If you need to make up for a Valentineâ€™s dinner gone bad or if you are just looking to experience a new restaurant, you could not ask for a better week to hit your calendar. Due to a great week Orange County Restaurant Week has been extended until March 7th. You are not only going to get some of the best restaurants from all over Orange County, but you are also going to get to taste the best that they have to offer at a price you are not going to see for quite some time.
The prix-fixe menus for the week are priced at $10 and $20 per person for lunch and $20, $30 or $40 per person for dinner. If you have been avoiding eating out because of the economy, this is the week to put those worries behind and live it up with some fine dining while not breaking the bank.
One of the great restaurants participating in Restaurant Week is Lucca CafĂ© in Irvine. Cathy and Elliott Pavlos opened Lucca CafĂ© in 2005, bringing an urban concept to the very suburban City of Irvine. While this is just one of many restaurants that might be nestled away somewhere in Orange County that you might not have thought of visiting or that very well did not even realize it was there, it is exactly what is great about Restaurant Week. A chance to experience an original menu with an Executive Chef such as Cathy Pavlos who really pours her heart into her food and cares about serving something that she would not serve you if she wouldnâ€™t serve it to herself.
From fresh hand-made pasta, to her grandmothers Sunday Sauce to working with fish buyers to give the customer the highest quality fish that you will find in any restaurant you will find a menu that will keep you coming back to Lucca CafĂ©. The John Dory, a wild New Zealand fish, is served to you right in the pan it is cooked in, one of the favorites on the menu. In addition, Lucca CafĂ© has put together a large assortment of wines that not only is wide ranging, but they look for smaller wineries that make amazing wine, while keep costs down. They also offer up a choice of a 2.5-ounce or 6-ounce pour to give you a little more freedom with your wine drinking experience.
â€śI really hope people take advantage of the great offers, there are some really interesting menu items and it is a great way to check out a restaurant without having to spend a lot of money,â€ť Cathy said. Cathy is also going to participate in â€śCooking with the Expertsâ€ť at Bloomingdaleâ€™s Home Store at South Coast Plaza. This is a great chance to see some great chefs in action while picking up some amazing recipes and you also can get a feel for what each chef is all about.
Orange County Restaurant Week has every city covered in Orange County, but donâ€™t be afraid to venture out, you just never know which of these restaurants might turn out to be your new favorite.
For more information on Lucca CafĂ©, visit: www.luccacafe.net
For more information on Orange County Restaurant Week, visit: www.OrangeCountyRestaurantWeek.com
The following restaurants are participating in Orange County Restaurant Week:
118 Degrees (Costa Mesa) â€“ lunch only
230 Forest Avenue (Laguna Beach)
Antonello Ristorante (Santa Ana) â€“ lunch only
Bayside (Newport Beach)
Bluewater Grill (Tustin)
Bistro West (Tustin)
Chaparosa Grill (Laguna Niguel and Tustin)
Citrus Fresh Grill (Aliso Viejo)
The Clubhouse (Costa Mesa)
First Cabin at Balboa Bay Resort and Club (Newport Beach)
Hush (Laguna Beach)
Il Farro CafĂ© Trattoria (Newport Beach)
Leatherbyâ€™s CafĂ© Rouge (Costa Mesa)
The Loft at The Montage Resort (Laguna Beach)
Lucca CafĂ© (Irvine)
The Melting Pot (Brea, Irvine and San Clemente)
Mozambique (Laguna Beach)
Oâ€™Neillâ€™s Bar & Grill at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club (Mission Viejo) â€“ dinner only
Opah Restaurant & Bar (Aliso Viejo and Irvine)
Pinot Provence (Costa Mesa)
Pizzeria Ortica (Costa Mesa)
Rockinâ€™ Baja Coastal Cantina (Newport Beach)
Royal Khyber (Santa Ana)
Ruth's Chris Steak House (Irvine)
Savannah at the Beach (Huntington Beach)
Savannah Chop House (Laguna Niguel)
Sorrento Grille (Laguna Beach)
Tangata at Bowers Museum (Santa Ana)
The following chefs will be conducting demos at the Bloomingdaleâ€™s Home Store at South Coast Plaza:
Sun, Feb 15 at 1 p.m.
Chef De Cuisine Brian Black
The Loft at The Montage Laguna Beach
Barbecue-braised laughing bird shrimp with warm baby spinach and pinenut salad, winter citrus vinaigrette
Weds, Feb 18 at 6 p.m.
Executive Chef Marc Cohen
Opah Restaurant & Bar and 230 Forest Avenue
Shrimp & Scallop Ceviche with Citrus Chipotle Vinaigrette
Thurs, Feb 19 at 1 p.m.
Chef de Cuisine John Garcia
Restaurant 162â€™ at The Ritz-Carlton,
Endive Salad with Pears, Bleu Cheese and Candied Pecans
Thurs, Feb 19 at 6 p.m.
Chef Manny Gomez
Ruthâ€™s Chris Steak House - Irvine
Sweet Potato Casserole and Creamed Spinach
Fri, Feb 20 at 1 p.m.
Executive Chef Tony Corke
West Indies Chicken Curry with Rice Pilaf
Fri, Feb 20 at 6 p.m.
Executive Chef Kurt Schaeffer
Chicken Pot Pie and Bistro Ahi Tartare
Sun, Feb 22 at 1 p.m.
Executive Sous Chef, Paul French
at The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach
Wild Mushroom Ravioli
Weds, Feb 25 at 1 p.m.
Executive Chef Mariam Rameriz
& Sous Chef Ashanti Rogers
Di mais salad; and Potatoes and parsley ravioli with ragu sauce
Weds, Feb 25 at 6 p.m.
Executive Chef Arturo
Wildfish Seafood Grille
Ahi Tuna Tartar, Wok Seared Ahi and Grilled Tuna Nicoise
Thurs, Feb 26 at 1 p.m.
Executive Chef Jenny Ross
Sweet Basil Pasta, Compressed BlackBerry Salad and Chocolate Pecan Truffles
Thurs, Feb 26 at 6 p.m.
Executive Chef Paul Gstrein
Mini Crab Cakes and Fried Shrimp Spring Rolls
Sat, Feb 28 at 11 a.m.
Executive Chef Lulu
First course: Butternut squash and mascarpone risotto, shaved Parmesan Reggiano, toasted pine nuts, petite sage, garnished with â€śArgan oilâ€ť; Second course: Kona Kampachi tartare, green olive aioli, scallions, lemon zest, Taggiasca olive tapenade
Sat, Feb 28 at 2 p.m.
Executive Chef/Owner Cathy Pavlos
First Course: Creamy Chard/Spinach with Nutmeg, Herbed Crouton and Toasted Brie; Second Course: Certified Angus Beef Hanger Steak, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Crispy Artichokes, Tomato Bearnaise