When you are lucky enough to be invited to two menu tastings at two popular restaurants on two consecutive days, you say yes and put on your stretchy pants and get ready for a mouthwatering journey.
Five Crowns in Corona Del Mar is an Orange County institution so I consider any opportunity to visit, quite the treat. The charming replica of an old English country inn with its trademark red phone booth (which I like to think of as the TARDIS) has been around since 1965!
I was there to join fellow media members in a preview of Five Crowns’ Spring Menu. We sampled bite-size versions of new menu items and met Executive Chef Steve Kling as well as Five Crowns’ own cheesemonger/sommelier Tracy Nelsen and head mixologist Randy Thais. Here are the items we sampled: morel mushroom risotto, potato leek soup, pan-roasted halibut, grilled octopus, a cheese and charcuterie platter and for dessert, a pannacotta. We also enjoyed two craft cocktails, the Spiritual Gangster and Leche Libre, using farm-fresh ingredients like lemon, lavender and mint, grown on Five Crowns’ property!
The next day, I had lunch at Back Bay Bistro, meeting up with many of the same people I hung out with the night before. It’s a small world after all and we are all bound together by our love of good food.
Executive Chef Bruno Massuger added new spring menu lunch items, including a few sandwiches and salads. My friends tried out the Parisian Chicken Sandwich and Calamari Salad while I had the Bistro Steak Salad (which is the featured image in this blog post). I also truly enjoyed the bread pudding for dessert.
Did you know that the Back Bay Bistro is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year? It has certainly come a long way from its small cafe origins. Today, Back Bay Bistro is a world-class California restaurant. I always make sure to stop by for a bite, when my family comes over to the Newport Dunes for Stand Up Paddleboarding at the nearby Pirate Coast Paddle Company.
3801 East Coast Hwy.
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
Back Bay Bistro
1131 Back Bay Dr.
Newport Beach, CA 92660