Mare Culinary Lounge, South Laguna, is now open for business. It’s the brainchild of Alessandro Pirozzi, chef-owner of Alessa’s (Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach).
(Here’s Alessandro holding my wine glass – it’s one of his favorites – and mine now, too – Allegrini Palazzo della Torre, Veneto – $13.50 by the glass.)
Mare has a very different look from the three Alessa’s. It’s lounge-y. One diner on YELP described it as “sexy, sexy, sexy.” Don’t expect the same menu as Alessa’s. It’s brand new, with some old favorites tweaked in delectable ways. Everything we ate had the Pirozzi magic; the best ingredients – luscious flavors teamed in creative ways.
Mare is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a VERY-late night lounge menu. We had dinner. Molto delizioso!
OLIVE FRITTE ($8): Fontina stuffed Castelveltrano olives, lightly flash-fried and topped with sea salt, Parm and Italian parsley.
ORANGE SWEET PEPPERS ($9): Peppadew stuffed with goat cheese, candied walnuts, house-made saba and garnished with micro basil. Flavor bling!
POLIPO ($14): Mediterranean Octopus, so tender and sweet, braised slowly and seasoned to perfection.
BRANZINO SPECIAL: Oh-so-thin slices of that sweet sea bass, marinated, then a quick bask under the broiler, just enough to barely cook it.
LIMONCELLO INFUSED MAFALDINE ($24): All pasta is made from scratch. Here is Mare’s signature pasta and lobster tail … spiked with shallots, Pinot Grigio, and lemon sauce made from local lemons.
BLACK INK TAGLIOLINI ($19): Black ink noodles with Manila clams, jumbo Diver scallops, sun-dried tomato and Chardonnay sauce.
VENISON FILET MIGNON ($26): Beautiful venison atop grilled fresh peach, Amarena cherries, Port wine reduction, rosemary potatoes.
A bite of perky strawberry sorbet, and then a drive back to HB in the moonlight.
La dolce vita!
949-715-9581 – 696 S. COAST HIGHWAY, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 www.mareculinarylounge.com