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Things to do in Orange County for OC Moms

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Romantic Orange County Restaurants

You look into each other’s eyes. Then, you think: “I’m starving.”

Besides the romance of Valentine’s Day, who’s kidding themselves: much of the evening is not about love…it’s about the food (and maybe the wine).

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are a few romantic hot spots that serve up both atmosphere and amazing food. After all, it’s about your love and the food, right?

21 Oceanfront
2100 W. Oceanfront (across from the Newport Beach Pier)
Newport Beach, CA 92663

21 Oceanfront offers ocean-view dining and a well-stocked subterranean wine cellar. Located at the foot of the historic Newport Beach Pier, this classic, ‘old school’ restaurant features a wide selection of American and seafood cuisine. The atmosphere warms up even more with live music to set the tone for true romance.

My husband and I having a romantic night out. It really is about love.

My husband and I having a romantic night out. It really is about love.

Mastro’s Ocean Club
8112 East Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92657

This “high-end” Crystal Cove chophouse serves up excellent steaks and seafood paired with impeccable service. With ocean views and an upbeat, entertaining atmosphere, you won’t go away with an empty stomach, or lack of people watching. Before departing, make sure to try a dessert that does not fall into your typical “oozing with chocolate” category – the restaurant’s Butter Cake, which received accolades from both newbies and regulars.

Las Brisas
361 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Two words best describe this upscale Mexican restaurant: the view. People not only return for the sweeping views of the Laguna Beach seaside, but the made-from-scratch guacamole and tasty margaritas. If you and your date are not feeling up for anything south of the border, then try their seafood, or sushi offerings. Word to the wise, though, if you’re looking for a seat on the patio, it can be a madhouse. Call ahead to get the down low on outdoor seating.

Maro Wood Grill
1915 S. Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

For those couples looking for an intimate, casual setting that serves freshly prepared organic food, look no further than Maro Wood Grill. This spontaneous Argentinean eatery is centered around an open kitchen where you’ll spot skilled chefs preparing your meal using only organic produce, wood grilled grass-fed meats and seasonal, sustainable ingredients.

Three final important caveats: 1) Make your reservation far in advance of February 14; 2) Most of these restaurants range from $50 and up per person, so keep that in mind when budgeting; and 3) I was not paid by any of these restaurants to write about their fine establishments.

Kristal Zacharias is the mother of two beautiful, vivacious girls, and wife of a hunky husband who works in the action sports industry. For the past 15 years, Kristal has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as a professional communicator. Follow her journey at Clearly Kristal or on Facebook and Twitter.
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