November 17, 2015
Pumpkin Dishes & Drinks in Newport Beach
Pumpkin, the round, often orange squash, doesn’t necessarily need to be sacrificed to become jack’-o-lanterns. This plentiful seasonal ingredient is associated with fall and yields “meat” and seeds that help to fuel a wealth of sweet and savory dishes along with a variety of drinks. Learn about 10 culinary applications for pumpkin in Newport Beach.
Chef Cathy Pavlos runs this Napa-inspired eatery with 1,300-square feet of raised garden beds in East Bluff. Wood trellises, white cushioned seats and a full bar complete the comfortable picture. For fall, Pavlos plates a slab of chipotle-roasted Cinderella pumpkin with slow-cooked local egg, strips of applewood smoked bacon, molten Di Stefano burrata cheese, maple syrup, Mexican gremolata, roasted pumpkin seeds, and cilantro. Pastry chef Linzy St. George contributes Pumpkin Decadence, featuring pumpkin spice cake, pumpkin budino, vanilla bean budino, candied pecans, bourbon molasses, and whipped cream splayed on a long rectangular plate.
This Corona del Mar juice bar features a grey awning and clean green, wood and white interior. Sejuiced preaches the gospel of organic, nutrient-rich superfoods and cold-pressed juices. Their autumnal Pumpkin Patch Smoothie combines pumpkin, banana, cinnamon, flax seeds, nutmeg, ginger and turmeric with the promises of high fiber, eye health and anti-aging, along with satisfying flavor.
Chef Deborah Schneider’s first Baja-inspired restaurant features marina views, brown cushioned booths, candelabra chandeliers, and a mesmerizing open kitchen. For October’s Farmers Market Margarita, Beverage Director Colin Pflugradt’s pumpkin spice margarita combines the collective powers of Don Julio tequila blanco, agave nectar, fresh lime juice, roasted pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon.
The first Coco’s debuted in 1948 and their freeway-friendly Newport Beach outpost features a wood counter facing the kitchen, comfortable red chairs, light yellow walls with wood trim, and an inviting pie case. From October 1 through December 31, they run three different pumpkin items as blackboard specials. Multi-grain nut pancakes come folded with pumpkin and topped with pumpkin chiffon. You’ll also find pumpkin coffee cake, classic pumpkin pie, and pumpkin harvest pie topped with more pumpkin chiffon.
Domenico Maurici’s corner restaurant resides near Newport Pier. Green, red and white awnings mirror the Italian flag’s colors. A small patio faces palm trees and the rippling surf. Inside, expect art-lined walls and wine-filled shelves. The restaurant is best known for featuring farro, which helps fuel several pasta shapes and farro risotto (farrotto). For fall, Il Farro offers pumpkin gnocchi, pillowy dumplings tossed with cream sage sauce.
This nouveau retro diner rests at the end of Balboa Pier meaning there’s no better place to view the Pacific Ocean in Newport Beach. Tables are even planted atop the restaurant to maximize the views. If you must eat indoors, you’ll find Formica tables and vinyl booths. Pumpkin returns every fall to Ruby’s Diner in the form of pumpkin hot cakes dusted with powdered sugar, a pumpkin milkshake, and their pumpkin spice coffee roaster drink, all served with whipped cream.
In 1977, Helmut Reiss opened Rothschild’s as a small Corona del Mar deli. Current owners Heidi and Jimi Patricola preside over what’s now a grand restaurant. Expect a burgundy awning and matching carpet, yellow and wood-panel walls lined with paintings, and three-sided bar made from mahogany and stained glass. For fall, bartender Lisa Shaver crafts a pumpkin martini with Stoli Vanil vodka, pumpkin spice liqueur, pumpkin puree, and heavy cream, all shaken with ice and strained.
Paulette Koumetz, who first started making macarons in Beverly Hills back in 2007, runs a branch at Fashion Island. Her macarons are crispy outside, soft inside, and appear on a chic curved white counter. Pumpkin macarons are available during the fall, filled with sweet, earthy pumpkin “potiron” puree and ganache.
Martin and Karen Diedrich take bean sourcing seriously at their family-run Westcliff coffee bar, but they’re not above having some fun. Case in point, they serve a pumpkin latte each fall. Fresh-pulled espresso, steamed milk, and Torani pumpkin pie syrup flavored with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and other spices delivers warm comfort. Grab a seat at their airy café, which has pleasant patio seating and Venetian design flourishes.
Chef-owner Candace Nelson built on her Beverly Hills success in Corona del Mar Plaza. The space features a brown awning with the company’s signature dot-on-dot branding, sleek shelves lined with a rotating cupcake selection, and plant-lined patio. The adjacent ice cream parlor leans white and red with its presentation, and relies on Straus Family Creamery dairy products. Two pumpkin items are available for the month of November. Pumpkin cupcakes feature spiced pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting Pumpkin ice cream involves cinnamon ice cream folded with chunks of Sprinkles pumpkin cake and cinnamon cream cheese frosting.