A week to whet your appetites

RestaurantsLifestyle and LeisureDining and DrinkingCookingSeasons RestaurantRuth's Chris Steak House Incorporated

Get those taste buds and appointment books ready.

Starting Sunday, locals will have one week to enjoy the best bang for their restaurant buck as OC Restaurant Week rolls back into town.

This year 100 restaurants from throughout the county will participate, encompassing an astronomical range of cuisines and ambiances — from Thai to tot-friendly. Fixed-price, multi-course menus will run $10, $15 or $20 per person for lunch, or $20, $30 or $40 for dinner.

The event's website, in addition to offering the ability to view each restaurant's prix-fixe menu in advance and to search restaurants by name, city or price point, also features Q&As with top chefs and an interactive map showing all participating restaurants.

"We are really excited about spotlighting the excellent chefs and restaurants in the cities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, and give the residents of these two cities the opportunity to try the best that the rest of the county has to offer," said Pamela Waitt, president of the OC Restaurant Assn., which produces OC Restaurant Week.

"This has become a true foodie celebration, and it's fantastic to see the entire community come together and enjoy great food."

Chef David Fune of the Hotel Hanford's Savoy Restaurant & Lounge at 3131 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, will showcase a European-Californian pairing of ingredients, aromas and textures, the restaurant said.

Its $20-lunch includes a first-course choice of a hydroponic bibb lettuce salad or soup du jour and a second-course choice of caviar Bonneville, Wagyu beef burger or 3131 Pappardelle, followed by a gratis organic chocolate gelato from San Francisco.

Dinner, set at $40, includes a first-course choice of local grapefruit and shaved octopus or soup du jour; second-course selections like a hydroponic bibb lettuce salad or bacon-wrapped gorgonzola and dates; a main course of California sea bass, Meyers Ranch filet mignon, 3131 Pappardelle or Duroc pork tasting; and a "Kids Flight" of an artisan Kit-Kat, Snickers cake and cake pop.

Other participating Costa Mesa restaurants include 118 Degrees; AnQi; Antonello Ristorante; Avanti Café; Capital Grille; Charlie Palmer; Maggiano's; Marrakesh; Nello Cucina; Pinot Provence; Pizzeria Ortica; Savoy Restaurant and Lounge; Scott's; Seasons 52 and Signature Kitchen.

In Newport Beach, selections include Bluewater Grill; Brasserie Pascal; Canaletto by Il Fornaio; Crow Burger Kitchen; Great Maple; Harborside Restaurant; Newport Landing; Palm Terrace Restaurant; Rockin Baja; Rusty Pelican; Sage Eastbluff; SOL Cocina; The Ritz Restaurant and Garden; Tommy Bahama's Island Grille; True Food Kitchen; as well as the Crow Bar and Kitchen in Corona del Mar.

Participating Irvine restaurants include 6ix Park Grill; Andrei's Conscious Cuisine; Crystal Jade; Cucina Enoteca; Il Fornaio; Irvine Improv; LUCCA; Opah; Prego; Ruth's Chris Steak House; SWSH Shabu Shabu; and the Melting Pot.

For more information, visit OrangeCountyRestaurantWeek.com.

If You Go

What: OC Restaurant Week

When: Sunday through March 3

Where: 100 restaurants throughout Orange County

Cost: $10 to $40 per person

Information: OrangeCountyRestaurantWeek.com

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