HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA-Â Imagine being in a very large ballroom room surrounded by tables of food. Now imagine every single table in that room filled with delicious food from tangy ceviche, to sweet chocolate, to warm lobster bisque. The best part about all of this is that you are able to try each item as many times as you want!
Hungry yet? This was my reality last Saturday at the OC Restaurant Week Launch Party held at the beautiful Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach. The event, originally to have been held outdoors, was transferred into large ballrooms due to rain.
As soon as I walked in I was overwhelmed with how many food options I had.Â Thirty-oneÂ companies from all around orange county came out to give the community a taste of what you could expect if you went to that restaurant.
I started with Jerome and Joseâ€™s Jambalaya from TAPS Fish HouseÂ Brewery and I was in love! I am a huge fan of Jambalaya and it did not disappoint! After the first table everything else became a blur going from table to table snacking on Mexican bruschetta, soups, lobster macaroni and cheese,deviled eggs, steak sandwiches, ahi tuna tacos, ricotta truffles, the list goes on and on.
Guests were also able to try a variety of beverages from Kettle One Vodka who offered a drink called the Orange County Mule, Patron Tequila, water from Hawaiian Springs Water, wine from Jackson Family Wines, and beer from Beach City Brewery and Left Coast Brewing company, just to name a few.
There were only a handful of tables that had desserts. I enjoyed the Bonbons of Gold from Valenza Chocolatier and the gold sparkling angel cupcakes from Caseyâ€™s Cupcakes.
For all the health fanatics True Food Kitchen was there sampling their kale salad and gluten free super berry tarts. I usually eat pretty healthy and I know kale isn’t the best tasting, but their salad was incredible. Executive chef Talia Zimmer told me True Kitchen is “nutritionally forwardâ€. When asked how they stand out compared to other health conscious restaurants Zimmer said, â€œWe don’t limit ourselves to just vegetarian platesâ€¦and we buy from local farms.â€
Although most of the food I tried was delicious, there were two restaurants that blew me away. In first place for best beverage is Farrellâ€™s Ice Cream Parlor who served a sangria with aÂ scoop of lemon sorbet. This is one of the most refreshing floats I have ever tasted. After you drank all the sangria, there was a serving of sorbet waiting at the bottom of the cup for you to devour.
The next restaurant wins in two categories, best food and dessert! Villa Roma Argentine-Italian Cuisine.They had empanadas filled with your choice of beef or ricotta cheese and spinach. On top they had this garlic oil sauce that just triggered my taste buds! For dessert they offered alfajores which look like macarons but are more like a cookie filled with dulce de leche. Theses yummy treats melt in your mouth!
Keep in mind this was just the launch party! Orange County Restaurant Week lasts seven days from March 1- 7 and is featuring 125 restaurants. For more information and a complete list of participating restaurants visit www.ocrestaurantweek.com.