Stonehill Tavern Restaurant Review - A Mina Restaurant at the St. Regis Monarch Beach

Chef Michael Mina has done a fabulous job restyling his restaurant by expanding the menu, yet keeping it simple.  "People want to eat more simple and have more variety." He has established this while remaining true to his passion for food.  Chef Michael who originally started Aqua in San Francisco moved his way down south to Orange County to open A qua in the St. Regis, Monarch Beach that eventually became the Stonehill Tavern.

St. Regis Monarch Beach

Chef Michael, who still resides in Sa n Francisco, travels bi-monthly to the Stonehill Tavern and has worked diligently with his staff in the implementation and training of the new menu.  Tracy Unger, restaurant manager, has been with the Stonehill Tavern, nearly four years and plays an instrumental role in the restaurant’s welcoming ambiance and management of her well-supported staff.

Lobster fritters

The incorporation of SNACKS as a selection to choose from hits the mark.  Cheese fondue, sliders, fish and chips and even warm homemade pretzels are available for you to enjoy on the spectacular veranda overlooking the grand St. Regis and the Pacific Ocean.  My favorite snack on the menu is the lobster fritters.  The lobster is deep fried in a light tempura batter, wrapped in bacon and served with skewers. This dish is complemented with a Widmer Hefeweizen beer, which is a great combination as the lightness of the beer brings out the richness in the fritter.  If you prefer a more rich, amber flavor, Belgium’s Chimay Ale Peres Trappistes is a great choice.  If you need assistance,  Sommelier Daniel Grajewski is available for your perfect pairings of beer or wine.  If you prefer a cocktail, there are a number of classics: Manhattan, Old Fashioned, or Dry Martini.  Also available are some modern cocktails that feature fresh, local ingredients including the pomegranate martini or the No-Proof Cucumber-Mint Lemonade. 

Another highlight of this revised menu is the Farmer's Market Tasting Menu, which offers the BEST of local, seasonal and sustainable grown ingredients. Sommelier Daniel does a wonderful job pairing your preferred tastes with the Farmer's Market of Burrata Mozzarella, San Francisco Ciopppino, Shelton Ranch Poussin Breast; Hamilton Ranch Farms Beef Short Ribs.

Hudson Valley Foie Gras Trio

My favorite dish of the evening was the Hudson Valley Foie Gras Trio.  A magnificent plating of three uniquely flavorful morsels of foie gras seared, roasted with scallop, torchon, and seasonal fruit.  These dishes provided distinctly different, yet delectable combinations of flavors that challenge your pallet to experience wonderful surprises.

If you're in the mood for a more down to earth, home cooking styled comfort food, there are several options: fish lovers will relish the Crispy Skin Bass.  Cooked to perfection with shaved fennel, sylvetta, and bacon castelvetrano olive vinaigrette, this dish is a fast favorite.  Another great dish for seafood lovers is the Maine Lobster Pot Pie.  The pie is contained in a traditional styled pot- pie dish with seasonal vegetables and brandied lobster cream.  The serving for this dish is quite extraordinary; your waiter will prepare the presentation for you at your table.   The lobster is removed from the pie container and placed on your plate in the original lobster form.  To complete the lobster presentation, a wonderfully rich brandied cream sauce is ladled overt he top.

For meat lovers, must haves are the Beef Short Ribs with creamed spinach and Yukon Potatoes or the Filet Mignon with Yukon Whipped Potatoes, Creamed Spinach, and Wild Mushroom Marsala Jus.  Since main dishes and steaks have their signature accompaniments it would be easy to miss out on the fabulous side
dishes.  The Truffle Mac & Cheese or the Jalapeno-Creamed corn are absolutely amazing and would work well with the Beef or Barbecue Pork Sliders.

The Stonehill Tavern is located on the beautiful St. Regis Monarch Beach.  Located approximately 40 miles south of Los Angeles, St. Regis Monarch Beach is the perfect get away place to relax and re-energize. The panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, alongside the magnificent pools, and golf course is absolutely breathtaking.  The private beach is just a quick tram ride away where you can enjoy sunning, swimming, and picnicking with family. 

Need some alone time?  The private beach is a nice way to walk, run, or even read in peace and tranquility. The spa offers the various spa treatments and facials.  Yoga classes are also offered, to help you center yourself while you vacation.

One of the unique advantages of staying at the St. Regis Monarch Beach is their V.I.P treatment for the children.  There are numerous activities for the children to enjoy.   Upon arrival, little ones are greeted with their own special sand pail for the daily shell gathering or sand digging at the beach.  Storytelling & Smores is a great adventure where you can see characters like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz or other characters, partaking in story time in front of a cozy fire-place.  Comfy pillows are laid out in front of the fireplace where children can lounge to their favorite stories, giving the experience a cozy, at-home feeling.  After story time, the fun continues as the children and their families are invited to the fire pits for marshmallow roasting and smores! This atmosphere gives a campground feeling, which is great for family time!  Storytelling & Smores take place every Friday and Saturday evening at 8 p.m.

The stunning bar at the Stonehill

Missing your pet?  No worries!  St. Regis Monarch Beach loves pets too!  Feel free to bring your pooch along for the ride!  For a fee of $150.00 per stay you may bring your beloved dog with you on holiday. Dogs must weigh in at 30 lbs. or less.   Pooches must be on a leash at all times and are not permitted in a food or beverage area. Dogs are not permitted to stay in guestrooms without proper supervision; however, your dog may accompany you throughout the rest of the resort on leash, and must always remain with the owner.

Chef Mina

St. Regis Monarch Beach is also a fabulous place to play those wedding bells.  With its luxurious setting, palm trees, greenery and background ocean, the St. Regis Monarch is a perfect picturesque place to hold your nuptials. You may call the hotel directly and ask to speak to the Concierge.  You may also walk in and the wedding planner, hotel manger, or concierge will be available to assist you.  Wedding packages are available with detailed information for all your wedding treasures.

Finally, end your evening with some fun dancing in the Lobby Lounge to the tunes of Donald Duncan & Friends.  The band will get you going with all types of music and with plenty of guest requests.  No matter what type of fun or relaxation you are seeking, you are sure to find it at the St. Regis Monarch Beach.


The St. Regis Monarch Beach, One Monarch Beach Resort  Dana Point, CA  92629
Tel) 949.234.3200 or 1.800.722.1543   

For more information, visit: www.stregismb.com

For more information on Chef Michael Mina, visit: www.MICHAELMINA.net

 

 

 

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