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best romantic restaurants orange county - Orange County’s Most Romantic Restaurants « CBS Los Angeles
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then romance is up to the couple. I am enamored by a room with a view, yet also appreciate when he brings me my favorite doughnut. We already anticipate the “Who cares?”, and you know what? We welcome it. Get all that (sexual) frustration out of your system and go find a date already. Romance isn't a type of cuisine. However, one could be seduced by dessert, or courted by an attentive waiter.
For this romantic, it's the way an establishment makes their guests feel. Do we find ourselves longing to touch our date's hand? Maybe leaning in closer to whisper something private. Whatever the urge, these locales set the tone with a combination of ambiance and taste.
So in no particular order. . . . ] 10. Basilic Are we thinking private? Then this 24-seat Balboa Island charmer fits the bill. Classic French/Swiss cuisine with coordinating service courtesy of chef Chef Bernard Althaus will guide you and your plus one through rich raclette cheese, coq au vin and creme brulee. We wouldn't be surprised if you returned for an anniversary. 217 Marine Ave., Newport Beach, (949) 673-0570; .
9. Napa Rose Craftsman-style chic is nestled between the hotel cafe and guest entrance to Disney's California Adventure. Prepare to be a guest of Andrew Sutton's divine storytelling. For a customized menu, get up-close-and-personal at the Chef's Counter. . . .or save that move for after dinner. At Disney's Grand Californian Hotel, 1600 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 781-3463; . 8. Brasserie Pascal Traditional fare without the gravitas that typically accompanies it, Pascal Olhats (like Pageant of the Masters) understands the magic of lighting and music in his ode to la vie en France.
Savory steak frites, bone marrow, and quiche Lorraines will have you raising your wine glass for another toast. Stroll in after jewelry window shopping, or before catching the late show across the way. 327 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 640-2700; www.pascalnpb.com. 7. Habana Clandestine looks tend to linger under the soft glow of candlelight.
Ropa vieja your way into their heart with a glass of sangria blanca. If the weather is right, sit outdoors for maximum effect; the live music will be more wafting than overpowering. 2930 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 556-0176;. 6. Studio We're not advocating love in an elevator, but the oceanside view from this resort is its own aphrodisiac. Amuse yourself with Craig Strong's offerings of foie gras and risotto, presented by impeccable waitstaff.
Afterwards, order a nightcap in the lobby bar and watch the waves (thoughtfully showcased by spotlights) crashing on the rocks before you move in for a kiss. At The Montage, 30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 715-6420; 5. Ramos House If you intend on romancing with brunch, rendezvous at this train station cafe.
Throw blankets and a special Bloody Mary await those who relish love in the afternoon. John Humphries woos with a choice of mouthwatering hashes (we are partial to the duck) and apple cinnamon beignets you will be enamored by.
31752 Los Rios St., San Juan Capistrano, (949) 443-1342; . 4. Mastro's Ocean Club Pacific Coast Highway becomes the backdrop for an evening of gluttony. A small section of buttery-soft, high-backed banquettes allow for cozying up to one another.
Carnivores can relax, as steak offerings are just as primal as their Costa Mesa counterpart. 8112 East Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, (949) 376-6990; 3. Cucina Alessa – Huntington Beach For somewhere low-key, yet just as inviting, we head north to the Huntington branch of this Italiano trio. If the bustling interior is too much, dine al fresco alongside the surf city passers by. Embrace homemade pasta and request butternut squash ravioli.
Or take turns feeding each other off a plate of mozzarella and proscuitto. 520 Main St., Huntington Beach, (714) 969-2148; . 2. Park Avenue Best described as the city that time forgot, Stanton's (where?) unintentional ode to Mad Men manages to send its patrons back in time to a slice of Pleasantville, where one's tailored suit or coiffed 'do isn't quite complete without a Hendricks cocktail in hand.
Their comforting cuisine brings a breath of fresh air to Cleaver classics with apple stuffed pork chops and peanut butter ice cream sundaes. Suburbia has never been so amiable. 11200 Beach Blvd., Stanton, (714) 901-4400; 1. AnQi Gourmet Bistro By Crustacean As crimson as Wynn's Encore, AnQi's signature hue represents romance and sultry passion.
Begin canoodling over a bowl of their garlicy strands or foie gras nigiri, and finish with a elderflower parfait with pomegranate pearls and pink rose meringue. Luxurious surroundings spark one's senses, and maybe some chemistry. 3333 South Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 557-5679; .
