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Haven Gastropub – Dining Review | OC METRO Magazine

You won’t find Coke or Pepsi on the menu at Haven Gastropub, but you will find RC Cola and Diet Rite – and a lamb burger and spiced pork belly and bacon ice cream.So has the word “unique” popped into your mind yet? No? Well, then, I don’t think you’ve been paying attention. I will continue.

Fois gras cheesecake. Hog’s head roulade. Whole roasted pig. (Before you luau fans all jump into your cars, I will warn you that the latter must be ordered days in advance and is only for parties of six to 14. But really, who could eat a whole pig by himself, anyway?)

And get this: Everything is really delicious. Even the hog’s head.

I have to admit, I was reluctant to try what is essentially a rolled-up pig’s face; the folks at Haven call it Porschetta di Testa. It sounds so much more appetizing in Ital- ian. But, for the sake of research, I pushed aside that finicky nonsense and scooped up a helping. As my fork lifted the meat from the plate, it became clear just how painstaking the process of creating this dish must be. The seasoned, salty pork is cut so thin, it melts in your mouth. Chef Greg Daniels teams the roulade with arugula tossed in a lemon-shallot vinaigrette, and then tops that with shaved pecorino. Hog heaven.

Something else you’d be hard- pressed to find anywhere else: the Curried Goat Poutine. Daniels takes goat shoulder and braises it for hours until the meat just simply falls apart – moist, tender, delicious. Then he takes the shreds of meat, adds it to an insanely divine curry sauce, spoons that over a helping of french fries, drops a few dollops of cheddar cheese curd on top and then pops it in the broiler so the curd turns crispy and golden.

And while the fois gras cheesecake and bacon ice cream are certainly worthy contenders for dessert, my fave is the Irish Car Bomb – warm Guinness chocolate cake topped with Guinness ice cream and drizzled with Irish Cream chocolate sauce and Jameson caramel.

How’s that for unique?

To read the full piece by Tina Borgatta in OC Metro’s digital edition, CLICK HERE.

Images by Nicole Caldwell Studio Thanks to Mona Shah and Moxxe

Read Haute Living Article  here

Haute Menu: Rustica’s New Spring Selections

Posted By Christopher Luu on April 11th, 2011

As you turn your calendar and you’re switching your closet to linen and lace instead of wool and cashmere, Rustica at Fashion Island is making their menu a little lighter to reflect the changing seasons, too. While your favorites from the restaurant aren’t going anywhere, with all the new additions, you might just find a new regular to order next time you’re sitting pretty on their patio.

“This is a great time of year to really showcase the season’s offerings and get creative with dishes. My spring menu uses the freshest vegetables to ensure that we are serving the best tasting, most flavorful dishes,” says Chef Ren, who also adds that all the menu items at Rustica focus on regional cuisine and a commitment to quality, and the finest ingredients and produce. “I like knowing where my produce and meats come from – just try my carrots from the unique family-run Weiser Farms, my free-range chicken from Mary’s and my seasonal veggies from Kenter Farms.”

Diners agree — as you might know — the restaurant’s packed patio is a popular gathering place whether you’re refueling mid-shopping trip or meeting your best friends after work. Their Nicoise salad has become legendary in Orange County and many of their menu items have garnered rave reviews from local publications. A favorite among wine enthusiasts, the restaurant has become a gathering spot for everyone across Orange County.


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