Good things are coming for 2018 – wine and otherwise. How do I know? 2017 is closing with the right mojo. For one, New Year’s Eve falls on a Sunday. Sunday is our brunch day. The lovely ritual of eating late, eating slowly and plentiful, sharing stories from days past with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and a never empty mimosa in the other. Second, New Year’s Eve is a flower day on the biodynamic calendar. If you believe in the rhythm of nature, this means our Sunday brunch wine will taste even finer. Many in the wine industry plan their tastings and events solely on this biodynamic calendar giving the theory credence. Most of the first week of 2018 is a fruit or flower day, so wine away! Best yet for me, 2018 is an even numbered year. This is my superstition alone, but is the third rung on my good signs for the changing year.
Brunch is a staple in our house enjoyed in our sweats with sports booming on multiple TV’s. But I find eating out for brunch that much more special — especially for New Year’s Eve! In Orange County we are teeming with buffets, entrees, ocean views, and sparkling wine choices galore. Here are a few of my top brunch spots for this New Year’s Eve Sunday:
Las Brisas – Laguna Beach
This four-course brunch is an experience not to be missed. The mimosas are bottomless. The classic Laguna ocean views are spectacular. The buffet is huge and varied from oysters and prime rib to chocolate fondue fountain and Mexican pastries. There’s also an expansive wine list for by the glass or full bottle. $52, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. dining room and patio.
Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen – Irvine and Brea
I had dinner at the Irvine locale recently and am enamored! The Champagne Sunday Brunch is a great deal at $34 for bottomless orange, mango, or hibiscus mimosas and three courses. I’d count the chips and salsa as a fourth course as they are worth the venture alone. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Old Vine Café – Costa Mesa
Old Vine knows wine. Be it mimosa with fresh squeezed orange juice or Old World wines by the glass, you are getting a truly curated wine experience. The breakfast and brunch entrée menu has wonderfully hearty choices like Italian sausage biscuits and pancetta gravy, quattro formaggi panini, chile verde quiche, or banana pecan crepe. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All menu and drink items are individually priced.
Rooftop Lounge – Laguna Beach
This popular cocktail spot is beautiful for a New Year’s Eve brunch sitting high above the Coast Highway with blue skies and blue ocean vistas. The brunch menu has delicious entrée options like Crab Cake Benedict and Hibachi Salmon. Sparkling choices abound from $6 mimosas and $12 Vueve by the glass to Champagne bottle service. Entrees and sides are individually priced. 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.