Romantic Rendezvous

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Balboa Bay Resort is preparing for a romantic Paris-themed event on Valentine’s Day. | Photo courtesy of Balboa Bay Resort

Celebrate your love with these Valentine’s Day events and special menus around Newport Beach.

By Newport Beach Magazine Staff

 

From special dinner menus to a Paris-themed event or harbor cruise, spoil your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. Several venues in the Newport Beach area have planned festivities for couples and anyone who wants to celebrate this love-filled holiday. Here are a few to consider.

Balboa Bay Resort is pulling out all the stops with A Night in Paris Valentine’s Day Dinner Show from 5:30-9 p.m. Feb. 14. The waterfront property will transform to whisk couples away to the picturesque streets of Paris complete with a flower cart. Attendees may sip Champagne and enjoy a French-inspired buffet as well as a performance by Michael Bublé tribute singer Scott Keo for some romantic dancing music. Dinner will feature lobster risotto, caviar, crab, scallops, prime rib, crepes, a chocolate fountain and more. Private tables for two and shared tables are available. Tickets range from $187.50 to $330 per person. Balboa Bay Club members receive 20% off; hotel guests receive 15% off. For more information and tickets, visit eventbrite.com.

For those who want to get out on the water, Hornblower is offering a Valentine’s Day dinner cruise from 7-10 p.m. Feb. 14. Packages include a glass of Champagne or sparkling wine as well as a single rose per couple. Upgrades offer a bottle of Mumm Champagne and special flutes, a half dozen roses and a guaranteed window seat. While taking in views of the harbor, enjoy live entertainment and dine on beet and baby arugula salad, signature seafood chowder or clementine-poached prawns and a choice of oven-roasted chicken breast with rosemary and thyme, a petite filet mignon and lobster tail, or root vegetable fricassee. To wrap up the meal, select from the signature chocolate cake with raspberry coulis, mixed fruit with strawberries or the chef’s seasonal offering. Additional drinks including wine, beer and creative cocktails will be available for purchase at the cash bar. Tickets range from $140.90 to $240.90. For more information and tickets, visit cityexperiences.com.

Get in the mood before the actual holiday by attending the “Valentine’s Day With Katherine Jenkins” concert with Pacific Symphony at 8 p.m. Feb. 11 and 12 at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. The Welsh pop opera star—who has performed around the globe for presidents, the pope and the royal family, and done duets with Andrea Bocelli and others—will sing romantic favorites including selections from her new studio album, “Cinema Paradiso,” which includes well-loved film musical theme songs such as “Moon River” from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Disney’s “Pinocchio.” Tickets start at $35 each. For more information and tickets, visit scfta.org.

Also in Costa Mesa, a special four-course menu with optional wine pairing will be offered Feb. 12-14 at Water Grill. Dinner highlights include Wild Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail with traditional cocktail sauce, clam chowder with applewood-smoked bacon, classic surf and turf with South African lobster tail, and Rosen’s New York Cheesecake with strawberry sauce. The prix fixe menu is $135 per person plus $50 for wine pairing. For reservations, visit opentable.com.

In Newport, Bosscat Kitchen is featuring a whiskey sampler over Valentine’s Day weekend. This lineup of four unique and obscure whiskeys includes Clyde May’s, Maker’s Mark Cask Strength, Four Roses and Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or, offering a perfect way for two people to share the experience of trying different whiskeys together. The restaurant also will be donating $1 from the sale of both the Red Velvet Churros and The Scarlet cocktail to the American Heart Association through the end of February in a Month of Love celebration. For more information, visit bosscatkitchen-newport.com.

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations will donate $1 from the sale of every order of Red Velvet Churros through February to the American Heart Association. | Photo courtesy of Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

A special Valentine’s Day menu will also be offered Feb. 11-14 at Gracias Madre. Swoon over Executive Chef Justin Haefler’s five-course meal, which is offered a la carte and is all plant based. Dishes include Sweet Elote Soup, a “corazon” or heart-shaped empanada, a Spice of Love Chile Relleno and a vegan Pine-Apple of Your Eye Upside-Down Cake with vanilla gelato. For reservations, visit graciasmadre.co.

