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Task Force Dining
More than 20 restaurants are participating in an annual NO/AIDS Task Force (; 460-0921) fundraiser that gives people in the New Orleans area a chance to help fight the spread of AIDS just by eating at local restaurants. The 10th annual Dining For Life event will be held Thursday, July 13, and participating restaurants will donate 25 percent of their proceeds to NO/AIDS. RAIN Vodka is helping set a buzz for the night by sponsoring drink specials made with its vodka at some of the restaurants (check the task force Web site to see which ones). Formed in 1983, the NO/AIDS Task Force provides services to those affected by HIV and AIDS and conducts prevention and education programs. Diners can make extra donations at participating Dining For Life restaurants and those who do will be entered in a drawing for a one-night stay at the International House Hotel. Participating restaurants are: 13, La Crepe Nanou, Adolfo's, La Peniche, the Bombay Club, the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen (French Market and Uptown locations), Bywater Bar-B-Que, Café Degas, Marigny Brasserie, Café Rani, Meauxbar Bistro, eat New Orleans, Medusa Café, Elizabeth's Restaurant, Mona Lisa, Feelings Café, Muriel's Jackson Square, Fresco Café & Pizzeria, Nirvana, Hookah Café, the Rib Room at the Omni Royal Orleans, Iris, Salvatore Ristorante, Joey K's, Vega Tapas Café and Karma Kitchen at the Bridge Lounge.

Put Your Two Cents In
Spend a dollar at Whole Foods Market in Metairie (3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-8225; on Wednesdays in July and two-and-a-half pennies of it will go to a local nonprofit. The Austin, Texas-based company says it is donating 2 1/2 percent of sales on these days at the Metairie store to groups that provide services in the area. Last week's "2 1/2% Day: benefited Jefferson Dollars for Scholars; on July 12 the beneficiary is the Metropolitan Battered Women's Program, followed on July 19 by WWNO 89.9 FM public radio and on July 26 by the Louisiana SPCA. — McNulty

Dinner and Drinks
New Orleans' mixology festival, Tales of the Cocktail (July 19-23), is loaded with everything the professional or home bartender could ever want to know. A range of seminars feature bartending professionals and authors of drink recipe books presenting new and classic cocktail recipes and information on finer distilled spirits and entertaining. Many area restaurants will present Spirited Dinners (8 p.m. Thursday, July 20), offering multi-course meals paired with mixed drinks, much in the way wine is matched to food. Cocktail recipe authors will host the dinners, introduce their special drinks and share why they've paired them with each dish. Visit to see a complete list of participating restaurants and other events. — Will Coviello


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