Event - The Ranch's Private Events Center Preview

While it's still new, you better place your event reservations at The Ranch before it becomes too packed to book an event there! The much anticipated Events Center for The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon has opened its doors, and we don't think it will take long before the crowds flock. With gorgeous private dining rooms, a classroom kitchen, and a superb menu, the Events Center is surely going to be a hot spot for Orange County's finest events. The interior is a type of swanky that you'd imagine a wealthy family's home to be - it has an intimate feeling but with a handful of class. The windows look out over the trademark sights of Anaheim (Disneyland, the Honda Center, Angel Stadium, etc), and you look out over individual closed cabinets in the rooms which are merely a part of their 14,000 bottle wine cellar. We came out to visit it during a media preview and fell in love.

Yes, the rooms have names of their own but no, it is not a hotel with titled session spaces. The Events Center is modeled like an estate, and owner/founder Andrew Edwards was obviously the one who called the shots here. The venue declared his style which was not a bad thing at all. As we walked and talked with him, he expressed his desire to make everything feel like home in every detail including the custom design of the windows (even with their pulley system). It was beautiful in every sense, especially adorned with the gorgeous displays of their housemade foods from talented Chef Michael Rossi and even breads from OC Baking Company.

We even took a step outside to the patio, the perfect space for a cocktail hour prior to any main event. A low fire crackled by the chairs, and we wondered how wondrous it must be to spend New Year's Eve in that space. Our visit was well-timed as only a few days prior they installed the windguard glass around the perimeter; it was not just for safety purposes but also to ensure that guests in that area would not feel the brunt of our infamous Santa Ana winds (or any other) on a night outside. It is an events center consisting of 7,679 gorgeous square feet divided into four rooms one could book, and we got a little inside tip that they are working on a bridal suite and groom's room too, hint hint. Future OC wedding destination spot in the works?

Of course, what kind of preview/reception would it be without food, especially above a restaurant? Chef Michael spared no tricks in preparation or presentation. Upon entering the space, we were greeted with an enormous cold seafood bar in the foyer which also clued us in onto how that space could be used (oysters, clams, shrimp cocktail, mussels, octopus, crab claws, and lobster served with atomic cocktail sauce, horseradish, fresh lemons, and remoulade). It led into the various other rooms which were divided into The Great Room (3,522 sq. ft with pre-function space of 1,215 sq. ft; 265 capacity), The Lounge (412 sq. ft; complimentary with The Great Room), The Dining Room (1,885 sq. ft; 60 person capacity), and The Study (645 sq. ft; 40 person capacity). This chilled seafood display would run a reasonable $25++ per person with a minimum of 25 guests if you so chose to book it.

We could not resist walking into the 18-seat classroom kitchen afterward though because it was where the food was and the shiny kitchen appliances. I lamented the absence of such a glorious kitchen in my own living space but was glad to see such openness in this area. Appetizers, small plates, and entrees were spread around the perimeter, begging visitors to partake in their crafted deliciousness. These were all either part of the Passed Hors D'oeuvres menu ($30++/person for three items at a 50 person minimum for one hour) or Hot Display Hors D'oeuvres menu (a la carte ranging from $10-14++/person at a 25 person minimum).

In this array, we saw American Raised Kobe Beef Carpaccio (Pecorino Romano, wild arugula, black truffle), Ceviche Trilogy (North Carolina shrimp and heirloom tomato, blue crab and coconut curry, and Maine lobster and mango), Gourmet Sliders (certified Angus beef, Farmhouse Cheddar, secret sauce, artisan potato bun), Certified Sustainable Chilean Sea Bass (Maine lobster risotto, baby spinach, bouillabaisse jus), Country Fried Petaluma Quail (Weiser Farm potatoes, BBQ bacon, homemade agave), Miniature Lamb Chops (sundried tomato and black olive chimichurri), Hoisin Glazed Duck Meatball (pumpkin, shiitake mushroom, sesame ginger dressing), Drake Family Farms Goat Cheese Ravioli (scarlet red beets, golden raisins, toasted walnut, Valencia orange), Hand Harvested Diver Scallops (smoked Edwards Ranch Estates white corn, homemade pancetta, Chanterelle mushrooms), and Demitasse of Butternut Squash Veloute.

After much floating about between the kitchen space and the Dining Room, we migrated over to the Great Room where we were greeted by their lovely main singer and a scrumptious decadent dessert station. Macarons towered above the rest in multicolored boldness. Duc was particularly fond of the PB&J Chocolate Bar himself. These desserts would be accompaniments to their larger menu orders of full plated dinners. They also allow for booking exhibition stations of various themes such as Taco, Pasta, Seafood, Antipasto, Mozzarella, and Sushi with a surcharge per chef used. If that's not your thing but neither is plated dinners, buffets are available as well.

Overall, it was an inspiring look into what could be in terms of future events. The private events center will easily be booked up quickly in our opinions because of their warm and welcoming rooms and the stellar menu. Our thank you for those who allowed us to be there that night.

Photography by Duc Duong. More photos are available on Facebook here.