Located at the back of Gracias Madre (with a focused menu and counter service only) sister restaurant Cafe Gratitude has brought back Executive Chef Dreux Ellis organic artisanal Valentine’s Day chocolate box, which include six vegan candies such as almond butter squares, a coconut almond truffle and white chocolate pistachio cardamom, available through Feb. 14 for $20. For more information or to order, visit cafegratitude.com or call 949-386-8100.

Feel like you’re in paradise with the aloha-style special menu and island-inspired cocktails during Valentine’s Day weekend at Billy’s at the Beach. The waterfront restaurant will offer the regular menu as well as holiday specials Feb. 11-13. Then, on Feb. 14, dine on a prix fixe menu from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Start with popular appetizers like the pupu platter or seafood tower, then choose from entrees such as a 32-ounce tomahawk steak, grilled Kauai saltwater prawns or macadamia nut-crusted halibut. A broiled lobster may be added to any entree. For a sweet treat, indulge in the Chocolate Decadence Heart, made with chocolate sponge cake, chocolate mousse and ganache. The cost of the prix fixe meal is $160 per couple. For more information or to make a reservation, visit billysatthebeach.net or call 949-722-1100.

For an alfresco dining experience in a romantic garden setting, head to Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar, which is serving up sustainably sourced Valentine’s Day lunch and dinner specials Feb. 11-14. Dishes, created by owner and Executive Chef Rich Mead, will highlight the region’s freshest seasonal flavors. In addition to your meal, choose a specialty cocktail to toast to your loved one. A floral arrangement from Roger’s Gardens is also available Feb. 11-14 for $35 (orders must be placed two days prior to your visit). For reservations, call 949-640-1415 or visit farmhouserg.com.

Valentine’s Day lunch and dinner specials will be offered Feb. 11-14 at Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens. | Photo courtesy of Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens

Waterfront favorite The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar offers a gourmet “Oh Baby” prix fixe experience on the night of the romantic holiday. Executive Chef Yvon Goetz will prepare a seasonal amuse bouche to start the meal off, then diners will choose an appetizer, such as the Maine lobster and saffron bisque, prosciutto-wrapped wild white shrimp, The Winery house salad and more. For the main course, entrees include zinfandel-braised short ribs, jumbo Maine scallops, crusted Chilean sea bass and a rack of lamb, among others. To end the night, share an assortment of mini pastries. A limited a la carte menu will be available Feb. 11-13 as well. To make a reservation, visit thewinerynewport.com or call 949-999-6622.

Fable & Spirit, an Irish restaurant located on Lido Isle, offers special hours on Valentine’s Day, as they are usually closed on Mondays. From Feb. 11-14, diners can stop by to enjoy two specials: 12-Hour kurobuta porchetta with chimichurri and Parmesan polenta, and seared Diver scallops with a sunchoke puree and asparagus tips. Wine pairings will also be available. For reservations, go to fableandspirit.com.

Mario's Butcher Shop
The Porterhouse for Two | Photo courtesy of Mario’s Butcher Shop

Enjoy a heart-shaped special this Valentine’s Day—Mario’s Butcher Shop is offering a Porterhouse for Two, served with vegetables, potatoes, bone marrow and Colima salt. In addition, the butchery will be crafting charcuterie boards in honor of the holiday, using its finest meats cured in-house. To place your order, reach out at 949-316-4318 or mariosbutchershopdeli.com.

