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Distinct Among O.C. Restaurants

March 12, 1992|BEVERLY BUSH SMITH | Beverly Bush Smith is a free-lance writer who regularly covers restaurant news for The Times Orange County Edition.

All three of the Southern California Restaurant Writers' individual awards of distinction for 1991 went to Orange County residents at the writers' annual awards banquet Sunday. At festivities at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Antonio Cagnolo was proclaimed Restaurateur of the Year. Cagnolo owns Antonello Ristorante in South Coast Plaza Village and is principal of several other restaurants, including the coming Planet Hollywood in South Coast Plaza. Chef of the Year is Pascal Olhats of Pascal, in Newport Beach. Adam Gutteridge of Antoine, at Le Meridien in Newport Beach, was named Maitre d' of the Year. In addition, five Orange County restaurants received top Golden Sceptre awards. They are: Antoine; The Cellar, in Fullerton; the Dining Room, at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dana Point; Pavilion, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach, and Antonello Ristorante. Golden Bacchus awards for superb wine list and service went to The Cellar; Five Crowns, in Corona del Mar, and Mr. Stox, in Anaheim.

Zov's Bistro, in Tustin, will launch a series of cooking classes Tuesday, when Giuliano Bugialli demonstrates Florentine cooking from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Pezze della nonna (stuffed pasta squares), chicken and veal galantine sausage with green peppercorns, focaccia with rosemary and Piedmont chocolate cake are on the menu. Bugialli has written several books on Italian cooking, including "Foods of Italy." Hundreds of students have attended his classes in New York and Florence. The cost is $65 per person.

Also, on March 30, Zov's will present a demonstration of pastry baking by cookbook author Jim Dodge, who was pastry chef at the Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco and will soon open his own Bay Area restaurant. The cost is $50 per person.

Participants at both sessions will add to their cooking repertoire and also enjoy the food in Zov's dining room with a glass of wine. Additional classes are scheduled throughout April, May and June. For further information, phone (714) 838-8855. Participants may register at the restaurant or mail payment to Zov's Bistro, 17440 E. 17th St., Tustin, Calif. 92680.

Chef Robert Reash Jr. will create a five-course dinner to accompany the wines of Clos du Bois at John Dominis on Wednesday. Barbara Attel of Clos du Bois will comment on the food and wine pairings. Dinner, featuring an entree of grilled breast of squab with creamy basil potatoes and spicy lobster butter sauce, is $55 per person, tax and gratuity included. The reception begins at 7 p.m., with dinner at 7:30. Reservations: (714) 650-5112. 2901 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach.

To introduce some of the 35 new additions to its wine list, Armonia Ristorante will showcase vintages of Tuscany at a winemakers dinner Monday. Wine expert Tom Ventrone, a close friend of owners Tony and Janina Musci, will discuss the six wines that will accompany the five-course meal. An entree of filet mignon with porcini mushrooms will be prepared with the same wine that accompanies it--Bansi Brunello di Montalcino, D.O.C.G. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m., and the cost is $45, excluding tax and gratuity. The restaurant, by the way, is no longer closed on Mondays. It serves lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. (714) 957-6909. 3314 S. Bristol St. (Target Center at Bristol Place), Santa Ana.

And here's a twist on the winemakers dinner: Chef/owner Russell Armstrong of Trees restaurant will create an original menu to accompany patrons' wines. For instance, he recently designed a seven-course feast for a local wine aficionado on the occasion of his 40th birthday, printing a keepsake menu for each diner. For more information on a "collectors dinner," contact Armstrong at (714) 673-0910. The restaurant is at 440 Heliotrope Ave., Corona del Mar.

Windows restaurant at Marriott Suites Newport Beach now offers a three-course "value meal" from 5:30 to 7 p.m. daily, starting at $8.95. With five entrees to choose from, the menu includes soup or salad, fresh vegetable, beverage and choice of dessert. The $8.95 entree choices include sliced marinated flank steak with green peppercorn sauce and onion straws, served with new potatoes. Marriott Suites Newport Beach is at 500 Bayview Circle. Reservations: (714) 854-4500.

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