Craft Cocktail Recipe: #020213 Blood Orange (Moscow) Mule

Blood Orange Mule
Blood Orange Mule

I am still on the blood orange kick. As long as they are fresh, I just have the need to use them. Moscow Mule is a very easy drink to make. Three ingredients with a little stir over ice and you are done. We added our own twist, just because we can! Adding the blood orange juice made this a lot more balanced. I was not a huge fan of the traditional Moscow Mule, but I am a fan of this version. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Saturday Night Foodies #020213 Blood Orange Mule

INGREDIENTS:

3oz Vodka (We used Russian Standard but any smooth vodka will work)
1.5oz Fresh Blood Orange Juice (No lime in our version)
5oz Ginger Beer (Find a good ginger beer, we tried one from Bundaberg)

PREPARATION:

Add ingredients to copper mug or tumbler glass, stir and fill with ice. Add a slice of blood orange for garnish.

TIP: Feel free to change out the blood orange juice for a juice that is in season or you enjoy. Easy drink to change up to follow the seasons.

OC Restaurant Week Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary February 24 – March 2, 2013

February 24 – March 2, 2013

100+ Restaurants Confirmed for the Milestone Celebration
Kick-Off Party with 20 Restaurants at Newport Beach Lexus February 23

The Orange County Restaurant Association will celebrate its fifth year producing the region’s fastest growing and most anticipated culinary event, Orange County Restaurant Week. The 2013 Orange County Restaurant Week will be held Sunday, February 24th through Saturday, March 2nd

As we enter our fifth year, we have been able to establish a quality experience that has come to be one of OC’s favorite culinary events. Orange County Restaurant Week is a now-annual event with 100 of the county’s top dining destinations,” explained Pamela Waitt, president of the OC Restaurant Association. “This year’s five-year anniversary will serve as a grand celebration as restaurants offer the best menus and ensure that diners will be presented with a truly special weeklong. After all, the goal is for everyone involved to have fun!”

The Association has confirmed more than 100 participating restaurants for this annual event. Participants involved to date are as follows (list subject to change; an updated list can be found online at http://www.orangecountyrestaurantweek.com/Participating_Restaurant.html:

