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New Restaurants and Happenings 

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The latest issue of The Local Foods Gazette is online at www.localfoodsgazette.info, featuring stories about a farm-raised prawn (shrimp) harvest at the end of September, a local pick-your-own apple and pear orchard, and local muscadine and scuppernong grapes. You can also learn how to purchase your own heirloom apple trees and get help maintaining them from the local Master Gardener program.

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 will 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 N.C. 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. The main wine tasting will be 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. The Chapel Hill Wine Company, Vine Street Imports and Bordeaux Fine & Rare host both events. Reservations: 968-1884, chapelhillwine@bellsouth.net. Details: www.ncchildrenspromise.org.

The Durham Food Co-op (1101 W. Chapel Hill St.) is sponsoring a Community Sustainability Festival on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. that will include locally grown produce, bio-diesel vehicles and solar-powered music amplifiers. Local musicians will entertain, and there will be a variety of kids' activities as well as foods made from Co-op ingredients. Details: www.durhamfoodcoop.org.

Habitat for Humanity of Durham is sponsoring a "Just Desserts" fundraiser from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24 to support its Women Build project, in which a home in Durham's West End neighborhood will be funded and built exclusively by women volunteers. You can see the results of a past project and enjoy tantalizing sweets when Habitat homeowners in the East Ellerbee Street neighborhood open their homes to host the event. Desserts are being donated by individuals and businesses including Debbie's Grab N Go, Greyston Bakery, The Mad Hatter's Cafe and Bake Shop, TROSA, Victoria's Sweets and Jet Blue. The suggested donation is $20. Contact Roxanne Hall, Habitat special events manager, at rhall@durhamhabitat.org or 682-0516 x113 for more info.

Cold Stone Creamery locations are giving away ice cream Sunday, Sept. 28 from 5-8 p.m. as part of a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Info: www.coldstonecreamery.com.

One of the region's largest wine tastings is Saturday, Sept. 30 from noon-5 p.m. at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park in Cary. Triangle Uncorked features offerings from more than 300 U.S. and international wineries, plus culinary presentations by Triangle chefs and caterers, live music and entertainment. Event proceeds benefit the Frankie Lemmon Foundation and the Rotary Club of North Raleigh. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 on the day of, $10 for ages 13-20, and free for ages 12 and under. Visit www.trianglewineexperience.org or www.boothamphitheatre.com for details.

On Tuesday, Oct. 10, local chefs will prepare a four-course, wine-paired meal using locally grown ingredients at Bay 7 of the American Tobacco Campus to raise money for SEEDS, Durham's inner-city gardening program. The guest speaker will be Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World. Participating chefs include J.W. Walton of The Catering Company, Sarah Foster of Foster's Market, Andrea Reusing of Lantern, Scott Howell of Nana's, Andy Magowan of Piedmont and Amy Tornquist of Sage & Swift Catering. Tickets are $100. Contact SEEDS at 683-1197 or info@seedsnc.org.

The Marketplace restaurant at Fearrington Village has a new name and a new focus. It's now The Old Granary Restaurant & Bar, serving lunch, brunch and dinner in a setting decorated with Southern folk art. Info: 542-2121. Also at Fearrington, the Belted Goat, formerly the Fearrington Grocery Co., begins a series of wine and beer tastings on Sept. 27. Info: www.fearrington.com.

The third area Nantucket Grill & Bar has opened at Sutton Station on Fayetteville Road in South Durham. Info: 259-2925 or www.nantucketgrill.com.

Bentley's American Grill is now open in the former Houlihan's location at 2007 Walnut St. at Crossroads in Cary. It's the work of Lou Moshokas, who's also responsible for Carolina Ale House, Papa Lou's and Taverna Agora. The menu was developed by Chef Alex Azzam, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and features a style that draws on French, Italian, Spanish, African and American cuisine.

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