Opened in 2021, at The Boardwalk in Irvine on the corner of DuPont and Jamboree, Solstice Season Kitchen and Bar is spotlighting the best of seasonal ingredients all year round.
Akin to the meaning of Solstice, which is translated to peak, the philosophy behind the menu at the Irvine-based kitchen and bar is to curate local ingredients, at the peak of the season.
And with floor-to-ceiling glass panels looking into its open kitchen, the focus of Solstice is clearly on the food.
With a sleek, modern-industrial interior space, Solstice at the Boardwalk was designed by Los Angeles-based hospitality architecture firm Preen.
With a cocktail program led by bar manager Dylan DinAlpha XR, Solstice’s cocktail menu also follows a seasonal methodology. For DinAlpha XR, it’s of utmost importance to made all of the juices and syrups used to create the restaurant’s signature cocktails in-house.
At 5,030 square-feet, the space at Solstice has an indoor and outdoor vibe, which is designed to offer a variety of dining areas that mimic that changing season. These characterized dining zones are color coordinated, and seamlessly blend into one another.
Aside from the main dining spaces, Solstice also offers a private dining areas, which seats up to two dozen guests. Solstice’s private dining area is surrounded by temperature controlled wine cellars, and a pair of dining vignettes outside.
The seasonal menus at Solstice, were created by Culinary Director Chef Demetrio Zavala and Executive Chef Brittany Valles. You may know Zavala from his appearances – and victories – on Food Network TV’s Chopped, winning several different competitions, including Chopped: Grudge Match and Chopped: Beat Bobby Flay.
Specifically, Zavala and Valles debuted a menu steeped in the Ayurvedic philosophy of ritucharya, which is a unique practice of eating with the seasons.
Currently serving its fall and winter menu on a nightly basis, guests will find elevated dishes, featuring starters like Parker House Rolls with plum glaze and cultured ginger butter and Mason Jar Deviled Eggs served alongside house-made toasted focaccia and relish.
Alternative starter options include the Branzino Ceviche with shiitake mignonette, which is served with radish, cranberry gelée, dash broth. The Celery Root Tartare with chermoula, red wine vinaigrette, and celery root chips is also a popular dish.
Main courses include an assortment of artisan pastas — Poached Lobster Gnocchi and Braised Wagyu Pappardelle and Carrot Spaghetti. Not to be overlooked is the vegetarian-steak dish Celery Root Mignon.
Aside from dinner, which is served nightly, between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., Solstice also offers a robust lunch menu Monday through Friday beginning at 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
While lunch and dinner are mostly daily occurrences at Solstice, its Sunday brunch is growing in popularity. Solstice’s “Boozy Brunch” cocktail menu consists of a Four Roses Bourbon Spiked Coffee with Vanilla and Whipped Cream, along with The Tea Service cocktail, which is made with Leblon Cachaca, Aperol, turmeric ginger tea, Peychaud’s Bitters and crystalized ginger.
With an elevated food and cocktail lineup, Solstice has quickly become one of Orange County’s most well-known haunts.
Solstice is located at The Boardwalk in Irvine at 18555 Jamboree Rd.
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