Sushi is always a hit, and the luxurious Sushi Roku is offering its full menu in addition to three special Valentine’s dishes. The Peruvian Dynamite contains lobster, snow crab, roasted Brussels sprouts and charred lemon, while the seared scallop carpaccio is accompanied by ikura, ama ebi, caviar, red peppercorn and a yuzu vinaigrette. Or, for a sweet treat, sample three Cocoa Pebble ice cream tacos, with dulce de leche, vanilla and cookies & cream ice creams. Reservations are recommended; call 949-706-3622 or visit sushiroku.com.

Lido House hotel’s signature restaurant The Mayor’s Table will also offer festivities, with a three-course, prix fixe meal option over Valentine’s Day weekend. Choose from an appetizer of early spring onion dip, foie gras and raspberry jelly, or wagyu steak tartare before selecting a entree of roasted ocean trout, braised lamb or beef filet. The meal comes with dessert too, for which there are also three choices: a chocolate-caramel cupcake, Champagne brulee with nitrogen-frozen berries or Honey & Champagne, featuring panna cotta, seasonal fruit and a Moët topping. The experience starts at $160 per couple, with an option to add a bottle of Louis Roederer rose Champagne to the meal for a total of $290 per couple. Find more information at lidohousehotel.com.

A prix fixe dinner will be offered at Bayside Restaurant on Valentine’s Day. | Photo courtesy of Bayside Restaurant

At Bayside Restaurant, a three-course prix fixe menu will be offered from 4:30-10 p.m. on Valentine’s Day with dishes like fresh-shucked oysters, lobster bisque, filet mignon and mushroom-crusted sea bass. With plenty of romantic seating options to choose from, dine alfresco on the harborside patio, on the open-air terrace or in the intimate dining room. Live music will set the mood from 5:30-11:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended by calling 949-721-1222. For more information, visit baysiderestaurant.com.

TacoRosa_Valentines2022
Special holiday cocktails at Taco Rosa | Photo by Taco Rosa

For a holiday experience with some Latin flair, visit Taco Rosa’s Newport Beach location, where diners will enjoy a three-course meal on Feb. 14. A halibut and avocado ceviche is followed by stuffed char-pineapple with skirt steak, shrimp or chicken breast, accompanied by black beans, cilantro rice and tortillas. For dessert, diners will finish with their own version of churros—fritters covered in sugar cane and cinnamon, served with crema catalana. The meal is $45. Diners may also opt to add a special Valentine’s Day cocktail: the Goodnight Kiss, a wild hibiscus martini with egg white foam. Reservations can be made by calling 949-720-0980 or visiting tacorosa.com.

At Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar in Corona del Mar, guests are invited to “drink pink” with handcrafted cocktails such as the Valentine’s Blush, which brings together Tommy Bahama  Gin, ruby red grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur and a splash of soda, garnished with fresh tarragon and a grapefruit slice. This drink is available through Feb. 14. For more information and reservations, visit tommybahama.com.

Valentine’s Blush at Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar | Photo by Tommy Bahama

For a romantic glamping staycation just steps from the sand, Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina is offering a Valentine’s Day discount of 30% off overnight stays in the beach cottages and RV camping sites Feb. 13-14 with code BeMine2022. (For those who don’t own an RV, Newport Dunes can recommend local companies that deliver a sanitized RV to your site.) The resort’s luxury amenities include a heated pool and spas with private cabanas available for rent. Beach cruisers, e-bikes, stand-up paddleboards, pedal boats and electric Duffy boats are also available to rent for exploring the Back Bay area. Guests may also request delivery of a fire pit with firewood for roasting marshmallows beneath the stars. To make a reservation, call 949-729-3863.

In addition to spending Valentine’s Day with your loved ones, consider sharing the love with others. Court Appointed Special Advocates of Orange County is seeking $50 donations to provide a stuffed animal to children in foster care. Join Kids for CASA at its drive-through build-a-bear event at Newport Coast Child Development Preschool, 2350 Ford Road, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 12 to help create a bear to donate. The organization’s goal is to sell 650 bears and raise $32,500 for CASA of Orange County. For more information, visit casaoc.org/bear.

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