years now, and the only reason I went to this was because it’s one that’s indicative of a true dining experience, as opposed to a group event.
Mayor’s Table is located inside Lido House Hotel in Newport Beach. Looking for the hostess stand? Walk past the bustling bar, and you’ll find it to the left. Once in the dining room, you’ll immediately notice the open kitchen where all the action is happening.
My friend and I are seated at a comfortable booth, and I the nautical theme of blue hues throughout. There is a patio, which I’m guessing will be a huge hit come summer, but for now, it remains empty. Our server Anthony is a delight. He answers all our questions with knowledge and gusto, and allows us a few minutes to settle in while he puts our drink orders in.
We order Devil To Pay ($14), a cocktail of jalapeno-infused tequila, Illegal mezcal, cucumber, lime, and a chile, sesame and salt rim. It is perfectly balanced and dangerously easy to drink. Within minutes, my glass is empty.
Our first courses arrive promptly. Pacific Seafood Chowder ($18), though a bit of a misnomer, is brimming with umami and flavor. A vial of bacon broth is poured into a bowl of salmon, sea bass, carrots and squash at the table. The concoction is terribly tasty, and I soon forget I had a cream-based soup on my mind.
Smoked Salmon Tartare ($18) is a pretty presentation of smoked salmon brunoise served with dollops of silky cheese, under a dome of smoke. I wasn’t deft enough to capture a photo of its entirety, but the dome is lifted at the table to reveal the dish underneath — you get the drift. We enjoyed its luscious texture and hints of smokiness from the piped-in wafts of smoky fog. Salmon roe added umami and savoriness to the palate.
For our main courses, we chose Crispy Sea Bass ($26). The fish is beautifully seared, though a tad overcooked. The brunoise winter squash adds a nice hint of sweetness, while the morel mushrooms lends a touch of earthiness to the mix.
Grilled Lamb Lollichops ($42) is well-seasoned — I detected hints of vadouvan. The lamb is inconsistent, with two out of the three chops at a perfect medium rare temperature, while the other three, medium to medium well. Even so, the lamb remained tender and juicy. The heirloom carrots were good accoutrements, and the persimmon even better, although I would have liked a little more of it. Overall, a solid offering.
I am a huge fan of semifreddo, so when I saw Banana Chai Semifredo ($12) on the menu, I had to try. The description includes passion-fruit and candied pistachios, but I was disappointed that I could taste neither passion-fruit, nor chai. Even the banana was weak. The semifreddo quite frankly didn’t possess any distinctive flavor at all.
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake ($10) was a deconstructed cheesecake with dollops of cheese filling surrounded by dots of raspberry and caramel. It was very good, but there wasn’t enough of the cracker crumble to accompany the amount of cheese filling on the plate. I was wanting more of it to give each mouthful more textural contrast.
Looking forward to more Yelp elite events like this in the future.
at Lido House Hotel
3300 Newport Blvd
Newport Beach, CA 92663