Alaskan halibut with celeriac, chanterelle mushrooms, English peas, guanciale and citrus nage
While the third time might be the charm, spouses Darren and Jean Coyle have already proved their culinary brilliance in Mission Viejo with concepts one and two—Dublin 4 Gastropub and Wineworks for Everyone. This time, the dream team has headed to the tony Newport Peninsula to debut Fable & Spirit (fableandspirit.com), an upscale yet approachable neighborhood spot that draws influence from the whimsical folklore of Ireland. “This venture was born out of our inherent nature to constantly share our own interpretation of genuine Irish hospitality with our guests,” says Darren. It’s a family affair, as the couple’s son Drew acts as director of spirits, and their daughter Ali mans the bottle program as sommelier and director of wines. Executive chef David Shofner, who’s been with the family since the opening of Dublin 4 Gastropub in 2012, is leading the farm-to-table menu, where highlights include Guinness brown bread with Kerrygold butter, clover honey and Jacobsen Salt Co. sea salt to start, and smoked bone-in short rib, Alaskan halibut or rotisserie porchetta for the main course. Pair it all with the potent Hares Looking at You cocktail as you settle into the most coveted spot in the house—an enclosed snug booth that pays homage to pre-1960s Irish pubs.