Orange County Valentine’s Day Dining Guide 2015

Maro Wood Grill

Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2015 in Orange County with romantic dinners, cruises and more.

Red O
Feb. 13-15. Celebrate with your sweetheart at Red O as the restaurant will be featuring special Valentine’s dishes such as prime New York strip with Maine lobster tail; Alaskan King crab legs served with arugula and chimichurri butter; filet mignon and King crab and a 32-oz. prime Tomahawk ribeye and Maine lobster served with refried beans, Mexican red rice, fresh tortillas and accompaniments for two people to share. Regular a la carte menu will be available as well. Fashion Island, 143 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.718.0300.

Feb. 14. Romance will be in the air and on the palate this Valentine’s Day at Watertable with an array of indulgent menu offerings in addition to the regular menu, including a 20-oz. ribeye for two served with foie gras bread pudding  and oysters on the half shell that are sure to entice amour. Enjoy a complimentary “bar jar” or mason jar filled with goat cheese served with the restaurant’s famous epi bread as well as a box of assorted gourmet chocolate truffles. Watertable at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, 21500 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 714.845.4776.

Feb. 14. Chef Niki Star has created a special four-course menu including duo of oysters with passion fruit mignonette granite and yuzu foam; heirloom carrot salad showcasing carrots prepared five ways: roasted, shaved, pureed, pickled and baby heirloom carrots with pumpernickel soil and arugula pesto; choice of braised beef cheeks braised in red wine with parsnip puree, pomegranate and crushed walnuts or pan-roasted halibut with lemon haricot verts and calabrian chili chimichurri as your entree and choice of chocolate soufflé or blondie soufflé for two to share for dessert. Enjoy the sultry sounds of Marion Hodges of KCRW, Minh Pham of HM Sound, Torosbros and Prettyboypaul. Seating are between 6-7 p.m., $65; and 8-9 p.m., $85. 21+. $10 after 10 p.m. The Camp, 725 Baker St., Costa Mesa, 714.557.6700.

21 Oceanfront
Feb. 14. Let this Newport Beach landmark spoil you with a three-course menu including dishes such as sautéed scallops with ginger garlic sweet chili sauce; lobster bisque; grilled Scottish salmon with vegetable couscous and baby zucchini; center cut filet mignon with bordelaise sauce, wasabi twice-baked potato and grilled asparagus and red velvet cake. 4:30-10 p.m. $99. 2100 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach, 949.673.2100.

Antonello Ristorante
Feb. 14. Delight in an elegant four-course dinner with choice of antipasto like insalata di aragasta with Maine lobster claws, caramelized pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts, blueberries, strawberries, bibb lettuce and balsamic vinaigrette; primi selection such as homemade ricotta gnocchi, gorgonzola, toasted walnuts and panna; entrée selection of grilled 8-oz. filet of beef tenderloin with gorgonzola, walnuts and red wine reduction or Chilean seabass with shallots, pernod and fresh fennel and heart-shaped chocolate mousse cake with raspberry coulis and warm chocolate sauce for dessert. 5-10 p.m. $85. 3800 S. Plaza Drive, Santa Ana, 714.751.7153.

Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine
Feb. 14. Spend a romantic evening under the spell of Chef Yves Fournier’s “Menu D’Amour,” a sumptuous three-course menu featuring nature’s aphrodisiacs such as white asparagus soup with cream and hazelnut oil; Mediterranean lamb with honey and coriander rainbow carrots, Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, red quinoa, kale and mint-cucumber yogurt and a dessert tasting of chocolate ganache tart, goat cheese cheesecake, strawberries, basil and x-rated liqueur. $75; $100 with wine pairings. 2607 Main St., Irvine, 949.387.8887.

Laguna Cliffs Marriott
Feb. 14. Enjoy a special four-course Valentine’s Day menu at the resort’s VUE restaurant including entrée selections such as lamb shank with creamy polenta, fennel, green beans and porcini mushrooms; filet and lobster served with scalloped potato, truffle sautéed spinach and cabernet reduction; diver scallops with saffron risotto, green peas, heirloom tomato and grapefruit or Berkshire center-cut pork chop with mashed potato, asparagus and apple compote. Live entertainment. 5-10 p.m. $95; $125 with wine pairing. 25135 Park Lantern, Dana Point, 949.487.7516.

