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Restaurant and food happenings this week

New restaurants and happenings 

518 West Italian Café in Raleigh welcomes winemaker Flavio Tezzo from Veneto, Italy, and hosts a wine dinner in his honor Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. pairing the unique Tezza (Amarone, Recioto, Valpolicella) wines with chef Blaine Neirman's cuisine. Seating for 25 is available; the cost is $95 per person including tax and gratuity. RSVP at 829-2518, www.518west.com.

North Carolina Children's Hospital will benefit from The Chapel Hill Wine Company's Third Annual Kid's Day, Saturday, Oct. 28, 1-5 p.m. In addition to free wine-tastings, costume-judging and ghoulish fun, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory will have free samples of their goodies and gourmet apples. Info: 968-1884.

Raleigh's ORiEnTspiration Asian tearoom is hosting a Chinese tea tasting party Saturday, Oct. 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. Learn the culture behind the ceremony and enjoy some of the best teas China has to offer, including jasmine bud and green dragon well. Info: 846-0910.

Chapel Hill's A Southern Season teams up with Immaculate Baking Company on Saturday, Oct. 28 to create a 10-foot-wide, 500-pound monster pumpkin cookie that will be unveiled around 3:30 p.m. following its four-hour baking time. Pieces of the cookie will be broken off and sold; all proceeds will be donated to local nonprofit Volunteers for Youth. Check out www.southernseason.com for details.

Sunday brunch begins Oct. 29 at Bistro 64 in Raleigh with an eclectic menu from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reservations are encouraged. Info: 380-1322 or www.bistro64.com.

Enoteca Vin in Raleigh continues its series of classic wine dinners Sunday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. The five-course, fall-flavors menu prepared by Raleigh's star chef Ashley Christiansen will feature a pair of grand cru Burgundies, a legendary Spanish wine, and 97-percent California Cabernet chosen by owner Chris Peel. The cost is $125 per person plus tax and gratuity. Info and reservations: 834-3070 or www.enotecavin.com.

Jujube of Chapel Hill hosts a beer dinner Monday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. with Pop The Cap, a specialty beer crafters' association. The dinner will feature a pan-Asian meal paired with five award-winning North Carolina beers. Attendees are asked to bring a silent auction item to support Pop The Cap. $55 per person includes tax and tip. Info and reservations: 960-0555.

Halloween gremlins and goblins won't deter Spice Street in Chapel Hill from hosting its monthly tasting series plus a beer-and-food tasting event that's all treats, no tricks. The Tuesday, Oct. 31 event, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., costs $15 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity). Reservations are required. Also at Spice Street, their recently inaugurated Sunday brunch offers bellinis, assorted specialty pancakes, omelets and daily specials from noon to 3 p.m. Info: 928-8200.

Panzanella and Slow Food USA are sponsoring their fourth annual Heritage Turkey Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 2 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The "Bourbon Red" heritage breed turkeys are free-roaming and antibiotic- and hormone-free. Ten percent of restaurant sales from the event will benefit the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Information: 929-6626 or www.panzanella.com.

Executive chefs from the AAA Four-Diamond award-winning restaurants in the Triangle have been hosting the second annual AAA Four Diamond Dinner Series, and the last one is scheduled Thursday, Nov. 2 at Raleigh's Second Empire Restaurant. The five-course dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres (a sixth course, when you get right down to it) and showcases a dish made by a chef from each of the five celebrated restaurants. All courses are matched with wine. Info: 829-3663.

The Chapel Hill Wine Company is hosting a series of holiday wine tastings, the first on Friday, Nov. 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. exploring Australian Shiraz. Themes for the Nov. 17 and the Dec. 1 tastings are the Tobreck vintners and Terry Thiese champagne, respectively. Cost: $10 per person. Info: 968-1884.

Under the influence of scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner (think: Emerson Waldorf School), the principles of biodynamics in agriculture have evolved to include viticulture. A class exploring these principles and the wine they produce will be offered by master sommelier Damon Haynes at 3 Cups—the coffee, tea, chocolate and wine merchant in downtown Chapel Hill. The Biodynamic Wine Class is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8, and costs $15 in advance, $20 at the door. To sign up, call 968-8993 or e-mail badi@3cups.net.

In honor of the Monet in Normandy exhibit at the N.C. Museum of Art, The Grape at Cameron Village in Raleigh is offering French culinary specialties paired with flights of white and red French cuvees on most Tuesdays from now through Jan. 9. The cost is $50 for two. Info and reservations (required for parties of six or more): 833-2669. Also at The Grape: Jazz-and-Wine Sunday afternoons featuring live music from 3 to 6 p.m.

Triangle residents looking to save time in the kitchen can now do so while helping the patients of North Carolina Children's Hospital. Dream Dinners will donate 20 cents from every meal sold between now and January 2007. Mention this announcement and an additional $5 donation will be made. To learn more about having home-cooked meals delivered to your door, visit www.dreamdinners.com or call 484-9555.

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