This is a guest post by Katie Brandenburger on behalf of Five Crowns
Recently I attended an elegant and inspiring food tasting event at the Five Crowns restaurant in Corona Del Mar. Little did I know that in addition to a satisfied palate, I would leave the establishment with a brand-new obsession.
The Lawry’s family and Executive Chef Steve Kling pulled out all the stops and presented a five-course tasting of a new winter/fall menu for this landmark restaurant, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Here are a few tasty meals you can expect as part of Five Crowns’ fall/winter menu:
- Butternut squash soup with maple glazed pancetta
- Mediterranean seabass with shrimp, cauliflower florets, caper brown butter and chervil
- Fall vegetable lasagna with house-made pasta, braised kale, mushrooms, arugula and parmigiano
- Deckle steak with sweet potato coins, haricot vert, herb butter
- For dessert: warm Apple Crumble served with Straus vanilla bean ice cream
Now, for my obsession.
The Five Crowns Speakeasy. This enchanting, little-known room on the second floor of the Five Crowns is a throwback to 1920s prohibition, and they absolutely nailed it.
No cell phones or cameras are allowed once inside the speakeasy, and for good reason. The speakeasy is about as big as a good-sized one-bedroom apartment. It’s just big enough to give a romantic setting, yet not small enough to kick in my claustrophobia.
This quaint, cozy corner of the restaurant has very low mood lighting (hence the “no cameras or cell phone” rule) and was quite charming. I experienced the speakeasy for a while without cell phones, then noticed several people ignoring the rule and understood why the rule stands. It simply doesn’t do the room justice to experience it attached to an electronic device. Leave them in your purse or pocket, people – and enjoy the ambiance.
While 1920s music softly wafted throughout the room, I enjoyed avocado mash on delicious, homemade baked pita chips and prosciutto, which was decadent and smooth with a perfectly sweet and salty flavor. Taking in the feel of the prohibition era, I sipped on the signature Five Crowns 50th celebration cocktail: Jewel of the Crown (a mouth-watering and slightly tart blend of sage spirit, grapefruit cordial, lemon juice, Aperol and sparkling wine), while feeling slightly rebellious and totally in character. At some point during the night I almost felt underdressed; like I should be outfitted head-to-toe in full-blown flapper gear.
The only way to gain access to this exclusive section of the restaurant is to know someone who knows someone. Or to know to ask the hostess at the front for the secret password. Speakeasy events are once per month.
The following words adorn the interior of the speakeasy, just above the fireplace and lounge area, giving the room an intimate appeal: “There is nothing which has yet been confirmed by a man by which so much happiness is produced by a good tavern or inn.” – Samuel Jackson, 1776
Consider this writer happy.