Scott’s Restaurant & Bar
Feb. 14. Dine on Chef’s amuse bouche, followed by a three-course menu including choices such as a quartet of Kumamoto oysters with caviar mignonette; Maine lobster tail with chorizo risotto and haricot vert and cheesecake stuffed beignets with fresh strawberries. 4-10:30 p.m. $95; $125 with wine pairings. 3300 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.979.2400.

Pueblo Tapas
Feb. 14. If you are carving Spanish-style tapas, Chef Michael Campbell will be dishing up Valentine’s specials like grilled ribeye for two with roasted beets and bone marrow; seared scallops with sherry lobster broth and pearl potato; sweet charred goat cheese with honey and frambuesa conserve and Texturas de Chocolate with chocolate torte, mousse and crunch. SOCO, 3321 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, 714.340.5775.

Fig & Olive
Feb. 13-14. Indulge in an exclusive three-course Valentine’s menu that transports you to the South of France with dishes such as roasted butternut squash cappuccino with prosciutto, ricotta, fig and olive crostini and grilled Maine lobster with truffle artichoke tapenade, puff pastry, wild mushroom and smoked pimento olive oil. 5-11 p.m. $79; additional $35 with wine pairings. Fashion Island, 151 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.877.3005.

The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove
Feb. 14. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Newport coastline while dining on a delectable four-course menu. Start with a choice of salmon cornet or parmesan sweet potato gnocchi, followed by English pea soup or a baby ruby beet salad. Entrée selections include a surf and turf combo with grilled petite filet and butter poached Maine lobster tail; pan seared Chilean sea bass; pancetta wrapped Mary’s organic roasted chicken or Frenched lamb chops. For dessert, share a decadent chocolate cake with raspberry coulis. $90. 15 Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, 949.376.6900.

Social Costa Mesa
Feb. 14. Experience a four-course Valentine’s dinner with dishes such as beets and burrata salad; caramelized onion tart; osso bucco and salted caramel custard flourless chocolate with sweet mascarpone. $65; additional $30 for wine pairing; $35 for craft cocktail pairing. 512 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, 949.642.2425.

Leatherby’s Café Rouge
Feb. 14. Enjoy Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan’s “Love Bites” nine-course menu including mouthwatering dishes like Cupid’s Arrow with compressed watermelon heart, basil gimlet, lychee cloud, basil seed and balsamic caviar; vanilla and butternut squash “Forever” ravioli with sage, brown butter, parmesan and pine nuts; Muscovy duck breast with endive, celery root, blackberry and Szechuan pepper and raspberry macaron with Manjari chocolate ganache, raspberry sorbet, port air and pate de fruit. 9 p.m. $90; wine flights are an additional $20 for three or $25 for four. 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.429.7640.

Tamarind of London
Feb. 14. Spend an evening with an atmosphere and cuisine romantic in nature at Tamarind of London with a Valentine’s Day menu designed for sharing. Expect specialties like crispy portobella mushroom stuffed with seasonal vegetables and paneer tikka with fresh mint and green chilies; lamb mughul korma with smoked onion and yogurt sauce; naan; saffron basmati rice; raita and dark chocolate and raspberry gateaux with blood orange yogurt sphere. $75. 7862 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.715.8338.

Bayside Restaurant
Feb. 14. Treat your love to a Valentine’s Day three-course brunch with free-flowing champagne and mimosas. Indulge in dishes like white asparagus soup with shitake mushrooms and fresh chives; sautéed tiger prawns with edamame risotto and Thai basil and chocolate chip devil food cake with fresh macerated raspberries. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. $58. If you prefer to celebrate over dinner, choose their Chef’s three-course menu with selections such as griddle crab cake with chipotle aioli, crushed avocado and lime; blackened Pacific swordfish with lemon risotto, mango-pineapple salsa and petite greens and strawberry bavarian with macerated strawberries and shortbread cookie. $68. 5-10 p.m. 900 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach, 949.721.1222.

