Monarch Beach Resort Moments Magazine Issue 6 - Page 21

THE CELLAR, SAN CLEMENTE Daily, 4-6 p.m. At The Cellar, happy isn’t a strong enough word. No, a delightful evening enjoying food and drink specials here is instead referred to as “Ecstatic Hour,” and for good reason. Known for an exemplary selection of fine wines and cheeses, this San Clemente gem pours generous glasses of its house vino for $6. The wine goes great with any item on the appetizer menu, but one of the most popular options is the cheese plate: “Our cheesemongers on staff like to rotate cheeses so that customers, new and regular alike, can try things they never have before,” says Sydney Adams, The Cellar’s assistant general manager, “but people are always welcome to request favorites. The pairings vary from house-made laven- der-caramel [sauce], whole Marcona almonds, fruit pastes, cornichons [and] anything under the sun.” To end things on a sweet note, try the Cellar Cookie Skillet topped with Maldon sea salt and ice cream, or the brioche bread pudding that’s glazed with Jack Daniels caramel sauce then finished with cola ice cream and pecans. Outside on the dog-friendly patio, man’s best friend can enjoy treats too. Patrons can purchase a Collie Cannoli or a rawhide braid to keep Fido busy. The eatery also offers live music A mai tai at Sunsets Bar and Grill every night (except Monday), which is centered around a grand piano. (949-492-3663; thecellarsite.com) AVEO TABLE + BAR Happy Hour: Sunday through Thursday, 2:30-6 p.m. THE SHWACK CANTINA, SAN CLEMENTE Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 3-6 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. While “shwack” is intended to refer to the sound a surfboard makes when it hits a wave, it also captures the sound of smacking lips quite well. If any two things go perfectly hand-in-hand, it’s happy hour and the laid-back surfer lifestyle. After a day at the beach, an afternoon Corona at this cantina is a must. All are welcome to soak up the chill vibes and great service at The Shwack Cantina, known for its outstanding Mexican food as well as its $7 special for a tequila shot and a beer. Or maybe you’d rather sip a Shaka-Rita, made with agave wine and fresh juices. No matter which drink you opt for, load up on tapas like taquitos, queso shrimp dip, nachos or the Tijuana papas. Celebrate midweek with a special Hump Day Happy Hour that begins four hours earlier than the rest of the week. (949-218- 7182; theshwack.com) TWO LEFT FORKS Daily, 4-6 p.m. Unlike dancing with two left feet, ordering from the happy hour menu at Two Left Forks is easy. Everything is $5, and Mike Koch, the restaurant’s general manager, meets with winery representatives to sample unique vino from around the world, aiming to find only the best varietals to show- case during happy hour. He offers his favorites to customers, alongside $3 glasses from its OC’s Most Wanted Wine List. When it comes to food, the classic poutine with house-made fries, beurre blanc, smoked Gouda, sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions, is a savory crowd pleaser. Stick around for dinner to enjoy other upscale cuisine like seafood cioppino and truffle risotto, both of which are sure to impress. Happy hour is available on the patio and in the bar area. (949- 489-8911; twoleftforks.com) Mediterranean cuisine at AVEO Table + Bar When staying at the resort, there’s no pressing need to go anywhere else. The alfresco aesthetic and wide windows at on-property AVEO Table + Bar make for the perfect setting to appre- ciate its locally inspired menu. “We were looking to pro- vide tasty afternoon hold- me-over snacks to enjoy with family and friends to celebrate our coastal views,” says General Manager Mado Marancioglu. “Great open-air dining on the patio overlooks the golf course and Pacific Ocean, where you can watch the sunset every day of the week.” Barrel-aged rum and bour- bon cocktails accentuate the drink menu, sitting in casks for about three weeks before being served. The black cherry whiskey sour is a sweet, refreshing cocktail that is well- liked by visitors. The restau- rant has made an effort to blend Mediterranean flair with American bar staples, and it has found resounding success, especially with the chi cken chorizo-loaded fries, in which the creaminess from the cheese and aioli per- fectly balance out the spice. MONARCHBEACHRESORT.COM 21