When Easter Seal Society regional director Greg Winterbottom said, “We basically end up serving everybody who’s not served,” he was not referring to fellow diners at the benefit opening of Monaco’s restaurant in Newport Beach last week.
Though the restaurant did run out of swordfish at the first seating, Winterbottom was actually talking about Easter Seal programs, for which, in conjunction with a Monte Carlo night in the Promises nightclub upstairs, $5,000 was raised. (Instead of swordfish, everybody seemed quite happy to choose between chicken breast with walnuts and curry or filet mignon.)
“Easter Seals is a hands-on service,” said Winterbottom, who is running for county recorder. “We do the neck turning (physical therapy). We don’t do research. We’re not like the Cancer Society or Muscular Dystrophy Assn., who raise money in Orange County and send it to, say, Michigan to do their studies. The money we raise in Orange County stays in Orange County to help the people of Orange County.”
He talked about one of the organization’s newest programs.
“The law requires everyone under 40 pounds and under 4 years of age to be in a car seat,” Winterbottom said. “There are a lot of poor families who can’t afford that, but still have to transport their kids. We buy the car seat and loan it to the family until the child reaches 40 pounds or four years. Then we’ll loan it out again.”
David Schneider, Monaco’s owner, said he wanted to create a restaurant with an “open, airy ambiance” to contrast with the rustic style of some of the other waterfront restaurants. Located on the former site of the Jolly Roger, the interior now incorporates marble and black lacquer with art deco accents. As for the menu, Schneider said, “We’re a fish and steak house with a French flair.”
County Supervisor Thomas F. Riley was host for the affair, which attracted more than 200.