Thursday, March 1 (6:30 p.m.) – Antonello chef/owner Antonio Cagnolo will prepare a 5-course winemakers dinner featuring vintages from Far Niente, California’s oldest winery that was established in 1885. Its founder was John Benson, a forty-niner of the California gold rush and uncle of the famous American impressionist painter, Winslow Homer. A special guest from the winery will be on hand to share the history of the winery and introduce some new vintages. Cost is $145 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Friday, March 23 (6:30 p.m.) - Antonello chef/owner Antonio Cagnolo's wife and fellow chef, Fiorella, will share some of the secrets of the kitchen of one of OC’s most critically acclaimed restaurants. She will prepare a three-course meal, each accompanied by a select wine, that will be served to guests immediately following. Cost is $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
3800 Plaza Drive, (South Coast Plaza Village)
Reservations: (714) 751-7153
BACKGROUND: Highly rated in the Zagat Guide for several years, Antonello Ristorante has earned a sterling reputation for having served local residents as well as luminaries the world over including presidents, foreign dignitaries, movie stars, entertainers, industrialists and other leaders. It recently underwent an extensive remodel to reflect a lighter, airier tone rather than its original Old World theme. Co-Chefs Gino Buonanoce and Salvatore Ferrara work closely with Chef/Owner Antonio Cagnolo to develop daily specials and unique prix fixe menus many paired with wines and other spirits. Reflective of the new interior is a menu of much lighter fare boasting high flavor profiles and organic ingredients. Among the distinguishing features for which Antonello is renowned for its “sea to table” fresh fish often caught by Cagnolo himself and the dramatic flambé presentations with some menu items prepared tableside. Many of the Old World favorites are still on the menu.