  •  118 Degrees – Costa Mesa, Laguna Niguel
  • 230 Forest Ave – Laguna Beach
  • 25 Degrees – Huntington Beach
  • 320 Main – Seal Beach
  • 370 Common – Laguna Beach
  • American Tavern Eatery and Drink – Anaheim
  • Anaheim White House – Anaheim
  • Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine and Cocktails – Irvine
  • Anqi – Costa Mesa
  • Antonello Ristorante – Costa Mesa, Santa Ana
  • Bluewater Grill – Newport Beach, Tustin
  • Brasserie Pascal – Newport Beach
  • Brü Grill & Market – Lake Forest
  • Bruno’s Trattoria – Brea
  • Canaletto Ristorante Veneto – Newport Beach
  • Canyon – Anaheim Hills
  • Catal – Anaheim
  • Cha Chas Latin Kitchen – Brea
  • Chapter one: the modern local – Santa Ana
  • Charlie Palmer – Costa Mesa
  • Crossroads at House of Blues – Anaheim
  • Crow Burger Kitchen – Newport Beach
  • Cucina Enoteca – Irvine
  • Div Bar – Newport Beach
  • Ecco – Costa Mesa
  • Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants – Brea, Mission Viejo
  • Five Crowns Restaurant and Steakhouse – Corona del Mar
  • GG’s Bistro – Laguna Beach
  • Gypsy Den – Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana
  • Harborside Restaurant – Newport Beach
  • House of Big Fish & Ice Cold Beer – Laguna Beach
  • IL DOLCE – Costa Mesa
  • Il Fornaio – Irvine
  • Improv – Irvine
  • JT Schmid’s Restaurant & Brewery – Anaheim, Tustin
  • Katsuya – Laguna Beach
  • K’ya Bistro – Laguna Beach
  • Landmark – Corona del Mar
  • LUCCA – Irvine
  • Lumberyard – Laguna Beach
  • Matador Cantina – Fullerton
  • Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament – Buena Park
  • Melting Pot – Irvine, Brea
  • Memphis at the Santora – Santa Ana
  • Mesa – Costa Mesa
  • Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant & Bar – Costa Mesa, Rancho Santa Margarita
  • Morton’s The Steakhouse – Santa Ana
  • Mozambique – Laguna Beach
  • Naples Ristorante – Anaheim
  • Nello Cucina – Costa Mesa
  • Newport Landing – Newport Beach
  • Newport Rib Company – Costa Mesa
  • Nieuport 17 – Tustin
  • Nirvana Grille – Laguna Beach
  • Opah – Aliso Viejo, Irvine
  • Orange Hill Restaurant – Orange
  • Paul Martin’s American Grill – Irvine
  • Pinot Provence – Costa Mesa
  • Pirates Dinner Adventure – Buena Park
  • Pita Jungle – Newport Beach
  • Pizzelle’s Bistro – Tustin
  • Pizzeria Ortica – Costa Mesa
  • Prego Ristorante – Irvine
  • Primecut Café – Orange
  • Quinn’s Old Town Grill – Tustin
  • RA Sushi – Huntington Beach, Tustin
  • Ralph Brennans Jazz Kitchen – Anaheim
  • Riptide Sushi – Mission Viejo
  • Royal Khyber – Santa Ana
  • Ruth’s Chris – Anaheim, Irvine
  • Sapori – Newport Beach
  • Savannah Chop House – Laguna Niguel
  • Scott’s Restaurant & Bar – Costa Mesa
  • Sealegs Wine Bar – Huntington Beach
  • Seasons 52 – Costa Mesa
  • Signature Kitchen – Costa Mesa
  • Slater’s 50/50 – Anaheim, Huntington Beach
  • SOL Cocina – Newport Beach
  • Splashes – Laguna Beach
  • Starfish – Laguna Beach
  • Sundried Tomato – Laguna Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano
  • SWSH Shabu Shabu – Irvine
  • Tabu – Laguna Beach
  • Tamarind of London – Newport Beach
  • Tangata – Santa Ana
  • Tangerine Restaurant – Anaheim
  • TAPS Fish House and Brewery – Brea
  • The Californian – Huntington Beach
  • The Catch – Anaheim
  • The Crow Bar and Kitchen – Corona del Mar
  • The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon – Anaheim
  • The Ritz Restaurant & Garden – Newport Beach
  • The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar – Tustin
  • Tommy Bahama’s Bar & Grill Laguna Beach
  • Tommy Bahama’s Island Grille Newport Beach
  • Tortilla Jo’s – Anaheim
  • True Food Kitchen – Newport Beach
  • VUE Restaurant – Dana Point
  • Watermarc – Laguna Beach
  • Wolfgang Puck Bistro – Costa Mesa
  • Woody’s Warf – Newport Beach
  • Zcafe – Costa Mesa
  • Zimzala – Huntington Beach

“This event is about bringing together the culinary community and uniting the many regions of Orange County for an event that all can enjoy,” added Waitt. “Our slogan has always been, ‘the only thing to make for dinner this week is reservations,’ and we hope that everyone will take full advantage of that suggestion!”

LAUNCH PARTY AT NEWPORT BEACH LEXUS

The 2013 Orange County Restaurant Week will kick off with an official Launch Party at Newport Beach Lexus on Saturday, February 23 benefiting Share Our Strength, a national organization dedicated to ending Childhood Hunger. Beverage sponsors include Chambord Vodka, Patron, Stella Artois, and La Crema, and dessert will be provided by Frosting’s Cupcakes, creators of the five-year anniversary cupcake.

The following restaurants will be providing samples of their fare:

  • Anqi
  • Brü Grill & Market
  • DivBar
  • Quinn’s Grill
  • Paul Martin’s American Grill
  • Landmark
  • JT Schmid’s Restaurant and Brewery
  • Scott’s Seafood
  • Savannah Chophouse
  • The Melting Pot
  • Gypsy Den
  • Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour
  • Slater’s 50/50
  • Sundried Tomato
  • Cucina Enoteca
  • RA Sushi
  • Ralph Brennans Jazz Kitchen
  • House of Big Fish & Ice Cold Beer
  • K’ya Bistro
  • American Tavern Eatery and Drink
  • Pizzelle’s Bistro
  • Melissa’s Fresh Produce
  • Sadie Rose Breads

The public may purchase tickets online at http://www.eventbee.com/v/ocrestaurantweeklaunchparty2013.

Proceeds from all ticket sales will benefit Share Our Strength.

Craft Cocktail Recipe: #012013 Blood Orange Margarita

Fresh Blood Oranges and Limes
Fresh Blood Oranges and Limes

This recipe is one of the easiest and best margaritas I think I make.  I think you will find this is a good all around margarita. Also I never add salt as I have noticed that it can take away from the freshness of the cocktail.

