Thanks for the recs. Here's where we ate. Started with lunch at Troquet in South Coast Plaza. Started with a charcuterie plate for 2- for 18 bucks a little on the skimpy side, nice but not worth the price. For entree, had the day boat scallops seared with mashed potatoes and vege's. This was one fine dish- scallops were seared and cooked medium rare. My SO had the bread soup and grilled cheese sandwich with truffles. The bread soup could have used more bread but flavor wise, pretty good. Sandwich was good but needed something else. Finished with Profiteroles with coffee ice cream-very satsfying.
On to dinner in Dana Point at Mirabeau Bistro-17 Monarch Bay Plaza 949-234-1679. Its tucked away in a strip mall next to Pavillions. Brought out some homemade bread and a pork rillete and hummus dip for starters. Bread was ok- nice touch on the rillette and hummus. Started with the Frisee salad, I wanted to try the Salt Cod Beignets but they were out. The salad was nice and satisfying with bacon, blue cheese and a poached egg. My SO had the tomato tart. Grilled tomatoes with olives and onions on a puffed pastry. Elegant yet simple. Flavors were enhanced by the roasting of the tomatoes. I had the Lamb Shank Osso Buco with burrata spiced couscous and a spicy sausage. This was a huge lamb shank that was almost fall off the bone tender. The spicy sauce went well with the lamb. SO had the Coq au Vin which she deemed one of the best she had. I concur. Finished with a nice cheese plate of 5 different cheeses, grapes, sliced apples and homemade crackers.The homemade crackers were excellent. The cheese was pretty ripe and a really great deal for 10 buck. Had wine by the glass which is actually in nice ceramic carafes-very reasonable. Had to skip dessert because we were too full, but they make there own ice cream and sorbets. Kind of far out of the way, but if I was down in the area again,I would definitely go back.
Next day had lunch at Pinot Provence in the Westin South Coast hotel. Started with a cream of cauliflower and corn soup. It sounded intriguing and was quite delicious. Had the shrimp BLT for entree. It was decent but could have been better. Good frites though. My SO had the Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken with Pomme Frites. Very good.