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Valentine's Day, Oscar Night and Much More

WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Find out the latest in Orange County food and dining news.


On February 9, 6 p.m., Morton’s the Steakhouse (mortons.com) in Santa Ana will present a Champagne and Chocolate Tasting. The evening begins with a sampling of Morton’s classic hors d’oeuvres, followed by Champagne paired with Vosges chocolate truffles. Guests will receive a mini Vosges candy bar to take home. Cost, $45 per guest, all inclusive. For reservations, call 714.444.4834. For more information, contact Tiffany Teixeira.

As an option to its complete dinner menu and nightly specials, Antonello‘s Ristorante (714.751.7153, antonello.com) will offer a special four-course prix fixe dinner for $69.95 per person, plus tax and gratuity. A 25% discount from the entire wine list,  excluding the stimulus page, will be also be offered.

On Valentine’s Day, February 14, the charming French Pescadou Bistro (949.675.6990, pescadoubistro.com) will offer a three-course dinner for $59 per person. There will be two seatings, 5:30-6:30 p.m. and 7:30-8:30 p.m. Complete menu details can be found on the restaurant’s website.

Fleming’s Steakhouse & Wine Bar (949.720.9633, flemingssteakhouse.com) will serve its special Valentine’s menu for three days, February 12-14. In addition to the a la carte menu, extraordinary dinners, such as filet mignon and prawns; prime ribeye and king crab; or lobster, or lobster solo, are available for $69.95. Sweet endings include a scrumptious red velvet cake for $9.50.

The Coliseum Pool & Grill at Pelican Hill (800.820.6800, pelicanhill.com) will present A Dinner of the Senses on Valentine’s weekend, February 10-14. Designed to stimulate each of the five senses – sight, touch, taste, scent, and sound – the five-course menu for two, served in a private Coliseum cabana, allows each course to be eaten by hand without the use of utensils. Customized music, flowers and décor available upon request. Advance reservations strongly recommended. Cost, $150 per person, or $200 per person with wine pairing, plus tax and gratuity. Romantics may also enjoy the award-winning Andrea and its special Il Menu dell’ Amore menu, and exquisite Italian wines. This rustic Tuscan menu, served on a heated ocean-view terrace, is priced at $95 per person, or $145 per person with wine pairing, plus tax and gratuity.

Master Sommelier Michael Jordan and Executive Chef Michael Rossi, have opened Ranch Restaurant & Saloon in Anaheim (714.817.4200, theranch.com). The 20,000-square-foot restaurant, located on the ground floor of the Extron building on Ball Road, boasts 10,000 bottles of wine in the wine cellar to enjoy with its seasonal cuisine. The Saloon, a separate entity with its own entrance, features live music and dancing. Owner Andrew Edwards has booked prime country entertainers to perform on its 40-foot concert stage. A DJ provides the best in current country music for dancing nightly.

ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen in Brea (714.255.1040, chachasbrea.com), recognized for its “alternative to traditional Mexican cuisine,” will feature a four-course Valentine’s Day dinner February 9-19. The Latin-inspired menu uses seasonal and organic ingredients, with most dishes prepared in a wood-fired oven. A variety of salsas are house-made, cocktails are hand-crafted with freshly squeezed juices and house-made mixes. One hundred percent Blue Agave tequila is used in the margaritas. Reservations encouraged.

On February 12, 3 p.m., Lucca (949.725.1773, luccacafe.com) will showcase its monthly Sunday Night Supper (every second Sunday of the month). Chef/owner Kathy Pavlos will create a four-course dinner using her grandmother’s treasured recipes that will be paired with three wines. Cost, $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations must be made by noon on February 10.

On February 21, Iva Lee’s in San Clemente (949.361.2855, ivalees.com) celebrates Mardi Gras, also known as French Fat Tuesday, signifying the prelude to the Lenten season. The event will feature a special four-course Creole dinner, feathered masks and beads for all the guests. Jerry Hot Rod Demink will provide live entertainmnet. Cost, $50 per guest, plus drinks, tax and gratuity.

Kimera (949.261.1222, kimerarestaurant.com) celebrates Oscar Night on February 26, 5 p.m. Guests, encouraged to “dress to impress,” will walk the red carpet to the restaurant. While the Academy Awards are viewed on large screens throughout the evening, a panel of fashion experts will give out awards to the best dressed guests. The $65 per person fee includes hors d’oeuvres, one specialty cocktail and a full buffet dinner.

Starfish Laguna (949.715.9200, starfishlaguna.com) is now serving lunch Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

For Valentine’s Day, AnQi (anqibistro.com) will serve a 5-Course Aphrodisiac prix fixe menu for $80 per person. (All dishes have an aphrodisiac element.) The restaurant will also have live, romantic, acoustic music.

If restaurant reservations are impossible on Valentine’s Day, book a Sunset Whale Watching cruise, 4-6 p.m. from Dana Wharf (danawharf.com). This unique trip includes chocolates and treats, as well as one complimentary glass of Champagne. Cost, $32 per person.

Impress your significant other with a sail on the 82-foot Schooner Curlew out of Dana Point Harbor. With her billowing sails, two-masted stature and artful hull and rigging, plus Champagne and hors d’oeuvres, it is unique. Private charter rates start at $950. For detailed information, visit sailcurlew.com.

The ultimate Valentine’s Day gift, according to chef/owner Mark McDonald of Old Vine Café (714.655.6142) is a ticket for two on his second annual 10-day Culinary Vacation to Southern Italy March 10-19. Check the full itinerary online at oldvinecafe.com.

Javier’s has opened its new Javi’s restaurant at John Wayne Airport, Terminal C. Along with 25 premium tequilas available, Javi’s offers fresh seafood and regional dishes, along with salsa and tortillas, nachos, quesadillas, taquitos, and much more.

The Anaheim Ducks Breakaway Bar & Grill is also open at the new Terminal C Marketplace. Ideal for sports fans, the space is filled with the Ducks memorabilia that celebrates their success, including its Stanley Cup Championship in 2007. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu includes spicy chicken wings, charcuterie plates, stacked ribeye sandwich, and other California-infused cuisine. A kids menu is available.

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