It's not often you find a restaurant with history in Newport Beach, CA. And this year, A Restaurant, formerly known as The Arches, celebrates 90 years since opening in 1926.
Back then, "The Arches" was a roadside diner with distinct arches as part of its Mediterranean architecture. Over the years, it evolved as a popular place for celebrities to gather for a drink and classic dishes from Steaks & Seafood to French cuisine. Today, A's is known for it's lively bar, great cocktails, and contemporary American menu by Chef Jonathan Blackford.
It's also a place I'm drawn to visit around the holidays because of its festive decorations, warm atmosphere, tufted cherry brown leather booths, and fireplace.
And, the food is indulgent and rich with everything from Duck Liver Pate to a 55 oz. Tomahawk cut Ribeye.
- creamy 'n silky smooth, earthy with sweet 'n sour notes, Duck Liver Pate with Cinnamon Applesauce, Curried Mustard Yellow Raisins, Rhubarb, Grand Marnier Gelee & Grilled Bread $16
- a Newport Beach Housewives' death sentence with carbs on top of carbs 'n cheese, Hook's Cheddar Pierogies with house Sauerkraut, Cipollini Onion Puree, Pickled Mustard Seed, Creme Fraiche & Chervil $14
- bold 'n ice cold, Butterleaf Wedge Salad with Red Onion, Blue Cheese, Maple Bacon, Tomato & Blue Cheese Dressing $12
- the most dressed up Chicken you'll ever have, Mary's Organic Chicken with Seared Brined Breast, Chicken Vindaloo Sausage, Charred Brussel Sports, Hazelnuts, Anson Mills Grits & Reduced Jus $26
- hearty 'n hit's the spot, Braised Lamb Shank Ragout + Saffron Pappardelle with Poached Egg, Pecorino Sardo & Soft Herbs $24
- crisp 'n velvety, Steelhead Ocean Trout with Roasted Cauliflower Varietals, Fingerling Potatoes, Soft Herbs, Citron Vinegar, White Sturgeon Caviar & Creme Fraiche $28
- great char with indulgent butter, Cauliflower Steak with Vadouvan Curry Butter, Lime & Salt $10
- thick 'n fat how steakhouse fries should be, Bistro French Fries "Twice Fried" with Truffle Aioli $7
Each dish has great attention to detail and elegance. The service is spot on and reminded me of a certain bygone era, most likely past down since its opening in the '20s.
But, don't let the white linen table cloths fool you, because A Restaurant is known for it's lively Newport crowd at the bar that's packed nightly.
3334 W. Pacific Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92663. 949-650-6505.