Bubbly and Brunch

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LBM_47_WD_White House_Belgian Waffle_By Jody Tiongco-22
The White House’s Belgian Waffle pairs perfectly with a glass of bubbly.

A glass of Champagne with breakfast fare equals the perfect pairing.

By Beth Fhaner | Photos by Jody Tiongco

 

There are few things in life that signify a special occasion more than a glass of fine Champagne. Whether you’re celebrating a momentous event or merely looking to kick off your weekend on a high note, a scrumptious brunch with a glass of bubbly can’t be beat. Luckily for us, several Laguna restaurants offer the delightful duo of a late breakfast served with Champagne or a sparkling wine cocktail. As American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald once quipped, “Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.”

 

DINING WITH VIEWS

At The Loft at Montage, Chef de Cuisine Casey Overton’s exquisite brunch menu includes decadent fare such as huckleberry crepes (with lemon curd brulee, toasted pine nuts and farmhouse butter), bananas Foster waffle (with peanut butter cream and salted peanuts) as well as any-style eggs, build-your-own omelets, steel-cut Irish oatmeal, a BLT croissant and rotisserie chicken “chilaquiles” (fried tortilla strips in salsa or mole), among other tasty dishes. Diners here can imbibe in a mimosa or a Kir Royale cocktail (a mix of Champagne, or sparkling wine, with creme de cassis) while enjoying the delectable cuisine and the amazing ocean views. (949-715-6420; montagelagunabeach.com)

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Las Brisas’ Mexican Riviera Brunch menu includes a four-course gourmet brunch with a complimentary glass of Champagne.

At the other end of town, overlooking Main Beach, Las Brisas arguably offers one of the best brunches in town. The restaurant’s Mexican Riviera Brunch menu includes a four-course, full-service dining experience with a large cocktail menu in addition to complimentary Champagne from the establishment’s own private stock. The savory nosh includes a seafood omelet, Crepes de Laguna (handmade crepes with spicy Canadian scallops, wild Mexican shrimp and fresh fish with a creamy citrus veloute), roasted Colorado lamb, filet mignon and eggs, as well as Oregon trout, wild Alaskan sand dab filets and a chilled seafood salad, among other options. Fresh fruit, soup or salad, and the chef’s daily dessert specialty round out the mouthwatering menu. “The Champagne is a nice start and pairs well with our four-course, full-service dining experience, which includes seasonal fresh fruit, a house-made salad or soup, an entree selection with everything from a seafood omelet to crab-stuffed Oregon trout, and the chef’s dessert special,” says James R. Chylewski, executive general manager of Las Brisas. (949-497-5434; lasbrisaslagunabeach.com)

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The Rooftop Lounge’s huevos rancheros

The Rooftop Lounge at La Casa del Camino offers another weekend brunch spot with incredible ocean views. Customers at this establishment can indulge in various scrambles—veggie, Italian and Creole are among the options—as well as “huevos rancheros,” a breakfast burrito, whole-grain pancakes, French toast and a smoked salmon plate. Savor the fare and view of the Pacific while sipping libations such as a mimosa or bloody mary. (949-497-2446; rooftoplagunabeach.com)

 

BESPOKE BREAKFASTS

On Saturday and Sunday, patrons of the White House can indulge in an array of delicious brunch offerings, along with a choice of fine Champagnes and sparkling wines, including a split of Kenwood, and bottles of Piper Sonoma, Piper-Heidsieck and Dom Pérignon. The eatery’s extensive brunch menu includes a variety of omelets—try artist Wyland’s version with bacon, mushrooms, avocado, Jack and cheddar cheese, and homemade salsa on the side—as well as eggs Benedict, huevos rancheros, brioche French toast and a White House Belgian waffle, in addition to a satisfying selection of salads, burgers, sandwiches and pasta. (949-494-8088; whitehouserestaurant.com)

A few blocks from the beach, the cozy Lumberyard features a delectable weekend brunch with sparkling wines by the glass (or on Sundays, a build-your-own bloody mary bar). Cinnamon-vanilla French toast, eggs Benedict, a seafood omelet with Dungeness crab and bay shrimp, steak and eggs, and a build-your-own frittata option, are all featured on the menu, among other flavorful dishes. Grab a table out on the small patio for an alfresco setting while enjoying a glass of Michelle Brut or Mumm Napa Brut to accompany your scrumptious fare. (949-715-3900; lblumberyard.com)

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Madison Square & Garden Cafe’s French toast

Customers at Madison Square & Garden Cafe can indulge in Champagne and a tasty breakfast amid a delightful, eclectic garden setting. Although the eatery doesn’t offer an official brunch, they do serve up tantalizing breakfast fare, along with an excellent selection of sparkling wines. Feast on Cinnamon Swirl French Toast, eggs Benedict, a vegetable frittata or ricotta pancakes while indulging in a split of Korbel Brut, Piper-Heidsieck Brut, Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut or, for that a special occasion, a half bottle of Veuve Clicquot. “Bubbly and food is a very fun experience,” says owner Jon Madison. “My favorite item on our menu is the French toast, which is just stunning.” (949-494-0137; madisonsquare.com)

At Sapphire Laguna, chef and owner Azmin Ghahreman’s global cuisine extends to his brunch menu with tempting strawberry and banana pancakes, eggs Benedict, braised pork chile verde, corned beef hash, tomato baked eggs and a turkey chili omelet, among other plates. A Kobe beef havarti cheeseburger, roast chicken pappardelle and miso salmon salad are other good options. Pair the delicious nosh with Champagne and sparkling wines, which are served by the glass or half carafe/half bottle and include NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose and NV Taittinger Champagne. Additionally, bring the little ones with you since the restaurant offers a separate children’s brunch menu with sparkling juices. (949-715-9888; sapphirellc.com)

So, the next time you’re looking to celebrate a special event or just want to kick off the weekend in style, visit these establishments and others around town for that oh-so-irresistible pairing of bubbly and brunch. As the French would say, “Sante!”

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