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Collector's Edition
At his two Lucullus Culinary Antiques stores (610 Chartres St., 528-9620; 3932 Magazine St., 894-0500), Patrick Dunne sells French kitchenware -- cheese cloches, bistro glassware, absinthe paraphernalia -- that make antique believers out of the most modern foodies. You can catch Dunne signing his book, The Epicurean Collector (Bulfinch Press, $40), at Martin Wine Cellar's Uptown location (3827 Baronne St., 896-7380) from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. Cobalt (333 St. Charles Ave., 565-5595) Chef Brack May will also be there, cooking and passing out samples; meanwhile, Chef Philip Gagaliano of Ristorante Filippo will be up to the same in Metairie (714 Elmeer Ave., 896-7350).

Second Glance, Second Chance
With this mention of Cobalt, I must come clean with a realization that came over me during lunch there last week: I've partially -- my boss told me I could do this -- changed my mind about the oddball decor. I still predict that the opposing patterns, the brightly colored plastic rocks impaled on posts of a warped metal fence and the color cobalt itself will appear dated five years from now, but the whole is beginning to grow on me nonetheless. It's not like we need another Creole cottage restaurant, after all. A special seared salmon entree with pureed acorn squash was the highlight during that particular lunch; a parched Cuban sandwich made with non-negotiable, thick-cut cured ham was not.

Wine Festival, Part I
Buy your tickets now for Le Meridien Hotel's (614 Canal St.) annual Festival du Vin Nouveau, scheduled to take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, in the Ile de France Ballroom. There's always plenty to eat and drink if you get there early. Tickets are $65. Call 527-6708 or 527-6717.

Wine Festival, Part II
Support the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) at Uncorked! ... Taste of Canal Place, to be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the downtown shopping center this Friday. There will be live music on each floor, food and wine samples in many stores, free parking and gift-wrapping and some holiday discounts. Tickets are $10 in advance; $15 at the door. Call 522-9200.

Buffalo Soldier
To clarify the listing in Gambit Weekly's Fall Restaurant Guide (Oct. 29), Mr. B's Bistro (201 Royal St., 523-2078) is again serving the locals' favorite Buffalo Chicken Salad: boneless fried chicken strips tossed in a honey hot sauce glaze and made into a salad with seasonal greens, pickled carrots and blue cheese dressing.

Taste the Cheese
Call Foodies Kitchen (720 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 837-9695) to reserve a spot for Tuesday's cheese tasting. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $15.


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