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The Gossiping Gourmet: A brunch fit for a summer's day

August 20, 2013|By Terry Markowitz
  • Bayside Restaurant's sauteed tiger prawns over green risotto with sugar snap peas.
Bayside Restaurant's sauteed tiger prawns over… (KEVIN CHANG, HB…)

After months of June gloom, it was a pleasure to wake up on a Sunday morning with the sun shining and a cool breeze in the air. The day was perfect for brunch at one of our favorite spots, although it is more accurately described as "blunch," since most of the menu items are more like lunch or dinner food.

Bayside Restaurant is located just across the street from an inlet of the bay in Newport Beach. This beautiful eatery serves a three-course, prix fixe Sunday brunch for $29.95, with all the mimosas or champagne you care to drink. And the quality of the food is excellent.

The large open space is divided into several dining areas separated by a bar with comfortable booths in the center. The high ceiling has a sculpture-like arrangement of long wooden oars. There is a large covered, glassed-in patio with bay views on two sides of the building.

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Hardwood floors, large windows, white linens, warm colors and soft lighting make this a lovely place to dine. On Sundays, it also has live music, a piano and a bass player performing classic jazz. The noise level is a bit buzzy, but you can still carry on a conversation.

Even on a busy day, the wait staff was attentive and friendly. Our champagne glasses were kept filled as we munched on warm rolls and banana bread while making our selections. The three courses include soup or salad, a choice from 11 entrées and two desserts.

My husband started with the puree of broccoli soup. It was very good. The soup was a thick puree enriched with cream and finely chopped chives. On top was a splash of cream and croutons. The flavor of broccoli was subtle.

I had the chopped heart of romaine salad with Parmesan dressing topped with focaccia croutons and shaved Parmesan. A Caesar manqué. It was a bit ordinary.

Of the two breakfast-like entrees, I chose the frittata with spinach, shiitake mushrooms, Boschetto truffle cheese and bacon. I was expecting all the elements to be incorporated into the eggs, but the spinach formed a bed on the bottom of the frittata and the slices of bacon and the mushrooms rested on top.

When I first cut into it, I thought it looked like it would be dry, but to my surprise and delight, it was quite delicious. It had a wonderful soft texture and lots of flavor from the truffle cheese. (Boschetto cheese is made from cow and sheep's milk, combined with white truffles and aged for only a few months.)

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