Fresh vegetables, garlic, seafood, poultry and steak this place has it all and each dish is less than 475 calories. Unbelievable you say nope they can do it. Nothing is cooked with butter but that does not skip on the taste. The spices and seasons are all fresh and enhance the flavor of the meat and vegetables they do not disguise the flavor.
This place is billed as a fresh grill and wine bar. There is a piano bar with live music to listen to in the bar area. What makes this place unique is that the menu changes with the seasons. The chef’s specials are changed 52 times a year.
The flatbreads are a delight. There is always one featured by the chef. On this particular night the special was Portobello Mushroom, garlic, basil and mozzarella. It was light and hit the spot so there was plenty of room to move with entrée and a fabulous dessert. The garlic had just the right amount of kick. However if flatbreads are not your thing you can indulge in a Chicken Chile Relleno, Goat Cheese Ravioli, or Ahi Tuna Tartar you cannot go wrong with the wide selection of appetizers.
I really wanted to try the Vegetarian Tasting featuring quinoa-citrus salad, soft taco, chili relleno, vegetables, cedar roasted tofu and mango chutney but since I always go with veggies I changed it up and had the Grilled Jumbo Shrimp Penne Pasta with spring asparagus, oyster mushrooms and lemon-basil sauce. It was seasoned to perfection the shrimp was tender and large and I must credit the chef with giving more than just few shrimp. It was light on the penne pasta. The Caramelized Grilled Sea Scallops with roasted asparagus, sun-dried tomato-mushroom pearl pasta. The pearl pasta was a little over cooked but the freshness of the scallops was spot one.
Desserts were advertised as each being less than 350 calories. I had to be reassured by the waiter that this was a true statement. Although they were small they were the perfect portion to end the dinner. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Mouse was rich and decadent. There is a little cake hidden at the bottom of the dish. At first you would think that it was not enough to satisfy that sweet tooth but by the 3rd bite you just could not eat more than what was presented. The Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cannoli was exceptional. Yes you can have a bad cannoli and unfortunately I have. But the mascarpone cheese was spot on.
The price was a little high but as we all know you get what you pay for and healthy food done right comes at an expense. This a perfect place for date night. The service was friendly which around South Coast Plaza is hard to come by. This place rates 3.5 Forks Up. Like I said it is a little pricey, but the atmosphere, food and staff make it worthy.