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  • Waterline

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Waterline Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.balboabayresort.com
  • Phone: (949) 630-4145
  • Hours of Operation: Breakfast: Monday - Sunday: 7:00am - 11:00am
    Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:00am - 2:00pm
    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Contemporary French / American, Comfort Food
  • Executive Chef: Vincent Lesage
  • Dress Code: Resort Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Complimentary Valet Parking with validation from restaurant. Hourly Self Parking rates.
A word from Waterline
Waterline is Balboa Bay Resort’s refreshed and refined waterfront restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Newport Beach, CA. Vincent Lesage is at the restaurant's helm as Executive Chef, and Rachel Haggstrom is Chef de Cuisine. Newport Beach restaurant guests will continue to enjoy scenic harbor views as they taste new menus of fresh seafood, savory steaks, and delicious complements.

With its contemporary nautical design, Waterline restaurant presents a captivating water to table experience, with the freshest seafood and a unique chef-driven concept. Its full bar has oceanfront views of the harbor, that includes beautiful yachts lining the Club’s private marina. The space also has an outdoor walkway with casual seating and sunset views.

With dramatic sunsets and delicious entrees, Waterline’s alluring siren call will have you coming back for more and more.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Diner Reviews
  • "Resort is currently under renovation: Menu on Open Table is incorrect use Resort Website for menu. Mostly hotel guests dining. Service was well attentive to needs and detail. Food is stylish and portions are fair. Sea bass special had a nice portion, skimpy on the veggies. Salmon small portion and small portion on the veggies. Wine list has a nice global selection. There is potential here, perhaps another visit when the construction dust settles. Management not attentive to open Table website status, took several days to credit points."
    Dined on 4/28/2014
  • "First visit to Waterline and I am hooked. Service was impeccable. Food was very fresh and exciting to the palate. I have not had a better meal in a very long time. Views are amazing. A must dine!"
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "The ambiance is superb. Casual-chic Mediterranean feel. Newport Harbor view with yachts quietly nosed into their slips at the base of the outdoor patio (our favorite spot). The BBC has undergone some wonderful changes over the past 5-10 years with classic spaces open to the public. Another major refresh is in progress with Duke's, Waterline (they renamed the First Cabin restaurant) and the reception area. So, we will cut them some slack on food and service this trip. That said, we ALWAYS take visitors here for that lovely view and hope they can smooth out the new menu and kitchen. The Crab Bisque is still excellent and totally worth the invested calories!"
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "I've heard a lot about the restaurant. Decided to go for a special occasion with family in town. The new remodel is great and view is terrific. Unfortunately, we did not have a good experience. Waiter was slow. Bread was stale. Lamp shank was like bbq beef. All of us felt our food was not "great" for the costs and atmosphere. Food was bland. Could be amazing place if their food improves. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Love the decor and menu improvements-I must state the halibut BLT was fantastico! Also, the glass windscreen makes a HUGE difference in the breeze sitting outside, which is everyone's preference!"
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Overall, our dining experience was just okay. We felt rushed to order. Once our food came, our server didn't check on us but once. We had to try and grab her attention when we needed a refill for water. Not what you expect from an upscale restaurant. The food was okay, just okay. "
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "had lunch the other day at WATERLINE which was the old FIRST CABIN at the Balboa Bay Club this new restarant say welcome to the 21 st century==great views,food service and the price is very fair for Newport Beach it was a warm day and as we left eour waiter gave us two iced teas for the car--the tea is tropical tea so delicious this place is a winner lee f"
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Lamb shoulder slightly salty. But besides that, loved the food!"