INGREDIENTS:

3oz Patron Silver Tequila (Or opt for an Anejo Tequila)
1.5oz Grand Marnier
3oz Blood Orange Juice (Best if fresh)
1.5oz Lime Juice (Best if fresh)
1oz Agave Syrup
.5oz Water

PREPARATION:

Mix water and agave, then mix with the rest of the ingredients in a shaker with some ice. Shake and strain over a tall glass with ice. Garnish with a blood orage slice.

Seventh Tea Bar by Portola Coffee Lab Opens Today – Costa Mesa, CA

Seventh Tea Bar
Seventh Tea Bar

Portola Coffee Lab Owners Jeff + Christa Duggan’s latest concept in Orange County redefines the Tea House

Expanding its modest selection of teas, Portola Coffee Lab is introducing a craft tea house, Seventh Tea Barwhich opened to the public today at the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa (3313 Hyland Avenue). The concept’s name is derived from the traditional Chinese belief that tea is the seventh of the seven necessities.

With more than 30 unblended single-estate teas brewed with various methods, Seventh Tea Bar will deliver an experience as rich as its sister coffee concepts, Portola Coffee Lab and Theorem slow bar. Owners Jeff and Christa Duggan will focus on a unique and thoughtful selection of unblended teas spanning the globe, but offerings will also include iced teas on tap, and fruit and herb-infused custom creations. Seventh will offer various traditional tea services for individuals or groups, complete with Chef-inspired tea sandwiches, scones and pastries. These will be available throughout the day to fulfill the most commonly followed tea times from around the world.

The design for Seventh Tea Bar can best be described as Victorian Modern, where old-school tea has a modern edge. The space features multiple seating options from table seating to oversized chairs. A patio is perfect for larger groups and special events.

Kim and I were invited for an early preview and to taste a couple of their teas and eats.  It looked like it would be a charming spot to enjoy some great tea.  We are looking forward to going and checking out what the vision turned into.

Oolong Fanciest
Oolong Fanciest
Dragonwell 3rd
Dragonwell 3rd
Yunnan Gold Tip
Yunnan Gold Tip

Brasserie Pascal Offers Prix Fixe Menus this Holiday Season – Newport Beach, CA

Brasserie Pascal Tarte Tatin Photo Courtesy of Brasserie Pascal
Brasserie Pascal Tarte Tatin
Photo Courtesy of Brasserie Pascal

Brasserie Pascal is offering French-inspired Holiday Prix Fixe Menus. They look amazing so we wanted to pass them on, in case you are looking for some place special to have a traditional French meal during the holidays.

Christmas Eve 2012
Christmas Eve 2012
New Year Eve 2012
New Year Eve 2012

As always tell us what you think!

Brasserie Pascal
327 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Dave & Buster's Gets a Makeover and Another Look from Me

IMG_1251a copy
Great New Look and Feel

I can’t remember the last time I was in a Dave & Buster’s. I’m not a gamer so when trying to come up with a place to eat, D&B doesn’t usually come to mind. The entertainment/restaurant concept is in the process of updating its 60 stores to a sports bar concept. Ten stores have been completed so far. We were invited to preview the newly renovated location at the Outlets in Orange (formerly The Block of Orange).

The Midway
The Midway

Some of the updates are obvious the minute you step in the door. The entrance has a backlit hostess station where guests are greeted and can purchase power cards which allow them access to the facility’s large selection of simulator or carnival-style games. The new contemporary color palette is a mix of gray and bright green, white and black Caesarstone surfaces, white barstools, retro light fixtures and under-lighting on the bars. They have removed some of the pool tables to accommodate more dining tables and added more TVs for game viewing. If you unfamiliar with the old look and feel of Dave and Buster’s, it was designed with dark wood paneling, brass fixtures and Tiffany glass lamps.

Other updates include:

  • Three 180″ projection screens, 15-foot TV screens, 25 HDTV’s
  • New games
  • Sports focused seating
The Lawnmower
The Lawnmower

We had the opportunity to sample some of their new and customer favorite menu items. I was pleasantly surprised by how many healthy alternatives as well as non-bar food items they had. Two of my favorites were the lawnmower salad and the sweet apple pecan salad with chicken.

