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Brunch on Board

Trip on San Cayetano dining car is among ideas for Easter feasting.

April 03, 1999|RODNEY BOSCH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Panicking because the procrastinator in you has yet to make reservations for an Easter brunch? Then we offer a sampling of area restaurants, plus a train ride, for you to consider.

Fillmore & Western Railway Co. will serve brunch aboard its newly acquired San Cayetano dining car. The restored 1949 "Streamliner Diner" was originally used for round-trip service between San Francisco and Chicago.

Sunday's event will offer a 2 1/2-hour train ride from Fillmore to Santa Paula and back.

Guests will dine on a choice of three meals: diced bacon and sausage served over country potatoes topped with scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese; three crepe cups filled with scrambled eggs, sliced mushrooms and Swiss cheese; or Eggs Oskar, scrambled eggs covered by Pacific snow crab, Mornay sauce and asparagus tips. A children's meal includes scrambled eggs and bacon. The train will leave at 11 a.m. from Central Park in downtown Fillmore.

Cost: $32 general; $14 children 12 and under; $6 babies or small children who will not be eating. For more information or reservations, call (800) 773-8724.

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Easter activities at the Doubletree Hotel in Ventura will include egg hunts, a complimentary photograph with the Easter bunny and, of course, lots of food. Brunch will offer a selection of entrees, salads, breads and desserts. There will be food stations scattered around the lobby serving up omelets, Belgian waffles, seafood, carved meats, children's dishes and more. Hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Egg hunts will be held, weather permitting, every half hour at the courtyard lawn.

The hotel is at 2055 S. Harbor Blvd., Ventura.

Cost: $27.95 general; $14.95 children 12 and under. For more information or reservations, call 643-6000.

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Chef Didier Poirier at 71 Palm in Ventura will prepare a special brunch menu to be served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The meal will begin with a glass of champagne and fresh orange juice, followed by a choice of either mixed garden salad or fruit salad. The next course will be a choice of the following:

Toasted onion or garlic bagel with smoked Scottish salmon, cream cheese, red onion and tomatoes; cold poached Norwegian salmon filet with tarragon mayonnaise on a bed of spring mix salad; three-cheese omelet with fresh asparagus and sauteed mushrooms; eggs benedict Florentine; grilled chicken breast provencal over penne pasta; or prime rib sandwich with horseradish sauce. Vanilla ice cream profiteroles with chocolate sauce will complete the meal.

Cost: $24.95 general; $9.95 children. The restaurant is at 71 Palm St., Ventura. For more information or reservations, call 653-7222.

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Old Vienna Restaurant in Ventura--home of classic examples of German, Austrian and Hungarian dishes--will offer two Easter holiday meal options, along with service from its regular menu. A sit-down champagne brunch will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and offer omelets, schnitzel dishes and other fare. The brunch is $11.50. Beginning at 4 p.m., the restaurant will offer a special dinner menu. Highlights include a roast leg of lamb with mint sauce, roast duckling with potato dumplings and red cabbage, sauerbraten (a German specialty made by marinating a beef roast in a sour-sweet marinade for two or three days), schnitzels, roast pork shanks and fresh venison with chanterelles.

Easter dinner service is $12.95. The restaurant is at 3845 Telegraph Road, Ventura. For more information or reservations, call 654-1214.

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The French eatery Cafe Provencal in Thousand Oaks will present a special Easter menu from noon to 8 p.m. The fare will include a choice of salmon en croute, pheasant chasseur or tournedos Wellington. The meal will also include a salad and strawberry shortcake.

Cost: $23.95. A special children's menu, priced at $12.75, will feature roasted ham and honey sweet potatoes or chicken crepes. The restaurant is at 2310 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. For more information or reservations, call 496-7121.

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A portion of the lush 17-acre property at Westlake Village Inn will be designated for Easter activities, including egg hunts and a petting zoo. Food-wise, chef Ray Swanson will oversee the production of a sizable champagne brunch at the site's Provence Restaurant with a few afternoon reservations available at last check. The brunch fare: Belgian waffles, seafood bar, salads, carved meats, a choice of entree (grilled salmon with a blush hollandaise sauce, citrus chicken with herbs, tortellini with a sun-dried tomato and sage cream sauce and mashed potatoes and gravy), breads, and a dessert station.

Cost: $27.95 general; $15.95 children. The petting zoo will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Easter egg hunts will begin at 10 a.m. The restaurant is at 32001 Agoura Road, Westlake Village. For more information or reservations, call (818) 889-0230.

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Tip of the Week: Chefs Zoe and Jolan will present a three-class series titled "Learn to Cook Gourmet Meals All Week Long," beginning Wednesday at City Bakery in Ventura. The first class will include preparation tips for Tuscan bean soup, lentil-chard soup, pecan crusted whitefish and an apple dessert recipe. Other installments: April 14, "Chicken Inspirations"; April 21, "Pork: The New White Meat."

Class hours: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Cost: $45 per class; entire series, $105. The eatery is at 2358-C E. Main St., Ventura. For more information or reservations, call 643-0861.

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Rodney Bosch writes about the restaurant scene in Ventura County and outlying points. He can be reached at 653-7572, fax 653-7576 or by e-mail at: rodney.bosch@latimes.com.

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