34212 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, 949.415.5888, www.tavernonthecoast.com
By Andrea Swayne
Tavern on the Coast pairs modern American cuisine prepared with French culinary techniques and a contemporary, yet warm and inviting atmosphere that includes outdoor, fireside seating. The result is California casual tavern—elevated.
Owners, restaurateur Veronica Scala, General Manager Pamela Dickinson and husband, Chef Bryan Podgorski celebrated their grand opening April 19.
“It’s all about the ingredients,” said Podgorsky. “We are not going for a fine dining experience. We want this to be that comfortable go-to place for really great flat bread.”
And the daily inspired flat breads are great. The dough is made from scratch and topped with fresh seasonal vegetables, cheeses and delectable meats—like one recently offered with duck confit. The roasted garden beet salad with toasted hazelnuts, sunchokes, wild arugula and truffle vinaigrette is but one of many interesting salad options. Other popular menu choices include the Tavern Burger, tuna tartare, grilled ribeye steak, herb roasted chicken and a pan seared Scottish salmon, all served with an array of sides that could very well stand alone. From the bar, try the Afternoon Delight, a refreshing concoction of Bombay Gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Earl Grey tea, thyme, fresh lemon juice and agave nectar.
“We’re just hungry locals who like our neighbors and wanted to create an environment where you can hang out and have some fun, a great cocktail and delicious food,” Scala said.
PRICE RANGE: $5 – $30
HOURS: Sunday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to midnight