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New restaurants and happenings 

Join Chef Cory Goodman in Café Bistro at Nordstrom at Southpoint mall in Durham on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m. for a six-course prix fixe menu featuring gourmet ingredients from North Carolina. With each course, enjoy a glass of wine selected by Mark Morrow, wine consultant with Dionysus Wine Distributors. The cost is $65 plus tax and tip. Advanced reservations are required at 806-3700 x1610.

Executive chefs from the five AAA Four Diamond award-winning restaurants in the Triangle are hosting the second annual AAA Four Diamond Dinner Series, a series of five Thursday dinners, one at each award-winning restaurant. The dinners include five courses plus hors d'oeuvres, with each chef preparing a dish for each dinner, and all courses matched with wine. The dinners begin at 6:30 p.m., and the price is $95 plus tax and gratuity. Call the individual restaurant to make reservations. The remaining schedule is: Oct. 5 at Carolina CrossRoads Restaurant at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill (918-2777) and Nov. 2 at Second Empire Restaurant in Raleigh (829-3663).

click to enlarge food_ruecler.jpg

For months, visitors to Brightleaf Square in Durham have been watching the work going on at an old bicycle shop across the street at 401 E. Chapel Hill St. Now, it's owners report that Rue Cler, a French restaurant and bakery café, is scheduled to open Friday, Oct. 6. The restaurant is the creation of Matthew Beason, Chris Stinnett, and John Vandergrift, who are also the owners of Pop's Restaurant in Peabody Place just down the street, and will offer French bistro cuisine and French wines. Go to for updates and to see its oh-so-Parisian logo designed by Flywheel Design and chosen in an online contest by its prospective customers. And bon appétit!

On Friday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m., the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh is hosting a dinner with wine pairings (and art!) to honor N.C. photographer Titus Heagins' images of hats worn by women in African-American churches. Info and reservations: 664-6808 or

Celebrate North Carolina wines on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 3-7 p.m. at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 at the door. Info: or 513-3826, or visit

Local chefs will prepare a four-course, wine-paired meal using locally grown ingredients on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at Bay 7 on the American Tobacco Campus in Durham 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 Amy Tornquist of Sage & Swift Catering, J.W. Walton of The Catering Company, Andy Magowan of Piedmont, Sarah Foster of Foster's Market, Andrea Reusing of Lantern and Scott Howell of Nana's. Tickets are $100. Info: SEEDS at 683-1197 or

Weaver Street Market at Southern Village in Chapel Hill is having its third annual Fall Wine Show on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 1-5 p.m. with live music by Saludos Compay and plenty of discounts on wine by the bottle and case. Entry is $5 and includes a souvenir wine glass. A portion of the proceeds go to the Cooperative Community Fund. For complete details, go to

A Southern Season in Chapel Hill is holding its fifth annual North Carolina Food and Wine Fest through Saturday, Oct. 14, when there'll be a daylong "Taste of the State" in the parking lot at University Mall. The store is also having an Italian Festival Oct. 16-30 featuring the work of local and Italian artisans and tastings of vinegars, wines, chocolates and more. Details at or call 929-7133.

Underground in Raleigh and Dionysus Wines are hosting a wine dinner Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. featuring the Dierberg family of wines. The price is $65 plus tax and tip. Info: 664-8704,

Carolina Brewery in Chapel Hill is hosting a Harvest Celebration Beer Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 21 featuring four courses (including a vegetarian option) all paired with specially selected beers. Tickets for the 8 p.m. seating sold out quickly, but a 5:30 p.m. seating has been added. The cost is $40. RSVP:, 942-1800.

In honor of the Monet in Normandy exhibit at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh, 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.

Every Wednesday in October, The Melting Pot in Raleigh offers a "Wine Down Wednesday" special--$70 per couple brings a cheese course, salad, entrée, chocolate dessert and bottle of wine to your table. Call 878-0477 for reservations.

Aladdin's Cafe in Chapel Hill (491-6915) is hosting a wine tasting featuring live music every Friday in October at 6 p.m.


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