The new A at Crystal Cove opened its doors recently. Part of the River Jetty Restaurant Group, which also has CdM, A Market, and the original A Restaurant, under its umbrella, A at Crystal Cove delivers another stunning experience both in its decor, as well as a solid consistent menu that has long served the discerning palates of OC for decades.
**photo courtesy River Jetty Restaurant Group
When visiting one of these restaurants, It is always customary to start with a cocktail or two, because the bar program is absolutely on point. I recommend The Gilded Lily ($18), a beautiful libation served in a copper champagne coupe. Rosemary-infused Absolut Elyx is paired with Lillet Rose (a blend of wines made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillon grapes), tart berry cordial, and lemon juice. It is refreshing and wonderfully light, especially perfect for the hot weather we’ve been experiencing.
You can’t go wrong with A’s Meat & Cheese Board ($38): white truffle salame, saucisson sec, prosciutto San Daniele, Cana de Cabra goat cheese, Hook’s 10 year cheddar, Epoisses de Bourgogne cheese (my favorite!), served with ramekins of condiments and addicting grilled bread. This is one of my favorite things to share with friends if I’m meeting for a casual drink, or for the table if we are having a sit down meal.
Alternatively, opt for the decadent Duck Liver Pâté ($18) served with huckleberry gelee, mustard, and grilled rustic bread. This is a personal favorite and a must whenever visiting any of the River Jetty Restaurant Group spots. Ask for an extra serving of bread when your server puts the board down because you’re going to need it.
I’ve always loved the veggie options at A, so definitely do not miss out on the BBQ Heirloom Carrots ($16) with pecan butter, dill, and herb dressing. Personally, I could finish this entire plate, but it is best to share. Vegetarians will not go hungry at A!
I love octopus and will always order it if I see it on the menu. Charred Octopus ($22) therefore was on my radar, and it did not disappoint. Tender discs of octopus shares space with chorizo picante, roasted potatoes, and confit tomatoes, which is elevated by a velvety aji amarillo sauce that ties the entire dish together. Definitely will order again!
There’s nothing I like more than a salad during this heatwave, and Stone Fruit Salad ($19) is simply exquisite. Taking advantage of the beautiful seasonal peaches and plums, this salad is composed with Persian cucumber, Sungold cherry tomatoes, and topped with luscious burrata. Blackberry vinaigrette and dukkah add brightness and texture to this delightful salad. Share as an appetizer, or enjoy as an entree.
If you’re looking for something more substantial, might I suggest the CdM Fancy Pizza ($26) topped with slow roasted lamb, mozzarella, sweet garlic, red onion, mint, Thai basil, and dill dressing. It reminded me of a Middle Eastern flatbread of sorts and is incredibly tasty. The fresh herbs definitely pop on the palate.
For those looking for a heavier, more substantial offering, Akaushi Skirt Steak ($48) is a solid option. The steak is perfectly cooked and seasoned, with pairings of fingerling potatoes, charred broccolini, sweet garlic, served with a side of ranchero sauce. I especially loved the crispy broccolini which is available as a side dish.
**optional 10oz lobster tail can be added to any dish, when available, for $65**
Before you leave, don’t forget to try at least one of the desserts. I don’t have a sweet palate, but I was definitely enamored by the Meyer Lemon Cheesecake ($16) with perfectly tart lemon curd and Swiss meringue topping. SO good!
If you are a chocolate aficionado, the Chocolate Silk Pie ($16) is to-die-for. An Oreo cookie crust with Oreo whipped cream and mascarpone topping provides the perfect bite. It isn’t overly sweet, with a hint of bitterness from the quality chocolate used in this dessert. Divine!
No matter what the occasion, A at Crystal Cove is the destination to enjoy a casual lunch, or any celebration you’re looking to commemorate. It is the whole package, offering solid food along with an inviting atmosphere that’ll keep you coming back again and again.
A at Crystal Cove
7864 East Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92657