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March 16, 1995|LEO SMITH

After more than 23 years at its original Main Street location, Ventura's Classic Carrot Cafe has moved--a little more than a block away to 1967 Main St.

To make the short, yet landmark trek, owners Delores and Craig Woods closed their restaurant for three months. They were back in business two weeks ago and are celebrating the official grand opening today.

"We have a better facility. The place is brighter and cheerier," said Delores Wood. "We have a real kitchen now, with more storage space. It will be much more efficient."

Wood said the new kitchen would allow for a larger menu. "Before, we were limited in our breakfast because we didn't have the cooking facilities. We just did pancakes and burritos," she said. "Now we'll be doing full breakfasts, and full dinners later on."

Classic Carrot also has a new convection oven, which means more baked goods, and a juice bar, for more smoothies, shakes and health drinks.

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Speaking of Ventura eating establishments, five of them received some attention in this month's edition of Sunset magazine. Nona's Courtyard Cafe, the Pierpont Inn, Shields Brewing Company, Rosarito Beach Cafe and Tipps Thai Cuisine were mentioned in a Southern California "Travel Guide" as places worth checking out.

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Chef Gael Lecolley of Wheeler Hot Springs in Ojai will host a winemaker's dinner Saturday, with special guest Richard Sanford of Sanford Winery. The five-course menu will feature an entree of venison New York marinated in thyme and red wine, served with potato and vegetable. Among the Sanford wines to be featured will be a Sauvignon Blanc, a Cabernet and a Chardonnay. Cost is $65 per person. Call (800) 9-WHEELER for reservations.

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Wolfgang Puck will head a list of top chefs participating in the Santa Barbara Museum of Art's "Culinary Masterpieces" dinner March 24. Deadline for reservations is this Friday.

The famed chef will prepare the five-course meal--the menu for which has yet to be determined--with a little help from his friends, Nancy Silverton and Mark Peel of the La Brea Bakery and Campanile, and Piero Selvaggio of the Valentino, Primi and Posto restaurants. Julia Child will be the emcee.

Cost for the evening, which begins with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and includes a tasting of California wines, is $150 per person, with proceeds benefiting the museum's exhibit and educational programs. Call 963-4364, Ext. 325.

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