Sweet Apple Pecan Salad with Grilled Chicken
Sweet Apple Pecan Salad with Grilled Chicken

Other new menu items to highlight are: The 5:15 (with pretzel dogs, scratch made BBQ chips), Poppin’ Potatoes, South Philly Burger as well as a few new beverage items; the Snow Cone cocktail and the Coronita (beer poured upside down into the house margarita). Some dessert items we sampled were the Bananas Foster Pie and the Belgian Chocolate Fondue

The 5:15
The 5:15
Poppin' Poppers
Poppin’ Poppers
The South Philly Burger
The South Philly Burger

The facility boasts 60,000 square feet of dining and entertainment space but has been designed in such a way that you don’t feel overwhelmed by the space, nor do you feel you have to participate in all the activities offered in it. If you just want to pop in for a drink with friends, you can do so at the front bar without getting caught up in the noise and revelry of the gaming area. If you want to come in for dinner, you can do that in yet another section. It’s a pretty accommodating place that has made me give it a second look.

Bananas Foster Pie - Yum!
Bananas Foster Pie – Yum!
Coronita, the Snow Cone cocktail and the D&B TnTea
Coronita, the Snow Cone cocktail and the D&B TnTea

Click to enlarge

 

 

Dave & Buster's on Urbanspoon

Free Pre-Party Event for the OC Fair New Year’s Eve Block Party – Wednesday, December 19, 2012

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Special Weekly Food Truck Fare – After Dark, 5:30 – 9 p.m.

Free admission & parking plus cash bar and great food truck grub from some of our official New Year’s Eve Block Party partners: Baconmania, The Burnt Truck, Bakery Truck, A Bite Truck, Dogzilla, Garlicscapes, The Lime Truck, Piaggio On Wheels and White Rabbit.

Plus, we’ll be doing contests with giveaways for Block Party tickets, food truck vouchers and other fun stuff. Attendees can also buy their Block Party tickets fee-free from the onsite Box Office before the prices increase.

CHANCE TO WIN TICKETS: OC Fair New Year’s Eve Block Party – Monday, December 31st

 Enter for Your Chance to Win Tickets!
Enter for Your Chance to Win Tickets!

The New Year’s Eve Block Party returns for a third year with a celebration that only the OC Fair could offer with hit tribute bands, gourmet food trucks, a demolition derby, Vegas-style games and a midnight pyrotechnic celebration, all for one affordable admission price.

For music lovers, the New Year’s Eve Block Party will feature four stages with tribute bands covering four decades of rock music:

    • For the 1960’s: Hot August Night – A Neil Diamond Tribute and Abbey Road with Jumping Jack Flash – The Beatles vs. The Stones

    • For the 1970’s: Heartbreaker – “Led Zeppelin Live”, Queen Nation – A Tribute to the Music of Queen and Journey Unauthorized – A Salute to the Music of Journey

    • For the 1980’s: Strangelove – A Live Depeche Mode Tribute, Atomic Punks – A Van Halen Tribute and Dead Man’s Party – The Oingo Boingo Tribute

    • For the 1990’s: Green Today – A Tribute to Green Day, No Duh – The Ultimate No Doubt / Gwen Stefani Concert Tribute Experience and The Joshua Tree – A Tribute to U2

For foodies, the New Year’s Eve Block Party will feature gourmet food truck grub from: Bakery Truck (desserts), Dos Chinos (Latin-Asian fusion), A Bite Truck (California fusion), Baconmania (bacon-inspired dishes), Dogzilla (gourmet hot dogs), White Rabbit (Filipino-fusion), Piaggio On Wheels (Argentinean), Garlicscapes (garlic-inspired dishes), Ragin Cajun (Cajun), Macho Nacho (gourmet nachos), Me So Hungry (gourmet sliders and hamburgers), The Burnt Truck (gourmet sliders), Shortstop BBQ (BBQ fare) and The Lime Truck (fresh California cuisine).

The NYE Bash Demolition Derby will bring the fun of mass destruction for the adventurous types and the free Vegas-style games will offer revelers a chance to test their luck.

At midnight, everyone can enjoy as the OC Fair lights up the night sky with a pyrotechnic celebration to welcome in the New Year.

Admission and parking can be purchased online at ocfair.com/blockparty or from the onsite Box Office on a limited-time basis.

Best part is we are giving away a pair of tickets!!

    Contest details:  

There are a three ways to win:

    1.  Follow @satnightfoodies and @OCFair (1 entry for each follow).

    2.  After you follow, simply RT this link (1 entry). We’ve made it easier for you tweeters, all you have to do is copy and paste the following into twitter:

    I entered to WIN TICKETS to the @OCFair #NYEBlockParty Dec 31 via @SatNightFoodies http://bit.ly/OCFairNYE2013 RT to enter!

    3. Finally in the comment section below let us know which of the gourmet food trucks you are looking forward to visiting the most

    That means you can get a total of four entries!!

