My Newport Beach Restaurant Week adventure continues with another lunch. This time, I got to check out The Cannery Seafood of the Pacific. The Cannery covers nearly 90 years of history. It started life in 1934 as a real cannery and turned into a seafood restaurant in 1973. Since then, the Cannery has been a place to see and be seen. It’s waterfront location offers a great view of the Newport Harbor. You won’t see fishing boats anymore, but you will see a lot of big, expensive yachts, and multi-million dollar waterfront homes.
In addition to fine restaurant dining, the Cannery can offer dining by sea. The restaurant can arrange boat rentals so you can dine in the harbor (or just pull up in your mega-yacht and they’ll take care of you too).
I am starting to like the lunch dining more than the dinner dining. For one thing, there is a lot more light so the food photos come out a lot better. Another reason to do lunch over dinner is the savings. Many of the dishes are used for both lunch and dinner. For example, the Ahi tuna poke, steamed mussels, and desserts are on both the Cannery lunch and dinner menu. They are the same portion sizes as well. Dinner cost $40. Lunch cost $20.
We arrived at The Cannery shortly after it opened, and got a table at the patio. This allowed us a great view of all the big yachts docked on the harbor. The lunch time crowd consisted mostly of retired seniors.
This is a welcome change from the 100% housewives crowd at Bluefin. At the least ratio of male seniors to female seniors was about the same.
Stick To The Seafood
The Cannery is a seafood restaurant first and foremost. If you dine there, I recommend you stick to the seafood dishes. The Restaurant Week menu had a chicken enchilada in it, and it was one of the worst dishes I’ve ever sampled. It was way too salty and the presentation was a mess. We were barely able to take three bites before putting it away.
Luckily, that was the only major misstep. The rest of the food, especially the steamed mussels, was amazing. If you go to the Cannery for lunch during Restaurant Week, I recommend you order the Ahi tuna poke for the first course, steamed mussels for the second course, and chocolate molten cake for dessert. At $20, this three course prix-fixe lunch is a fantastic value.
Two other appetizers worth trying are the New England Clam Chowder and goat cheese stuffed peppers. I really though that goat cheese would be too rich to be an opening appetizer, but was presentably surprised by how light and airy it was.
If you like fish and chips, then you’ll be happy with what the Cannery has to offer. The fish was crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside. The chips were too salty, but not as bad as the chicken enchilada.
The other dessert available for Restaurant Week was a carrot cake made from Farmer’s market carrots, vanilla mascarpone, and coconut-pineapple ice cream. It was OK.
The service at the Cannery was mostly a hit with one miss. I had ordered a half dozen oysters on the half shelve, and the server even repeated it to me, but then she completely forgot about it. In the end, it worked out for the best. We were too full from the lunch to eat the oysters.