We passed by this place a few times on our summer long quest of finding our beach condo. It’s in an unremarkable building in the parking lot of a hotel. We probably wouldn’t have noticed it at all except for the “Coming soon” and “Now Open” signs that graced the sides of the building. The name alone suggested that it was a place to try without the kids and so on our “closing” vacation without kids, we did just that.
We chose a Saturday at lunch time to visit. That meant the place was almost completely empty except for some bar patrons, so we had our choice of where to sit. We chose the upstairs area which, despite facing the ocean front, had no view because the windows were too high. That was a bummer and disappointment, but the decor and atmosphere more than made up for the lack of view (who wants to see the water everywhere they go anyway?). The decorating was very tasteful and not “beachy” at all. After going to one beach/bay themed restaurant after another, it’s nice to have a change of pace. The server was of course, super attentive (since we were the only people in the place), and we felt bad making him run up and down the staircase to take our order and bring our drinks. But once he brought our drinks, we didn’t feel bad anymore. Hubby had a Manhattan and I had a Moscow mule. I’m sort of in love with Moscow mules at the moment. They’re so light and refreshing. Look at this, isn’t it gorgeous????
FYI, I’d like a set of the copper glasses for Christmas so I can make my own Moscow Mules at home (Santa???).
Anyhoo, back to the food. The menu actually says “Rare & Rye: Unique Eats & Libations”. This is not, I repeat, NOT a place to bring your picky eater. This is a restaurant for people with a more adventurous palate. There is a kid’s menu if your picky eater happens to be under the age of 10, but if he/she is an adult, you may want to try a restaurant that doesn’t have lamb lollipops or duck on its menu. It’s too expensive to push your food around on your plate because it wasn’t what you thought it was.
I had the crabby mac since I wasn’t very hungry, and I didn’t regret my decision. OC crab with aged white cheddar cream sauce over orecchiette with crumbled rye on top. Doesn’t that look amazing?
It was soooo good. Better than any lobster mac & cheese I’ve ever had…and I love lobster mac & cheese. I may have to make crab mac & cheese instead now.
Hubby had this:
I forgot what it was called and I think it was the daily special because it’s not on the menu online. He really enjoyed it whatever it was. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals and we would definitely go back to try their lite fare or wine and cheese menus.
Food: 9 forks out of 10. Drinks were 10 out of 10…on point 🙂
Value: 7 forks out of 10. It’s a little on the pricey side, but the food was well worth it.
Atmosphere: 9 forks out of 10. We really loved the decor. The bathroom was cool, too. (Okay, so I check out the bathrooms in every restaurant I go to…don’t judge me.)
View: Unfortunately 5 forks out of 10. But honestly, you can’t always get an ocean view.
Check out Rare & Rye for a sophisticated meal while you’re in OC…make sure you don’t miss it!