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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.

CULINARY EVENTS

May 14
Cathy Pavlos, owner and executive chef of Lucca Café in Irvine and Provenance in Newport Beach, is coming to the OC Fairgrounds for The Red Barn – A Farm to Fork Experience. The fairgrounds’ iconic Millennium Barn at Centennial Farm will provide the setting for a sumptuous evening of food and drink featuring a seasonally inspired, four-course menu carefully crafted by Pavlos. Each course will be paired with select labels provided by Orange County Wine Society. Highlights include smoked Idaho trout, cured wild salmon, and pickled shrimp with house bread and butter pickles, red onions, and arugula; Snake River Farms Heritage hot porchetta accompanied by rosemary roasted potatoes with pan drippings; and locally grown strawberries, shortcake, Chantilly cream, and balsamic reduction. Cost is $150 per person and includes parking, tax, and gratuity. To purchase tickets, visit the event website. OC Fairgronds, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 714-708-1500.
 
May 15
Montage Laguna Beach plays host to the 9th annual Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach fundraising event. The elegant resort will welcome a bevy of talented celebrity chefs who will prepare singular farm-to-table tastings set along an ocean-view backdrop. Select chefs will include Craig Strong of Studio in Laguna Beach; Ludo Lefebvre from Los Angeles’ Trois Mec; Walter Manzke from Republique in Los Angeles; and David Coleman from Chianina Steakhouse in Long Beach. Guests will also enjoy fine wines, cocktails, live and silent auctions, and live music. A VIP “Meet the Chefs” reception will take place after the tasting. Tickets are $200 in advance, $225 at the door. VIP tickets are $275 in advance, $300 at the door. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Share Our Strength, a non-profit devoted to ending childhood hunger. For more information, visit the official website. Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 S Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, CA 92651, 866-271-6953.
 
October 7-9
The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach will host the sixth annual Festa Dell’Autunno, a celebration of Italy’s fall harvest season. The weekend will be filled with special culinary events designed to bring the thrill and romance of The Old Country to the Pacific Ocean. Highlights include a multi-course, prix-fixe dinner with wine pairings; an al fresco jazz brunch; and a street fair featuring live music, an auto exhibit and traditional flag performances. For more information, please the event website. The Resort at Pelican Hill, 22701 Pelican Hill Rd. S., Newport Coast, CA 92657, 949-467-6800.
 

ONGOING EVENTS

Fourth Mondays
At the monthly dinner and beer pairing event at Del Frisco’s Grille in the Irvine Spectrum, guests can expect to see brews from top Southern California craft breweries in the spotlight. To eat, diners will enjoy a special multi-course, prix-fixe menu designed by executive chef Sarah Daniels. Seating is limited, and dates are subject to change on holiday weekends. For more information, including time and pricing, visit the restaurant website. Del Frisco's Grille, Irvine Spectrum, 772 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, CA 92618, 949-341-0376.
 
Ongoing
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Newport Beach gets a head start on the late-night happy hour concept with their "8 for $9 ‘til 10" menu. The popular Fashion Island venue known for their happening bar scene is featuring eight different cocktails and wines by the glass to go along with eight unique a la carte bar bites that can be enjoyed from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. for $9 each. Selections include ahi tuna tacos with radish-jicama slaw and creamy soy-lime aioli; short rib empanadas with fire-roasted poblano sauce; lobster lettuce wraps with crumbled bacon and onion strings; and a chocolate lava milkshake with Maker’s Mark bourbon. For more information, visit www.flemingssteakhouse.com. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Fashion Island, 455 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660, 949-720-9633.
 
Ongoing
Paul Martin's American Grill has rolled out a special Taste of Paul Martin's happy hour menu featuring a host of small plates not found on the Irvine Spectrum eatery's regular menu. Selected bites include street tacos with handmade corn tortillas, smoked salmon lettuce cups, and mesquite-grilled steak skewers. The menu also features a burger, beer and fries section, which allows guests to mix and match various takes on the three items to create their own combinations. The discounts are available in both the bar area and on the patio, from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. daily. Items range from $4-$12. For more information, please visit www.paulmartinsamericanbistro.com. Paul Martin's American Grill, Irvine Spectrum Center, 31 Fortune Dr., Ste. 302, Irvine, CA 92618, 949-453-1144.
 