Contest ends Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 11:59pm PT and the winner will be announced on December 21.  One lucky winner will win a pair of general admission passes (Valued at $95).  Good luck and happy tweeting!

Lake Elsinore "Outlets" Food Truck Festival, December 1, 2012

Photo Courtesy of Lake Elsinore Food Truck Festival Facebook Page

Foodies should mark their calendars for this Saturday, December 1, when Lake Elsinore Outlets hosts a Food Truck Festival organized by Cliff Young, an award-winning restaurateur and host of the popular “Out to Eat” series on PBS. The Food Truck Festival will feature an array of gourmet food trucks and cutting edge flavors from a dozen food trucks.

Scheduled to be on hand are the following food trucks:
Bacon Mania
Bollywood Bites
Cambalache’s Gourmet
Chubby’s
The Gastrobus
M.O.E. Eggrolls and Deli
Mustache Mike’s Italian Ice
Oooh La La Crepes
Pearson’s Louisiana Cajun Food
Pierogi Truck
Ragin’ Cajun
SoCal New Orleans Style Sno Balls
Suite 106 Cupcakery
Two for the Road
Vizzi Visionary Cuisine
WTF (Where’s the Fire) Gourmet Pizza,
Slap Yo Mama Soul Food
Calbi Fusion Tacos & Burritos
White Rabbit Original Filipino Fusion
Me So Hungry Sliders and Burgers
Cousin’s Maine Lobster

The afternoon of family fun will include a DJ and a “bubble-roller” for the kids. Seating is limited and lightweight folding chairs are allowed.

Admission to Food Truck Festival is $10, and free for children six and under. For convenient admission to the event, tickets can be purchased online at www.lakeelsinorefoodtruckfestival.com.

WHEN:
This Saturday, December 1 from 12 noon to 5 p.m.

WHERE:
Lake Elsinore Outlets in the North Parking Lot (adjacent to Fallas.)
Off Interstate 15 at Nichols Road or Central Avenue exits in Lake Elsinore
(951) 245-0087 or http://www.lakeelsinoreoutlet.com

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Finally a Neighborhood Bar in the OC – Wild Goose Tavern, Costa Mesa, CA

Inside Wild Goose Tavern

When I first got wind that a new bar was opening in Costa Mesa, I was not that interested. But then I heard that it would have good pub food, cocktails made with fresh ingredients, a pretty extensive whiskey collection as well as small-batch spirits, they had my attention! I anxiously awaited its opening day but today, the wait was over.

The tavern is dimly lit, designed with reclaimed scaffolding planks and brick walls and reclaimed barn wood housed the spirits in the bar. It has a long bar and a small set of bar tables with red tufted leather backing. The walls are decorated with a variety of taxidermy, slightly reminiscent of a hunting lodge. The overall vibe is pretty laid back and casual and would be a place you’d want to go to hang out with your friends.

We ordered kobi beef (their spelling) and chicken mole sausages, although their menu also includes rabbit, wild boar, turkey and a handful of others. The sausage dogs were complex with layer upon layer of flavor. We also ordered a cilantro caprese burger, cabanossi slim Jim bar snack and truffle herb fries.

Kobi Beef Dog

The kobi beef dog was topped with pancetta, giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables), garlic aioli, tomato chutney and arugula on a toasted bun. The sausage had a good snap when you bit into it.

Chicken Mole Sausage

The chicken mole sausage was both sweet and savory, with creaminess from the garlic aioli and quail egg, the golden beet relish added a bit of acid, and topped with siracha for some heat.

Cilantro Caprese Burger

The cilantro caprese burger was juicy, seasoned and cooked perfectly, topped with fried mozzarella, oven dried tomatoes, and cilantro chimichurri.

Let’s not forget about the drinks since it is a tavern after all. We sampled a handful of their cocktail offerings which were all refreshing and quite good.

Mango Habanero Margarita (left) – house infused agave underground reposado tequila, mango puree and fresh squeezed lime juice & Bison Mule (right) – bison grass vodka, ginger beer, hand squeezed lime juice
Apple Fashion – Knob creek rye, apple bitters and sugar
Cucmber Basil Smash – house infused Hendricks Gin, St. Germain, basil, simple syrup and hand squeezed lemon juice
Stormy Coast – Flor de Cana rum, Disaronno, ginger beer, hand squeezed lime juice

The chef has plans to add menu specials to keep things fresh and is collaborating with Cody from the Lime Truck.

Slim Jim Bar Snack
Truffle Herb Fries

Wild Goose Tavern on Urbanspoon