Best New Restaurants 2016

No. 10 The Ritz Prime Seafood

[Editor’s note: The Ritz Prime Seafood closed March 2017]

After years of handwringing, then finally jubilation, The Ritz is back,IMG_2018 boasting a new yacht-side setting and surname, Prime Seafood. Newport Beach’s romance with The Ritz goes back 39 years, and for all of those years has been true to its name as a shrine to opulence for diners who easily could afford it. So it’s no wonder Grill Concepts Inc. picked up the banner, re-staking it in a sleek, chic waterfront venue wedged tight against four other harborside spots. Expect pricey Prime steaks and fine seafood on a compact menu of modern classics that includes grilled oysters, first-rate dry-aged Prime New York strip steak, and seasonal specials. We like nibbling on ahi tuna poke at the bar. Service can be iffy, but the people-watching is fascinating without fail.

FIELD NOTES Any visit is improved by The Ritz 55, a spirits-rich cocktail with more balance than a Cirque du Soleil acrobat.

2801 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach