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Free Oysters!?!?
Chef Chuck Subra is giving away free oysters on the half-shell to bar patrons at La Cote Brasserie (700 Tchoupitoulas St., 613-2350) from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays until further notice.

Singular Event
If your best companion on Valentine's Day was an Amy's frozen dinner, consider reserving a space at one of The Single Gourmet's March events. Dinner at Drago's (3521 18th St., Metairie) on Friday, March 5, costs $50; or head to The Dakota (629 N. Hwy. 190, Covington) on Saturday, March 27, for $60. Call 885-1831 to reserve a space, or visit www.singlegourmetneworleans.com.

The Big Chill
If, on the other hand, you seek only more, and better, frozen companions, allow me to suggest my current favorite Ben & Jerry's flavor: Mint Chocolate Cookie. According to the Flavor Locator at www.benandjerrys.com, this flavor is available locally at Rite Aid, Walgreen's and Eckerd pharmacies. I also spotted it at Langenstein's.

Market Watch
Exiting February and the long, dark hours of winter, the Crescent City Farmers Market is re-expanding its Thursday evening hours from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. (during winter, it closes at 6 p.m.). Drop by this Thursday for a wine tasting courtesy of the nearby wine store Cork & Bottle (3700 Orleans Ave., 934-1386). While there, ask about Cork & Bottle's limited-seating WineSense tastings; there are two scheduled in March. Then at 10 a.m. at Saturday's farmers' market, the Gumbo Shop's (630 St. Peter St., 525-1486) Richard Stewart will prepare his annual ode to Lent, gumbo z'herbs. CCFM's Tuesday market is at 200 Broadway St. and runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Thursday market is at 3700 Orleans Ave. and runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Saturday market is at 700 Magazine St. and runs from 8 a.m. to noon. Call 861-5898 or visit www.loyola.edu/ccfm.

Through the Grapevine
Martin Wine Cellar presents "An Evening with the Growers" from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, at the Uptown store (3827 Baronne St., 899-7411). Wine purveyors Becky Wasserman and Marco de Grazia will host the casual, walk-around wine tasting involving 25 wines, plus nibbles of French and Italian meats and cheeses. Tickets, available at both Martin locations or by phone, cost $30 and include a $5 gift certificate to the store. The other Martin Wine Cellar is at 714 Elmeer Avenue in Metairie (896-7300).

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