Wine Institute Uncorks a New Chapter


Renowned winemaker Robert Mondavi will join the new Orange County chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food for its Aug. 18 opening festivities at the Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Center in Costa Mesa. The “Evening of Global Cuisine” will feature food from such restaurants as Gustaf Anders, Royal Khyber, Mr. Stox and the Pacific Club, plus samplings from several wineries. Gustaf Anders co-owner Gustaf Magnuson, with E. Keith Owens, helped draw together the 150 charter members of the new chapter. “San Diego and L.A. have had chapters for years,” Magnuson said. “It’s about time we have one here.” The nationwide Institute’s founders include Mondavi and Julia Child. For information on membership, which is available to professionals in the restaurant business, non-professionals and students in the restaurant industry, call (714) 955-4542. The cost of the dinner, which begins at 4 p.m., is $45 for members and $55 for guests of members.

The accent is French at Monique’s wine dinner on Monday. Wines will include Corton Clos du Roi, Dubreuil-Fontaine 1987 and Pignan, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, J. Reynaud 1986. Chef Guy D. Sockrider’s five courses feature cepe mushroom ravioli with basil julienne and pine nuts and poached northern halibut with leeks, carrots and tomatoes. A reception is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., with dinner at 7. The cost is $70, tax and tip included. Reservations: (714) 499-5359. 31727 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

Seven white wines from the Callaway Vineyards in Temecula will be poured at a wine-tasting dinner at Trees Restaurant in Corona del Mar, beginning at 7 p.m. on Monday. The five-course dinner includes blackened tuna sashimi and a timbale of corn custard with Chardonnay-braised oysters and red pepper coulis. The cost is $40 a person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: (714) 673-0910.


A Taste of Tuscany will unfold Tuesday at Mezzaluna in Corona del Mar. The menu features a fish soup from Livorno, saddle of pork with herbs and and zuccoto , a liquored sponge cake with chilled cream and chocolate. Four wines of Tuscany plus grappa will be served. The evening begins at 7; the cost is $42 a person, not including tax and gratuities. Mezzaluna is at 2441 E. Coast Highway. Reservations: (714) 675-2004.

Prego recently reintroduced Concerto e Cena al Fresco, with the Naples Chamber Ensemble serenading diners on the open-air patio from 6:30 to 10:30 every Friday and Saturday evening. Among the featured menu items are pizzas from the wood-fired brick oven, chilled grilled shrimp with feta cheese, and fresh pasta filled with lobster prosciutto and ricotta in a lemon-lobster sauce. Prego is at 18420 Von Karman Ave., Irvine. Reservations: (714) 553-1333.