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New Menus, New Concept, New Format, and New Private Dining Room

Enjoy new menus at the five Left Bank brasseries.

The “TGV Express Lunch,” named after the express train in France, includes soup or salad, plus a choice of a sandwich or a “le plat du chef” — all for $12.50.

For night-owls, the “$21/21h Menu” features a late-night, two-course Parisian-style dinner for $21. It’s available after 9 p.m.

New concept? That’s to be found when the venerable Lark Creek Inn reopens in late May as the Tavern at Lark Creek.

Once regarded as a special-occasion place, the new concept hopes to lure diners in more frequently with a relaxed atmosphere and main courses under $15. Look for new dishes such as Delta crawfish boil ($10.25), free-form duck lasagna with goat cheese and hazelnuts ($13.50), and “Mom’s classic pot roast with root vegetables” ($14.95).

The interior will get a new look, too, with refinished antique tables. And the exterior will get a new herb garden.

Look for a new format at the 15th annual Wine Auction Experience, May 2, hosted by the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Foundation. The event benefits children’s charities such as Kaleidoscope After School Program, Easter Seals Bay Area and the Children’s Skin Disease Foundation.

Instead of the usual banquet, guests will enjoy four stations serving up hors d’oeuvres paired with matching wines. A plated dessert will be served just before the live auction that includes items such as wine dinners, and a private barrel blending session at Concannon Vineyard.

The event will be held at the Concannon Vineyard Barrel Room. Tickets are $175 per person.

Some restaurants may be hurting for private dining events. But Morton’s the Steakhouse in downtown San Jose apparently isn’t one of them. It is adding a new private dining room that will accommodate up to 100 guests.

Watch for it to open in June.

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