Is anyone else having a difficult time saying goodbye to summer? I honestly cannot believe how it’s already September, but I’m pretty sure I make a similar comment every month. That or I just hear everyone commenting how time flies. Sure summer has come and gone, but there is so much to look forward to this month and the months to come. Football is back (plenty to watch on the weekend) and who else is excited about PUMPKIN?? I will dedicate a number of posts to one of my favorite thematic vegetables, but more on that later.
In the past few weeks it seems as if I’ve been checking off my list of things to do before I move to New York. Sure, I’ll be back, probably for the holidays, so I guess we’ll call it a summer check list. When I was down in Laguna Beach last week, my grandparents thought it would be fun to have a celebratory send off dinner. Normally we celebrate special occasions at the Five Crowns in Corona Del Mar, but per my newly acquired foodie palate, we decided to test out something new and different.
The Cannery is actually built on top of what used to be an old fish cannery. Don’t worry; there isn’t anything fishy about it. It’s known for its wide selection of seafood, steaks, salads, and even offers a select sushi bar area in the upper level. I know if we were to return in the future, my grandma would be all over the tempura vegetables.
We selected a table outside and settled down alongside the water. The only downside to such seating was the fact that we were nestled among larger groups including a birthday party and a few other business dinners. The noise level was probably a little higher than my grandpa anticipated, but I felt the lively atmosphere matched perfectly with the restaurant.
Because this was a “send-off” dinner, we decided to drag it out a bit. Therefore, we started with the soft slices of baguette and a glass of wine. From there, we all selected a particular salad and continued to chat. My grandparents split the Caesar as my grandma has a love for anchovies (I try to avoid such items at all costs) and I ordered the wedge. Anything that comes with tomatoes and blue cheese (any cheese for that matter) is fine by me. I find it interesting that I’ve grown to enjoy blue cheese because growing up it was cheddar cheese or the highway. If you had told me I’d be indulging in cheese made with mold, I’d probably make a face and say you were crazy.
I was thoroughly impressed with the presentation of the wedge, sliced horizontally and topped with the various fixings. It was also quite filling and in retrospect, I might have simply ordered the wedge as my main meal. However, for such an occasion, I decided to test out the seafood. I apologize in advanced for the poor pictures. It’s been decided that no matter how many filters you put on the camera or photo-editing program, it’s all about the lighting. The sun had set by the time our food arrived, so I did my best to make it look somewhat appetizing. Just take my word for it, it was.
I decided to be picky and order the salmon but substitute the mahi mahi sides (zucchini blossom risotto, grilled baby zucchini, sweet corn, aji panca sauce, and puffed rice). My grandma ordered the mahi mahi but my grandpa had the winning order – swordfish, which was chili-garlic broiled with grilled English peas (could do without), tendril puree, shaved radish, crispy Spanish torilla. The Spanish tortilla was more like a seasoned hash brown, but perfectly paired with the swordfish. One table next to us ordered a number of shrimp appetizers and another selected a variety of sushi platters, so the seafood was in full swing that night.
Once dinner was complete, we were presented with the dessert menu. Although I couldn’t think of indulging in another bite, my grandma was eyeing the “S’mores Brulee.” Just one bite? Ok, I was sold. Apparently there was some emotional attachment to the dish as the chocolate pudding pie was something my great-grandmother would make and used to be a family classic. It was served with two homemade graham crackers that reminded me of a molasses or gingerbread cookie. They were then topped with marshmallow fluff and browned to give it a somewhat campfire effect. It was absolutely delectable and after our bread, salads, and entrees, was more than enough to share with three or even four people.
3010 Lafayette Rd
Newport Beach, CA 92663
How do you feel about s’mores? Do you have a favorite restaurant to celebrate special occasions?