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It's Time to Roll Out the Barrel for Oktoberfest

October 01, 1992|BEVERLY BUSH SMITH | Beverly Bush Smith is a free-lance writer who regularly covers restaurant news for The Times Orange County Edition.

Oktoberfest, that seasonal celebration of bratwurst, beer and German bands, is in full swing though Nov. 8 at Old World Village in Huntington Beach. The highlight--German Reunification Day, commemorating the reunification of East and West Germany--is slated for Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 6:30 to 11 p.m.; free food, prepared by members of the German Crusader Church, will be given to the first 500 people. Throughout Oktoberfest, admission will be free on Wednesdays and Thursdays (when the village also is open from 6:30 to 11); $10 on Fridays and Saturdays (when the hours are 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. and you must be at least 21 to get in) and $3.50 on Sundays, which are "family days" (hours: 2 to 9 p.m. Admission on Sundays is free if you show up in German costume). The Oktoberfest menu ranges from bratwurst, grilled chicken and barbecued pork roast sandwiches to sauerkraut, apple strudel and pretzels. Lowenbrau, Dortmunder Ritterbrau, Munich Spaten, Beck's and Coors Light are available by the stein or the pitcher.

If you'd like a taste of Oktoberfest without all the festivities, the Old World German Restaurant serves a German buffet (salad bar, beef goulash, roast pork, sauerbraten, red cabbage) Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 10 p.m. for $10.95. Other days, an Oktoberfest platter is available for $12.95. The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. 7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach. (714) 895-8020.

Julia Child and Paul Bocuse, both in Orange County, all in one week? It's true. On Tuesday, Oct. 6, Child, an American who illuminated the art of French cooking for us via TV and her cookbooks, will be honored at an American Institute of Wine and Food dinner at the Robert Mondavi Food and Wine Center in Costa Mesa (Child was the institute's founder). The menu, by Mondavi Center chef Roseanne Ruiz, starts with tricolored pepper and polenta soup and will end with lemon sponge cake with fresh caramelized pineapple; the other courses are to be a surprise, though we are told they will commemorate the discovery of the foods of the new world. Dinner will start at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $75 for AIWF members, $85 for everybody else. Reservations with credit cards: (714) 979-4510. Or mail checks to the Robert Mondavi Food and Wine Center, 1570 Scenic Ave., Costa Mesa, 92626.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, Paul Bocuse will be the guest of honor at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point. Bocuse's restaurant in Lyon, France, has won no fewer than three Michelin stars and in 1975 he became the first chef to be decorated with the Legion d'Honneur by French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing. Ritz-Carlton executive chef Christian Rassinoux will present a five-course dinner to include four of the recipes from Bocuse's fourth cookbook, "Regional French Cooking." Festivities begin at 8 p.m. Cost: $150 per person. Reservations: (714) 240-2000, ext. 5008. The Ritz-Carlton is at 33533 Ritz-Carlton Drive in Dana Point.

Guy Sockrider has left Monique in Laguna Beach, where he was chef/manager, to become chef at Oysters in Corona del Mar. Monique will be managed by owner Hassan Essayly, who has promoted Miguel Aguilar from assistant chef to chef. They've made no major changes in the menu but have reduced prices 20% to 25% (so sand dabs are now $12; salmon, $16; duck, $15; rack of lamb, $20) and have announced new hours: 5:30 to 10:30 p.m, Tuesdays through Sundays. 31727 S. Coast Highway. (714) 499-5359.

Laurent and Lisa Ferre have introduced a pre-theater menu at their Pleasant Peasant restaurant in Newport Beach. Priced at $11.95, the four courses include a choice between salmon fume and pate; soup or salad; duck leg in red wine sauce, trout amandine or roasted chicken; and profiteroles or creme caramel. Mondays through Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at 4251 Martingale Way. (714) 955-2755.

The Single Gourmet dine-out group will eat at Gustaf Anders in South Coast Plaza Village, Santa Ana, on Wednesday, Oct. 7; at Mene's Terrace in El Toro on Oct. 14; Osaka in Laguna Niguel Oct. 18, and the Golden Truffle in Costa Mesa Oct. 27. The evenings begin at 6:30 p.m.; costs range from $30 to $59 including tax and tip. (714) 854-6552 for reservations.

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