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REMARK'S, DivBar and More

WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Find out what's new in Orange County food and dining news.

Restaurateur Mark DePalma has opened REMARK'S (949.715.8700, remarkslagunabeach.com), a new restaurant that replaces his former Mark’s in Laguna Canyon. The restaurant has a full-service bar, and the menu highlights California cuisine with several nightly specials. Open for dinner Monday through Saturday starting at 5 p.m.; on Saturday nights, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., REMARK'S turns into a late-night lounge offering a light food menu. DePalma was most recently general manager of French 75, which recently closed.

After a five-month closure, the award-winning Prego Ristorante in Irvine (949.553.1333, pregoristoranti.com) has reopened with new décor and Executive Chef/Partner Ugo Allesina back in the kitchen whipping up his popular Northern Italian specialties such as freshly made pasta dishes, grilled fish and spit-roasted meats and fowl. Desserts and pastries are also made in-house and the list of Italian and California wines is extensive. Prego is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week beginning at 11 a.m. and is available for private events and banquets.

On January 7, 7 p.m., Alessandro Pirozzi, chef/owner of Mare Culinary Lounge in Laguna Beach (949.715.9581, mareculinarylounge.com), begins his Collection II Cooking Classes with Appetizers. Students will learn to make three hors d’oeuvres that will be paired with three different wines. On January 21, Pirozzi will teach techniques to make the perfect pasta dough and the proper sauce for the proper pasta. Cost, $75. Reservations a must.

From January 7 through February 10, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Fashion Island (949.720.9633, flemingssteakhouse.com) will serve a three-course prime rib dinner that includes a lettuce wedge or Caesar salad, prime rib entrée with a trio of sauces, one side dish, and any dessert for $29.95 per person. Fleming’s has recently partnered with Hall Winery of Napa Valley to create a limited edition, boutique private label Forty-Six Diamonds Cabernet Sauvignon, which is currently available at the restaurant for $20 a glass or $80 a bottle.

On January 8, Bluewater Grills in Newport Beach (949.675.3474, bluewatergrill.com) and at The District at Tustin Legacy (714.258.3474) will host a French Bouillabaisse vs. Italian Cioppino Tasting Event. The two fish stews will be paired with specially selected wines from each country at a cost of $26.95 per person. Guests will be asked to decide on their favorite. For diners unable to attend the special event, the stews can be ordered off the menu throughout the month, and paired with French, Italian and Spanish wines from the bar menu. Advance reservations are encouraged.

Duke’s Place, on the waterfront at the Balboa Bay Club (949.645.5000, balboabayclub.com), serves breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 a.m.-noon. Amenities include sports on a big screen TV, an offering of bloody Marys and mimosas and a build-your-own omelet station. Specialty coffees, protein and juice drinks are served, as well as an array of muffins and pastries. Reservations are not required and casual dress is welcomed.

DivBar (949.675.7427, divbar.com) serves Weekend Country Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning starting at 9 a.m. In addition to its regular breakfast menu, there is the Country Skillet, a build-your-own breakfast in a skillet with fresh farm eggs or egg whites, and a check list of additions, baked in a stone oven. Made-to-order cookies, also baked in a skillet and topped with vanilla bean or butter pecan ice cream, are an over-the-top house specialty.
Love, Chaos & Dinner, the three-hour show and five-course gourmet dinner presented by Teatro ZinZanni and currently performing at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, has been extended through February 17. The production features live music, cabaret and acrobatics and dinner served by Patina Catering. Tickets start at $122.85 and can be purchased at the box office, scfta.org or 714.556.2787.

After 47 years in Laguna Beach, The Cottage, a famous landmark for buttermilk pancakes, eggs Benedict and other home-style food, has closed.

On January 2, 11:30 a.m., Savannah Chop House (949.493.7107, savannahchophouse.net) will present Healthy Cooking with guest Chef Jose Arroyo of The Cannery. The menu will include seared sirloin steak salad, skillet shrimp and tomatoes, and a Jamaican chicken breast tostada. Cost, $35. Reservations required.

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