For years, my husband and I have frequented Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach. It’s elegance, sophistication, European-influenced modern-American cuisine and enchanting ambiance has never failed us. Overlooking the harbor in Newport Beach, Chef Paul Gstrein composes his culinary surprises in the Bayside kitchen, while patrons relax and enjoy the view of the harbor and delight in the sounds of nightly live entertainment.
My husband favors Bayside’s hamburgers, as do I. So, when we were informed that “Tuesday’s aren’t just for tacos anymore”, as their ad campaign cleverly states, we had to start frequenting one of our top ten favorite places on Tuesdays more often. Starting at 7 PM every Tuesday, their enormous burgers are only $7 from their normal price at $15.75. Quite a bargain, especially if you’re at Bayside for their Happy Hour.
Speaking of that favorite time of day, Bayside features it’s Happy Hour in the lounge, at the bar and on the terrace daily from 5 PM to close. It’s a fairly extensive menu, including cocktails and small plate fare in a traditional, beautifully-presented Californian style.
Glasses of Chardonnay and Merlot are a simple $6 each, while the Cabernet is an easy $7.50. Seagram’s Vodka martinis include the traditional Cosmopolitan, the Watermelon martini and their Classic version as well. The photo below shows the Watermelon martinis we tried (actually, we try them pretty often!)
A nice touch to Bayside’s table service during their Happy Hour is that they bring out warm ciabatta bread to your table…even if you’re just ordering appetizers. These fresh-baked rolls of beautiful baked dough couldn’t be more perfect. Served with small ramekins of chilled sweet cream butter, these compliment any meal that follows.
Now on to those amazing hamburgers we mentioned. Below is the burger my husband cannot live without. Offered with crisp lettuce, sliced tomato and mayo, you will not believe the incredible flavor that comes from this sandwich! Tender, juicy, cooked to perfection, and the crunchy, yet soft toasted ciabatta bun really hits the mark!
Below, I had to show just how beautiful this burger is…and how massive!
We have also indulged in Bayside’s Chicken Chop-Chop Salad with Asian slaw and a spicy sesame dressing below…crunchy tortilla strips on top with succulent white meat chicken chunks that scream savory!
The Smoked Scottish Salmon was fantastic. Delicate flavorsome slices of smoked salmon, fresh dill, a warm blini (small Russian pancake) on top, onion, and a lemon Aioli with traditional capers add additional flavor to this sumptuous selection…
Bayside’s Happy Hour Penne Pasta with its full-flavored lamb ragu and Pecorino cheese sprinkled on top is merely heaven on a plate. Large enough for two, it is one of the many excellent small plates we recommend ordering.
We appreciated the Autumn Salad below also. Prepared with arugula, pear, grapes, blue cheese, onion, and proscuitto, this was a flavorful and light-tasting choice that is almost a meal in itself…
Another item on Bayside’s Happy Hour Small Plates menu we suggest are the Tiger Prawns served over a couscous salad with crisp vegetables. The couscous is cooked just right, and the prawns are perfectly tender and delicious!
Finally, an item my husband and I have been enjoying for nearly ten years…Bayside’s classic Tartare Of Tuna lightly spiced with soy, chili and ginger, crushed avocado and sensational fresh tuna served on a bed of thinly-sliced cucumber. Though this item is not on the Happy Hour Small Plates menu, it is on the restaurant’s lunch menu for $14.75. And trust our many evenings of indulging in this specific appetizer over the years that it’s certainly worth it!
INSIDER’S TIP: If you prefer to dine into the late evening hours, just keep in mind that the kitchen at Bayside closes promptly at 9:30 PM. So if you arrive later than most, be prepared to place your order before then. In the meantime, the bar still serves its patrons until 10 PM.
ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: The towering ceilings and ecru canvas triangles draped above the bar are reminiscent of a vintage sailing vessel afloat on an open sea, while the enlightening west coast beachy feel can be felt throughout. The unique rotating modern art exhibit suspended on the interior walls of the venue also serves as a terrific conversation piece that is also available for sale.
FOOD / DRINK: Without exception, extraordinary. Consistent and inspirational.
LOCATION: Bayside is located at 900 Bayside Drive in Newport Beach, CA 92660.
HOURS: Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 AM – 5 PM, Sunday brunch is held from 11 AM – 3 PM, dinner is offered Sunday through Wednesday from 5 PM – 10 PM, then Thursdays from 5 PM – 10:30 PM, and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 PM – 11 PM. Bayside’s terrific Happy Hour is presented daily from 5 PM until closing in the bar and lounge.
SERVICE / STAFF: Marissa is our usual server, and if you are fortunate to be seated in her section of the lounge, you will not go forgotten. Her excellence in customer service and kind friendly smile emphasizes her genuine persona and tactful concern for her customers.
PRICE / VALUE: Incredibly reasonable price with an unmatched value that you will not likely forget!
CORKAGE FEE: $15 per bottle any day of the week, any time of the day.
CONTACT INFO: Phone: (949) 721-1222, Website: www.baysiderestaurant.com
PARKING: Valet parking at Bayside is complimentary. There is also ample self-parking available beside the restaurant.
TOTAL BILL: We’ve visited Bayside so many times to specifically state a certain total, but on our last visit, we enjoyed their Burger Tuesday and Happy Hour with one of their savory burgers, a couple of Happy Hour cocktails as well as their popular Tartare of Tuna for a total of $54.15 (including tax). Well worth the splurge, as you will find out on your next visit to this fine harbor view establishment!