Whether it’s a first date, a night away from the kids or the anniversary of a 30-year marriage, one of the very best date ideas is a night out for a romantic dinner. From good conversation over glasses of fine wines to delectable meals in some of the most stunning settings in Orange County, it’s not hard to understand why many couples opt to have dinner out.
Next time you’re in search of a romantic destination for a date-night meal, consider these local restaurants.
(Credit: Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel) Raya 1 Ritz-Carlton Drive Dana Point, CA 92629 (949) 240-2000 Located at the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, it’s no wonder that Raya is an ideal spot for romantic dining. The cliff-top restaurant sits adjacent to floor-to-ceiling windows offering the most impressive views of the coastline you’ll find in Orange County. Take in scenes of the wild surf washing up on the sand and pelicans soaring by as the sunset sky turns shades of pink, orange and lavender.
The Pan-Latin menu includes dishes like grilled Spanish octopus, petite lamb lollipops, avocado crab cocktail, Pacific halibut, black cod, pan-seared scallops and a smoked swordfish dip with corn tortilla chips.
On top of that, Raya has a selection of deliciously strong cocktails to enjoy with your meal. (Credit: Selanne Steak Tavern) Selanne Steak Tavern 1464 South Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (949) 715-9881 The historical home that houses this steakhouse is one of the most charming settings in the area, dating back to the 1930s.
The quaint property has been reimagined and renovated to include a simple yet stylish interior as well as a romantic veranda perfect for alfresco dining under ornamental lighting. Savor the warmth of the nearby fireplace as you make your selections from a menu that includes everything from cauliflower soup, burrata, caprese salad and ravioli to oysters, prawns, salmon and filet mignon. Selanne’s impressive list of Champagne selections will complete the romantic feel of any meal.
(Credit: Orange County Mining Co.) Orange County Mining Co. 10000 South Crawford Canyon Road Santa Ana, CA 92705 (714) 997-7411 The view at Orange County Mining Co. is absolutely unrivaled. Set up high on a hill, the restaurant’s glittering candlelight is enhanced by the sea of lights stretching out to the Pacific.
The rustic atmosphere, resembling an old-time saloon, makes the perfect place for a steakhouse dinner. Whether you enjoy a filet mignon, top sirloin or rib eye, the meal is sure to be fantastic too. Other extravagant dishes include the baby back ribs, Alaskan crab legs, sautéed salmon fillet and the lobster tail.
For dessert, enjoy decadent options like the cheesecake, mud pie or the Mother Load ice cream sundae. Also at Orange County Mining Co., you’ll find a selection of cocktails served by the pitcher as well as wines by the bottle from the Miner’s Cellar.
(Credit: Alan de Herrera) The Cellar 305 North Harbor Boulevard Fullerton, CA 92832 (714) 525-5682 Located in the basement of the historic Villa Del Sol landmark, an outdoor oasis and courtyard in Fullerton, this restaurant has a vintage elegance that remains intact despite updates to the building that houses it.
In operation for nearly 50 years now, The Cellar offers stone walls, deep colored décor, bright chandeliers and plenty of arches within, ensuring that the setting is not only historic but romantic as well. For dinner, dine on something warm like the lobster bisque or French onion soup, or elegant European-inspired dishes like duck breast, bone-in rib eye, salmon, bone marrow or lamb.
Pair your meal with The Cellar’s cocktails, crafted with everything from rose gin and aged rum to rye whiskey and mezcal. (Credit: Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa) Watertable 21500 Pacific Coast Highway Huntington Beach, CA 92648 (714) 845-4776 Just across Pacific Coast Highway from the beach, Watertable’s outdoor patio offers a beautiful view of the ocean by day and a star-filled sky overhead by night.
The restaurant’s interior is equally as lovely with a simply, modern décor that makes it romantic inside or out. Expect the menu to change seasonally based on the produce that is available—both for the food and the cocktails.
Share a plate of things like Hamachi crudo, pan seared scallops or herb-grilled baby lamb chops when you arrive then work on your main meal. Choose from items like sea bass, chicken breast, prime New York steak or lobster tail. There are a variety of sauces made from scratch, including a white wine butter sauce, a veal red wine demi sauce, a blend of olive oil with sea salt and a popular bacon jam. (Credit: Summit House) Summit House Restaurant 2000 East Bastanchury Road Fullerton, CA 92835 (714) 671-4111 For a romantic night out, visit the Summit House, where the environment is modeled after a European inn.
