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Restaurants That Will Serve Mom Right

May 06, 2000|RODNEY BOSCH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A goading is in order to all those who have yet to consider the import of May 14. Hello . . . it's Mother's Day! For many restaurants, mom's special day is the busiest they will be all year. Reservation lists are filling up as you read this, and you should act accordingly if dining-out plans are being considered. An unscientific smattering of brunch and dinner choices follows:

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Boccaccio's--You might try to secure a spot for mom on the new outdoor patio here overlooking Westlake Lake.

While Boccaccio's has long been one of Ventura County's pricier restaurants, the new ownership has revamped its menus to include more moderately priced fare. For Mother's Day: an a la carte brunch with a selection of appetizers, salads, pastas and omelets.

Entree offerings include grilled seafood, a New York steak with scrambled eggs, and eggs Benedict. Brunch hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dinner with regular menu service: 4-7 p.m. Boccaccio's is at 32123 W. Lindero Canyon Road, Westlake Village. Call (818) 889-8300.

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Sisley's--This roomy Italian-minded restaurant recently opened at The Oaks mall.

Its cuisine concentrates heavily on dishes from Italy's southern region, which offer a healthier alternative to the butter-rich northern recipes. A sampling from its Mother's Day country brunch menu: tiger shrimp frittata served with vegetables, Charon sauce and potatoes; potato and egg pizza; homemade cinnamon raisin French toast; eggs Benedict.

Mom's meal comes with champagne. Prices range from $5.95 to $12.95. Brunch hours: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The Oaks is off the Ventura Freeway at Lynn Road, Thousand Oaks. Call 777-7511.

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Secret Garden--Owner-chef Michel Bardavid just celebrated a grand reopening of this decidedly upscale Moorpark restaurant, which sat idle for several months waiting for a new suitor to take the reins.

Past patrons will observe that the rustic charm of the ornately decorated room remains intact. Bardavid, most recently of Sherwood Country Club, will offer a prix fixe brunch menu for Mother's Day, which includes a choice of appetizers, entrees and desserts. Among the entree choices: grilled salmon on a bed of scrambled eggs with chardonnay-chive sauce and caviar; grilled lamb chops with a cabernet sauce; and frittata omelet with vegetables and red potatoes.

Cost: $34.95 adults. A children's menu has also been drafted for ages 12 and younger ($19.95). Brunch hours: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dinner service--soups, salads, appetizers and entrees--will be available from 4:30 to 9 p.m. The restaurant is at 255 E. High St., Moorpark. Call 552-9523.

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Jonathan's at Peirano's--Chef Annie Harfield will oversee a Mother's Day brunch featuring entree-style dishes from the restaurant's lunch menu.

A sampling of the Mediterranean-influenced dishes: ravioli and tripolini pasta sauteed with Italian sausage; seafood crepes; chicken Veronique; swordfish and spinach salad. Prices range from $9.25 to $13.95.

Side dishes will include soups, salads and baked desserts. Brunch hours: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Regular menu dinner service: 5 to 8:30 p.m. The restaurant is at 204 E. Main St., Ventura. Call 648-4853.

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71 Palm--Mom and her crew will begin with a glass of champagne and fresh orange juice, followed by a choice of salads--Carpinteria baby spring mix or mixed fresh fruit.

Next, a choice of toasted onion or garlic bagel with smoked Scottish salmon, cream cheese, red onion and tomatoes; cold seafood salad with tarragon mayonnaise on a bed of mixed garden salad; three-cheese omelet with fresh asparagus and sauteed mushrooms; eggs Benedict Florentine; grilled chicken breast Provencal over penne pasta; and prime rib sandwich with horseradish sauce.

Finish the meal with vanilla ice cream profiteroles and chocolate sauce or a sorbet sampler. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m Cost: $28.95 adults; children under 12, $14.95. The restaurant is at 71 Palm St., Ventura. Call 653-7222.

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California Grill--Jim Foley has long enjoyed brisk business on Mother's Day at his popular Camarillo restaurant.

He has also had it up to here with the hassle of preparing a special menu for the occasion. "We're not doing it again this year," Foley said. Things can get chaotic when the restaurant gets swamped and the staff struggles to keep pace with all the orders. "You whip out a menu that nobody has ever seen before and it's almost like coming out with a brand new restaurant," he said.

The plan this year is to serve from the regular weekday lunch menu and augment it with some brunch-style items, including egg dishes and French toast. There is a lot of variety to choose from: rotisserie chicken, including Thai peanut and jerked recipes; specialty burgers and salads; cioppino, a seafood stew in a spicy tomato broth; sandwiches and wraps. Lunch hours: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner hours: 4 to 8 p.m. The restaurant is at 67 Daily Drive, Camarillo. Call 987-1922.

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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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