Ongoing
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.
 
Ongoing
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.
 
Monday-Wednesday
Andrea, the flagship restaurant at Newport Coast’s The Resort at Pelican Hill, hosts a unique prix-fixe dinner built to highlight Italy’s most popular regions. Each time chef Marco Crisculo crafts a special, rotating three-course meal showcasing the diversity of Italian cuisine through the exploration of regionally specific ingredients and techniques. Dishes are paired with a carefully selected glass of wine culled from Italy’s top appellations. The cost is $99, including wine pairings. Andrea, The Resort at Pelican Hill, 22701 Pelican Hill Rd. S., Newport Coast, CA 92657, 949-467-6800.
 
Mondays
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 www.crowbarcdm.com. The Crow Bar and Kitchen, 2325 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, CA 92625, 949-675-0070.
 
1st Tuesday of the Month
The French-Swiss restaurant Basilic Restaurant in Newport Beach's Balboa Island offers a special Raclette Night. Guests can drop by the eatery and enjoy unlimited helpings of chef/owner Bernard Althaus's take on the classic Swiss dish of freshly melted fatty cheese scraped directly off the round and served with boiled potatoes, gherkins, and pickled onions. The cost for this special all-you-can-eat feast is $21.50; a plate of charcuterie can be added for an additional $7. Basilic Restaurant, 217 Marine Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92662, 949-673-0570.
 
Wednesday-Sunday
Andrea, the flagship restaurant of The Resort at Pelican Hill, offers a two-course menu espresso (express menu) at lunch served in 45 minutes or less. Diners select one appetizer, soup or salad to begin, followed by one hand-made pasta dish or lunch entrée. The meal concludes with coffee service. The cost is $45 per person, plus tax and gratuity Andrea, The Resort at Pelican Hill, 22701 Pelican Hill Rd. S., Newport Coast, CA 92657, 949-467-6800.
 
Sundays
SOCIAL Costa Mesa hosts special Sunday Supper menus. Executive chef Jeffrey Boullt taps into his Southern roots by crafting a hearty weekly menu that emphasizes flavors and ingredients from the region, such as Cajun-style fried chicken and ham and cheddar biscuits. Bar director Mike West will also be creating fresh craft cocktails to pair with the dishes. SOCIAL Costa Mesa, 512 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627, 949-642-2425.
 
Lucca Cafe in Irvine hosts a special mid-afternoon Sunday Supper 2nd Sunday of the Month
Lucca Cafe in Irvine hosts a special mid-afternoon Sunday Supper designed to replicate the feel and ambiance of a traditional family dinner. Executive chef/owner Cathy Pavlos rolls out a four-course menu, with a monthly changing theme focusing on a Mediterranean country, an intriguing European region, or the food of a renowned chef. This meal is augmented by rare and unique wines, as well as other edible surprises. Pricing is per person, and varies from month to month. Lucca Cafe, Quail Hill Village Center, 6507 Quail Hill Pkwy., Irvine, CA 92603, 949-725-1773.
 
Sundays
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 www.sidedoorcdm.com. SideDoor, Five Crowns, 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona Del Mar, CA 92625, 949-717-4322.
 
Sundays
Zimzala in Huntington Beach features their Sunday Bloody Mary Bar, a drink program boasting several intriguing variations on the classic tomato juice-based weekend cocktail ($7). Highlighted takes of the beverage include a version infused with Corona beer, a Cuban-themed variant made with spiced rum and red peppers, and an adaptation involving basil vodka and fresh basil leaves. For more information, please visit www.restaurantzimzala.com. Zimzala, Shorebreak Hotel, 500 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 714-861-4470.
 
Sundays
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 www.370common.com. Three Seventy Common Kitchen + Drink, 370 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach, CA 92651, 949-494-8686.
 

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