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Laguna Beach is Southern California's premier seaside destination, midway between Los Angeles and San Diego. A year-round retreat for art lovers, nature enthusiasts and beach goers, Laguna Beach features seven miles of soft sand and surf.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sapphire Laguna Dinner

When dining in Laguna Beach there are over 70 amazing restaurants to choose from, but there is one in particular that my husband and I have been dying to try, Sapphire Laguna. Part of the renovation of The Old Pottery Place and located in The HIP District, the restaurant looks inviting, warm and somewhere that could easily become one of your favorites. With ‘The Greeter’ out in front welcoming visitors to come in and take a look around, how can you pass up the invitation?

At Last, we were finally able to fit a date night into our hectic schedules for some quiet, alone time.  After being welcomed and seated, we surveyed the menu like giddy school girls.  Sapphire’s Chef, Azmin Ghahreman carefully chooses each season’s menu by using only the freshest and highest quality food available. Looking over each selection, it was difficult to make just one choice for each course.

While we were deciding on our appetizers, we enjoyed warm, right-out-of-the-oven rosemary parmesan rolls. YUM! I started with the Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque and Mr. S, my husband, chose the Hong Kong Style Salt and Pepper Shrimp. (The great thing about dining with a loved one is that you can share!)

The creamy bisque is topped with Crispy Goat Cheese and Chive Crème Fraîche.

Deciding on our main courses proved to be a bit more of a challenge. I was fluctuating between the surf and turf choice of Pan-Seared Beef Tenderloin and Lobster Ravioli, or the Baked Kurobuta Pork Shank. In the end, I asked our waiter’s opinion, and he suggested the well-liked surf and turf.

Served with Creamed Spinach, Wild Mushroom Ragout and Chervil Butter.

Mr. S settled quickly and decisively on the Crisp Alaskan Halibut Piccata.

Served with sautéed Pea Shoots and Cured Tomato Risotto.
There are not many times that I am at a loss for words, but while enjoying my dinner, I was. To be eating an amazing meal that was filled with such worldly flavors and enjoying it with my husband in such a lovely setting was…priceless. Sapphire Laguna is warm, with a modern rustic feel and a hint of the past…quiet reminders of the Pottery Place. Much of the lighting inside is done by Laguna’s very own artist, glass blower John Barber. The amber and subtle blue hues inside made us feel like we had found the romantic escape we were hoping for.

When the dessert menu came I knew that I would choose chocolate, because I always do and I love it! However, another selection caught my eye, the Australian Passion Fruit Pavlova.

Served with fresh berries and mango coulis
Wow! All I can say is WOW! This dessert is like eating a cloud sent straight from heaven. It melted in my mouth and practically brought me to tears with how exquisite it tasted. It had no chocolate and I didn’t care because I was eating the most fantastic dessert I have ever tasted. (This is no exaggeration!)

Mr. S selected the White Peach Melba Crème Brulée. I am pretty sure that he is becoming a connoisseur of the Crème Brulée because without fail it is the only dessert he orders. His one word to describe Sapphire’s was…phenomenal!

Sapphire Laguna was the perfect setting for us to have a romantic date night, it is definitely a new favorite of ours.

By Anne-Marie S.

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