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Alive and Kicking
The year-old Whole Foods Market at Arabella Station (5600 Magazine St., 899-9119) may be the trendiest place to buy an organic pumpkin, but the petit Faubourg St. John store (3135 Esplanade Ave., 943-1626) is still kicking, especially around the holidays. Sign up at the customer-service desk for wine specialist Heidi Revels' course on holiday wine pairings, which will run from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. this Thursday. The cost is $15. Or, catch Cafe Degas' Chef Stephen Hassinger at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, for free, as he prepares healthful dishes outside ("Plein-Aire Cooking").

Wholly Expansion!
The Whole Foods corporation plans to build two more stores in Louisiana, one in Metairie and another in Baton Rouge. Opening dates for both stores are to be announced.

Maxing Out
Maximo's (1117 Decatur St., 586-8883) is now offering a three-course, prix fixe dinner menu Sunday through Thursday for $24.95. With each course comes a bevy of choices, including sauteed calamari, pan-roasted chicken Olivia and tartufo for dessert.


High Five

Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse (716 Iberville St., 522-2467) celebrates its five-year anniversary all month long with three-course, $15 lunches; Chef Gus Martin's nightly five-course tasting menu for $50, or $85 with wine pairings; and a six-course wine dinner to be held this Thursday for $95 per person. Call for reservations. The Anniversary Filet, the newest addition to lunch and dinner menus, is an 8-oz. filet mignon wrapped in bacon and topped with seared foie gras.


Sportsman's Paradise
Dinner customers at Mr. B's Bistro (201 Royal St., 523-2078) may order from a weeklong Louisiana Coastline Menu beginning this Tuesday. Offerings include Louisiana buster crabs, Parmesan-crusted flounder and oyster risotto.


Working Overtime
La Crepe Nanou (1410 Robert St., 899-2670) announces extended fall and winter hours -- all the more time for eating mussels and French fries. It's first come, first served from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.


There's Still Time ...
At press time, the following restaurants had space available for Thanksgiving dining: Arnaud's (523-5433); Bourbon House (522-0111); Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse (522-2467); Gumbo Shop (525-1486); Intercontinental Hotel (585-4383); Kelsey's (897-6722); La Cote Brasserie (613-2350); La Riviera (888-6238); Praline Connection (943-3934); Sazerac, The Fairmont Hotel (529-4848); and The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans (524-1331).

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