Bar Review: 21 Oceanfront, Newport Beach, CA

Newport Beach Sunset
Newport Beach Sunset

21 Oceanfront is exactly what you would desire in a fine dining beach front establishment – awesome view of the beach and sunset, great food, and fine service all in a sort of Victorian Nautical decor.  A near perfect place for a romantic dinner followed by an after-dinner stroll along the beach.  Absolutely wonderful.

Except for the martini. The Martini was acceptable but not noteworthy.  And certainly not up to the standard that the location, food, and view would lead one to expect.  The drink was chilled but a bit on the wet side and served in very small stems.

(That combination of small serving and a bit on wet side always raises a ‘red flag’ in my mind.   It leads me to wonder if the bar management is more concerned with profit that Perfect Martinis – Vermouth is significantly cheaper than gin!)

21 Oceanfront is definitely worth a visit.  Order a Martini if that’s your fancy, but they do have a nice wine list.    Martini Glass Sideways

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*****   Rating Definitions   ****


Bar Review: R2L, Philadelphia

Martini Glass Sideways

Not long ago I was at R2L in Philadelphia for an after dinner drink.  R2L is on the 37 floor of Two Liberty Place and has absolutely stunning views to the north and west of Philadelphia.  Its incredible at sunset or during a thunderstorm.  The food is excellent and the deserts are incredible.  However the Martini I ordered was not up to these standards.

From the beginning my Martini prep was poor.  The barkeep pulled the stem from the shelf and made no attempt to chill stem.  It wasn’t stored in the fridge or freezer and there was no effort to chill the glass with ice and water.  The drink mix was acceptably dry and mildly shaken.  Then placed in a smallish stem with a small bowl.   So the drink was cool but not chilled, warming to room temperature very quickly.  All for a rather large price.

Go for the view, Go for the food, but don’t go for the Martini.  Have one if you’re there or order wine.