To Master Chef Massimo Navarretta—who grew up farming and wine-making in Campania, Italy—it makes little sense to separate wine from food. At his eatery Onotria, which received Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence in 2011 and 2012, he groups dishes on the menu by wine pairing, rather than by main ingredient or ability to be balanced on the tip of a tiny dessert spoon. Seafood-based plates, such as prosciutto-wrapped tiger shrimp or poached octopus with artichokes, complement a glass of dry, sparkling white wine. Lightly breaded pork medallions accompany a light, dry red, while hearty lamb chops or filet go with a bolder varietal such as zinfandel or merlot. These dishes can serve as tasting plates for groups, entrees for individuals, or finger food for visiting giants.
To create the seasonal menu, the kitchen uses hormone- and antibiotic-free meats, as well as organic and biodynamic ingredients. Meals are served under a high-peaked ceiling with wooden rafters, in a dining room with exposed-brick columns and mottled walls that echo the look of an old-country trattoria.
With its long wine list and TVs in the bar area, the store has enough to keep oenophiles and sports fans happy.
Cocktail enthusiasts will be happy to know that Wine Gallery has affordable and tasty liquor and spirit options.
At Wine Gallery, drivers can make use of the street and valet parking nearby.
By the Numbers: Sea Legs
There are many Los Angeles Italian restaurants, and Sea Legs is one that stands out. That’s why it’s among the finalists for The Taste of Groupon Awards. Read on to learn how one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles stacks up.
320 Main in Seal Beach is one of the many Los Angeles restaurants where Chef Alexander Dale honed his culinary skills before joining Sea Legs.
2012—the year Sea Legs won the OC Restaurant Association’s Golden Foodie Award for best California cuisine.
4,000 unique bottles are housed in the restaurant’s spacious wine cellar, along with 40 wine lockers
10 craft cocktails are available, including unique takes on classics, like the candied-bacon old-fashioned
2 days each week—Saturday and Sunday—when brunch is served at Sea Legs
Twenty-four wine bottles line the circumference of two stainless-steel cylinders, both of which add a futuristic flourish to the middle of the room. With the touch of a button, the machine dispenses a 1-ounce sample of any of the wines—red at room temperature, whites at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Praised on Foodbeast, this self-serve tasting bar, called the Enomatic wine system, lets guests sample an array of wines before committing to a long-term relationship with a single—or several—bottles. This method is just one of several ways OC Wine Mart & Tasting Bar owner Julie Lim takes the intimidation out of wine buying.
At her boutique wine store, Julie fills the shelves with vintages from both well-known and under-the-radar vineyards, with some of her favorites including Silver Oak Cellars, Caymus Vineyards, and Cakebread Cellars. She and her team thrive on helping guests find the best bottle—whether they're hunting for wine, craft beer, or a fine liquor. Once guests feel confident in their selections, the staff can help them compile gift baskets for holiday parties or year-end performance reviews. Committed to green practices, the staff eschews foam packaging in favor of molded-pulp shippers, derived from 100% recycled materials. Such practices earned Julie a place on OC Metro's list of 20 Women to Watch, plus her boutique a place on Gayot's Top 10 Wine Bars in the United States.
The "secret" in Bacchus' Secret Cellar is gas. Argon gas, to be exact, which powers the bar's preservation system and ensures that the wines within stay fresh for long periods of time. There are about 50 wines—mostly reds—on tap at the counter, as well as 8 sparkling wines, 5 dessert wines, and 12 microbrews. The library of options encourages guests to sample several, so it's wise to order a flight: you can get a signature array of 2.5-ounce glasses, or you can compose your own for a unique harmony of tastes.
The bar is just the beginning of the cellar's wine selection. On the shelves that span the walls, more than 350 labels beckon to be uncorked. A bistro menu provides gourmet food to complement sips, from starters of oven-roasted dates to lamb burgers and prosciutto flatbreads, made by dropping a regular loaf of bread into a printing press by accident. There's also a full menu of cheeseboards, with goat, cow, and sheep cheeses from the United States and abroad.
The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar offers juicy cuts of meat, making it one of the best steakhouses in Tustin.
Enjoy a drink with your dinner — this restaurant has a full bar to serve up a glass of wine, beer, or more.
The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar is ready to make any occasion a special one with a great space and thoughtful food.
The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar's happy hour is filled with food and beverage deals.
On warmer days, take advantage of The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar's outdoor seating.
Crowds tend to pack the place on weekends, so call ahead to reserve a table.
Leave the suit and tie at home — The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar is business casual all the way.
Can't stay at this restaurant long? Pick up and go home.
A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the patrons at your next shindig.
Looking for quick and easy parking options? The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar is close to a parking lot where valet is also an option.
Prices are a bit on the higher side, so this might be a good pick for a special night out.
When you try the steaks at The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar, you'll want to savor every bite.