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Dinner at Five Crowns

So we all know I love SideDoor in Corona del Mar.  I’ve had my engagement pics taken there, I’ve had brunch there and I’ve gotten drinks there.  The Englishman and I love the cozy pub feel and delicious food.  In all the times I have been to SideDoor, I never ventured next door to have dinner at Five Crowns.  Until now.

I was recently invited to have dinner at Five Crowns, which is an Orange County staple.  Known for their prime rib dinners and delightful English decor, Five Crowns is one of those places you just have to go to at least once (if not more often).  The Englishman and I got dressed in our best and prepared to feast on a prime rib dinner with Yorkshire pudding, but instead were treated to a different meal that surprised us in the best way possible.

dinner at five crowns martiniWe started our evening with some drinks and I went with my personal favorite, a vodka martini with olives, while the Englishman had a beer flight recommended by our waiter Trey who was absolutely wonderful.

dinner at five crowns beer flightSince this was our first time dining at Five Crowns, it was recommended that we let the chef prepare some of his signature dishes for us instead of ordering off the menu.  The restaurant was also very accommodating to my food allergies and made sure that the dishes I was served did not have corn, soy or walnuts.

The first course we were served was Grilled Prawns with a side salad, also known as a secret off the menu option.  When the dish arrived with steaming prawns on top of a hot stone with rock salt, I knew we were in for a treat.

Dinner at Five Crowns PrawnsAnd what a treat it was!  I’ve dined at a number of restaurants where the seafood is often overcooked and rubbery, but these prawns were cooked to perfection.  I seriously could’ve eaten an entire meal of just prawns alone.

The next course was the Watermelon and Beet Salad which came with goat cheese, crispy quinoa, and avocado.

Dinner at Five Crowns Watermelon and Beet SaladEver since I had the beet and goat cheese combo at Mesa I’ve been a fan, and this did not disappoint.  I loved the creamy goat cheese mixed with the beets and crunchy quinoa.  It is well-known that the Englishman is not a big goat cheese fan, but he loved this dish as well.

Next up was our mains.  Filet Mignon for her, and a Berkshire Pork Chop with creamy grits and broccolini for him.

Dinner at Five Crowns berkshire pork chopI rarely (if ever) order pork when I’m dining out and I was pleasantly surprised by this pork chop.  It was so tender and juicy and I loved the seasoning.  The Englishman also gave the grits high marks.

dinner at five crowns filet mignonI also loved the filet as well.  I am notorious for ordering meat well done, and this one was medium well and so delicious.  This filet mignon alone has changed the way I will order steak when dining out now.

We were also presented with a lovely dish of Truffle Mac ‘n Cheese to enjoy with our main courses.  And if it has the word truffle in it, you know it’s going to be good.

dinner at five crowns truffle mac n cheeseThe mac ‘n cheese was rich and creamy, and pretty much everything you could ask for.  No processed fake cheese here folks.

The grand finale of the evening was a Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake topped with strawberry pepper jam and whipped cream.

dinner at five crowns lemon mascarponeCheesecake is usually a hit or miss dessert for me, but since this was made with mascarpone, the flavor was out of this world.  It really is the perfect summer dessert and the pepper jam gave it a nice punch.

Our dinner at Five Crowns was definitely one for the books.  The service was impeccable and the food was just so good.  While the prime rib is a restaurant staple, Five Crowns has so many other wonderful dishes to offer as well.

A big thank you to Five Crowns for treating us to such a lovely meal.  I’m already planning my return visit to get some more prawns.  And steak.  And cheesecake.

Gastronomic Delights at SideDoor

I’m a big fan of gastropubs.  I like the warm, comforting feel of a classic English/Irish/Euro-pub infused with good eats and twists on traditional classics.  To me, a gastropub is where everyone can get together and relax and just have a good time.  When I stumbled upon the SideDoor in Corona del Mar, I found just that.

The SideDoor is a cute little gastropub located next to the famed Five Crowns Restaurant.  While the Five Crowns may be known for their classic Prime Rib dinners and impeccable service, the SideDoor is known for it’s updated daily (!) menu and warm cozy atmosphere complete with a fireplace and English literature adoring the walls.

Since the menu changes daily, you never know quite what to expect.  Of course, there are some SideDoor staples such as the Fish ‘n Chips, Cheese and Charcuterie board, the Roast Beef sandwich, and of course french fries that are fried in beef fat.

While my dining companions stuck with beer, I chose to go with “Door #2” also known as a white wine flight:

Wines lined up on a wooden door. So precious.

The Charcuterie board with English Cheddar, Goat Cheese and Serano Ham was the perfect starter:

Delicious meats and cheeses waiting to be devoured

The main dishes included Fish ‘N Chips, Macaroni and Cheese and Chicken Pot Pie.  Check out the Great Fish ‘N Chips Challenge to see more.

The macaroni and cheese was pretty much what you would expect – cheesy, gooey, and decadent.  I don’t have macaroni and cheese much but I’d definitely have it at SideDoor again.

Look at all that delicious cheese

The chicken pot pie had a light, flaky crust and was steaming (literally) when it was placed at our table.

Steaming chicken pot pie equals poor picture quality

Then it was time for the piece de resistance aka dessert.  We decided on the shortbread cookies with lemon curd.  While the shortbread cookies topped with lemon curd were quite delicious, it wasn’t the best shortbread that I’ve ever had.  It was more of a delicious cookie than true English shortbread.  For the real deal, I highly recommend Harrods shortbread cookies.

Shortbread you are delicious but Harrods you are not

All in all it was a delightful evening.  I’d definitely come back to the SideDoor again and try some other items on the menu (and the Charcuterie board!).  Now if we could only get a few more of these gastropubs in Orange County…

3801 E. Coast Highway
Corona del Mar, CA 92625