Best of Orange County 2020: Best date night restaurant – OCRegister

Restaurant News
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1. Orange Hill

6410 E. Chapman Ave., Orange; 714-997-2910; theorangehillrestaurant.com

Driving up the sweeping road to the top of the hill gets you in the mood for something special and different. Once inside the spectacular view afforded from the restaurant, wraparound patio and O Bar add to the experience. The lights of Orange County twinkle at night, Catalina rises from the mist on a clear day. Cascading waterfalls and tranquil koi ponds dot the large property. All of these come together to make Orange Hill Restaurant and Bar a place for special occasions and the top pick among readers for date night excursions.

The restaurant opened in 1979 and is run by John Tallichet, whose father founded the restaurant.

Orange Hill advertises itself as having “prime steaks and primo views” and delivers on both ends. Because of its vistas the restaurant has been highly sought as a destination for weddings and other special events.

For dinner, the steaks include the 40-ounce Kansas City Tomahawk Chops for the really  big eaters, as well as grass-fed, GMO free or dry aged selections. The produce is locally sourced.

A full bar is available and features a number of home-designed craft cocktails.

On a promotional video, General Manager Jake Rossman says, “Come for the view, stay for the food and great service”

2. Bruno’s Italian Kitchen

210 W Birch St, Brea; 714-257,1000; brunositaliankitchen.com

It’s hard to get much more romantic than Venice and Chef Peter Serantoni folds his love of the cuisine of the Italian city into his dishes.

Serantoni, who has 40 years in restaurants, was already running Cha Cha’s Mexican Cantina in Brea when the opportunity came to open another space. The idea to go to his roots felt natural

The eatery is named in honor of Papa Bruno, Serantoni’s father and mentor, who, with Nonna Maria, filled the house at San Marco 865 in Venice with with “abbondanza.”

Being chosen by readers, Serantoni is special.

“For most people, (dinner is) a special occasion,” he said. “We understand that and we don’t take it for granted. We want people to feel special and well taken care of.”

The food is rustic Northern Italian, simple and authentic. For example, “The lasagna is exactly like grandma made it,” he said, before admitting no one, after all, can match grandma.

With various half-price, discounted and extended happy-hour days, it can also take some strain off the wallet.

3. Hanna’s Restaurant and Bar

22195 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita; 949-709-2300; hannasprimesteak.com

Owner Dave Hanna calls food service his “ministry.” That devotion to both food quality and quality of experience makes his namesake Hanna’s Restaurant and Bar, a go-to destination among readers.

Hanna says his passion filters down to the restaurant’s culture, where the staff learn “the science and art of hospitality.”

“We teach them how to give diners a great experience,” Hanna said. “We don’t say no, we make it happen.”

Hanna has been serving food in Rancho Santa Margarita for 30 years, starting with coffee shops before moving into his high-end steakhouse in 2005.

Besides being a purveyor of fine food, Hanna says he is deeply involved in the community, helping to add to the popularity of his place.

A unique aspect of the restaurant is its extensive connections with Northern California winemakers. The staff is extensively trained in wine-food pairings, with many servers obtaining sommelier certification.

Source: Thanks https://www.ocregister.com/2020/09/25/best-of-orange-county-2020-best-date-night-restaurant/