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No surprises

The Mobil Travel Guide has just released the 2001 listing of their five-star awards - the highest the company gives - and 17 American restaurants are among them. They include: Jean Georges, LeCirque 2000 and Daniel's in Manhattan, Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, the Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, the French Laundry in the Napa Valley and both Renoir and Picasso in Las Vegas. Don't try just dropping in on these places, folks, long-term reservations are a necessity. And bring plenty of sturdy plastic. Or even cash.

A winery dinner

City Grill manager Mike Depue reports that chef Mark Camalleri has planned a lavish dinner to accompany wines from the Zaca Mesa Winery at 7 p.m. March 3. The meal begins with Spice Rubbed Sea Bass with Orange Basil Beurre Blanc and Braised Leeks, and continues with Roasted Quail Stuffed with Goose Liver Pate and Asparagus and Smoked Cheese Wrapped in Prosciutto with Field Greens. And that's just for openers - no wonder everyone will have to indulge in sorbet. Because after that there's a grilled Tenderloin of Buffalo with Balsamic Raspberries and Barley Risotto and Citrus and Vanilla Poached Pear with Stilton Cheese. Wine with each course - naturally. Zaca Mesa is located in Santa Barbara County and is especially noted for its Rhone varietals; Brett Blumberg of Universal Liquor will introduce the wines. The restaurant is located at 268 Main St. The price of the dinner is $60 plus tax and gratuity. Call 856-2651 for more information.

German beers

Meantime, out in Niagara County, the Lewiston Brew House on Center Street is planning a German imported beer tasting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, featuring the Spaten Brewing Company of Munich. Accompanied by foods, did we say? Bratwurst and Sauerkraut, anyone? Or seeing it's Ash Wednesday, how about Salmon with Braised Red Cabbage and Caraway? Admission is $10. Call 754-9681.

If you have news of the local restaurant world, write to: Restaurants, The Buffalo News, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240 or e-mail

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