A California Restaurant Where The Food Meets The View
When the food meets the view, then you know you’ve got something in a restaurant.
And both are great at the Back Bay Bistro along the back bay at Newport Dunes in Newport Beach, CA. Located next to a boat ramp with stand-up paddleboarders silently slapping along the surface in the distance and yachts parked at docks right out the window, it certainly has the view.
And it has the food to match.
PubClub.com went there for lunch to try out its new spring menu and can happily report that at least as far as the clam chowder and Parisian Chicken Sandwich goes, lunch is terrific.
Oh, and the Bloody Mary is, too.
The chowder ($8 cup, $10 bowl) is the perfect appetizer – although those around me who had the yellow fin ahi sashimi ($12) might argue otherwise – by starting things off with a creamy introduction to the menu. It’s perfectly thick, a good compromise between being so thick the spoon sticks straight up in it and so thin it’s like colored milk, and is full of big strips of clam, bacon and who knows what else that makes it robust with flavor.
The main course menu had me scratching my head. There’s a good variety of salads (Cobb, steak and taco among them) and sandwiches including tuna and swordfish ($13-17). There’s also an 8-ounce sirloin burger ($14) and I’m always on a mission to find the world’s best burger, but I kept going back to the Parisian Chicken Sandwich ($14).
It tempted with brie cheese and bacon among its toppings and eventually trumped even the signature dishes, which included crab cakes ($19), grilled salmon (which I love, $22) and grilled Baja tacos ($15).
I am happy to report that I chose wisely with the chicken sandwich. I’m usually hesitant to order chicken in restaurants because too often – even in upscale restaurants – the chicken is dry. But here, after taking one bite, juice started dripping out of it as if it were a burger. The bacon was thin and very crispy and added to, rather taking away, the chicken flavor. And the cheese, well, that put it over the top.
All those and the other ingredients complimented each other the way a husband compliments his wife on Valentine’s Day. They also created a multiple-flavor sensation inside the mouth and it was immediately apparent that this is a sandwich that you must not rush through to eat. You must let it sit there for a few moments to allow your taste buds to recognize and take in all those different flavors.
It’s one of the best chicken sandwiches I’ve ever had and combined with the view and location, it proved that the Back Bay Bistro is a place worthy of one of those long, sunny, lazy Newport Beach lunches.
Back Bay Bistro Fast Facts:
Address: 1131 Back Bay Dr, Newport Beach, CA
Phone: (949) 729-1144
Setting: Casual but nice
Prices: Appetizers $10-12, salads $7-14, sandwiches $13-17, signature dishes, $15-22
Parking: Validated at Newport Dunes
Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Tuesdays-Fridays. Closed Mondays
Dog Friendly: Yes