As the year (and decade) comes to a close, I reminisce about all the meals I’ve had this year, and have summarized my favorite five of 2019.
Fable & Spirit — this new Newport Beach restaurant is not only stunning to look at, but also boasts one of the best bar programs in OC, as well as a stellar menu to boot. I’ve enjoyed many meals here since its opening this summer, and love the wonderful hospitality from the Coyle family, who also owns Wineworks for Everyone, and Dublin 4 Gastropub, in Mission Viejo.
Henry’s Ocean View Dining — on the surface, Chef Kenny Selinger’s menu is straight-foward, but delve deeper and you’ll see that there is nothing simple about it. Top-notch ingredients are key, but it’s the subtle nuances that scream the loudest. Here’s a chef who understands the significance of allowing the products to shine, but not forgetting the importance of sustainability.
Jeune + Jolie — this Carlsbad establishment is a delightful display of everything I love in a restaurant. A thoughtful menu, creative cocktails, and a dining room that is quirky, hip, and oh so chic. This is positively one of my favorites of 2019!
Oliver’s Osteria — nestled in Laguna Canyon, this Italian eatery is truly a hidden gem with some of the best Italian fare you’ll find in Orange County. Owner/Chef Erik De Marchi is truly sensational, and you will understand why once you taste what he has to offer.
Whitestone — one of the biggest surprises this year sees a couple of young renegade chefs at the helm, taking food to a whole new level. I was super impressed by the forward-thinking, experimental, but highly focused and out-of-the-box dishes that teases and tantalizes the palate.
Happy Holidays. See you all in 2020.