3420 Via Oporto
Newport Beach, CA 92663
I recently attended a FoodBuzz Featured publisher dinner at Blanca in Newport Beach. Blanca is a fairly new restaurant that specializes in Crudo, which is Italian raw fish dishes. Unfortunately, we didn't get to try any of the Crudo dishes that night. We did however get to try some excellent food.
Blanca is tucked away behind a tiny street overlooking the docks where all the fancy dinner yacht cruises take off from. As we stood and enjoyed a cocktail when we first arrived, we were able to watch all the people boarding the boats and taking off for their dinner cruise. The restaurant has a pretty nice view once the boats aren't blocking it.
After everyone arrived, we were seated out on the large patio/boardwalk where most of the tables were. At each seat was a copy of our menu selections for the evening. Our meal was to start off with an Asparagus Salad. We then had the choice of Dover Sole of Flank Steak as our Entree. The meal would then be capped off with a "Chocolate Decadence" dessert.
As we were looking over the menu, we were brought a basket of bread and what seemed to be a dish of Creme Fraiche. The creme fraiche was so bland though, it was almost completely tasteless. I would have much rather had butter. The bread was also pretty hard and chewy. Oh well, I wasn't here for the bread anyway.
We placed our entree order. The Roasted Dover Sole was prepared with Tuscan White Beans, Spanish Chorizo, Market Carrots and Parsley Espuma. The Flank Steak came with whole roasted garlic, Taleggeo Cheese Potatoes, a Red Wine Reduction Sauce and Herb Salad. I had a really hard time deciding. In the end though, I decided to go with the flank steak.
After we placed our orders, the waiter returned with an Amuse Bouche. We each received a Chinese soup spoon with a Lemon Drop Sphere covered with Tangerine Pop Rocks and Tangerine Leaf. The Sphere popped in your mouth and gushed with lemon flavored liquid. I barely got any pop rocks on mine, so they were barely noticeable. The tangerine leaf tasted more like mint to me. It was very interesting, and pretty tasty.
Our salad course was next. The asparagus salad came with two of the fattest asparagus I have ever seen. Beneath the asparagus was some Burrata Cheese. It was then topped with toasted hazelnuts, arugala and truffle vinaigrette. The salad was very good. The hazelnuts were crunchy and went well with the creamy Burrata cheese. The dressing was very light. I couldn't really taste the truffle in it.
(Sorry for the extra crappy picture.)
My flank steak arrived and it looked delicious. Three fat slices of medium rare flank steak sat atop a thin pool of pureed potatoes. It was surrounded by some roasted cloves of garlic, mushrooms and some greens. Everything on the plate was fantastic. I quickly finished the entire dish.
Last up was the Manjari Grand Cru Chocolate Decadence. This was a really dense chocolate cake that was almost fudge-like. It was topped with salted caramel ice cream and Italian almonds. The dessert was creamy, rich and very good. The entire dessert was gone before I knew it!
All in all, this was a very good meal. I would like to thank our FoodBuzz hosts Kiersten and Ryan The Girl for hosting this wonderful event. It was great to share some wonderful food with all the other FoodBuzz featured publishers in the area. This was a wonderful experience and I look forward to doing it again sometime soon!