After he took the throne, Napoleon instituted the tradition of serving bread with every meal to put his mother’s baguette-heavy care packages to use. Indulge in French tradition with today’s Groupon to Gemmell’s Restaurant in Dana Point. Choose between the following options:
- For $60, you get a four-course French dinner for two Sunday–Thursday (up to a $122.65 total value).
- For $65, you get a four-course French dinner for two on Friday or Saturday (up to a $122.65 total value).<p>
Each dinner includes the following: * One appetizer (up to an $11.95 value). * Two soups or salads (up to a $9.95 value each). * Two entrees (up to a $28.95 value each). * Two desserts (up to an $11.95 value each). * Two coffees or teas (up to a $4.50 value each).<p>
Pulling from his lifetime of culinary experience, chef Gemmell stocks his French-style menus with house-made sauces, smoked meats and seafood, and house-made pastries. Dive into the savory sojourn with sautéed Gulf-shrimp scampi swimming in lemon-garlic butter and a verdant wilted-spinach salad sprinkled in bacon dressing. A dark-rum-and-banana-liquor reduction ambrosially adorns the slow-roasted Chef Byron’s duck, and a chablis white-wine sauce cascades over the fresh Lake Superior white fish. To top off the mouth-moistening meal, visitors can dig into a slice of flourless chocolate cake or crème brûlée while discussing the latest innovations in whipped-cream art over a hot mug of coffee or tea. Diners can also linger a bit longer in the dining room sipping on glasses from the seemingly endless wine list, which documents more than 100 wines from around the world (not included in today’s Groupon).
Rich soups, seafood in butter sauce, filet mignon, creamy desserts—the high points of French cuisine are well-represented at Gemmell's Restaurant. Chef Gemmell uses that tradition as a starting point for a menu that reflects the multicultural techniques you might expect from a chef of his background. Born to a Scottish family living in Guatemala, Chef Gemmell moved to the United States in 1971 and landed a job as a busboy serving famous cartoon characters at the Disneyland Hotel. He soon began working his way up in the kitchen, opening his first eatery by the age of 30.
Today, at his namesake restaurant, Chef Gemmell smokes his own fish, quail, and goose, and devises his own recipes for ice creams and pastries—skills that lead Gayot to write that the chef is a "rather underrated restaurateur in South Orange County." The menu celebrates Pacific Coast seafood, along with the tender meats and vegetables given classic French preparations. Once you enter past the palmettos and white ironwork that guard the restaurant (tucked away near Dana Cove), the ambience is equally Old World. A carved wooden mantel and tall chairs and tables create a setting that imparts an eclectic homeyness without losing a drop of elegance.