2013-01-08 16:36:59

O.C. restaurants launch January menu deals 

It's January, so it is time for various cities to host "restaurant week" specials. Typically, this month is the slowest time of year for the industry, which is still reeling from the Great Recession. Restaurant weeks lure diners with special three-course meals and discounts.

Irvine Restaurant Week kicks off Friday and runs through Jan. 17. About 35 eateries, including some from Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Tustin, are participating. Meal deals that caught my eye include a $21.95 three-course lunch at The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tustin and $25 three-course dinner at Cucina Enoteca.

At The Winery, the entree selections include The Winery corkscrew pasta, Pacific snapper a la plancha or the Grand Cru Kobe-style beef burger. At Enoteca, the three-courser includes a choice of 10 signature pizzas plus a starter and dessert. I also like the $20 lunch meal at Andrei's in Irvine. The three-course menu includes seasonal dishes, such as mushroom soup and an artichoke and chorizo flatbread.

For more restaurant menu information, go to

Some Costa Mesa restaurants are also offering month-long specials in honor of California Restaurant Month. Unfortunately only seven restaurants (Nello Cucina, Avanti Cafe, La Cave, Wine Lab (The Camp), Silver Trumpet, AnQi by Crustacean and Old Vine Café) are participating.