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Stonehill Tavern Restaurant Review: A NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF, RAJ DIXIT, JUST JOINED THE KITCHEN. Michael Mina is known for making a big statement with his modern American food, and he's going for the same thing here in OC. Located in the Italianesque St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach, Stonehill Tavern has a posh, contemporary interior with glassed-in booths---like something out of a James Bond film---warm woods and a romantic vibe. Mina's longtime chef Adam Keough has left this address and chef Brian Black (Montage Laguna Beach’s The Loft) is now calling the Stonehill kitchen home. Chef Black is known less for modern American tavern fare and more for his wine country cuisine, but his leadership has added a deep complexity to Mina’s contemporary comfort food menus. Although many of Mina’s signature Stonehill dishes remain, it seems his new protégée has a keen sense of his own destiny. If you let him, chef Black (and his sommelier) will take you on a sensory journey. For example, the salad course seems more like dessert with an arugula salad featuring the sweetest strawberries, vanilla-scented burrata cheese, tender cooked beets, crunchy seaweed sticks, saba vinegar and almonds freshly shaven on top. A Maine lobster consommé pleases with its densely flavored broth, succulent chunks of lobster and seasonal spot prawns. A tenderloin of Wagyu beef sits next to black garlic purée, a red wine sauce reduction and a bit of crunch from pickled baby onions. Pastry chef Lei Shishak also creates light desserts like a delicate coconut panna cotta swimming in pineapple soup. The restaurant also features a seven-course tasting and wine pairing menu; however, the entire table must agree to this gourmet feast, leaving à la carte diners out of luck. The service here is topnotch, making it a good place to dine with family and friends or impress clients.