Hot Dish


The Lowdown in Art Fest Dining

Patty Pinto

Visitors to the Festival of Arts can skip the snack bar and dine at Tivoli Terrace. The setting is sublime; an al fresco dining room embellished over 40 years while owned and operated by June Neptune and family. Dine amid a 200-year-old cypress tree, blooming bougainvilleas, huge banana trees, a gazebo, fountain and a wall painted rendering of “The Last Supper.”  When seated, Sarah, the cat, unofficial host for the past five years, immediately greeted me.


Tivoli’s Chicken Walnut Salad is well balanced with chunks of tender chicken, mayo, crisp celery and walnut pieces. Halves of sweet red and semi-tart green grapes blend well with a gentle curry and sprinkles of paprika. The fruit that surrounds the mound of salad is sweet and refreshing.


I loved the side of banana bread tea sandwiches with a generous spread of velvet cream cheese! I felt like a proper English lady.


At $16.95 it is a good value for a large portion that I couldn’t finish.


Lunch items include quiche of the day, fresh roasted turkey and avocado sandwich, tuna melt, fish and chips, Portobello mushroom sandwich and grilled salmon salad. Prices range from $10 to $16.


Dinner items includes ratatouille, Chicken Tivoli, lamb shank, pork chops, shrimp, New York steak, pasta and clams, and several salads. Entrees are  served with a house salad, Tivoli’s garlic mashed potatoes, fresh veggies and dinner rolls. Dinner prices ranged from $18-$32, whiles salads are $18- $20.


Early bird specials include chicken, lamb, salmon and ratatouille only between 4-5 p.m.


Tivoli’s homemade desserts, all for $8.50, include coffee crème brule, ice cream pie, Viennese spiced carrot cake and mango cheese cake.


Cocktails include beer, wine and a margarita voted best in OC by Orange Coast Magazine. Yes, it was delicious.


Open daily for lunch 11-3, and dinner 4-9 p.m.


Next time I’ll have to try the waffle fries.



At Art-A-Fair, try Tivoli Too!


The restaurant offers southwest cuisine in appetizers and entrees, traditional offerings in salads, sandwiches, and desserts, as well as a kids menu and full bar.


Some appetizers on the menu include taquitos, stuffed jalapenos, nachos, and guacamole, priced at $3.25 – $8.25. Salads offered include Caesar, chicken tostada and chicken-walnut, priced at $15.25 and $15.95.


Sandwiches include a traditional hamburger, tuna melt, Portabello mushroom, $9.25 – $10.50.


Entrees range from soft tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, chile rellenos and marinated skirt steak, priced at $12.25 – $16.95.


Desserts include fresh fruit upside down cake, Mud pie, spice cake, Kahlua mousse, all priced at $7.25.


Kids choices are limited to grilled cheese or quesadillas.


The setting at Tivoli Too! is also very peaceful, surrounded by lush vegetation in a little corner of Laguna Canyon!


Open daily from 11-9 p.m


At Sawdust Festival, Food Booths Serve Up Casual Fare

At Deb’s Deli, sandwiches and wraps, salads, hot dogs, fruit smoothies, frozen yogurt, etc.


Express on the Go: coffee, pastries and sweets.


Fran’s Popcorn:  Kettle corn, ice cream and candy.


Sallie’s:  salads, sandwiches, kid’s meals, funnel cakes, fried zucchini, pickles and asparagus!


Sawdust Saloon:  “One of the largest & coldest draft beer selections in town”, wine & other libations


Tacos Durrell serves breakfast of potato tacos with scrambled eggs and  beans; cheese omelet with ranchero sauce; tofu scramble; pancakes; chilaquiles; etc.  Tacos (vegetarian too), burritos, nachos, taquitos, quesadillas, and homemade treats. (Cash only, though there is an ATM on the grounds.)


Thasos Greek Island Grille: Greek appetizers, spanakopita, hummus, homemade soups, Greek salad, pita bundles, Santorini pasta bowls, Moussaka (eggplant lasagna), lamb stew, burgers (calamari, lamb, falafel), fries and baklava. Kids menu, too.


Food venues at the Sawdust Festival are very casual and kid friendly.


South Laguna resident Patty Pinto blogs for

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