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Sfuzzi Makes Clear Plans to Join Triangle Square

August 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

Sfuzzi, the New York-based Italian bistro, popular in 14 locations nationwide (including Dallas, New York City, Washington, D.C., and San Diego), will open in Costa Mesa this fall. Fifteen Sfuzzi chefs gathered at the Robert Mondavi Wine and Food Center last week for their third annual conference--and the announcement of Sfuzzi's debut in Orange County. The moderately priced restaurant will be located in the Triangle Square Mall, 19th Street and Harbor Boulevard, Costa Mesa.

You can't keep a restaurant man like John Mione away from the business for long. More than four years ago he sold his popular Mione's, the Italian deli/restaurants on Balboa Island and in Lido Village, Costa Mesa and Laguna Niguel. Now he's resurfaced with Mione's Old World Delicatessen and Coffee House in San Juan Capistrano. "I'm standing on historical ground," he declares of his location, in front of the depot in Franciscan Plaza and catty-corner to the mission. His menu contrasts old and new: traditional deli sandwiches (roast beef, ham or prosciutto, $3.95 to $5.50) and organically grown vegetarian items; Old World coffees and Swiss water process decafs; classic pastries and no-cholesterol, no-sugar desserts. Sample the fare in the homey, newly expanded inside area or in the outdoor ambience of the Spanish-style plaza. They're open daily, 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (11 p.m. on weekends) at 31781 Camino Capistrano. (714) 240-2233.

Five Cabernet Sauvignons from Silver Oak Cellars will be showcased during a five-course dinner Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Trees Restaurant in Corona del Mar. Chef/owner Russell Armstrong will prepare such delicacies as butterfly of grilled breast of Barbarie duck with carrot puree and cherry sauce (to be served with 1987 and 1988 vintages of Silver Oak's Alexander Valley Cabernets), and medallion of corn-fed lamb loin sauteed with pink peppercorns, with broccoli-green bean pancakes (accompanied by 1987 and 1988 Napa Valley Cabernets). In addition, grilled farm-raised New Zealand venison chops with mushroom sauce will be matched with the limited production Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet. Cost is $55, prepaid. 440 Heliotrope Ave. (714) 673-0910.

Last week, chef-owner Jacques Duc of Cafe Francais initiated "Excursions to France," a series of Sunday evening five-course dinners served with three wines, between 5 and 9 p.m. This week's menu, offered at $39 per person, will feature an entree of spring lamb loin, sauteed with fresh mint sauce and light Dijon and pistachios. It will be served with Rodet Pommard 1985. 1736 E. Meats Ave., Orange. (714) 998-6051.

Dill-cooked crayfish take center stage at Gustaf Anders' annual Swedish Crayfish Party on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Of course, they're served with akvavit and beer--as well as Swedish-style cabbage rolls, whipped potatoes and lingonberries, and apple cake. The cost: $39 per person, plus tax and gratuity. And by the way, for an intimate evening in the restaurant's private dining room, with chef Anders Strandberg preparing new dishes and host Gustaf Magnuson dining with you, save Tuesday, Aug. 25. Seating is limited for this event, which features cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at 7 p.m., followed by a four-course dinner with wines, coffee and spirits. It's $70, including tax and gratuity, paid in advance. 1651 Sunflower Ave. in South Coast Plaza Village, Santa Ana. (714) 668-1737.

Trattoria Spiga, the Italian restaurant situated on the lobby of Crystal Court, now offers al fresco dining. The new outdoor area accommodates 20 diners. The restaurant eliminates heavy creams, butter and other rich ingredients to offer a healthy assortment of antipastas, salads, soups, pastas and pizzas, all priced under $10. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, till 7 p.m. Sunday. 3333 Bear St., Costa Mesa. (714) 540-3365.

The Single Gourmet dine-out group has scheduled dinners at Le Meridien Hotel in Newport Beach (lobster cookout) on Saturday, Niccole's Ristorante & Bar in Huntington Beach on Aug. 21, and Royal Thai, Newport Beach, on Aug. 25. All evenings begin with a 6:30 p.m. social followed by 7:15 dinner. Prices range from $30 to $46. Information: (714) 854-6552.

Exotic fruits star in every dish of a gourmet menu featured at Restaurant Antoine at the Le Meridien Hotel in Newport Beach through September. The meal opens with fresh oysters in papaya relish. Then sauteed Santa Barbara shrimp top a lime mango salad with tomatillo sauce. Entrees include steamed sturgeon in a pineapple coulis with coconut rice and fresh lichee nuts, and roasted Chinese-style duck in passion fruit sauce with stir-fried vegetables and citrus flavors. For dessert: a sabayon glazed with burnt sugar and tropical fresh fruits. The complete dinner, served Tuesday through Saturday from 6 to 9:30 p.m., is $48 per person plus tax and tip. 4500 MacArthur Blvd. (714) 476-2001, Ext. 2158.

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