Eats Kitchen + Bar
Feb. 13-14. Chef Jason Montelibano has playfully created a romantic four-course Valentine’s dinner to dazzle diners with touches of red–the flirtatious color of love. Savor heirloom tomato soup with dunkable heart-shaped grilled cheese; radicchio salad with pomegranates, pomelos and radishes and housemade beef cheek red ravioli. Live guitar music will add to the mood for an evening of romance. $49; $69 with wine pairings. Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 949.225.6780.

Feb. 13-15. In addition to their popular a la carte menu, two specials will be available including salmon and signature petite filet mignon for $59.95 or lobster and filet for $69.95, both served with pan-seared scallops with goat cheese polenta, scallions and seared grape tomatoes to start, followed by your choice of Fleming’s salad or a modern Caesar. Pair your meal with one of the 100 wines by the glass from Fleming’s award-winning list. Fashion Island, 455 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.720.9633.

Feb. 13-14. The sweetheart’s five-course menu begins with a Shot of Aphrodite’s Kiss and continues with selections such as Vietnamese steak tartare; Kumamoto oysters with Hudson Valley foie gras; love letter dumplings, crispy lobster dumplings; Crustacean shaken beef; misoyaki butterfish or crispy salmon. End the feast with a choice of chocolate torte, Vietnamese banana fritter or sticky toffee pudding. $89. South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.557.5679.

Quattro Caffe
Feb. 12-15. Celebrate the occasion with a romantic three-course dinner with live music. Select menu items such as grilled shrimp with white wine garlic sauce; veal scaloppini with capers and lemon sauce and chocolate crème brûlée. $49.95. South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.754.0300.

Feb. 14. Treat your valentine to a special evening at Darya for fine Persian cuisine featuring live romantic music throughout the evening. Three seatings, 5 p.m. $59; 7 p.m. $79; 9 p.m. $69. 3800 S. Plaza Drive, Santa Ana, 714.557.6600.

Maro Wood Grill
Feb. 14. Indulge in a seven-course menu with wine pairings. Dishes include Beluga lentil soup; kale and date salad; lobster fettuccine; grass-fed rib eye with braised cabbage and a quartet of cakes. Vegetarian and/or gluten-free menu available at time of reservation. 6 and 8:30 p.m. seatings. $100. 1915 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.793.4044.

Charlie Palmer
Feb. 14. Start your evening off with white sturgeon caviar, followed by asparagus salad; lemon-thyme basted red snapper; lobster ravioli and Chateaubriand for two. Finish with rhubarb custard tart for dessert. 5:30-10:30 p.m. $115; additional $55 with wine pairings. 714.352.2525.

Twenty Eight
Feb. 13-14. Dine on an eight-course Valentine’s Day discovery menu from Executive Chef  and Top Chef finalist Shirley Chung with dishes such as Kusshi oysters his black pepper and hibiscus gelee; sweet pea soup with citrus egg custard; honey sable fish with spiced honey, parsnip puree and sea beans; pan-roasted quail with edible rose and spicy chocolate (add foie gras for an additional $30) and strawberry lush for dessert. 5-10 p.m. $88. 19530 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 949.852.2828.

Zov’s Bistro
Feb. 14. Zov’s Bistro will be offering four Valentine’s Day themed specials in addition to their regular menu. Try their shrimp lollipop teaser with garlic, shallots, mint, parsley, red pepper oil and house lebni or kalamata braised short rib with cabernet pan demi glace, romanesco mash and seared baby tomatoes. 5-9:30 p.m. 17440 17th St., Tustin, 714.838.8855.

Taps Fish House & Brewery
Feb. 14. Join Taps for a special three-course menu including an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Choices include charbroiled escargot; Pacific oysters on the half shell; whole roasted mole chicken; house-cured bacon and scallops; grilled 12-oz. filet mignon or a Maine lobster clambake. Conclude with a choice of tempting desserts such as champagne sorbet and chocolate strawberries; death by chocolate; red wine poached pear cobbler or banana crème brûlee pie. Seatings begin at 4 p.m. $55.99-$99.99. 101 E. Imperial Hwy., 714.257.0101.

