Babette's Newport Beach
If Babette’s were a woman, she would be a woman to love and adore. I look at this gem along the PCH, and I see timeless class, like Audrey Hepburn with those pearls, sunglasses, and gloves. There is a grace to Babette’s, and a guarantee of quality and atmosphere. Once you make your way past the other culinary giants that populate the shopping center, and serpentine your way through the rows of German and Italian cars, you arrive, and a sense of tranquility washes over you. The menu is a perfect reflection of the space, with a quality of ingredients that speak for themselves in a way that you don't often find in restaurants. The concept of locally sourced produce is nothing new, but here, you get the feeling there is more than just a desire to go local, as the quality of every piece of food on the plate is the very best it can be. The time of day doesn't matter, as any meal you sit down for will be like hitting the pause button on real life as you unwind, and savor each bite. A seat in a chair here is like going on a wonderful date, where all the notes click, and the moment just makes sense. When your friends ask you why you have a wry smile across your face, you can take a breath, remember the new found love you just discovered, and tell them you met someone, and her name is Babette.
Any time of day is a good time, as every menu shines with elegance and substance. My favorite is the breakfast menu though, served every day until 4 pm. That is both ambitiously late in the day for breakfast, but also extremely welcome, and refreshing. Anyone can do a breakfast menu and find success, but a great breakfast menu is a rare feat indeed, especially when it’s offered into the early evening. Enjoy a Bloody Mary or two while you are at it, before switching to a nice evening wine for your coastal sunset, c’est normal.
If nothing else, on the weekends especially, you’ll be able to enjoy the cacophony of supercar engines ferrying their peculiar passengers past your Eggs Benedict no matter the hour.
It’s one of my favorite pastimes.