Orange County – With two different Restaurant Weeks over the next month, this is the time to enjoy dining out, and most importantly, to try something new. This is your chance to get out there and test the waters. Here is a brief run down, and all restaurants have menus on-line for you to peruse and plan your outings. Valentine’s week is coming, but who needs a special holiday to eat out and have fun!!

A Note To Our Beloved Restaurants: Please don’t make us have to beg for the menus when we arrive—- present the Restaurant Week Menu proudly when we are seated. And if you don’t have your menu up on the web site, please do that. It will make such a difference in your attendance! Thank you….

DineLA- Los Angeles Restaurant Week- January 21st-February 1, 2013

DineLA wants guests to “eat their hearts out” and dine their way from Silver Lake to Santa Monica! With more than a staggering 250 Los Angeles restaurants, this is a list that has something for everyone!  Let them entice you with lunches for $15, $20, and $25 and dinners for $25, $35, and $45.

This 12-day extravaganza will showcase the premier restaurants in town, and enable guests a change to try something new!  Sample hot new spots such as The Parish; revisit old favorites, like Craft—the list goes on and on. For those in Orange County, many of us (me included), will make a day of it and visit a museum, and
enjoy a lovely lunch.

Whether guests are looking for a fine dining experience from well-known Chef’s Wolfgang Puck, Thomas Keller and Nobu Matsuhisa, or casual street food, diners will be in food heaven while enjoying well designed prix fixe lunch and dinner menus. Some of the exciting restaurants in the lineup include The Parish (just named one of the 10 hottest new restaurants in the world by Zagat); Mo-chica and Picca (two of popular Peruvian concepts by 2011 Food & Wine Best New Chef Ricardo Zarate); Public Kitchen & Bar (the hot new dining destination at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Caulfield’s Bar & Dining Room (recently opened at the stylish Thompson Beverly Hills hotel); and my personal favorite—Fig & Olive (Mediterranean cuisine with their own Olive Oil and just off La Cienega Blvd.).

The DineLA folks are also having a contest to engage all of your photo snapping, foodie fanatics. The Dine.Snap.Win contest invites guests to Instagram photos of their meals for a chance to win an exclusive dining prize. Just send the photo with hashtag #dineLA for a chance to win! “The Instagram contest adds a new interactive layer to the program, allowing the fans themselves to tell the story of dineLA’s Restaurant Week and LA’s exciting culinary scene,” said Stacey Sun, dineLA director for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LA Tourism). “When it comes to food, we feel a picture is worth a thousand words.”

For more information and menus, visit: www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela

Orange County Restaurant Week-  February 24th – March 2nd, 2013

Celebrating five years of Restaurant Weeks, Orange County’s TOP 100 restaurants are ready to dish up amazing food at value-oriented pricing. From north to south, and from eastside to the coast, this allows diners the opportunity to indulge in a selection of specially priced “three course” prix fixe menus.

These menus showcase some of the region’s most talented Chefs who have personalized each menu to reflect their culinary style and showcase their restaurants. The prix fixe menus are priced at $10, $15 and $20 per person for lunch, and $20, $30 or $40 per person for dinner. Most menus can be found on the web site. So get the calendars out and start planning your week. Seven days of fantastic eateries are awaiting your reservations—and what a perfect opportunity to try something new.  Find a new favorite!

This year there are 11 new restaurants on the list, and that includes: American Tavern Eatery and Drink, Brü Grill & Market, Brunos Trattoria, Div Bar, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants, Mesa,Morton’s The Steakhouse, Paul Martin’s American Grill, Sapori Ristorante, Tangerine Restaurant,  The Derby Deli & Dueling Piano Bar.

For more information and menus visit: www.OrangeCountyRestaurantWeek.com 

(I will be adding photos tomorrow so check back!)

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