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New restaurants and happenings

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On Thursday, June 1 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., A Gracious Plenty at 3530 S. Alston Ave. in Durham is having a grand re-opening celebration. Now under new owners Mic and Leslie DeMarco, A Gracious Plenty has a new menu with signature salads, sandwiches and wraps. Durham's own Bobbie Hinton will entertain lunchtime guests on the deck (weather permitting) with his rich vocals and bluesy keyboard from noon to 2 p.m. A Gracious Plenty is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday. Call 361-0414 for more info.

Chefs from the five AAA Four Diamond award-winning restaurants in the Triangle are hosting the second annual AAA Four Diamond Dinner Series, a series of five Thursday dinners, one at each award-winning restaurant. The dinners include five courses plus hors d'oeuvres, with each chef preparing a dish for each dinner, and all courses matched with wine. The dinners will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the price is $95 per person. Call the individual restaurant to make reservations. The remaining schedule is: June 1, Four Square Restaurant in Durham (401-9877); Sept. 21, Il Palio Ristorante at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill (918-2545); Oct. 5, Carolina CrossRoads Restaurant at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill (918-2777); Nov. 2, Second Empire Restaurant in Raleigh (829-3663).

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On Saturday, June 3 from noon to 6 p.m., Meadowmont Village is hosting Festival of the Vino. Admission includes wine samples from eight area wineries, live music, live gourmet cooking demonstrations and a souvenir wine glass. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 the day of. Advanced tickets can be purchased at Studio 91 on Meadowmont Village Circle or through the festival's Web site, www.festivalofthevino.com. Proceeds benefit The Arc of Orange County. For more information, call 933-3700.

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On Saturday, June 3 from 1-5 p.m., SEEDS is presenting its annual garden party in the SEEDS Demonstration Garden at 706 Gilbert St. near downtown Durham. In addition to events for kids, music, puppets, dancers, garden art for sale, plants and a tree raffle, Amy Tornquist of the Nasher Museum Cafe, a SEEDS board member, will offer locally prepared food straight from the SEEDS garden, and Locopops, who buy the herbs for their Mexican popsicles from SEEDS, will offer their summer treats. SEEDS helps individuals, neighborhoods and communities grow together through gardening, gathering and education. For more information, call 683-1197 or visit www.seedsnc.org.

Every Tuesday in June from 6-7 p.m., BIN 54 in Chapel Hill is offering "Sip, Swirl and Swallow" Tuesday Tastings. Join Beverage Directors Brett Davis and Douglas Snyder on the patio; $20 includes six "tastes du jour" and small bites. Pre-purchase is required to reserve seating; call 969-1155. Those who choose to dine at Bin 54 following the tasting receive 25 percent off their food purchases for that night only. For June 6th, the theme is "The Sideways Syndrome--Debunking the Myth: If someone orders Merlot, I'm STAYING!"

On Saturday, June 10 from 1-5 p.m., the Chapel Hill Wine Company will host a cheese tasting, along with its regular wine tasting, featuring locally produced cheeses from the Chapel Hill Creamery. Owners Portia McKnight and Florence Hawley produce cheese with milk from their own "healthy and happy" Jersey dairy cows on the farm between Carrboro and Hillsborough. The Chapel Hill Creamery will also have some of their cheese for sale. For more information, call the Chapel Hill Wine Company at 968-1884.

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Good Day Cafe & Moontimes Winebar, a family-friendly casual eatery located on two floors at 121 Salem St. in historic downtown Apex, recently opened their doors. Local owner Kurt Mueller's restaurant attracts both families and professionals with its day-and-night concept. Good Day Cafe, where children are welcome and appreciated, offers a cheerfully decorated atmosphere, overloaded plates of home-cooked cuisine and a unique kid's menu, all at family friendly prices. Moontimes Winebar, located upstairs, has its own pilsner, cinema nights, $1.50 Mondays and other weekly events. The Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and breakfast until 2:30 on Sundays. For more information, call 387-6868 or visit www.agooddaycafe.com.

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