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "We went because we were staying at the hotel. We expected more."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "First time my wife and I have been there since the changeover. Food preparations was excellent- with a lot of surprising tastes. Service was top notch- Mike, our waiter, was very knowledgeable and engaging. Good wine selection. Highly recommend it."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Located inside the Balboa Resort this restaurant formerly called "Front Cabin" used to be a great restaurant. Especially enjoyed the weekend brunches. No more. Closed for renovations a couple months and reopened as "Waterline". New brunch was a small buffet combined with a Fixed Prix menu of entrees. My entree was burned and neither the chef, server, or manager cared. They've only been open a couple weeks so perhaps they will improve. Took photo. Wish I could post here!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Corn chowder was outstanding as was the trout. Premises are under construction so it was a little difficult getting to but once there it as delightful. The lamb was not my favorite. Looking forward to returning ."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "We had gone to the original First Cabin and enjoyed the wonderful menu and excellent food. The new menu at Waterline is very limited and lacks originality. My soup was barely warm, but my wife's kale salad was excellent. The pork shoulder was overcooked, and my NY steak was cooked properly but it had an excess of gristle and fat. Our server was not attentive, and we had to leave our table to find her and get our bill. The restaurant wasn't crowded so we have no idea where she had gone. We might go back for a drink due to the location, but we are done going there for dinner."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "My mother and brother thought the crab cakes were the best they'd ever had."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "I liked this Restaurant but I didn't know on Sundays at lunch they have a brunch....only!!! I really don't like,I prefer a normal lunch!!! The food was very good.I think this restaurant is much better for dinner.I'll try!!!!"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "We waited 10 minutes for a server who then had attitude. Food was ok with my wife's fish raw in the middle. Not a great experience. Hopefully the kinks being worked out after the remodel."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I went here for my anniversary and was not disappointed. The food and service were excellent."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "This was a birthday luncheon and the lobby does post the birthday person's name; restaurant also offers a free desert to birthday person. Several of our party had the Chilian Sea Bass which was cooked to perfection & presentation was fashionable. Others in the party had entree salads which are large in size but everyone enjoyed them. Nothing unique about their salads. All in all we would dine again at First Cabin."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Like most every other wonderful place for grown ups, our lovely First Cabin will undergo "PLASTIC SURGERY," starting February 10th, to become "more casual." Great! Just what we need: yet another place for the tank top and flip-flops crowd. First Cabin is--at least for a few more days--a quiet, elegant, refined place to DINE like royalty. A large, luxurious room with big booths and tables spaced far enough apart that you can discuss your latest zillion dollar deal in private. Magnificent martinis, and wonderful prime rib on Fridays & Saturdays. A grand piano playing beautiful music that you can actually talk over. If change must come, PLEASE BBC, don't change it too much, as we love you, just the way you are."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "First class service from attentive waitstaff followed by superb cuisine. Only negative was thin by the glass wine list"
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "This is very expensive place, even for lunch but worth it if with right person. Service is excel excellent food good and no one rushes you."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Celebrated moms 81 and come here 2-3x a month. Great service- Manuel and Octavio and Gustavo. Thank you for making it a great day."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "We have lived in Newport Beach for over 12 years now, but had never dined at First Cabin. I guess we always thought it was for members only. We LOVE this place, but now we hear that they are going to change it to a more "casual" restaurant. Too bad. We love it just the way it is. All we need is yet another noisy, casual joint for the shorts & flip flops crowd."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "If you have enough time for a relaxing experience this is the place for you.The waiters are attentive but don't rush you.Ambience is amazing specially if you get one of the tables next to the window so you can watch the yachts passing by better. Loved their Lobster Bisque.The Chilean Sea Bass was made to perfection. Will definitely come back for more."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "We had lunch on our previous visit and selected First Cabin for Christmas Eve dinner. Fantastic choice, our family group of 6 rated the food and service as best ever, which includes some very highly rated competition. This would be our first cabin choice for any special occasion. The fixed price menu was especially delicious."
    Dined on 12/24/2013
  • "But, you're paying for the location. We went to watch the Christmas Boat Parade and got a great table, as close to the water as possible. $65/person prix fixe menu is pricey for what you get; average, or slightly better-than-average food. If this were a dining experience alone, we would not return."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "Ambiance, food, service and timing was outstanding!"
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "We love this restaurant! The food is fabulous, the service is fantastic and we can carry on a conversation with out yelling at each other. We are upset that they will be changing into a steak restaurant in February."
    Dined on 12/8/2013
  • "Changes always bring adjustments. BBC now the Balboa Bay Resort has been a favorite of mine for over 50 years. (yes fifity) The previous visits I always rated the first cabin as five stars, but it has slipped. Still a great location and lovely public rooms but the dinning was a disapointment. Not bad, just not as good as I remember it to be. Service was good but rushed. Not a fine dining experience. Food was good, but just average, not fine dining and the price was very expensive. I hope they work out the kinks and get back up to a five star experience"
    Dined on 11/29/2013
  • "This is a classy restaurant with an eclectic menu. Everything we had was excellent! Leasurely service so not good if you are in a hurry. Nice views of Newport Harbor!"
