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Halloween Treats for the Grown-Ups

October 27, 1994|BENJAMIN EPSTEIN | Benjamin Epstein is a free-lance writer who regularly contributes to The Times Orange County

Halloween cuisine generally means candy-- aaargh! But this year, you can leave tooth decay and hyperactivity to the wee ones. Several local establishments have come up with alternatives for grown-up kids.

You can come as Apollo and make like Dionysus when Zorbas hosts a Greek Halloween Party and Costume Competition on Sunday and Monday, complete with belly dancing, Greek bouzouki music and Israeli, Armenian and Arabic songs. Dinner will be served from 5 p.m. to midnight, with lamb on the spit ($16.95) being the special. Festivities begin both nights at 7 p.m. and are free.

The All Hallow's Eve Storytellers present "Tales of Horror, Mayhem and Frightful Humor" at the Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Center on Saturday. Attire at the Masquerade Dinner is black tie and mask, and the event begins at 7 p.m. The cost is $80, which includes a three-course dinner, Mondavi wines, tax and gratuity.

The Newport Beach Marriott Suites suggests you make a "Mystery Weekend" of it, but it's actually only a one-night stay, Friday or Saturday. The $159-per-couple package includes a suite, tickets to "Abra Cadaver . . . a Mystical, Magical Mystery" at Irvine's Mystery Cafe (where the characters serve a three-course meal) and breakfast in the hotel's Windows restaurant. Tips not included.

Newport Beach Marriott Suites, 500 Bayview Circle, Newport Beach (714) 854-4500. Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Center, 1570 Scenic Ave., Costa Mesa (714) 979-4510. Zorbas Cuisine of Greece, 580 Anton Blvd., Suite A101, Costa Mesa (714) 436-0141.

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"Hot New Restaurant Shows Genuine Warmth . . ." reads the news release headline, trumpeting a party for Laguna firestorm victims. It has been a year since the conflagration, and Mark's, which opened in August, is marking the anniversary for survivors and all other Laguna residents tonight from 6 to 9 p.m.

Bring a utility bill, driver's license or other proof of residency and enjoy free beverages and samplings from the menu, including Dungeness crab cakes and papaya and Brie quesadillas. Owners Mark DePalma and Jim Mingin will also give $1,000 to the Laguna Fire Relief Coalition.

858 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach (714) 494-6711.

Open nightly from 5 to 11 p.m., and for Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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According to Erica Bohm, co-author of "Healthy Dining in Orange County," most restaurant meals offer 1,000 to 2,000 calories with 50 to 100 grams of fat. Hardly healthful. One meal can easily exceed one or even two full day's recommended intake.

On Saturday at two Nordstrom locations, Bohm will present a free food sampling and seminar ("The Fat and Skinny Facts on Restaurant Dining"), including practical advice for dining out and staying fit. Seating is limited, and pre-registration is encouraged.

10:30 a.m., Nordstrom at South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa (714) 549-8300.

12:30 p.m., Nordstrom at MainPlace/Santa Ana (714) 972-2020.

Information for this column can be faxed to (714) 966-7790, or write: Newsbites/OC Live!, The Times Orange County, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

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