A family-owned restaurant lasting almost 50 years in SoCal? It's almost unheard of these days. But, chef/owner Mike Philippi did something right, creating a unique dining "experience".
The Hobbit is more than just a meal. It's a "three act" event with pre-dinner Cocktails upstairs at the bar/parlor, Champagne and Hors d'oeuvres downstairs in the Wine Cellar, and finally, a 7-course prix-fixe dinner ($88 per person) in the formal dining room.
And, formal it is. Reservations and appropriate attire (dinner jacket, dress shoes, etc.) are required. The table setting has more than just one knife, fork, and spoon. The Butter is meticulously shaped like a rose. And, there's only one seating available each Wednesday thru Sunday at 7pm – so make sure to call in advance!
This is the type of place you come to celebrate a special occasion and with an empty stomach – because there's so much food to go around, they even account for an intermission between dishes.
The experience makes you feel as if you've been invited into someone's grandiose – yet still quaint – home from a bygone era for a leisurely evening. And, it all starts with a knock on the front door.
To celebrate this unique experience since 1972, The Hobbit will be offering a special 9-course prix-fixe dinner ($145 per person) for two nights only: Friday, November 3rd and Saturday, November 4th.
Here are just a few of my favorite dishes.
- rich, smoky 'n divine, Liver Pate
- sweet 'n creamy, Cream Cheese Dijon Toast with Date
- humble nutty puree, Butternut Squash Soup
- warm 'n cheesy, Artichoke Cream Cheese Dip
- the sauce was the winner, otherwise my fish 'n pasta were a little tough, Fresh Alaskan Halibut with Brown Butter Sauce & Housemade Fettucini
- juicy tender, reminiscent of Thanksgiving, Grilled Stuffed Quail with White Quinoa & Indian Spiced Apricot Chutney
- tropical, citrus elegance, Frisee Salad with Hawaiian Papaya, Candy Cane Beets, Sliced Italian Wagyu Salami & Citrus Vinaigrette
- light n refreshing palate cleansing, Sorbet
- simple with a kick, Lamb Sirloin with Chorizo Demi Glaze
- light 'n airy, perfect ending, Fresh Berry Tart with Apricot Custard, Raspberry Coulis & Candied Apricots
The Pate and The Quail, forks down, were the best dishes of the night. While the entire dinner didn't leave me feeling like this was my best meal on "middle earth", the experience was truly unique, and the service was more than attentive with a smile.
The hand model and I were more than full and glad we didn't upgrade our 7-course prix-fixe to the Filet Mignon and Salmon dishes – there just wasn't enough room.
From the Cocktails to Champagne, Wine Flights, and elective after dinner Aperitifs, we left feelin' as fat 'n happy as a Hobbit.
2932 E. Chapman Avenue, Orange, California 92869. 714-997-1972.