Bluewater Grill offers special tasting menus featuring fresh catches throughout the summer.
By Ashley Probst
Nothing embodies summer flavors quite like fresh seafood, and Bluewater Grill on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach has an array of delicious offerings this season. Located right on the harbor, with the restaurant’s own fishing boat, Pilikia, docked just off the patio, guests get a glimpse of how their meals make it from the ocean to the kitchen.
Regular menu items include fresh oysters, clams, mussels and sea scallops that are served on the half shell with ponzu sauce, wasabi aioli, pickled ginger and wakame salad. The New England-style clam chowder is also a must-try starter, while other house favorites include a zesty cioppino, seafood pastas, Alaskan king crab legs and much more.
While there are an abundance of delicious items on the regular menu, it’s the special summer offerings that are currently drawing attention from locals and visitors alike, including Bluewater’s Second Tuesday Tasting series. In June, the tasting included soft shell crab cooked two ways—sauteed and tempura-style—with a wine pairing, all for $40. The restaurant hosted a similar event in July and has another one coming up in August.
This month’s tasting of a traditional New England clambake was held July 9, and the same menu without the wine pairing will be available through the end of the month, or as long as supplies last. Inspired by the eatery’s familial roots in Massachusetts, this meal includes a cup of house-made clam chowder, sustainably harvested Manila clams and steamed Maine lobster, corn-on-the-cob and coleslaw, complete with a side of drawn butter. The set pricing may not include wine, but diners can’t go wrong by pairing this dinner with a crisp and refreshing white, such as the Kung Fu Girl riesling by Charles Smith Wines or the Acrobat pinot gris.
Guests are also invited to celebrate National Tequila Day on July 24, during which the Pilikia and serrano margaritas, as well as tequila shots, will be available for $7.50 each.
The following tasting on Aug. 13 will feature the restaurant’s signature swordfish, which is harpoon-caught from the restaurant’s Pilikia boat. The fish will be blackened with chipotle flavors and served with dirty rice, sweet corn and avocado relish. And, since this is a mainstay on the menu, diners can sink their teeth into this dish any other day, but be sure to take advantage of that quintessential white wine pairing during the Second Tuesday Tasting.
No matter which deal you decide on, you’re sure to enjoy only the freshest catches at this popular Newport Beach eatery.