Credit: Kevin Marple
Credit: Kevin Marple

A Celebrity Chef, Ocean Views and a Fresh Feel—This OC Resort Is Seaside Sophistication

You’ll Want a Seat at This Table!

In anticipation of warm, sunny days, the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point is unveiling a brand new restaurant concept, Outer Reef, with world-renowned chef John Tesar at the helm. “The resort’s multimillion-dollar renovation was modeled after a Hamptons beach house, and it highlights the beauty of the California coastline. It’s very fun and whimsical,” says Chef Tesar. Outer Reef Dana Point

Kevin Marple
Credit: Kevin Marple

Tesar, the four-time James Beard-nominated chef who has made a name for himself with his steakhouse, Knife, in Dallas, and Knife & Spoon in Orlando, is returning to his roots in seafood fare with Outer Reef. Tesar and his team were determined to open with a completely renovated space and an innovative menu they would be proud of. Chef Tesar was fully committed to every inch of the restaurant, having influence not only on the finalized menu, but the design, the ambience and the art—right down to the napkins.

“We wanted everything to be tasteful and artisanal. We wanted to recreate SoCal casual, executed at an elevated level… with a menu that’s approachable and shareable,” the chef says, regarding his vision for the new restaurant. Outer Reef Dana Point

Outer Reef

Chef Tesar’s approach to the Outer Reef menu is simple: to bring out the best our local waters have to offer. Inspired by a philosophy of keeping the ingredients “mostly raw, barely touched or lightly cooked,” Tesar looks to elevate the dining experience, highlighting the local seafood with adventurous flavors and perfecting a delicate mix of fine dining and casual fare. “We’ll have oysters and mussels from local waters, squid from Monterey Bay, Uni from San Diego—whatever we have freshly available to us is what we will serve…but of course, we have our dry-aged steaks as well if that’s more to your liking.”

Dishes like their Passmore caviar, served with Pacific sturgeon chicharrones, or their chef-prepared Black Cod Milanese are just a few great examples of Tesar’s attention to detail. He remains committed to creating exquisite textures and flavors that highlight the best our coast has to offer.

While what’s on your table at Outer Reef may be exceptional, the entirety of the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa provides ample panoramic ocean views, which serve as an incomparable pairing—especially during that coveted “golden hour” when the sun begins to set in the distance. It’s an unbeatable experience to begin your spring and summer months!

Outer Reef Dana Point

Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa
25135 Park Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629

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