I’m very lucky to live in a part of Orange County where delicious new food establishments seem to be popping up all over the place. I had heard a lot of great things about the Fireside Tavern in Costa Mesa for quite some time now and the Englishman and I finally decided to give it a shot.
What makes Fireside Tavern unique is that it is located inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel. I’ll admit, I was first turned off by the idea of dining at a hotel restaurant, but after reading that Chef Scott Brandon (who also opened The Crow Bar and Kitchen and Linx) was behind the helm, I decided to go check out Fireside Tavern with an open mind.
The restaurant has a nice, cozy pub feel to it and a great outdoor patio space so it almost feels like you aren’t in a hotel at all. The bar offers a variety of different beers on tap, a selection of various wines and some signature cocktails. The Englishman and I decided to dine at the bar and started our evening off with a glass of wine and a beer.
For our starter course, we went with the Charcuterie and Cheese Board which came with a variety of different cheeses, meats and a grilled seedy bread.
This board had a great selection of meats and cheeses and was the perfect start to our meal. I would’ve liked to have seen what cheeses were included on the board (I think it was goat, blue, gouda and cheddar) but it was still tasty regardless.
For dinner, the Englishman went with the Tavern Mac n’ Cheese which was cooked in a small cast iron skillet and came with homemade noodles and sausage and a variety of different cheeses.
I don’t usually order mac n’ cheese at restaurants and only had a couple bites of his, but it was good. The sausage and cheese complemented each other perfectly and I loved the peppery watercress that was placed on top for garnish. They served it with kaiser rolls on the side.
I went with the Tavern Cobb which came with egg, avocado, bacon, turkey, lettuce, tomato and cheese.
Cobb salads aren’t necessarily the most exciting thing to order, but when they are good, they are good. This one was good. The turkey and bacon both had a nice smoky flavor to it which really enhanced the salad.
We also split an order of the Hand-Cut Fries which came with a spicy ketchup and lemon aioli.
I loved the little spicy kick that came with the ketchup and thought the fries were cooked to perfection and perfectly seasoned. I don’t know if it was just because we had gone for a 7 mile run earlier in the day and I was craving salt, but the fries were some of the best I’ve had in a long time.
When it came to dessert, I wasn’t feeling inspired by any of the options, but when our waiter told us that the Adult Milk and Cookies came with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies made in-house I was sold.
I’m convinced nothing beats a delicious chocolate chip cookie and these cookies delivered. They were warm and had the right balance of chewiness and crispiness to them. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the adult milk made with baileys and vodka, but it was a fun spin on a classic childhood dessert.
I was really impressed by the Fireside Tavern. I love that they do happy hour 7 days a week (from 3-7!) and have a seasonal menu. I can definitely see myself returning here and trying some of their other offerings like the roast chicken, burger and grilled cheese. And of course the fries.