A day in Newport Beach is filled with the sights and sounds of California’s beautiful coastline. Of course, delicious food is widely available, too!
At times, it’s great to be reminded that some of the best places to visit are right in our own backyard!
I recently spent a day in Newport Beach with my pal Christina, from Christina’s Cucina. Newport Beach is less than an hour from downtown Los Angeles, California. It’s home to some of the best shopping, restaurants, spas, and of course, beaches! If you think that summer is the only time to visit Southern California’s beaches, you’re in for a surprise.
The cooler months offer mild temperatures, nearly empty beaches, and fewer crowds. After that, fantastic events like the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, running from December 16th-20th.
A day in Newport Beach can turn to night time fun as well.
Newport Beach is the perfect location for a romantic getaway, complete with boutique hotels, spas, and restaurants. For music lovers, February 11th to the 14th, (Valentine’s weekend), is the Newport Beach Jazz Party.
Located on the waterfront with views of the harbor, Bluewater Grill is voted “Best Seafood” in Orange County. It feels like a neighborhood restaurant, with friendly staff and locals sitting in the cozy bar.
A day in Newport Beach simply must include a cocktail or two, so that’s how we began our leisurely meal.
Christina had the Captian’s Mai Tai and I had the Pomegranate Martini, which set the mood for a relaxing day. We were very tempted to try their Bloody Mary bar, with loads of fixings to jazz up that Sunday morning Mary!
The manager, Ruth, was most accommodating, taking time to share the secret to Bluewater’s excellent reputation with us. The restaurant is known for its local, sustainably caught fresh fish, loyal management, and top-notch kitchen and waitstaff. Taking Ruth’s recommendation, we had appetizers. A small cup of velvety Lobster Bisque, followed by an assortment of raw shellfish, including Phantom Creek oysters, Cherrystone clams, mussels and the Ponzu Sashimi Sea Scallops. Served with wasabi aioli, and a wakame salad that was so good, I could have had it for dessert!
The Bluewater Grill clearly knows how to prepare fish, from the sublime Lobster Bisque and Fish and Chips, to the San Francisco Cioppino, loaded with shrimp, crab, scallops, clams and mussels, in a zesty marinara. The miso glazed black cod is the most popular item on their menu, and with one bite we knew why.
The cod’s crispy skin with the miso glaze was delicious, and the sweet and salty flavors of the glaze paired perfectly with the tender fish.
Wait! A day in Newport Beach must include dessert!
I let Christina choose between the key lime pie, creme brûlée, chocolate lava cake, or their famous mud pie. Since she’s got the sweet tooth, Christina opted for the mud pie. That pie is huge! I had more than the “small taste” I promised myself I would have.
The pie is coffee ice cream nestled in a house made cookie crust, with both chocolate and caramel sauce. Convinced? Visit the original Bluewater Grill in Newport Beach yourself (there are also six other locations).