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New Bistro Offers Valentine's Feast

February 13, 1992|BEVERLY BUSH SMITH | Beverly Bush Smith is a free-lance writer who regularly covers restaurant news for The Times Orange County Edition. and

To introduce diners to his new restaurant, Lap Huynh, chef and owner of Le Gourmet Bistro in Irvine, will present a four-course valentine dinner for two for $35 on Friday. Dinner begins with crab ravioli and prawns in lime sauce, followed by asparagus soup or duck salad with raspberry dressing. Entree choices include salmon with scallops and watercress in puff pastry and filet mignon in shallot sauce. Desserts: hot baked apple tart and ice cream, Grand Marnier souffle or fresh fruit tart. Le Gourmet Bistro is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The location: 17917 MacArthur Blvd. Reservations: (714) 851-9694.

It's new leaf time at the Pleasant Peasant in Newport Beach, with a new manager, a new chef and a new menu. The manager, Lisa Blender, a graduate in hotel and restaurant management from Cal Poly Pomona, is a fourth generation restaurateur (her dad is Pleasant Peasant owner Bert Blender). The chef (and Lisa's fiance) is Laurent Ferre, formerly executive chef of El Dorado in Olivet, France. Ferre will retain 14-year Pleasant Peasant favorites like meat loaf Wellington and lamb shank in white wine and tomato sauce. But he's lightening up with such lunch innovations as a salad of grilled fresh salmon on mixed greens with fresh vegetables, and sauteed breast of chicken in lemon butter and ginger. New at dinner: crab and vegetable ravioli, salmon with sorrel sauce, and pork filet sauteed with bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, lemon and soya. The restaurant is open for lunch ($5.50-$12.50), Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner ($8.75 to $15, complete) Monday through Thursday, 5:30 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday till 10 p.m. The restaurant is at 4251 Martingale Way in MacArthur Square. Reservations: (714) 955-2755.

The long-awaited new Crab Cooker, complete with its trademark red exterior, is now slated to open mid-March in Tustin's Enderle Center, 17th Street at the Costa Mesa Freeway.

Paisano's Italian Ristorante has opened at the former site of Gabbiano's in Mission Viejo. Managed by Mission Viejo resident George Kakar, it offers a variety of pastas, seafood, chicken, veal and steak dishes, with breads and desserts all made on the premises. Lunch, served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, averages $3.50 to $4.95 for sandwiches and pasta dishes. Complete dinners, served from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday, are priced from $7.50 for spaghetti with meat sauce to $12.95 for veal dishes. Paisano's is at 28431 Marguerite Parkway. (714) 364-0835.

Gustaf Anders in South Coast Plaza Village will present an evening of dining and dancing Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. The restaurant's regular menu of contemporary cuisine with Scandinavian accents will be available, and the Les Czimber Sextet will play big band music. No cover, no minimum. Also, the restaurant has some special things planned for Valentine's Day: there'll be a Sweetheart Arts and Crafts sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; a Valentine's tea, $8 per person, from 2 to 5 p.m.; and strolling musicians in the dining room from 2 to 10 p.m. (714) 668-1737.

Ruby's Restaurant Group will make it an even dozen restaurants when the new Ruby's debuts in Woodbridge Center in July. It's in the 4,000-square-foot former Point Siena location, with a fine view of Woodbridge Lake. Because of its locale, this franchise will have a nautical theme, so in place of the vintage cars used in the other restaurants look for a renovated Chris-Craft. Other Ruby's-owned Orange County restaurants may be found at the Balboa and Seal Beach piers, and in Mission Viejo, Costa Mesa (South Coast Plaza), Fullerton, Laguna Beach, San Juan Capistrano, and Newport Beach (the Jaguar Diner).

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