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What You're Eating – Best Fall 2016 Menus In Orange County

header_the-winery 610 - VERIFIED Ashley
(Credit: Anne Watson Photography)

We've shifted from fresh summer dishes filled with colorful fruits and fresh fish to new fall special menus made up of root vegetables, apples, spices and deeper colors for fall. This transitional season expertly blends summer and winter cuisines, offering the best of both worlds.

burrata-butternut - VERIFIED Ashley
(Credit: SOCIAL Costa Mesa)

Burrata & Butternut
SOCIAL Costa Mesa
512 West 19th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 642-2425

One of the greatest additions to SOCIAL's fall menu is the Burrata & Butternut, a luscious mixture of creamy Italian cheese and butternut. Layered over vibrant arugula, the dish also includes pancetta, a type of Italian pork belly meat, as well as confit cherries and pepitas—more commonly known as pumpkin seeds. In addition to this item, SOCIAL is offering a new Wild Mushroom Toast, complete with housemade ricotta cheese, a soft poached egg and some thyme. Other fall items include the Bone-In Duroc Pork with a sweet potato puree and the Wood Fired Oysters that come with caviar and bone marrow butter.

heritage-pork-chops - VERIFIED Ashley
(Credit: 100eats)

Heritage Pork Chop
Citizen Kitchen
1500 Raymond Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92831
(714) 635-9000

The chic Citizen Kitchen lounge, housed in Hotel Fullerton, has a sophisticated menu featuring the finest fall ingredients. Chef Zach Geerson's use of seasonal items and innovative fashion results in dishes like the Heritage Pork Chop. This new dish, listed under the menu's "A Little Bigger" section, is crafted with carrots, figs, apples and hazelnut—all of which perfectly embody the fall season. Other seasonal items include the Braised Carrot with dill and ginger, polenta fries, pork belly and pumpkin skewers, confit salmon on an Everything bagel and sweet corn bread with brown butter ice cream.

bosc-pear-salad - VERIFIED Ashley
(Credit: Anne Watson Photography)

Bosc Pear Salad
Sapphire Laguna
1200 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-9888

The fall menu at Sapphire Laguna is crafted by Iranian chef Azmin Ghahreman who was educated in Switzerland, resulting in a menu full of global influences. A standout item is the Bosc Pear Salad, featuring a popular European pear that also happens to be grown in the U.S. Aside from the savory fruit, the dish is crafted with mustard greens and fennel shavings as well as crispy pieces of bulgur wheat. The salad is topped a cider dressing that is perfect for fall. Sapphire Laguna's fall menu also includes the Burmese Fermented Tea Salad, as well as Baked Indian-Spiced Buttered Monkfish, Lamb Shank Tagine and the St. Champagne cocktail.

pumpkin-spice-mac-n-cheese - VERIFIED Ashley
(Credit: green2Go)

Pumpkin Spice Mac N Cheese
green2Go Restaurant
2435 East Imperial Highway
Brea, CA 92821
(714) 482-2130

green2Go is generating buzz as a healthy fast food restaurant but, this fall, there is another eye-catching component on their menu: the Pumpkin Spice Mac N Cheese. Pumpkin is an ever-popular ingredient for fall and the popularity of gourmet mac n cheese is on the rise as well. The two are combined at green2Go, offering an organic gluten-free dish that will delight palates all over Orange County. Pumpkin, spices and organic cheese is mixed together in a skillet before the macaroni is tossed in, cooking it all to ooey gooey perfection. Once finished, it's topped with shredded cheese and candied bacon.

five-onion-soup - VERIFIED Ashley
(Credit: 100eats)

Five Onion Soup
The Scotchery
3751 South Harbor Boulevard
Santa Ana, CA 92704
(714) 557-2987

On chilly fall evenings, soup is one of the best ways to warm up from the inside out. The Scotchery in Santa Ana offers the perfect choice in their Five Onion Soup. Layers of caramelized onions are hidden within the bowl and it's topped with a deliciously aged white cheddar cheese. Served with grilled crostini, an Italian appetizer consisting of mini pieces of toasted bread and toppings, this is the perfect cold-weather meal. Their menu also includes a lobster bisque, pacific halibut, a truffle and egg burger, crab cakes and surf & turf made up of a New York medallion and shrimp scampi.

seared-tofu - VERIFIED Ashley
(Credit: Anne Watson Photography)

Seared Tofu and Roasted Butternut Squash Gnocchi
The Winery Restaurant
2647 Park Avenue
Tustin, CA 92782
(714) 258-7600

The Winery has a rather unique menu, maintaining the vibrant colors of summer menus while incorporating seasonal ingredients like root vegetables, cranberries, mushrooms, garlic and arugula. One such dish is the Seared Tofu and Roasted Butternut Squash Gnocchi. With more and more people choosing to eat vegetarian or vegan, this fall dish is perfect for diners of all types. The tofu is paired with three varieties of cauliflower, arugula and cranberries. It is garnished with a garlic truffle cream as well. Other fall cuisine at The Winery includes the Durham Ranch Bison Bolognese with a medley of fall root vegetables, the Purple Kumato Tomatoes & Fuyu Persimmon Salad with an aged balsamic vinaigrette and the Blackened Northern Halibut.

pan-seared-scallops - VERIFIED Ashley
(Credit: Anne Watson Photography)

Pan Seared Scallops
725 Baker Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 557-6700

For a fall spin on seafood, try Mesa's Pan Seared Scallops. Served with a squash risotto, bacon lardons, frisee and a black maple pepper gastrique sauce, this dish is filled with relevant ingredients for the autumn season. But it doesn't end there. Mesa's menu features the grilled kurobuta pork chops, complete with a butternut squash puree and cranberry mustard, as well as a jidori chicken with roasted apples, grilled broccolini and sweet onions. For something a little lighter, try the roasted beet salad, which contains both gold and red beets, a beet puree and pickled cherries. They are also serving Moroccan-style deviled eggs this fall.

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(Credit: Ashley Ryan)

Crab and Shrimp Benedicto
SOL Cocina
251 Pacific Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 675-9800

Stellar fall menus wouldn't be complete without some delicious brunch items for those lazy weekends by the sea. Rather than a standard brunch, spend some time at SOL Cocina in Newport Beach. With a view of the harbor and some fantastic fall dishes, this Mexican kitchen definitely won't disappoint. The crab and shrimp cakes are fried then topped with poached eggs and drizzled with a unique chipotle orange hollandaise sauce. The dish isn't complete without black beans, avocado and smoked bacon. Other fall items you might consider trying are the SOL Chilaquiles Verde, topped with Huevos Mexicanos and cotixa cheese, and the Chorizo and Potato Scramble. They are also offering a pumpkin spice margarita that is sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon for a rounded brunch experience.

Ashley Ryan is an Orange County native that loves traveling, live music and photography. She blogs at Pure Wander and freelances for a variety of publications including Newport Beach Magazine and Laguna Beach Magazine.


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