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New Restaurants and Happenings 

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After a short adjustment period, Poole's Diner in downtown Raleigh is back on track and better than ever. They have a new wine list; a wider selection of beer, liquor and wine; talented new cooks; and lower prices. They promise great food and great service in a laid-back atmosphere: You'll never havœ to worry about what you're wearing here! So, print a coupon at http://pics.livejournal.com/defunct_world/pic/000w7tx7 (good through July) and come on in.

On Wednesday, June 14 from 5:30-9:30 p.m., Panzanella in Carrboro is hosting the season's first Totally Local Dinner featuring dishes created from ingredients produced and purchased within a 250-mile radius of Carrboro. You choose from a range of appetizers, entrées and desserts to create your own Totally Local Dinner. Ten percent of restaurant sales benefit the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. Reservations are recommended for parties of six or more: 929-6626 or www.panzanella.com.

Every Thursday in June is Ladies' Night Out at The Melting Pot in Raleigh. Choose one from each course--creamy cheese fondue, gourmet salad and mouthwatering chocolate fondue--for $19 per person, and their signature martinis are $5 each. Reservations are required; call 878-0477.

On Thursday, June 15 at 7 p.m., Zely & Ritz in Raleigh is hosting a wine dinner with Rick Morrison of Qupe Wineries in Napa. Qupe is located in California's Central Coast region and is famous for their Rhone varietals and Chardonnays. Chef Sarig will pair the wines with fresh produce and meats from the farm. To whet your appetite, the first course is grilled shrimp with Granny Smith apples, mixed organic greens and lemongrass salad paired with Qupe Marsanne/Roussane Blend. The cost is $75 per person plus tax and gratuities. Reservations: www.zelyandritz.com or 828-0018.

On Friday, June 16 at 1 p.m., A Southern Season in Chapel Hill hosts renowned author, lecturer and tea luminary Jane Pettigrew for an afternoon of proper English tea with traditional fare and conversation. While all enjoy the savory and sweet offerings typical of afternoon tea, Pettigrew will discuss its cultural evolution and answer questions. She will also sign her books A Social History of Tea and The New Tea Companion. The cost is $25; call 929-7133.

Every Tuesday in June from 6-7 p.m., Bin 54 in Chapel Hill is offering "Sip, Swirl and Swallow" wine tastings. Join Beverage Directors Brett Davis and Douglas Snyder on the patio; $20 includes six "tastes du jour" and small bites. Pre-purchase is required to reserve seating; call 969-1155. Those who choose to dine at Bin 54 following the tasting receive 25 percent off their food purchases for that night only. For June 20th, the theme is "Wine-based cocktails for summer sipping ... that you can easily make at home."

On Thursday, June 22, The Angus Barn in Raleigh is hosting a winemaker's dinner featuring Scott Peterson of S.P. Drummer and Joseph Family Vineyards. The cost is $150 per person; call 781-2444 for reservations.

Friday through Sunday, June 23, 24 and 25, the Eastgate Shopping Center Earth Fare in Chapel Hill is hosting a Berry Festival, with tastings and samplings of berries as well as demos of ways to use berries in summertime dishes. The full calendar of the weekend's events is at www.earthfare.com, or visit the store for a printed calendar. Call 442-1223 for more.

Now open and featuring a selection of morning pastries, creative deli salads, panini sandwiches and handmade chocolate truffles prepared at The Fearrington House, The Dancing Goat at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro is more than just a place to stop for a specialty coffee: read your newspaper over morning coffee, relax with a glass of wine and a cheese plate, fancy an early evening supper on the patio. Open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit www.fearringtonvillage.com or call 545-5717 for more info.

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