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Orange County Culinary Events

Montage Laguna Beach hosts the annual Annual Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation

Hungry? Need to fill your culinary calendar? Here is where you will find all the restaurant and culinary happenings in Orange County. GAYOT features a calendar of special dinners, tasting menus, prix-fixe meals, food festivals and other culinary events, including regularly occurring food events as well as special one-time-only events featuring top chefs. Keep checking back so you can know all that's going on in the world of restaurant and food events in Orange County. We've also got the latest Orange County Restaurant News and Wine Events.


August 6
The 9th Annual Lobsterfest at Newport Beach returns to the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. At this elegant outdoor event, guests will have the chance to indulge in Maine lobster as well as other all-you-can-eat low-country boil items like red potatoes and corn on the cob. Attendees can enjoy complimentary beer and wine, and grilled steak will be served up for those who want some turf with their surf. The event is slated to run from 3 p.m.-8 p.m. For more information, including ticket details, please visit the official website. Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, 101 N. Bayside Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660, 949-729-3863.
August 10
Vaca in Costa Mesa is hosting a Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner. The event, which is being held in conjunction with the celebration of South Coast Plaza’s 50th Anniversary, will feature executive chef/partner and “Top Chef” finalist Amar Santana crafting a seven-course meal, with each course paired with wines from the Spanish winery Bodegas Torres. Select courses include strawberry and heirloom tomato gazpacho with confit fennel and crispy quinoa; smoked chicken cannelloni with foie gras sauce; and lobster paella with squid ink bomba rice. Patrons will also have the chance to participate in a small silent auction. All-inclusive cost is $350 per person, $300 for James Beard Foundation members. Slated to start at 6 p.m. Visit here for reservations. Vaca, 695 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 714-463-6060.
August 16
SideDoor, the gastropub attached to Corona Del Mar restaurant Five Crowns, is hosting an Ultimate Cheese Takeover event. At this soiree, guests will get to indulge in cheeses created by various boutique creameries, including Cowgirl Creamery, Redwood Hill Farm and Willamette Valley Cheese Company. Guests will also have the chance to enjoy charcuterie, passed appetizers and special beverage pairing. Cost of the event is $125. For more information, visit the restaurant’s website. SideDoor, Five Crowns, 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona Del Mar, CA 92625, 949-717-4322.
August 19-20
Food, wine, shore and sunshine converge at the inaugural Pacific Wine & Food Classic. Held at Newport Dunes in Newport Beach, the two-day fête allows guests to enjoy seasonal bites from some of OC’s most celebrated chefs, wines from a number of California’s finest appellations, and handcrafted cocktails. Participating chefs include Cathy Pavlos of Provenance, Mark McDonald of Old Vine Cafe, Peter Lai of Oak Grill and Orange County culinary legend Pascal Olhats. Attendees can also view live culinary entertainment hosted by Food Network personality Simon Majumdar. One day tickets range from $150-$200, while two day tickets run from $250-$350. The event is slated for 2 p.m.-5 p.m. each day; VIPs can enter the event at 1:30 p.m. For more information, visit the official website. Newport Dunes, 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660, 949-729-3863.
September 24
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa hosts the 6th Annual Golden Foodie Awards. Nicknamed the “People’s Choice Food Awards,” the event will honor some of Orange County’s most esteemed restaurants and culinary talent in an elegant awards ceremony. The gala kicks off with a red carpet pre-show featuring cuisine from select OC restaurants, including Mix Mix Kitchen Bar, Red O, Pizzeria Ortica and Puesto. The event is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. For more information visit the official website. Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa, 900 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660, 949-640-4000.
September 29
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Newport Beach is hosting a special French Connection dinner in conjunction with the Newport Beach Wine & Food festival. At this event, celebrity chef Hubert Keller joins forces with The Winery’s executive chef/partner Yvon Goetz, Driftwood Kitchen executive chef Rainer Schwarz, and Pelican Hill executive chef Jean-Pierre Dubray to create a four-course wine pairing menu. Guests will have the chance to meet the chefs during a one-hour cocktail reception and engage in a Q&A session during the dessert course. Cost is $295. The event is slated to run from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. For more information, visit the festival’s official website. The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, 3131 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, CA 92663, 949-999-6622.
September 29-October 1
The Newport Beach Wine & Food festival returns to provide three days of epicurean delights and culinary celebrity spotting. The fête will feature various gastronomic and oenophilic-driven events, from demos put on by “Top Chef” alumni to special collaborative dinners highlighting some of Newport Beach’s finest talent. The festival is built around a Grand Tasting, a two-day celebration offering tastes from 40 different restaurants and 250 varieties of wines culled from top appellations. For more information, including schedules and ticket information, visit the official website.
September 30-October 1
The 4th Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food festival returns to the Newport Beach Civic Center for two days of epicurean delights. Guests at the fête will have the chance to indulge in bites from 40 Orange County restaurants and tastings of 250 varieties of wine, spirits and beers. Several celebrity chef cooking demos, master sommelier tasting panels and live music will also be occurring throughout the event. Participating chefs include those from The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon, Broadway by Amar Santana, Selanne Steak Tavern and Andrea. Tickets range from $150 to $250. For more information, visit the official website. Newport Beach Wine & Food, Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660, no phone.


Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar in Costa Mesa has started up a happy hour patio program. Dubbed the "high five happy hour," the program invites guests to sit in the venue's lakeside dining area and select from a large number of $5 food and beverage items. Featured bites include a Vietnamese beef bahn mi sandwich served with tangy Asian slaw, classic wings tossed in a sweet and spicy honey glaze, and a daily rotating selection of sushi. The program's list of libations includes a wide arrangement of seasonal fruit cocktails, house wines and craft beers. The happy hour is offered from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily. Silver Trumpet Restaurant & Bar, Wyndham Orange County, 3350 Avenue of the Arts, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 714-442-8593.
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Newport Beach has renewed their "5 for 6 'til 7" happy hour program with a trio of additional menu items. The latest $6 selections include the roasted mushroom ravioli appetizer stuffed with Portobello and shiitake mushrooms in a porcini butter sauce, and the sparkling "tickled pink" cocktail, a 99-calorie beverage that features a blend of Belevdere Vodka, orange juice, raspberries and a splash of Italian Mionetto Prosecco. The new choices are featured alongside a host of $6 wines and $6 appetizers, including seared ahi tuna and a prime burger. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Fashion Island, 455 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660, 949-720-9633.
The Crow Bar and Kitchen host Fried Chicken Night, a weekly special built around one of the Corona Del Mar restaurant's most popular items. For $16, guests can enjoy one-half of a Shelton Farms fried chicken and a constantly changing rotation of side dishes, such as Yukon Gold potato and melted leek mash. Guests can also pair the meal with a specialty craft beer from San Diego's Stone Brewery for $5 more. Take-out is available. For more information, please visit The Crow Bar and Kitchen, 2325 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, CA 92625, 949-675-0070.
SideDoor, the gastropub attached the legendary Five Crowns restaurant, features Sunday Sessions, their lively, eclectic take on the traditional Sunday brunch. From 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., the Corona Del Mar venue features innovative contemporary items like a "green eggs and ham" version of eggs Benedict, DJ's spinning music, art being created in real time, and limited-release craft beers. For more information, please visit SideDoor, Five Crowns, 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona Del Mar, CA 92625, 949-717-4322.
Three-Seventy Common Kitchen + Drink hosts a special Sunday Social dinner specifically designed to be reminiscent of a classic Sunday family supper. From 4 p.m.-9 p.m., restaurant owner and executive chef Ryan Adams jettisons the restaurant's normal menu and prepares one rotating, multi-course dinner based on seasonality, fresh ingredients and the concept of comfort food. Prices vary. For a look at the weekly changing menu, please visit Three Seventy Common Kitchen + Drink, 370 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach, CA 92651, 949-494-8686.

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