With 100 restaurants to choose from, the biggest question about the fifth Orange County Restaurant Week isn't whether to partake; it's where.
The now-annual culinary event opens Sunday and offers three-course menus for all palates, from down-home gumbo at Memphis Café to lamb tagine at Marrakesh.
The prix-fixe menus will include lunch for $10, $15 or $20, or dinner for $20, $30 or $40.
For Executive Chef Renieri Caceres of new California wine bistro Rustica in Fashion Island, the week means an unparalleled chance to showcase his restaurant's focus on quality ingredients and straightforward presentation.
"It's a great opportunity to have guests come in and get a preview of what Rustica has to offer," he said. "It's a great way to introduce our cuisine and what we're trying get across to a whole new demographic that might not have heard of or seen us."
Caceres said Rustica's approach is to highlight the individual components of a dish, like seasonal Scarborough Farms tomatoes or La Quercia prosciutto.