You’ll find hospitable staff and a welcoming environment in which to chat in addition to the impressive menu. Offering an array of dishes from ahi sashimi, baby greens salad and truffle fries to crab cakes, artisan cheeses and artichoke hearts, diners can follow up their appetizers with meals like slow-roasted prime rib, Colorado lamb shank, Chilean sea bass, rosemary garlic chicken or filet mignon.
With candlelight and a beautiful view of Orange County’s lights, the atmosphere is romantic. It also doubles as a wedding venue, with a terraced amphitheater and gazebo available for ceremonies and a ballroom for the following receptions.
(Credit: Driftwood Kitchen) Driftwood Kitchen 619 Sleepy Hollow Lane Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (949) 715-7700 For a romantic dinner at Driftwood Kitchen, arrive before sunset and sip cocktails from the adjoining Stateroom Bar as you watch the colors stretch across the sky.
The rich woods and nautical décor of the bar will make you feel like you’ve stepped onto the decks of a vintage boat. But, when it is time for dinner, make your way into the white, airy dining room. The beige and teal accents and ocean-inspired décor are perfect for Laguna Beach, and the massive open-air floor-to-ceiling windows facing the ocean allow you to hear the waves crashing just below the restaurant.
The menu changes seasonally, but some staples remain—and all are delicious. Munch on the squash blossoms, stuffed with ricotta cheese, or the parker house rolls before selecting a seafood option like the fried branzino, grilled jumbo prawns or pan seared halibut. (Credit: 21 Oceanfront) 21 Oceanfront 2100 West Oceanfront Newport Beach, CA 92663 (949) 673-2100 As its name implies, 21 Oceanfront is situated right next to the water, making it an obvious spot for a romantic date night.
The Victorian décor and views of the ocean make it an elegant atmosphere in which to dine. When you first arrive, select one of the restaurant’s award-winning wines, many of which are designed to complement specific dishes on the menu. As with many upscale restaurants, the focus is on steak and seafood, though you can enjoy swordfish, lobster tails and crab legs in addition to standard options like salmon, sea bass and halibut.
With great food comes great desserts, and 21 Oceanfront certainly doesn’t disappoint with delicious ends to their meals. The assorted menu offers a chocolate soufflé, a warm apple tart, chocolate cake, crème brulee, key lime cheesecake, a gelato trio and more. (Credit: The Ranch) The Ranch 1025 East Ball Road Anaheim, CA 92805 (714) 817-4200 A romantic meal is always enhanced by a little excitement.
Those looking for nighttime entertainment during their date night should stop by The Ranch, where a high-quality meal can be paired with plenty of fun like live music and line dancing in the accompanying saloon. You’ll find plenty of innovative dishes on The Ranch’s menu, from starters like the country fried quail with apricot barbecue sauce to entrees like Maplewood smoked chicken with gruyere focaccia and desserts like the Milky Way-inspired ice cream sundae.
The dim atmosphere is perfect for an intimate evening while you dine with your love, but don’t discount the fun of dancing together on the saloon floor once your meal has settled. (Credit: Montage Laguna Beach) Studio 30801 South Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (949) 715-6030 Chef Craig Strong crafts a blend of French and Californian cuisine at Montage Laguna Beach’s Craftsman-style Studio restaurant, an eatery that sits near the ocean offering unparalleled views for a romantic night out.
The restaurant is on the small side, making it even more special on intimate nights out, and there is very little to stand in the way of your views of the blue ocean and soaring sky.
Expect to listen to the waves and feel the breeze as you dine on fresh dishes like ahi tuna poke or seared scallops to start the night. Move further into the menu for choices like smoked squab with huckleberry, crab basil soup, lobster risotto, king salmon, venison and grilled beef tenderloin. (credit: Cathy Z./Yelp) AnQi 3333 Bristol Street Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (714) 557-5679 While most upscale, romantic restaurants are steakhouses or have menus filled with seafood, AnQi is a special locale with high-quality Vietnamese-inspired food.
The décor complements the Asian influence and maintains a luxurious environment in which to relax and enjoy each other’s company. An all-day menu offers things like crispy salmon, pan seared branzino, roasted chicken and the restaurant’s popular garlic noodles.
Those looking to share their places can choose from garlic pepper vegetables, fried rice, white cheddar potato puree or truffle fries. Don’t end the night without sampling either the Vietnamese banana fritters, beignets or flourless chocolate cake. They also offer ice cream made tableside.
Steak Restaurants in Orange County