Delish Decade: Newport Beach Restaurant Week

Some sun, some supping, some saving, repeat.

A 10TH ANNIVERSARY, in the world of romance and coupledom, is sometimes signified by tin (if you're following the traditional suggestions) or diamonds (if you're looking at a contemporary article on the matter). But restaurants, and restaurant-related events, also reach important milestones, and yet they do not have the same roster to turn to in matters of what items symbolize what anniversaries. If the eateries of your area were celebrating the 10th go-around of Restaurant Week, what might be the thematic gift? A spoon set? A stack of linen napkins? A menu holder? The eatery-inspired ideas are pretty limitless. And yet Newport Beach Restaurant Week, which is indeed marking its first decade in the coming days, asks its patrons and fans and regular attendees for no such gifts. Rather, the dining public gets the treat, in the form of discounts and specials on some of the most tony dishes at the most top-notch cafes and steakhouses and seafooderies. But that's the way it is with Restaurant Week; prix fixe meals mean that people score both a tasty, and sometimes rarer, dish, while not having to place too much money on that little check tray at the end of the night. Ready to feel the 10th anniversary love? Then clear...

JAN. 18 THROUGH JAN. 31... on your cuisine-focused calendar. Over 50 regional restaurants in the Newport Beach neck of the woods -- er, neck of the sand? -- will take the lunchy or dinner-delish prix fixe route, with the hand-selected menus running from $10 to $25 earlier in the day and $20 to $50 in the evening. Pizzeria Mozza is participating, as is Red O, and Fly 'N' Fish's dinner offerings include the joint's signature clam chowder (a cup) or salad as well as choices like macadamia lemon-crusted halibut, cioppino, or English Dover sole. (Plus more, which is often the case with prix fixe line-ups.) You can peruse all, and then decide where to alight during the late-January run. Could you possibly pick a day with a bit of sun in this rainy winter? Do some walking along the water before saving some clams at a place you've longed to try? You could, and you don't even need to stop a store to give Restaurant Week a 10th anniversary gift. The gift is in the grub, and the gladness of the diners trying fresh spots while not shelling out too much dough.

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