Orange County, California, offers no shortage of decadent dining options, whether you’re looking for an Asian-inspired adventure or a classic cup of coffee. There’s something special about the establishments here, which always strive to go above and beyond to offer one-of-a-kind experiences and decadent fare. With Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s more important than ever to seek out distinctive dining destinations to celebrate with your special someone. We’ve selected five of the most romantic options around Orange County to help you create an evening to remember.
Bourbon Steak Orange County
Tucked away in Dana Point, Bourbon Steak Orange County is a delightful Valentine’s Day retreat. The beloved Americana steakhouse experience meets with bold international flavors in this sophisticated setting. Chef Michael Mina’s inspired touch is evident in every menu item, and the restaurant delivers an unforgettable experience. This dinner comes at a premium price point, making it a distinct indulgence ideal for a special event.
The dinner menu features an abundance of gourmet indulgences, such as Maine lobster pot pie in brandied cream, Mary’s whole-fried chicken with truffle mac and cheese, or a 50 oz Snake River Farms American Wagyu Tomahawk that’s mesquite wood fire-grilled to perfection. If you’re in the mood for something really special, you can even order caviar service and champagne to mark the occasion.
The dessert menu is equally impressive, with options such as warm spiced beignets with vanilla crème brülée, Basque cheesecake, and a cocoa and spice ginger brownie with rum vanilla ice cream. Thoughtful wine and cocktail pairings are available to perfectly complement any dish. Make your reservations well in advance to secure one of these swanky tables for your Valentine’s Day dinner.
Location: Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach 1, Monarch Beach Resort Dana Point
Hours: 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday
Dining at The Hobbit is a truly unique experience. You’ll enjoy a multi-course prix-fixe menu that’s artfully served over the course of four hours. An elegant casual dress code is strictly enforced to maintain the ambiance. Men must wear dress slacks and a collared button-down dress shirt. Denim, polos, flip-flops, shorts, and tennis shoes are prohibited.
The evening begins with champagne and hors d’oeuvres in the wine cellar, where you’re introduced to the extensive bottle selection featuring more than 1,000 labels. Next, you’ll retire to your private table to enjoy the first two courses, which include seafood and either fowl or light meat. You’ll enjoy an intermission after this point to take in the air on the patio and stretch your legs. Finally, you’ll settle in to cleanse your palate with a sorbet before the main course. The meal concludes with dessert and a selection of coffees, cognacs, and liqueurs.
You must reserve your spot for this special experience.
Location: 2932 E. Chapman Ave., Orange
Hours: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday
Enjoy coastal dining and rustic French cuisine along Newport Beach at Marché Moderne. Start with a gourmet charcuterie featuring flavors such as cured duck salami, truffle house Boursin, and sweet honeycomb.
For your entree, you’ll find an abundance of gourmet delights from the ocean that complement the atmosphere, such as fish du jour in a smoked soy and black truffle butter jus or brown butter sauteed diver scallops with pork belly and padron pepper jam. If you prefer something from the land, try the crispy duck confit or the aged acquarello arborio rice mushroom risotto.
Complete your Valentine’s meal with desserts such as chocolate souffle cake with mango coconut gelato or raspberry tart with rose-scented crème fraîche. The entire dining experience at Marché Moderne is a delight for the senses.
Location: 7862 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach
Hours: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday
At AnQi Bistro, you’ll find dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. This destination offers a feast for the eyes and the belly with its sophisticated decor and artfully plated options. With so many intriguing choices, the most difficult part of dinner is simply choosing what to order. Consider sharing some of the small plates to sample delights, such as truffle sashimi, chive and leek dumplings, filet mignon potstickers, and the award-winning tombo tuna tacos with your partner.
If you’re in the mood for steak, sample it all with the AnQi steak tasting experience, which features the A5 wagyu, prime ribeye, and prime hanger steak. You can also explore large plates, such as the crispy orange peel chicken with Chinese celery and cilantro yogurt or colossal tiger prawns with An’s famous garlic noodles. No matter what you choose, you’re sure to encounter a world of fresh new flavors.
Location: 3333 S. Bristol St., Costa Mesa
Hours: Noon to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Summit House Restaurant
The Summit House Restaurant is housed in a charming English inn where you’ll enjoy old-world comforts and a distinctly homey atmosphere. Begin your meal with appetizers such as Portobello mushrooms on Gruyere parmesan potatoes or Chesapeake Bay-style crab cakes.
Move on to hearty entrees, such as USDA Prime filet mignon with gruyere au gratin potatoes, rosemary garlic rotisserie chicken with crimini mushrooms and garlic herb mashed potatoes, and Skuna Bay salmon with sauteed baby spinach and cilantro lime jasmine rice. Specialty cocktails, wines, beers, and whiskeys are on hand to round out your meal. Make sure you save room for a Valentine’s dessert, such as the chocolate lover’s torte, English trifle, or caramel bread pudding.
Location: 2000 E. Bastanchury Road, Fullerton
Hours: 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday
Do you know of other outstandingly romantic restaurants around Orange County? Contact our team at Capistrano Volkswagen and let us know so we can pass along your recommendations. We want to have the best suggestions in town for our customers when they’re cruising off the lot, ready to take their new vehicles somewhere really special.