Influences of mythological Ireland and a globally inspired menu defines this fairytale eatery
Their third restaurant in the region for husband-and-wife team Darren and Jean Coyle, Fable & Spirit is the newest of their establishments to emerge on scene in Orange County (the couple also own Dublin 4 Gastropub and WineWorks for Everyone). Ideally situated in Newport Beach’s picturesque Lido Marina, Fable & Spirit features an incredible play-on of ‘farm-to-table’, as well as a nod to the heroes, queens, and goddesses of mythological Ireland.
With a menu curated by Executive Chef David Shofner, the sophisticated restaurant captures the high energy and neighborhood whimsy that captivates guests and makes strangers family by the end of the night.
Coyle’s dream for Fable & Spirit to “become that favorite neighborhood restaurant known for its imaginative, progressive and delicious from-scratch signature food and drink creations” has become a reality since opening its doors in 2019.
“When our guests pass through the Georgian gold-colored Dublin Door, they will be warmly welcomed and introduced to some of the best of food, drink and good times that Orange County has to offer,” says Darren. “While our kitchen and bar take a serious approach to all things culinary and craft, we want to share the spirit and magic of our rich Irish heritage.”
With the Coyles’ upbringing straight from Dublin, Ireland, and a chef who graduated from Le Cordon Bleu at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, Fable & Spirit is the culmination of two careers to date: reflecting experience, style, and ultimately plated perfection.
Noshing on warm, fragrant Guinness brown bread served with European butter and clover honey offered an excellent opportunity to peruse the inventive menu. Popular starters include a delicious hamachi crudo and Hawaiian blue prawns for diners who lean toward seafood, while meat lovers will relish the mangalista pork belly paired with pearl couscous, cluster tomatoes and wild rocket.
Entrees range from seafood specialties (including Icelandic cod fish and chips and cracked pepper bucatini) to dishes designed to please even the most discriminating meat eater’s palate. Of the latter, the 12-hour Kurobuta porchetta which arrives with polenta and enhanced with romanesco, Calabrian chili, chimichurri and smoked braising jus while the Australian rack of lamb is accompanied with wild mushroom risotto, carmelized onions, triple cream and cabernet reduction.
Ingredients are meticulously sourced and progressively modern, yet feature flavors and themes which are still familiar and comforting to their audience. Choose dishes straight from the wood-fired grill, or out of the rotisserie, always complimented by creative cocktails or innovative wine pairings, straight from the Coyle’s daughter Ali and son Drew, who serve as Director of Wines + Sommelier and Director of Spirits respectively. A family affair, to be sure: just like pre-1960’s Irish pubs. Either way, you’ll feel right at home. Third try continues the charm, at Fable & Spirit.