Antonello Now Gives Amateur Chefs a Pizza the Action

Anne Michaud is a staff writer for The Times Orange County Edition

Amateur chefs are invited to cook alongside the experts at Antonello Ristorante, the renowned Italian restaurant in Santa Ana.

Owner Antonio Cagnolo said diners had asked him often enough about his recipes, so he has arranged to have an amateur "chef of the day" come in at various times to watch and learn. Anyone can sign up, at no cost, by calling Carlito Jocson at (714) 751-7153.

1611 Sunflower Ave., South Coast Plaza Village.

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Brio, a European-style cafe, is scheduled to open in mid-October in Laguna Niguel. Nino Chirico, executive chef and partner, has worked as a chef at Armani Express in Beverly Hills and L'Opera in Long Beach. The menu includes focaccia sandwiches, pastas, salads, wood-fired pizzas and international entrees.

Robert Mechielsen, the architectural designer who recently supervised the renovation of The Place Across From the Hotel Laguna, has designed seven full-scale gardens for Brio: magnolia and ginger, mint and roses, and grapevine for the roof of the patio.

Open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to midnight, the restaurant plans to offer breakfast for about $1.50 to $5, and lunch for about $3.50 to $8. Sample lunch dishes are calzone plemonte (filled with tomato, mushrooms, olives and roasted bell peppers) and prosciutto sandwich (grilled slices of prosciutto with fresh mozzarella).

Dinner entrees, which run from about $7 to $14, will include filet au poivre (sauteed beef tenderloin filet topped with a brandy black peppercorn sauce) and capesante ganberretti Provencale (sauteed scallops and prawns with garlic, tomato filet, capers and pine nuts).

Espresso, cappuccino and latte will be served all day.

24050 Camino del Avion.

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Sfuzzi joins the cadre of restaurants celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Moet & Chandon Champagnes, with a dinner Monday at 7. The cost is $50, plus tax and tip.

The menu pairs Champagnes with dinner courses. For example: pan-seared John Dory with zucchini noodles and hazelnut brown butter with Brut Imperial 1988; and herb-roasted veal loin with wild mushroom risotto and fall vegetables with Dom Perignon 1985.

Reservations are required.

1870 Harbor Blvd., Triangle Square, Costa Mesa. (714) 548-9500.

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Gustaf Anders Restaurant and Galleri Orrefors Kosta Boda of Crystal Court will host a dinner in honor of Swedish glass artist Kjell Engman on Wednesday. Proceeds from the $125-a-plate dinner will benefit the Laguna Art Museum.

Engman, who has been honored by the king of Sweden for his achievements in art glass, will exhibit his newest collection at the dinner. His work reflects a sense of whimsy: horses on ballerina's legs, giant glass keys and vases covered with zebra stripes.

The collection can also be seen at Galleri Orrefors through Oct. 31.

1651 Sunflower Ave., South Coast Plaza Village. For more information, call the Art Museum at (714) 494-8971.

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