The Chef's Table at Restaurant Starlu in Durham is now open. Five seats have a bird's-eye view of what happens in the kitchen and are treated to an exclusive tasting menu created by the chef and crew. Reservations are for 5-6 p.m. and 8-9 p.m. most nights, and for walk-in diners as available; call 489-1500. Meals start at $50 for five courses; when you arrive, the chef will consult with you about your menu requirements. Info: www.starlu.com.
On Wednesday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m., Farmville's Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery celebrates its second anniversary and unveils its Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter, the third in a series of limited-release seasonal specialty beers, at the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium (821-7468) in Raleigh. Info: www.duckrabbitbrewery.com.
On Monday, Aug. 14 from 7-9:30 p.m., Panzanella in Carrboro hosts a Best of North Carolina Wines dinner featuring everything from Italian varietals to classic French-style wines to intriguing New World blends. They plan to change the way you think of N.C. wines. The cost is $40 per person. Please pay in advance and pick up tickets at either Panzanella or the customer service desk at Weaver Street Market in Carrboro. Info, reservations accepted for parties of six or more: 929-6626, www.panzanella.com.
Every Tuesday, Frazier's in Raleigh features wine tastings that change weekly. A flight of the wines is $10-$12, and diners receive the featured wines at half price. On Wednesdays, Chef Jay Beaver offers a market menu that includes items picked up at the new Moore Square Farmers' Market. More info: 828-6699 or fraziersbistro.com.
On Thursday, Aug. 17 from 5:30-9 p.m., Panzanella in Carrboro hosts another meal in its 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 Eco Farm will be served. Info and reservations: 929-6626, www.panzanella.com.
From the North Carolina Cooperative Extension: "Today, less than 1 percent of the food consumed in Orange County is produced in or around the Triangle area. In order for us to have a secure food system, we need to do much better than that. The growing interest in local food is the reason for the new The Local Foods Gazette newsletter (www.localfoodsgazette.info). The newsletter will cover seasonal crops and issues that are currently relevant, plus other aspects of the local food system, including restaurants and markets that buy from and support local farmers, local food processors, and community organizations that support growing the local food system. This month's newsletter features articles about gourmet pork, pick your own blueberry (and blackberry) operations, and grass-fed beef."