Amelias Balboa Island

Amelia Arbace Seton began a business that would become one of the oldest family-owned restaurant in Orange County. Known as a cory landmark on Marine Avenue, Amelia's Restaurant has a long history that includes three generations, each filled with a story of their own.

Amelia Arbace Seton began a business that would become one of the oldest family-owned restaurant in Orange County. Known as a cory landmark on Marine Avenue, Amelia's Restaurant has a long history that includes three generations, each filled with a story of their own.

281 Reviews

Client Reviews

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    amazing food. great local spot. unfortunately its now shut down.

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    Last night I went to Amelia's.  I was pleased to find out that probably the best restaurateur to have ever been born in California, Tim Goodell, think Aubergine, Red Pearl, 25 degrees, has purchased and is also the chef.  With that my wife and I dived into the new menu, no more Italian, thank goodness there must be 5 others on main street, which is made up of creative small plates with a wide variety to thrill any palate.  The price is moderate and the wine selection wonderful.Tim so glad you are back home!!

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    My husband and I were so happy to try Amelia's with the terrific new changes Tim Goodell, formerly of Aubergine and Troquet, and his staff have made. My family has been going to Amelia's for years but the food was always a bit heavy for me. The new owners have kept the nostalgic, old school ambience and made the food 100 times better--this is probably the best restaurant Balboa Island has had in recent memory (besides the always lovely Basilic.) Everything we tried was perfect--this is Italian comfort food, dialed up a notch and perfectly executed. We tried the smoked trout and burrata for appetizers, and each dish was clearly made in house, with a lovely bright green pesto to go with fresh bread. The meatballs tasted like your mom made them, if your mom were a fantastic chef--pine nuts and a tomato sauce you can't help but lick up. They make some of their own pasta in house, so we tried the chitarra (like thick spaghetti or pappardelle) and a delicious short rib sauce, and my husband had a perfectly cooked swordfish steak that was clearly very fresh, and I think the prices are quite reasonable considered the quality of ingredients. The desserts were fantastic--a rich, earthy dried fig panna cotta and a perfect strawberry shortcake. Now foodies have a new reason to come to Balboa Island, and I hope the customers who have been coming for years will realize how lucky we are to have this new version of Amelia's.

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    I recent tried Amelia's on Balboa Island I  was so surprised by my excellent meal. I usually need to leave Orange County to have a unique culinary experience, but I found my diamond in the rough.  The menu was very innovative and I think I tried almost everything on it. I was not disappointed once. The food was fresh, delicious and beautifully presented.  I would highly recommend trying this place!!!!

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    I had not been there in years, but heard about the new ownership and decided to give it a try last week. All I can say is WOW!!!They have the most interesting ingredients and combinations that I have seen. It started with the bread, an assortment of the most tasty breads served with a basil and almond pesto instead of butter. AMAZING!The menu has an assortment of dishes that are perfect for sharing. Good thing my friends were with me. I can't remember all of the Italian names, but I shared the meatballs, gnudi pasta (spelling?), ricotta crostini, chicken liver mousse, Caesar salad and the rigatoni. All these just as appetizers. They were DELICIOUS!I took their recommendations and ordered the block NY steak for dinner. First of all, the quality of the beef was superb, as was the quality of all the food I ate. The steak was prepared to perfection. We also shared the panancotta and the shortcake for desert. Also, the wine list is excellent for a small restaurant. They have a dry Lambrusco (sparkling red wine) that was excellent. I  can't remember another restaurant in the OC that carries Lambrusco. They also have an Austrian gruner that was incredible. It was all so good, I  took my mother there for brunch on Sunday. Enjoyed another bottle of Lambrusco with my perfectly prepared eggs benedict. We shared the lemon - ricotta pancakes and it was outstanding. All of the other tables were also raving about the food.The service was friendly and excellent. They cleared the sharing plates and utensils frequently. I will be going back to tryout the rest of their menu.

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    Under new ownership, and a brand new menu brought to us by the previous owner of Aubergine, and his amazing pastry chef. We had an outstanding meal. We shared an array of small plates. Don't miss the Caesar salad (with a hint of Dijon in the dressing..to die for), scallops seared perfectly, and steak block (a New York, perfectly trimmed like a filet and cooked to medium rare perfection). The Pot du Creme for dessert was spectacular. I would go back tomorrow, but we already have plans :( It was like Italian tapas. So good.

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    Amazing little Italian place the chef who has being there 30yrs plus the great staff is what makes he a remarkable place to have lunch or dinner at if in the area highly recommend

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    Had not been there in years . Decided to give it a try once more . Food and service excellent !

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    One of our favorite island places, especially for weekend lunch/brunch. Superb service from genuinely warm and friendly people. The sanddabs are a must. Justifiably praised for their fresh seafood. Big salads. They've just changed hands ... so please keep the chef and the wait staff!!

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    The last several visits have been great!  Always willing to change it up a bit to get me exactly what I want :)  Wild Salmon is always cooking perfectly, pasta is great, great servers.  Just read this morning that Amelia's will be closing on March 31st - 48 years after my first visit in 1968!  Amelia's and their great staff will be sorely missed!

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