Park Ave and Il Garage
Feb. 14-15. Enjoy a Valentine’s Day a la carte brunch or dinner with oysters on the half shell, smoked salmon Benedict, grilled chicken paillard or grilled lamb chops. Brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; dinner begins at 4 p.m. 11200 Beach Blvd., Stanton, 714.901.4400.

After Dark Valentine’s Day Pop-Up
Feb. 13. Partake in a twist on the typical Valentine’s Day with all the traditional elements of the holiday, including a three-course meal by Chef Nathaniel Nguyen of Prince and the Pantry, crafted cocktails and live entertainment. Here’s the twist: guests are only informed of the event name, date and time, leaving the exact details a secret. The location will be revealed two days before the event! $300 per couple; use code WhereOCvip for a 50% discount.

Marché Moderne
Feb. 14. Celebrate with a classic French dinner including a three-course menu starting with an amuse-bouche of lobster and truffle remoulade followed by a choice of dishes such as Chelsea gem oysters; braised short ribs and roasted filet, Dover sole; Hokkaido scallops and Tahitian vanilla panna cotta. 9 p.m. $85; additional $39 with wine pairing. 714.434.7900.

Agora Churrascaria
Feb. 14. Enjoy a glass of Roederer Estate Brut Rose with the restaurant’s extensive dinner menu of an assortment of meats carved tableside along with their extensive hot and cold salad bar featuring fresh salads and vegetable dishes as well as delicious seafood dishes. Finish your meal with a special Valentine’s dessert of Brazilian flan with chocolate covered strawberries to share. $65. 1830 Main St., Irvine, 949.222.9965.

Pinot Provence
Feb. 12-14. Savor Executive Chef Alfonso Ramirez’s “Love Bites” including choices such as Kumamoto oysters with yuzu pomegranate migonette; Hamachi sashimi with Fresno chiles, epazote, ponzu and pistachio; loup de mer romanesco with celery root puree, celery salad and pistachio oil vinaigrette; New York steak and short rib duo served with creamed spinach and horseradish pommes forchette and chocolate namelaka as a sweet ending. 5-9 p.m. $75 for three courses; $85 for four courses. 686 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, 714.444.5900.

Nello Cucina
Feb. 12-15.  Join the restaurant for a sweetheart’s dinner with a three-course prix fixe menu including fresh heart shaped ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach served in aurora sauce; grilled lamb chops and stuffed shrimp with scallops, garlic, parsley, bread crumb, butter sauce and mashed potatoes and asparagus and heart shaped chocolate mousse with fresh berries. $35. South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bear St., Costa Mesa, 714.540.3365.

Feb. 13-14. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a three-course menu with choices such as artichokes and hearts of palm salad with avocado, tomato, watercress, walnuts and mustard dressing; tamarind-chile glazed king salmon with thyme garlic roasted potatoes, sautéed broccolini and lemon caper sauce and dark chocolate decadence cake with white chocolate dipped strawberry and whipped cream. Live music from 7:30-11:30 p.m. $64. 4:30-11 p.m. 19100 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, 949.752.5222.

Pizzeria Ortica
Feb. 14. Enjoy their regular menu supplemented with Valentine’s Day specials like lobster pasta and lamb chops with mint salsa verde. 5 p.m.-close. 650 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, 714.445.4900.

Morton’s The Steakhouse
Feb. 13-16. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a steak and lobster menu featuring a succulent steak and a cold-water lobster tail served with drawn butter. $55. Full menu available. 1641 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, 714.444.4834.

Shor American Seafood Grill
Feb. 14. Partake in a three-course menu with choices such as cauliflower bisque with truffle powder and bacon lardons; ten-hour short rib with parsnip banana, lollipop kale, espresso, root beer and amarena cherry and chef’s painted dessert. 6 and 8 p.m. seatings. $65 includes complimentary glass of sparkling wine. Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, 1107 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach, 949.729.6161,

Royal Khyber Fine Indian Cuisine
Feb. 14. Go exotic with authentic Indian dishes that are sure to spice up your Valentine’s Day. Full menu will be available in addition to a special Valentine’s menu. 1621 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, 714.436.1010.