    Dined on 11/29/2013
  • "Even though we have lived in Newport Beach for many years, we had never dined at the Balboa Bay Resort. For some reason, we thought that it might be stuffy and a bit too clubby for us. We were pleasantly surprised. First Cabin was quiet, with perfect lighting, comfortable booths, great food and VERY friendly and ULTRA professional service. On one or two nights a week, they do prime rib, which will be the "trial by fire" for us. Since Five Crowns went down the drain and Gulliver's has just suffered a fall in quality, we have not had wonderful prime rib in some time. We are hoping that First Cabin will serve "First Cabin" quality prime rib. We'll let you know."
    Dined on 11/27/2013
  • "This restaurant is located in a beautiful resort on the water. Outdoor dining available. It is nice for brunch/lunch. Two of us had wonderful salads. The other two had mahi-mahi which was bland and tasted a bit fishy. The service was good. I would go back for the upscale ambience and you can't beat the view."
    Dined on 11/23/2013
  • "I used to go for lunch there so I thought it would be a great dinner to celebrate my best friends' 60th birthday. Our party of 6 was very disappointed. The food was not good for the kind of price we paid. Two of us had the Rib Eye steaks and one had to be sent back because it had a gravy which was not mentioned on the menu, and besides it tasted like the jar gravy, and the steak was too thin. The fish was dried, and the salads were really small. My husband loves Crème Brule and this was not even closed to what we used to have there for lunch. I also ordered the chocolate soufflé and later on the waiter let me know that he was not aware the chef did not offer this kind of dessert since the chef was new. I will not be coming back!"
    Dined on 11/16/2013
  • "The waitress was great, made suggestions, tailored it to accommodate my needs, and talked me into a fabulous dessert (the pecan ball) of which I have no regrets. I look forward to their upcoming renovation, though it is a beautiful and well-maintained location as is. First-class in every aspect; my only hope is that they have more organic food choices on their new menu."
    Dined on 11/13/2013
  • "I had the speck & chilean sea bass and bread pudding for dessert. DELICIOUS!"
    Dined on 11/13/2013
  • "Waterfront dining on the harbor is always a treat, but the First Cabin Restaurant made is even nicer. The chef had a grass-fed steak special (testing out for their new menu after their upcoming renovation), and it was delicious! It is expensive, and I am sure that will not improve with the renovation, but I loved the booth seating, the chef's willingness to accommodate by dietary needs, and I would return in a heartbeat."
    Dined on 11/12/2013
  • "This is not a happening scene. There was were two other tables dinning when we arrived (7pm) both tables left before we finished. There was an enjoyable piano player who stopped before we finished dinner. Summer may be busier."
    Dined on 11/8/2013
  • "There was not one thing wrong with the evening. Easy to make last minute reservations, was seated immediately by the window with a wonderful view of the harbor, and our server, Crystal was a delight. The food was done to perfection including the presentation. We had an appetizer which was an Ahi Avocado with a wonderful balsamic type sauce, the house salad and the Macadamia Encrusted Mahi Mahi. All I can say is "YUM"! Definitely a place I will go back to, no disappointment there."
    Dined on 11/3/2013
  • "Beautiful place to laugh and hang out with friends. Wait staff was very accommodating and over the top friendly. But the food was the special occasion! All of us had amazing experiences with our selections and it was all done to perfection and also had great combinations of sides. The best part was that it was so healthy. Loved the experience."
    Dined on 11/1/2013
  • "This is a "go to" restaurant when I am in the Newport Beach area. Over the years, I have spent a lot of holiday meals with family and friends at First Cabin. The service here is top notch, particularly Mustafa, a charming and elegant fellow. The food is consistently of a high quality and the room and view are charming. This is service in the best sense of the word with an unerring attention to detail. Looking for a conventional elegant meeting out, then check out the First Cabin. I have never been disappointed."
    Dined on 10/26/2013