Gorgeous—that’s the word that rolls off the tongue upon entering Newport Beach’s Lido House, and it’s warranted. Indulge in a creative culinary experience, pamper yourself with bubbly and beyond, or nestle into a snazzy seat at the rooftop bar—no matter where you sip or savor, you’re in for a treat in a truly lavish setting.
With its iconic architecture, the hotel is worthy of a toast every time you set foot on the intimate property, which boasts a sophisticated coastal ambiance all its own. And a toast is fitting. They’re big on bubbles at Lido House thanks to a partnership with Piper-Heidsieck that’s allowed them to develop a signature Champagne, making them the first hotel in the United States to have their own exclusive blend. Another two full pages of Champagne options on their libations menu and some serious Krug selections round out the luxe offerings.
The 130-room resort feels special, and its on-site fine dining restaurant, The Mayor’s Table Pacific Pub & Kitchen, bolsters the charm. It’s a beautiful build-out, and the dining room is a great use of space with a killer bar, a brick fireplace sitting room, sumptuous booths, communal tables and an illustrious glassed-in kitchen where you can take in all the action. The culinary team is big on utilizing the freshest catches and produce daily, and the talent behind the menu is impressive. Executive chef-partner Riley Huddleston hails from luxury properties in the Windy City, and executive chef Janine Falvo exemplifies the finesse a female chef adds to a high-level restaurant kitchen. The wine list is an eclectic grouping of notables that salute the terroir in regions other than the usual suspects, and the craft beer selection will strike you. But let’s eat, shall we?
After a bevy of drinks from the eccentric cocktail menu, you’ll find yourself eyeing the charred octopus. Smoky and tender from the direct heat of the plancha after a long poach, the scrumptious octopod is nestled atop a dollop of sweet heirloom carrot puree and garnished with squid ink sourdough crostini (so cool) and shaved radishes; it’s fabulous. Another signature starter, the crispy California avocado, is panko- and togarashi-crusted with a Calabrian chili mayo for dipping that spice lovers will adore. For a light and luscious selection, opt for the deconstructed Pacific seafood chowder—the wood-grilled fish is succulent and bacon broth is poured tableside to release the aromas of this twist on a bowl of soup.
For the main event, the bone-in ribeye is a standout, crusted to perfection and served with a smoked potato puree of which I can’t get enough. Grass-fed and corn-finished, the steak is simply exceptional. By sea, the roasted halibut with butter-poached morels, green garlic and fiddlehead ferns is sublime, once again showcasing Mayor’s Table’s glorious fish offerings.
On the sweet side, order the s’mores and they’ll bring the campfire to you: Under a glass dome rests homemade marshmallows, chocolate fudge, graham cracker crumbs and a plume of smoke to bring the outdoors in. The chocolate souffle is my first choice—who doesn’t love a souffle made to order?—complete with Grand Marnier-beaded ice cream and a delicious dark chocolate sauce.
Gastronomes take heart: It’s at The Mayor’s Table you’ll find a fresh and whimsical approach to dining. It’s elevated epicurean pleasure with sumptuous libations to match—go ahead, drink it in.
THE MAYOR'S TABLE PACIFIC PUB & KITCHEN
3300 Newport Blvd., 949.524.8500, Newport Beach
Starters and salads, $12-$32; entrees, $22-$65; dessert, $9-$16