My good friend and I have talked about wanting to make reservations at the Selanne Steak Tavern for quite some time. Considering my love of all things Ducks and the “Finnish Flash”, as well as being a foodie, this was a must for me. I tried to make online reservations myself back in January, but the place was completely booked; that’s an unfortunate, but great sign in my book! My friend texted me a few weeks ago, informing me that we were set to celebrate her birthday and enjoy a girl’s night out.
First off, the drive up historic Pacific Coast Highway at any time is pretty breath-taking. When you get past Huntington Beach and up into the more rural and spread out areas of Newport Beach, you approach Crystal Cove. My friend and I had reservations at 7 p.m. for dinner so we had the treat of being on PCH during the sunset. As we made our way up to Laguna Beach, the sights continued to improve, and so did the real estate. After all, Orange County is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, housing plenty of socialites and professional athletes.
The Selanne Steak Tavern is located on PCH in Laguna Beach. We arrived with a half an hour to spare, so we decided to take a nice, scenic walk and shop at the surrounding boutiques. Upon approaching the building, I mentioned to my friend how it was very homey, quaint, and reminded me of a cottage. Teemu Selanne and his neighbor, Kevin Pratt, opened their doors in 2013 after taking over the restaurant space which, as I had suspected, used to be a historical 1930s Pacific coast cottage. When we walked into the restaurant, we were aesthetically pleased by the interior decoration taste and the aromas of the fine foods that we were soon to enjoy. The décor was very inviting and offered both a French cottage and modern feel to our dining experience.
We were then seated and given a very friendly welcome by our waitress and were offered three choices for water: tap, sparkling, or bottled. When you are given three choices for just water, you know you are not just dining at your typical chain restaurant. We were then introduced to the cocktail menu.
I was intrigued by The Hat Trick drink, which consisted of Purity Vodka, fresh grapefruit juice, and St. Germain and a cucumber slice. I was glad to see that there were plenty of items on both the drink and dinner menu that were nicknamed after the beloved Teemu, as well as the great sport of hockey. My friend ordered The Selanne cocktail, which was a combination of Woodford Reserve Bourbon, fresh lemon and House Secret. The bar area was located in the center of the restaurant and was very inviting. Since we ordered our drinks from our table, we did not encounter the bartender, but our drinks were delicious and graced with a generous amount of alcohol.
I decided to embark on our food journey by giving the seasonal soup, which was a tomato bisque, a try. It was very flavorful, savory, and had a very nice creamy texture. My friend and I then ordered our main entrees. I ordered the 12-ounce rib eye, and my friend the 8-ounce petite filet mignon. Both steaks came with a mushroom, a petite grilled onion and a truffle marrow butter and bordelaise sauce.
We ordered the Kennebec Mashed Potatoes and shared that as a side. The mashed potatoes were made with a Phoenician olive oil and were very creamy. I am very much a meat and potatoes kind of girl and I really enjoyed my rib eye choice. My friend’s filet mignon was delicious and tender, but I found that my meat cut was more flavorful. The executive chef, Joshua Severson, gets five stars from me!
The dessert menu looked very appealing, however my friend and I were both overly full with plenty of leftovers to take home. I happily reheated and enjoyed the repeat performance the next day. As we were leaving the Tavern, my friend and I took one last look around the place and commented once again on how much we enjoyed the experience and the atmosphere. I noticed that there was a miniature Stanley Cup housed behind glass near the center of the restaurant and I really wanted to take a picture next to it, but I didn’t want to be viewed as a fan girl, so my friend and I left and I kept that mental image for myself. I did, however, take pictures of my meal to share with everyone else and to recommend the place for either a date, a night out with the ladies, or even a guy’s night out.
My experience left me with this question: since this is Teemu’s final year in Anaheim and the NHL, will he become a restaurant aficionado and open up more Selanne Steak Taverns across Orange County? I would enjoy that very much!
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Tags: Teemu Selanne