Bibs ‘N Butter: Newport Beach Lobsterfest

The lobster parties are on approach, crustacean fans.

THE FIRST HINTS OF FALL... can come around before we're ready. One day we're thinking about berries, and tomatoes, and the beach, and the other staples of summer, and the next moment we're looking at binders and pencil cases on the store shelves, and wondering when the first pumpkin latte will make a foamy showing. It's that transitional time we speak of, when the warmest season starts to give way to September, and there's a telling sign of the change that's sometimes overlooked: lobster festivals. They start arriving in late July, or so, with a run into September, at least 'round Southern California. And while the Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival has now wrapped for 2016, a don-your-bib bash is on its way to Newport Beach. It's Lobsterfest, and it goes for crustacean-tasty glory on...

SUNDAY, AUG. 7: Can you handle one of September's famous tastes in early August? Of course you can, and you'll be pleased to know that there are two beneficiaries of the food fest: Leadership Tomorrow and Make-A-Wish Orange County and Inland Empire. As for choosing how you'll dine, there are a couple of options, including a VIP choice that's all about the silverware and linens and gratis libations (beer and wine). That's $150, while the $60 general admission gets you a whole Maine lobster plus lots of traditional trimmings, like corn on the cub, drawn butter, red potatoes, grilled steak, and more. Do you need to jump into the whole lobstery stretch of the year? Is the back-to-school-iest season also, on the weekends, about finding the nearest lobster lark? Start here, but not before picking out the shirt you'll wear, the one that looks best under a plastic bib. (And maybe can even take a splash of butter or two, as so often happens.)

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