On Thursday, June 29, Chipotle (chi-POAT-lay) celebrates the opening of its first N.C. restaurant at Glenwood Avenue and Pleasant Valley Road in Raleigh. A national chain, Chipotle features fresh, naturally raised chicken, pork and beef in their gourmet, made-to-order burritos, tacos, "bols" and salads. The restaurant will be open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Learn more at www.chipotle.com.
On Thursday, June 29 from 5:30-9 p.m., Panzanella in Carrboro hosts the first of its 2006 Farm Dinners series, honoring local farmers and producers and celebrating the abundance of delicious local food. In addition to the regular dinner menu, dishes created with ingredients from Perry-Winkle Farm will be served. Cathy Jones and Mike Perry have been farming Perry-Winkle Farm for about 20 years and are leaders in the local agricultural community. You can find them at the Carrboro and Southern Village farmers' markets.
On Thursday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m., The Fearrington House Restaurant in Pittsboro is hosting an organic wine and local produce dinner. Sommelier Stacey Sondek will discuss the organic wine movement and how the featured wines from the vineyards of Michel Chapoutier (Rhône Valley) and Sokol Blosser (Oregon) enhance the flavors of the locally grown produce on Chef Fox's menu. The dinner is $155 per person. Call 919-542-2121 for details and reservations.
On Thursday, June 29 at 7 p.m., april&george in Raleigh is hosting a "Myths and Misfits" wine and cheese pairing. If you think that Chablis comes in a jug, that box wines are lousy, and that screwcaps signify low quality, think again! Husband-and-wife team Sam and Sunny McDaniel host this evening of misunderstood but great wines paired with terrific cheeses. Tickets are $25; advance reservations are recommended. For more information or to sign up, call 828-9082.
On Saturday nights, Underground in Raleigh presents "Hip to be Square," when Chef Taylor moonlights as their '80s Retro Dance Party DJ, aka DJ Dtayl. Request all the '80s dance music you can think of, and get 10 percent off your dinner. And remember, Underground also offers a pre-theater dinner of three courses per person and a bottle of wine for $45. Call 664-8704 or visit www.comeunderground.com for more info.
On the first Monday of every month at 8 p.m., The Borough in Raleigh hosts an eating contest with prizes awarded to the winner(s). June's contest was pie, and the contest on July 3 will be pickles. There's a limit of 15 contestants, and entry is $5 with proceeds going to The Humane Society. Registration is first come first served, so get there early! Call 832-8433 or visit www.theboroughraleigh.com for info.
Every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m., join Bin 54 Beverage Director Douglas Snyder on the patio in Chapel Hill for "Sip, Swirl, and Swallow" wine tastings. Pre-purchase is required, and $20 includes six "tastes du jour" and small bites. Those who choose to have dinner at Bin 54 following the tasting will receive 25 percent off their food purchases for that night only. On July 5, a special Post-Independence Day American Wine Celebration Wednesday tasting will take place, featuring six wines that are "All American" but not made in California, Oregon or Washington. Call 969-1155 for reservations.
World Cup fans: Tallula's in Chapel Hill is your place. Through July 9, Tallula's will be serving Turkish bar food in the tradition of Istanbul, and the World Cup will be shown on their eight-foot LCD projector. Beer specials are, of course, included. They will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. See www.talullas.com or call 933-1177 for schedules and more info.
[B]Ski's--The Tortilla Wrap Grill has opened at 147 E. Franklin St. in downtown Chapel Hill. Besides hefty wrapped tortillas, the restaurant also offers soups and salads, and is open daily from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (an hour later Thursday through Saturday).