I am a huge fan of the Hillstone Restaurant Group and quite frequently eat at Houston’s, R+D Kitchen and Bandera. So when I was asked to choose a place for my birthday dinner, it wasn’t hard to pick Gulfstream – their “fish restaurant.” I am so glad I did because I now dream about this meal…
|Halibut and slaw: seems minimal, but mashed potatoes are hiding under the fish|
The service alone is why you should go to Gulfstream. I love restaurants where every server is your waiter, and you can get your water filled the second you put it down. We were never left waiting, all our questions were answered and the food didn’t sit in the back waiting for someone to bring it out.
|the most amazing shrimp almost creole sauce that goes on the halibut|
We started with the biscuits – only two because it’s a marathon not a race. HOLY HELL they were good. Now other restaurants in this group serve jalapeno cornbread which is awesome in and of itself, but these biscuits, wow. Obviously they were warm and flaky and they have honey on the table or a huge side of butter for fattening up the meal, but they were also herby and not greasy at all. I ordered the halibut because the waitress said it was her favorite dish at the restaurant, and I HAD to eat seafood here. My boyfriend, Phil got the fall off the bone goodness that are the ribs. Both of us stuffed our face. Needless to say, I licked my plate clean and was so satisfied. We didn’t have any of the desserts because honestly they didn’t sound that appealing or mind-blowing (and because Sprinkles is next door and I had eaten cupcakes all day – what it’s my birthday!)
|ribs, fries, slaw: find ONE thing you don’t love about this meal|
The best hour of the day is clearly happy hour. I mean it IS always happy. And because it is Thursday, we have to start off the weekend right. And what better way then at a classy joint with cheap prices and great food.
|Steak, calamari, drinks, yes please!|
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse has a pretty exceptional happy hour. For a place that even lawyers can’t regularly attend, their happy hour is definitely a steal. Fleming’s happy hour deal is 5 for $6 until 7. Okay, let’s break that down. Five items on each of the wine, cocktails, and appetizers lists. All for $6. Until 7PM. Amazing, right? Included in this deal is their burger (again only $6) and an IPA deal, 2 for $6. The catch? It is only in the bar area, so you have to get there early or stalk people for a seat. But if you don’t mind being a little creepy, then elbow your way to the bar and order yourself a Moscow Mule and some Sweet Chili Calamari to start your weekend off right!
What are some of your favorite happy hour spots? Any good drink deals during the week?
We made it halfway through the week, and now we need a little something extra to make it ’til the weekend. Try The Cannery. This Newport Beach spot will perk up anyone’s work day.
Happy hour is from 4:00-6:30 in the “Jellyfish Lounge” only. The best bang for your buck is the half priced sushi, but make sure you wash it down with a $3.50 draft beer. While you will be surrounded by cougars (and no I’m not referring to the animal), at least the view of Back Bay is beautiful. Come early as it is first come, first served and people will not be leaving until Happy Hour is over. The two person White Sangria is worth a try: you can share it, or call yourself a cab! Fresh fish and decent cocktails should be on everyone’s to-do list.
|Beer around a fire pit.|
Special Find for you Adventurers:
All though it may sound unusual, Whole Foods at Fashion Island has weekly events for the community. Today, Back Bay Tavern, their attempt at a gastro pub, has a Beer and Dessert special from 4PM to closing. Five 4 ounce pours and two desserts for only $12. Have your tastings and then grab something to eat on the outside patio if it warms up. If the Tavern’s food prices are too steep, Whole Foods has one of the largest pre-made food selections in OC. Grab soup, a sandwich, pizza or even Japanese food and sit at one of the twenty-some tables outside. Worth a try and won’t hurt your wallet.