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Dine and Dance

On Thursday, June 21, Vega Tapas Café (2051 Metairie Road, Metairie, 836-2007) is getting a jump on the wine dinners with "A Taste of Spain." A menu from Chef Alison Vega (pictured) will accompany Spanish wines and a discussion led by a fine wine specialist from Wines Unlimited. The three-course, $65 dinner also includes tango and flamenco dancing.


Bella Pfeifer

On July 5, Chef Horst Pfeifer is breaking out the lederhosen at Bella Luna (914 N. Peters St., 529-1583) to toast his homeland with a traditional, family-style beer garden feast. Limburger cheese, wild boar goulash and Black Forest cake are some of the offerings lined up to go down with Paulaner beer and German wine.


Are You Experienced?

Wineries are beginning to make their shipments, so it's not too early for you to pencil in the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience scheduled July 11-15. Vintner dinners fill up especially quickly. Chefs at area restaurants collaborate with winemakers to compile four-course prix fixe dinners. Winemakers often attend the dinners to present their selections. Contact your favorite restaurant directly for reservations. For more detailed information about the weekend and to register, call 529-WINE or log on at www.nowfe.com.


Wine for Wine

Smith & Wollensky (1009 Poydras St., 561-0770) is making wine deals, too. All summer long, buying a bottle of Bordeaux will enter you into a contest for a weeklong trip to France. Leave your business card and hold your breath until the Sept. 21 drawing.


Scotch Treat

With all this wine sipping, I'm happy to report that the Bombay Club (830 Conti St., 586-0972) is offering flights of a brown beverage. On Thursday evening, during what they call Networking Night, grab a sampling of Scotch instead. Take your elixir with a 1 3/4-lb. lobster for $19.95 in a private booth or with cigars in the courtyard.


Spicing Up the Market

June 23 is Creole Tomato Day at the Crescent City Farmers Market. Chef Susan Spicer of Bayona and Herbsaint will cook with the red orbs. Look for heirloom tomato varieties, too. Cooking tip: Toss Thornburn Farms' amazing blueberries with sugar and lemon zest, and then serve them over Creole cream cheese. If you get there in time for fingerlings, they make crowd-pleasing twice-baked potatoes when sprinkled with chives and drizzled with white truffle oil. Saturday's market is located at 700 Magazine Street and is open 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Call 861-5898, e-mail at ecoinst@loyno.edu or visit www.loyno.edu/ccfm.

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