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At Avenue, Comfort Food Served in Homey Elegance

July 18, 2002|JESSICA STRAND | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Suede and Comfort Food: Designer Dodd Mitchell, who's responsible for the look of Sushi Roku, Katana and Linq, is in the midst of creating a new place called Avenue, which is aiming to open in Beverly Hills in September. "It will be really sexy, with lots of grays and browns," he says; "lots of suede and some fake fur." He plans to place 2-foot square silicone pillows in silly, unexpected places. (Yes, that's silicone, as in silicone implant.)

The restaurant-lounge will feature a suspended bar, a lot of African ebony, glossy teak floors and custom kitchen equipment in red-toned stainless steel. "You'll be able to see the Sub-Zero [refrigerator] like you're in someone's home," he says. It also will have a large, circular patio with a fireplace and fountains, waterfalls and the like. The food will be simpler. Executive chef Andrew DeGroot (former executive chef at Casa del Mar and Pastis) describes it as upscale American comfort foods with a few exotic dishes thrown in.

Small Bites: The American Institute of Wine and Food presents "Proud to Be Organic," a five-course Italian menu of organic produce, meat and fish with seven organic Italian wines, at Il Grano Restaurant next Thursday. Dinner is at 7 p.m.; the $75 tab includes wines, tax and gratuity. For more information, call (310) 535-6090; for reservations, call (818) 902-3724 ....

The Beverly Hills Hotel has a winemaker dinner Tuesday featuring super-Tuscans Brunello di Montalcino, amarone and Barolo; you can meet the makers and proprietors of the estates. A four-course Italian meal begins at 6 p.m. in the Sunset Room. Tickets are $95. Reservations required; call (310) 281-2919.

The 9th annual Quady Winery appetizer competition is open to all professional restaurant chefs and catering chefs in Southern California. It will be held at the Argyle Hotel in West Hollywood July 29. For information, call Quady winery at (800) 733-8068

Reach Jessica Strand at jessstrand@ hotmail.com

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