Prego Ristorante
Feb. 13-15. Executive Chef Ugo Allesina is offering lovers a four-course dinner, complete with a Grand Marnier molten chocolate cappuccino mousse cake for dessert. $68.95 per person or $130 per couple. 18420 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, 949.553.1333.

Feb. 14. Enjoy a multi-course meal with selections like potato and fennel soup with herb cream, garlic croquette and tarragon oil; wild mushroom linguine with roasted maitake, king trumpet and cremini mushrooms, truffle cream sauce, parmesan and thyme; pan-seared Arctic char with caramelized cippollini onions, sautéed broccolini, sunchoke puree and lemon thyme nage and strawberries and cream to end. 5-9 p.m. $48 for three courses; $60 for four courses. Tangata at Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, 714.550.0906.

Feb. 13-14. Delight in a special five-course Valentine’s Day dinner specially-themed “Love Story Along the Waterfront”.  Enjoy dishes such as beef tartar roll with Caesar aioli, soy paper, cucumber , radishes and egg cremeux; scallop soup with oyster tartar, ginger and bay scallops; rack of lamb with goat cheese gnocchi, piquillo pepper puree and zucchini blossom and chocolate amaretto cremeux with toasted almond, morello cherry gel and mignardise. 5:30-10 p.m. $82. Balboa Bay Resort, 1221 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 888.894.2788.

Montage Laguna Beach
Feb. 14. The Loft welcomes lovers with a glass of sparkling wine upon seating in their romantic oceanfront setting. Enjoy Chef Casey Overton’s special Valentine’s Day four-course meal from 5-10 p.m. 30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6420.

Back Bay Bistro
Feb. 14. Indulge in a six-course feast including red pepper bisque with mascarpone cream; petrale sole and salmon Rubik style with red beet vinaigrette; cabernet filet of beef with Point Reyes sauce, gratin potatoes and haricot vert and chocolate tower with raspberry garnish. Live entertainment and an unbeatable romantic waterfront view of Newport Beach Back Bay Nature Preserve. $85. 5-9 p.m. 1131 Back Bay Bistro, Newport Beach, 949.720.1144.

Feb. 14. Treat your loved one to a meal with selections such as housemade buttermilk ricotta cheese with pickled baby beets, wild arugula, Marcona almonds and vanilla-black pepper caramel; housemade harissa duck sausage with farro and apple-fennel slaw; crispy skin chicken with confit fingerling potatoes, asparagus, petites herbs and truffled chicken jus. 5-11 p.m. $55 for three courses; $70 for four courses. 1580 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, 714.774.4442.

A Restaurant
Feb. 14. Enjoy an exclusive, romantic five-course menu of aphrodisiacs in the restaurant’s candlelit “Hideaway,” a private dining room limited to just six couples. Chef Jonathan Blackford will be serving dishes incorporating lobster, caviar, black truffles and oysters, as well as dessert and a complimentary glass of champagne. 6 and 9 p.m. seatings. $150 per couple. Regular menu available in the main dining rooms. 3334 W. COast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.650.6505.

Quinn’s Old Town Grill
Feb. 13-14. Dine in the romantic glow of Jazz saxophonist George Butts from 6:30-9:30 p.m. during the special three-course sweetheart dinner including your choice of soup or salad followed by entree selections such as chicken marsala, grilled Atlantic salmon or steak Silverado and a Shamrock brownie or fresh berries Melba to finish. Every woman receives a rose. 4-10 p.m. $39.95; includes a glass of house wine, draft beer or well cocktail. 405 El Camino Real, Tustin, 714.731.2263.

Hornblower Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise
Feb. 14. Find romance between the sea and sky with a special Valentine’s Day dinner cruise aboard a Hornblower yacht. You’ll enjoy spectacular bay views with wonderful food to choose from and music for dancing. 7-10 p.m. $135. 3101 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.631.2469.

Queen Mary
Feb. 14. For a romantic spot with stunning ocean and skyline views, hop aboard the ship that defines elegance and class in her heyday. Enjoy delicious cuisine at Sir Winston’s including lobster bisque and surf and turf of lobster and filet with asparagus, herb-roasted potatoes and truffle demi. 5:30-10 p.m. $125. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 877.342.0738.



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