The rather wonderful thing about California Restaurant Month -- that's January, but we'll guess you have it written on every calendar in the house and office -- is this: Cities famed for their dining scene and destination pursuits participate. The top dining neighborhoods, in other words, don't sit this one out.
Meaning that swanker or more unusual eateries have jumped into the dining deal pool as well, if not for the entire month, than a nice chunk of it.
Newport Beach is one of the starriest of the Restaurant Week bunch, given that it is known for some stellar eating opportunities and water-close settings. Like other restaurant weeks around the state, prix fixe is the theme, meaning lunch is $10, $15, or $20 and dinner runs $20, $30, or $40.
Some samplings? Five Crowns in Corona del Mar is offering a Grilled Berkshire Porkchop, Pan-Roasted Salmon, or Prime Rib among its mains (there are two more courses beyond). Tamarind's dessert choices include pistachio kulfi or chocolate samosa. And the starter options at Canalleto? The antipasti includes a choice of Insalata Caprese, Carpaccio di Spada, Insalada di Pere, and Zuppa di Legumi.
Choosing a restaurant is your second to-do, though; Newport Beach Restaurant Week actually covers a rather wide area that includes Balboa, the Newport Coast, and, yes, Corona del Mar.
Now, the challenge: What sort of cuisine? Atmosphere? View? You know you'll save money and get a good overview of the place, but how to pick from over 60 spots?
Good luck, gourmet lover. Newport Beach is on your side.