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NEWSBITES / BEVERLY BUSH SMITH

7 Restaurants in Orange County Make National List for Fine Dining

June 25, 1992|BEVERLY BUSH SMITH | Beverly Bush Smith is a free-lance writer who regularly covers restaurant news for The Times Orange County Edition. and

The first annual DiRoNA Awards for fine dining have gone to 313 restaurants in North America--including seven in Orange County: Antoine at Le Meridien Newport Beach; Chanteclair in Irvine; the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point; JW's at the Anaheim Marriott; the Pavilion at the Four Seasons Newport Beach; the Ritz in Newport Beach, and the Towers in the Surf & Sand Hotel, Laguna Beach. Winners were selected after seven months of sampling by 18 inspectors led by Prof. Thomas Kelly of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

"Noir Suspicions," a new comedy in the Mystery Cafe "Cafe Noir" series, opens Friday at 8 p.m. at the Mezzanine Restaurant, 19800 MacArthur Blvd. in Irvine. The producers say you'll find echoes of "Casablanca" in this show, which is to run on Friday and Saturday nights indefinitely. Diners may take an active role in solving the mystery or simply sit back and watch the show. The menu: mixed baby-greens salad with raspberry vinaigrette, penne with grilled chicken and plum tomato sauce and Black Forest cake. Dinner, show and tax is $38 on Fridays, $48 on Saturdays. Reservations: (714) 955-CLUE.

Trees in Corona del Mar will celebrate the wines of Villa Mt. Eden with a dinner Monday at 7 p.m. The five courses include swordfish medallion with red pepper coulis and mango butter sauce, and rosemary skewer of grilled domestic lamb with ancho chili mole sauce. $45 per person. 440 Heliotrope Ave. (714) 673-0910.

Chan-Ram, paht see-iw, patpong chicken--these are a few of the Thai specialties you can learn to prepare at the next Royal Thai cooking class, in Newport Beach Monday. The $35 fee covers the lessons and a four-course dinner with champagne, tax and tip. The class begins at 6:30 p.m. 4001 W. Coast Highway (714) 494-THAI.

Learn the secrets of growing and cooking with fresh herbs Saturday on the Robert Mondavi Wine and Food Center's picnic tour of the Taylor Herb Gardens in Vista. $65 covers transportation and a picnic lunch with (natch) Robert Mondavi wines. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations: (714) 979-4510.

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