Al Fresco Dining With A View
AVEO Table + Bar
Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point
One Monarch Beach Resort
Dana Point, CA 92629
VEO Table + Bar at the beautifully renovated Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point (formerly St. Regis), has a delicious happy hour menu available Sunday thru Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., that’ll make visitors think, I love my vacation!, and make locals think, I live in a vacation! It’s true; coastal Southern California boasts an enviable vacation climate year-round that is perfect for enjoying happy hour al fresco, even in the winter months. With a selection of Mediterranean-inspired bites and cool-weather cocktails, dining al fresco at AVEO’s elegant and redesigned outdoor terrace is one way to perpetuate a vacation lifestyle. And really, who isn’t up for that?
Chef de Cuisine, Donald Lockhart’s thoughtfully curated menu (priced from 7 to 12 dollars), paired with a happy hour selection of handcrafted, cool-weather cocktails, is served with a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean, making happy hour even happier.
“In Dana Point, our climate presents a year-round opportunity to enjoy the sunset al fresco,” says Chef Lockhart. “Our happy hour gives locals the opportunity to escape to the vacation of their dreams, if only for a few hours.”
Chef Lockhart is an Orange County native who lends a farm-to-table approach to AVEO Table + Bar’s seasonally inspired menu. His food has a youthful exuberance that truly sets him apart. That’s because he really, really likes food. Ask him about his at-home experiments making cider and vinegar, and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Cooking great food is all about highlighting nature’s flavors and manipulating them in surprising ways that delight your taste buds. Chef Lockhart’s snapper ceviche is an excellent case in point. The snapper, cured in California citrus juices, is acidic enough to “cook” the snapper, but mild enough not to assault your palate. The surprising element comes in the lentil crisps, served on the side like a tortilla chip. The crisps are peppered with caraway seeds that, when combined with the ceviche, just works.
“It’s just clean flavors, that’s what I like to do,” Chef Lockhart notes.
It wouldn’t be happy hour without libations, and this season’s happy hour cocktail menu at AVEO Table + Bar focuses on dark, aged spirits like black barrel spiced rum and small batch bourbon. The Black Cherry Whiskey Sour made with Knob Creek bourbon, and housemade black cherry bitters are perfectly balanced. Sip it while outside on the terrace. Savor the expansive ocean view and cheers yourself for finding your way to AVEO Table + Bar, where, even if you aren’t on vacation, you can be on vacation even for just a few hours.
Happy Hour at AVEO Table + Bar is Sunday-Thursday from 2:30 p.m.-6 p.m. For a complete menu, go to www.monarchbeachresort.com.