BOURBON STEAK ORANGE COUNTY AT MONARCH BEACH RESORT
A NOBLEMAN can be defined as a gentleman of exceptional status and taste. A restaurant is no different. It is not enough to be the status quo; the visit should leave you wanting to experience more and, what’s more, return with others who demand the same excellence when dining. Michael Mina’s newest restaurant to open in Orange County does just that. Bourbon Steak greets all of your senses the moment you walk through its doors. The soft light of the impending sunset streaming through the large windows, high-back masculine leather booths lining the edges, the staff’s attention to detail and the aroma that fills the air let you know you’ve made the right choice for dinner. The noble choice.
There is no doubt that Michael Mina has once again exceeded all our expectations with the transformation of Stonehill Tavern into a Bourbon Steak restaurant at the Monarch Beach Resort. The intimate dining area that seats less than his other Bourbon Steak concepts allows you to feel as though you can enjoy a private conversation in a romantic atmosphere. It’s the perfect space to bring that special someone in your life you want to impress. With an attentive staff that caters to your every need, yet gives you time and space to enjoy your meal with little interruption, may we suggest this as the perfect spot for a proposal or a celebration of the landing of the big account you’ve been working on?
If there’s ever a culinary experience that will leave you wanting for nothing, this is definitely at the top of my list. We enjoyed a six-course, wine-paired meal, allowing us to taste our way through Mina’s award-winning menu. Starting with the beverage menu that pays tribute to classic cocktails we all know and love, we had the option to enjoy the “old school” way or mix it up with their “new school” twist. If you are feeling a little daring, we recommend the New School Mai Tai and Paloma cocktails.
Our meal began with a trio of seasoned french fries with complementing dipping sauces paired with Chartogne-Taillet Champagne. It was the perfect way to begin. It was followed by one of Michael Mina’s signature dishes, the Signature Parfait topped with caviar. Our tasting continued with another signature dish, the cast iron shellfish platter. The shellfish is broiled and sits atop a bed of rock sea salt, and, upon delivery, a lemongrass tea is poured over the top. Paired with a glass of Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons, it was, in my opinion, the perfect combination, and each bite was more delicious than the last. If I’m being completely honest, at this point in our meal I had fallen in love with everything we had tasted and could only sit back and wonder how the chef was going to top it with the next course.
The piece de resistance really is Michael Mina’s signature butter-poached and dry-aged prime steak. Brought out on a wood carving cart, it was sliced and served alongside the truffle mac and cheese and Brussels sprouts to compliment our meal. If you’re a steak connoisseur, this dry-aged meat will surpass your expectations. With steak cooked to perfection, your palate might never wander into another steak house again. While I love to be spoiled through a good meal, I’m not one to forget dessert, because, in truth, I am a dessert lover by nature. We enjoyed the banana tarte tatin, but you can’t go wrong with any of the options on the menu. Dare I suggest you enjoy one during your meal and take one to go?Michael Mina has once again wowed us with his tantalizing tastes and exquise dishes. He has created a special gem nestled against the Pacific Ocean in Orange County for both locals and those traveling to the area to enjoy. The panoramic ocean views combined with friendly staff and the meal we enjoyed made this experience unforgettable. We look forward to seeing more of what this new restaurant has to offer.
Words by Alissa Circle
Photography by Rod Foster