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That Homey Feeling

Antiques, paintings give Le Petit Chateau nice atmosphere for dining.


If you're looking for a place to host a graduation party this spring, check out the banquet room at Le Petit Chateau in North Hollywood, a fixture of the restaurant scene in the San Fernando Valley for more than three decades.

Owners Christiane and Andrew Higgs offer a prix fixe menu for people using the banquet room, and they have furnished it with comfortable antiques and paintings to give it a homey look. Christiane, a collector, picked up most of the pieces in the south of France, where she grew up.

Best of all, feeding your guests won't force you to hock your own antiques.

"Our banquet room seats 50 people," says Christiane Higgs. "We wanted it to be like a private dining room in your own home, and we offer a special menu with three entrees with soup or salad and coffee and dessert.

"It's been very busy lately with private parties, and with spring on the way, it will get even busier."

The banquet room menu actually lists six dishes--fish of the day in a lemon sauce, veal Marsala, veal Provencal, chicken piccata, chicken grand duc with a white wine sauce and mushrooms, and coq au vin--from which you, as host, may select three to offer your guests.

The price: $15.50 per person for luncheon, $19.50 for dinner parties.

Like dozens of other restaurants in the Valley, Le Petit Chateau offers a special menu for Easter Sunday diners this week, including a salad of baby greens, cream of watercress soup and your choice among four entrees--leg of lamb, baked ham, veal Nicoise, broiled Alaskan salmon, and duck aux cerises.

The price: $22.95. Dinner will be served from 3 to 9 p.m., and reservations are a must.

Le Petit Chateau is at 4615 Lankershim Blvd., just north of Riverside Drive in North Hollywood, (818) 769-1812.


And if you're late making plans for Easter Sunday, here are two other suggestions:

* Moonlight supper club in Sherman Oaks offers a prix fixe special menu including either prime rib or baked ham starting at 4 p.m. Children under 12 get dinner at half price and receive free Easter eggs.

Owner Lenetta Kidd and her group the Moonlight Swingers will provide the music. Moonlight is at 13730 Ventura Blvd., west of Woodman Avenue in Sherman Oaks, (818) 788-2000.

* The Bistro Garden at Coldwater offers an Easter Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For $32 per person, you may choose from among five first-course appetizers, soups and salads, and among seven entrees--a spinach and Brie frittata, eggs Benedict, honey-baked ham with garlic mashed potatoes, a filet with a three-peppercorn sauce, sesame-crusted salmon with a wasabi soy sauce, a grilled chicken corn tortilla salad and a German apple pancake.

The desserts: raspberry creme bru^lee, a sorbet of lemon, mango and the black currant liqueur cassis, a white chocolate cream truffle and a chocolate souffle with whipped cream. The Bistro Garden is at 12950 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City, near Coldwater Canyon Road, (818) 501-0202.


Finally, if you're so frazzled by tax day April 15 that you dare not take the risk of enjoying yourself on Easter Sunday, get yourself a table at the Wine Bistro in Studio City on Wednesday night.

For $19.98, owner JB Torchon will fix you a good martini or a vermouth cassis to calm your nerves, and you can start dinner with either a baked onion Nicoise or a puff pastry with scallops and mushrooms as an appetizer, followed by your choice among four entrees--sole a la meuniere, duck ravioli in a Madeira wine sauce, boeuf Bourguignon, or calf liver with onions.

Afterward you will have plenty of time to get your tax returns into the mail.

The Wine Bistro is at 11915 Ventura Blvd., just east of Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Studio City, (818) 766-6233.

* Juan Hovey writes about the restaurant scene in the San Fernando Valley and outlying points. He may be reached at (805) 492-7909 or fax (805) 492-5139 or via e-mail at

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