Ventura County Weekend

The six-day Garlic Festival at Ventura's City Bakery will reach an aromatic conclusion Saturday, with a five-course dinner featuring a certain bulbous plant.

First up on the menu are roasted heads of garlic, with olives, hummus and a tomato-basil salsa. That will be followed by a butter lettuce salad with avocado and mango, topped with a minted garlic dressing.

After a serving of garlic soup will come the main course--shrimp stuffed with roasted garlic, arugula, fennel and bread crumbs, served atop a smoked tomato sauce. There will be a vegetarian option of an eggplant turban filled with four cheeses and roasted garlic, also on smoked tomato sauce. Dessert will be a garlic-free tangerine filled with tangerine sorbet, served with a blueberry sauce and a creme anglaise.

Cost is $25. Seatings are at 6 and 8 p.m. Call 643-0861 for reservations. Guests are invited to bring their own wine. City Bakery is at 2358-C E. Main St.


Wines of Zaca Mesa Vineyards in Los Olivos will be featured at a winemaker's dinner Monday at Giovanni's Restaurant in Camarillo.

Dinner will begin with a primavera salad, followed by fusilli topped with tomato cream sauce with roasted peppers, mushrooms and chicken. Next will be grilled salmon with orange, papaya and cilantro, and for the main course it will be sausage and peppers served with polenta. Dessert and coffee will wrap up the evening. Cost is $45. Call 484-4376. Giovanni's is at 5227 Mission Oaks Blvd.


Chef Annie Harfield, formerly of Nona's Courtyard Cafe and Coco's Place in Ventura, is the new head chef at The Victoria Restaurant, also in Ventura.

Harfield's arrival coincides with the restaurant's move away from solely British fare to a far more varied menu.

A new lunch menu features such British standards as the Cornish pastie and the steak and kidney pie. But these are rubbing elbows with some un-pub-like dishes.

"I'm introducing a risotto," said Harfield, "and there will always be a fresh pasta, a fresh fish and a quiche of the day." Harfield said an upcoming new dinner menu will feature Mediterranean, continental and British Isles fare. The Victoria Restaurant is at 1413 S. Victoria Ave.

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