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3Thirty3 in Newport - great setting, yummy drinks & so-so food

torta basilica | Jun 18, 200607:08 PM

Finally decided to check this place out after good reviews. Is really more of an upscale bar with a huge list of small (& a few large) plates. Was hoping for an outside patio, but all seating is inside, with a view of the bay. Very attractively designed space & do try to sit facing the window!

Their signature margarita is made with pomegranite juice & was excellent. A combination lemon drop & Cosmo sounded good, too, but thought I'd stick with just one type of alcohol! Rombauer Chard @ $18 a glass - decided to pass. Friendly, attractive bar staff.

We had the manila clams - in more of an Asian sauce. Good, but not exciting. Thai calamari - teeny rings well-spiced & very lightly fried, with a strange thousand island/remoulade sauce combo on the side, which it didn't need. Kobe burger was ordered medium & was very dry, so I kept heaping the excellent pickled sauteed onions served with it on. A side bowl of au jus - maybe they knew it was that dry, but just wierd to me to dip a burger in au jus, which tasted like it came out of a packet. Yummy matchstick frites. House salad with arugula, avocado, hearts of palm & tomato sounded better than it tasted. Pretty skimpy on everything but the arugula & I couldn't taste any of the vinagrette it was supposed to be tossed in. Obviously, people come here more for drinking than eating, but with that huge menu, it's too bad the food isn't better, as it's a great location with an interesting crowd, who were all pouring in as we were departing at 9:30. We need an a.o.c. in OC!!

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