Bistro 64 in Cary is holding a contest as they complete their 64 Martinis list: Send your most creative martini recipe to Will@Bistro64.com, and if your martini makes the list--where it'll be named after you--you'll receive a free martini and appetizer party for seven people.
On Thursday, Sept. 14, Jujube in Chapel Hill hosts "My Dinner with Andre." Andre Tamers of De Maison Selections will pour wines from his Spanish portfolio to go alongside Asian tapas prepared by chef Charlie Deal. Weather permitting, it'll take place on the patio for a more casual, cocktail party vibe. Foods and wines will circulate so that a number of taste combinations can be tried, such as Ostatu Rioja Crianza with crispy roast duck and plum crepes, or Rotllan Torra Priorato Riserva with star-anise braised Kurabuta pork cheeks. The cost is $45 plus tax and tip. Call 960-0555 to RSVP.
On Thursday, Sept. 14 from 5:30-9 p.m., Panzanella in Carrboro hosts another meal in its Farm Dinners series. In addition to the regular dinner menu, dishes created with ingredients from Chapel Hill Creamery will be served. Info, reservations accepted for parties of six or more: 929-6626.
On Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m., Enoteca Vin in Raleigh hosts their second Great Wines dinner, with 10 top wines from Burgundy, Brunello and California, as well as a five-course menu by chef Ashley Christensen. To whet your appetite, the fifth course is braised Waygu short ribs with lentils and shallots paired with 1991 Mondavi Cabernet Reserve and 1990 Ridge "Monte Bello." The cost is $145 plus tax and gratuity. Call 834-3070 for reservations.
Since 1995, Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina's "Evening with Friends" dinner series has raised over $1.5 million, all of which goes directly to support those in the Triangle living with HIV/AIDS. The gala takes place on Thursday, Sept. 14 from 7-10 p.m. at the N.C. Museum of Art. Broadway divas Sheryl Lee Ralph and Gloria Loring will take the stage for a night of music and desserts donated by local restaurants and bakeries. Info: www.eveningwithfriends.org.
On Friday, Sept. 15 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Mildred Council of Mama Dip's in Chapel Hill and Sarig Agasi of Zely & Ritz in Raleigh will create delectable dishes with creepy-crawly ingredients at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences' BugFest Critter Cookoff. They'll whip up an appetizer, entrée and dessert with various bugs as the main ingredient for celebrity judges (the public is welcome). The free BugFest festival happens Saturday, Sept. 16 from 9 a.m.-9 p.m., with the museum's Café Insecta serving a full menu of bug-filled dishes. See www.naturalsciences.org for details.
On Saturday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m., the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Durham hosts "Twilight at the Oasis," a Middle Eastern dinner and belly dance show to benefit Cornucopia House Cancer Support Center. Middle Eastern fare will be provided by Mediterranean Deli & Catering, Giorgios Catering, Saladelia, Neomonde, Earth Fare and others, and wines by Chapel Hill Wine Company. Tickets are $75. Call 401-9333 or visit www.cornucopiahouse.org for more info.
On Sunday, Sept. 17 from 6-8 p.m., meet local artists and visit a farm as part of ChathamArts' Potluck in a Pasture series of picnic suppers. The series celebrating local farmers and artists (everyone from an award-winning director/actor to a stained glass artist to acoustic musicians) continues at Perry-winkle Farm in north Chatham County. Bring a potluck dish for eight that includes at least one locally grown ingredient (and the recipe), as well as a beverage, lawn chair or blanket, and a $10 donation to benefit the Public Art Program. For directions and details, visit www.chathamarts.org or call 542-0394.
On Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m., Restaurant Starlu in Durham hosts a wine dinner featuring Robert Biale, whose family has been making wine in the Napa Valley for generations. This dinner will feature some of Biale's zinfandels, a petite syrah and his special father-son project with is dad, Aldo, called Hill Climber Pilgrimage syrah. The cost is $85. Call 489-1500 for reservations.
On Tuesday, Sept. 19, Zely & Ritz in Raleigh holds their annual Spanish wine dinner, with host Seth Gross and Karla Kilgore of Classical Wines. Watch for the menu on www.zelyandritz.com, or call 828-0018.
Every Wednesday from 7-8:30 p.m., Jibarra, the upscale, modern Mexican restaurant located in North Raleigh, offers a tequila tasting spotlighting 100 percent Blue Agave tequila. Guests sample several premium tequilas, and sangrita, a spicy homemade tomato juice, is substituted for crackers to cleanse the palate. For details, call 844-6330 or visit www.jibarra.net.
On Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m., Il Palio Ristorante in Chapel Hill hosts the third dinner in this year's AAA Four Diamond Dinner Series. Executive chefs from the five AAA Four Diamond award-winning restaurants in the Triangle create five courses plus hors d'oeuvres, with each chef preparing a dish and all courses matched with wine. The cost is $95 plus tax and gratuity. Call 918-2545 for reservations.
"Corks for Kids" is a two-day dinner and wine-tasting event featuring nine Australian winemakers designed to raise $50,000 for the North Carolina Children's Hospital in Chapel Hill. The dinners will be held at seven area restaurants (Acme, The Barn at Valhalla / The Barbecue Joint, Bin 54, Four Square, Margaux's, Pazzo and Vivace) on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m. and range in price from $65-$100 per person. The main wine tasting will be held at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill on Friday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. and will feature 65 wines as well as a silent and live auction of collectible wines; tickets are $50. Both events are hosted by the Chapel Hill Wine Company, Vine Street Imports and Bordeaux Fine & Rare. All proceeds from the event and sales of the wines go to the Children's Hospital. Reservations: 968-1884, firstname.lastname@example.org. Details: www.ncchildrenspromise.org.