Last night I went to the soft opening at the newest Whole Foods Newport Beach located in Fashion Island (which is technically not an island nor is it all fashion) it is however in heart of the most desirable of OC zip codes, Newport Beach. Scheduled to open September 19th.
There is nothing in this world that makes me more happy than to walk into a virgin store, shelves stocked floor to ceiling, containers perfectly aligned at full attention. I’m not used to seeing the dairy section behind glass. It was a thing of beauty. I wanted to go home right then and color coordinate my refrigerator.
After a brief tour we were brought to the back of store to have a look at the Back Bay restaurant. We sampled local brewed beers as they brought out one of everything for us to not only photograph but to sample.
Panko Crusted Eggplant Fondue.(below) I know not how you pictured it is it? I had this as my entrée it was delish, The roasted tomatoes added the perfect amount of tang to this crispy shelled eggplant treasure.
The Back Bay Tavern located well um in the back can seat up to 100 (inside and out) and features a wooden bar that is over 100 years old. Originally covered in yellow vinyl said to have had a former life in a Spanish speak easy in Harlem. The current owners are thinking of having a local contest to name it.
Local Brew Battered Fish and Chips complete with newsprint parchment paper.
There are also areas out in front below street level, that provide a place for you to enjoy your beer, tea or maybe a bottle of Kombucha (my fav flavor is grape). Newport Beach people they designed this store with YOU in mind. Not only does it look good its going to serve you well. You have two hand crafted beer taps, a tea-fusion face and a Fromagerie, a chilled cheese room.
Its no secret I love Whole Foods. I visited the Tustin Whole Foods store last year around the same time Oprah went on her vegan kick. I didn’t become a vegan but I definitely became aware (painfully I might add) of how little nutrition I was giving myself let alone my family. I made myself try the Chopped Kale salad for that very reason and you know what I LOVED IT. So much so I have a call in to the good people of WF to see if I can share the dressing recipe.
The next time you visit Fashion Island make sure you swing by. I recommend you make your first stop at the Tea Hive, just inside to the right and try a creamy Strawberry Almond and Oolong frozen tea. If you are in need of a quick take home dinner pick up a rotisserie chicken and make a salad from the open bar (try a scoop of the cilantro scallion humus its green you can’t miss it) If anything you’ll be inspired to come home and organized your entire fridge like a display case.
Whole Foods Newport Beach
415 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach California 92660
Concerned about parking? no need. Guess what they brought in. Complimentary valet parking. When you check out you will have a hand held device that will let you alert the attendant that you are ready to load and they will bring your car up front for you. There are also a handful of painted/designated 90 minute stalls just for you power shoppers.
PS. just read the first 300 people who show up get a free baguette in order to “break bread” and celebrate new beginnings.