St. Patrick's Day is upon us, and since it falls on a Saturday this year, you can make a whole day of it. You might want to load up on a greasy breakfast of green eggs and ham, since the rest of the day might entail more drinking than you are used to.
Start early by indulging your Irish senses (remember, everyone is Irish on Saint Paddy's!) with some green champagne cocktails on Saturday, March 17, at The Grape at Cameron Village (403 Daniels St., Raleigh, 833-2669, www.yourgrape.com). Yes, they will be green. Choose from a variety of different champagnes from $5 to $10. You can also uncover the mystery that is the difference between a syrah and a shiraz during that Saturday's wine tasting from noon to 3 p.m. for $10.
After you've had your fill of green bubbly, head over to Citrus (100 Westgreen Drive, Chapel Hill, 933-0623, www.citrus-chapelhill.com) for dinner. They're normally only open for breakfast and lunch, but now are serving two special dinners a month. The first will allow you to partake of more Irish drink, and this time some food. Choose from a Guinness-braised corned beef and cabbage or lamb stew, both with homemade Irish soda bread, and for dessert, bread pudding with an Irish Whiskey sauce. 5:30-9 p.m.; reservation required.
As the weather warms, check out Comfort Cuisine Café (5511 Capital Center Drive, Raleigh, 859-6440). Chef and owner Maggie Radzwiller opened a few weeks ago and hopes people enjoy the outdoor seating. Monday through Friday, items like bagel and egg sandwiches and breakfast burritos can be enjoyed from 7:30-9 a.m. Lunch is 11:15 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and features an array of salads, sandwiches and soups.
Also in time for spring, the late, lamented Fowler's Fine Food and Wine at 112 W. Duke St. in Durham's Peabody Place (next to Brightleaf Square) has been purchased by local foodie Jennings Brody, who plans to revise and reopen under a new name in the next six to eight weeks.
Zely & Ritz (301 Glenwood Ave., Suite 100, Raleigh, 828-0018, www.zelyandritz.com) is hosting its second annual African Wine Dinner on Wednesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. The event will be hosted by a native Zimbabwean artist, and $15 and 10 percent of wine purchases will benefit Dare to Share to support educational and living needs of children in Zimbabwe. Cost: $90; call for reservations.
Enoteca Vin (410 Glenwood Ave., Suite 350, Raleigh, 834-3070, www.enotecavin.com) is hosting an Oregon Wine Dinner on Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m. featuring chardonnays, pinot gris and pinot noirs from Lange Estate Winery. $59; call for reservations.
Talullas Restaurant (456 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 933-1177, www.talullas.com) will begin serving lunch on Tuesday, March 20. Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and brunch Saturday-Sunday 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Il Palio (1505 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 929-4000, www.sienahotel.com) is hosting a Tuscan Wine Dinner on Wednesday, March 21, at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $85.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Arturo Ciompi's Wine Beat column, which usually runs the second Wednesday of the month, will be in next week's issue.