Still looking for ideas on where to ring in 2011? Here are some great local spots celebrating New Year's Eve.
Celebrate New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in true Baja style at Sol Cocina without leaving Orange County. On Friday, dine on Executive Chef Deborah Schneider's regular dinner menu, along with special twists on traditional Baja cuisine, including grilled Maine lobster with creamy green chile mac n' cheese, and Angus short ribs braised with red wine, buttery pureed potatoes, roasted root vegetables and crispy onions.
On New Year's Day, start with a real south of the border spin on breakfast during weekend brunch! Come in for bottomless mimosas and new huevos rancheros: eggs over easy on corn tortillas with refried black beans topped with fresh tomato salsa ranchera, roasted poblano chiles, cheese and avocado.
As always, dinner service begins at 4:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve and brunch is offered Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sol Cocina is at 251 Pacific Coast Hwy. in Newport Beach. For more information, call (949) 675-9800 or visit http://www.solcocina.com.
Palm Terrace Restaurant
Palm Terrace Restaurant at Island Hotel in Newport Beach is offering an elegant five-course menu created by Chef Bill Bracken and live piano music. Price is $125 per person (excludes tax and gratuity), with seatings from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday.
Palm Terrace Lounge will also be a lively spot to toast the New Year in style — with a selection of New Year's Eve bar bites from Bracken, desserts, live entertainment and dancing, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Price is $110 per person (excludes tax and gratuity) from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday.
The hotel is at 690 Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach. For more information, call (949) 760-4920 or visit http://www.theislandhotel.com.
Celebrate New Year's Eve at Sundried Tomato in Laguna Beach on Friday beginning at 4 p.m. There are special New Year's Eve three-course dinners for $50 with a champagne toast at midnight. And you can save 15% on dinner with an early reservation from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
At its San Clemente location, you can dance to the music you love with DJ Frankie Boombox from 10 p.m. until late into the night. The Laguna Beach location is at 361 Forest Ave. #103. For more information, call (949) 494-3312.
Pinot Provence is offering three- or four-course prix-fixe menus for $75 beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, and it is open New Year's Day at 8 a.m. at the Westin South Coast Plaza, 686 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa.
For more information, call (714) 444-5900 or visit http://www.pinotprovence.com.
Ring in the New Year with live music, dancing and great food at Prego Ristorante. Guests will have the opportunity to select from a four-course prix-fixe menu created by Executive Chef Ugo Allesina or order off the restaurant's dinner menu of regional Italian favorites.
Reservations will be taken for parties of any size between 5 and 10 p.m. for dinner; prix-fixe menu is $75 per guest, plus tax and gratuity, and includes a champagne toast at midnight.
Prego Ristorante is 18420 Von Karman Ave. in Irvine. For more information, call (949) 553-1333 or visit http://www.pregoristoranti.com.
Stop by any Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday for its winter open house. The shop will be giving away complimentary 12-ounce drinks, including its new Scottish Breakfast Tea Latte, English Breakfast Tea Latte and signature Vanilla Latte. Coffee Bean has locations in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Corona del Mar and more.
For more information, visit coffeebean.com/location.aspx
British designer crosses pond
Jigsaw London, widely reported as a favorite brand of Kate Middleton, just opened its first OC boutique at Fashion Island. The renowned British designer offers high-quality clothing and accessories that feature "on trend" elements as well as beautifully cut wardrobe classics. The 1,140-square-foot store carries dresses, knitwear, pants, skirts and coats made of the highest-quality fabrics and close attention to detail.
The store is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The boutique is in the new Pacific Court near Macy's, at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. For more information, call (949) 720-0040 or visit http://www.jigsaw-london.com
A relaxing escape
Who doesn't want a break after the holidays? Here's an ideal escape for ladies: spend a day at The Spa at Pelican Hill, awarded the Five-Star and Five-Diamond rating, while your kids escape to their own retreat, Camp Pelican, for stimulating, hands-on activities and the Coliseum Kids' Menu, serving endless pizza, pasta and resort-made gelato.
The Spa will take care of your little ones while you're busy toasting to the good life with Prosecco, relaxing in the Acqua Colonnade with the Roman soaking tub, herbal steam rooms and saunas; and soaking up a 50-minute spa treatment.
You can also savor lunch at The Coliseum Pool & Grill or in one of the cabanas and enjoy the state-of-the-art fitness center. The spa daycation is available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday for $100 per mother and $50 per child ages 4 to 12. For larger parties and celebrations, special rates can be arranged.
The resort is at 22701 South Pelican Hill Road, Newport Beach. For more information, call (949) 467-5946 or visit http://www.pelicanhill.com/#/spa/.
GREER WYLDER writes Greer's OC for the Huntington Beach Independent each Thursday and the Daily Pilot and Coastline Pilot each Friday. She's the founder and president of greersoc.com, a free daily e-mail service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. Her blog can be viewed http://www.greersoc.com and she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.