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New Restaurants and Happenings

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On Wednesday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m., Four Square Restaurant in Durham and the Chapel Hill Wine Company host a dinner featuring wines of the Loire Valley: Muscadet, Sauvignon Blanc, Cab Franc. For the second course, Chef Shane Ingram is preparing a tureen of escargot in a garlic cream with a pastry crust paired with Clos Roche Blanche Sauvignon Blanc Touraine 2004. The cost is $85 per person plus tax and gratuity. Call 401-9877 to make reservations.

On Saturday, July 22, the Carrboro Farmers' Market hosts its annual tomato tasting. Beginning at 8:30 a.m. and continuing until the tomatoes run out, marketgoers can sample more than 50 varieties of tomatoes grown in a 50-mile radius of the market, then vote for their favorite slicing and cherry varieties. The market's master gardeners will offer tomato-growing tips, and there will be tomato recipes. Questions: 932-1641, sdneal@bellsouth.net. For info about the market, visit www.carrborofarmersmarket.com.

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On Saturday, July 22 from 1-5 p.m., the Hillsborough Wine Company hosts a wine and cheese tasting featuring Hillsborough's Black Sheep Creamery and the following cheeses: Gouda, Manchego, Camembert, Sweet Ash, Blue, Feta and Chevre. Owners Cindy and Dorian West produce cheese made from pasteurized and unpasteurized goat's milk. Call 968-1884 for details.

On Sunday, July 23, Executive Chef Gwen Higgins is celebrating her 20th anniversary at Aurora Restaurant in Chapel Hill. In honor of this special occasion, Aurora is launching a tasting menu, available daily, pairing a few of Gwen's favorite dishes with wine selections by owner Hank Straus. Aurora supports local organic farmers and makes pasta, bread and desserts in-house daily. Info: 942-2400, www.aurorarestaurant.com.

On Tuesday, July 25 from 5:30-7 p.m., Spice Street in Chapel Hill introduces the second in its series of wine tastings. The price of $15 per person includes food pairings to accompanying the wines. Call 923-8200 for reservations.

On Wednesday, July 26, Zely & Ritz in Raleigh hosts a wine dinner featuring wines from Latour de France. Charles Ducker will be the speaker for the evening. To whet your appetite, the fifth course features Harris Acres Farm filet mignon with creamy risotto and plum sauce paired with Latour Aloxe-Corton Les Chaillots 1er Cru, Cote du Beaune. The cost is $75 per person plus tax and gratuities. For reservations, call 828-0018.

On Thursday, July 27 from 5:30-9 p.m., Panzanella in Carrboro hosts another meal in its Farm Dinners series, honoring local farmers and producers and celebrating the abundance of delicious local food. In addition to the regular dinner menu, dishes created with vegetables from Peregrine Farm will be served. Alex and Betsy Hitt began Peregrine Farm 23 years ago as a pick-your-own-berry farm; it quickly evolved into a vegetable farm and now produces flowers as well. Info, reservations accepted for parties of six or more: 929-6626.

On Friday, July 28 at 6 p.m., Aladdin's Cafe and Marketplace in Chapel Hill hosts a wine tasting of selected imported wines. Cheese, fruit and selected tapas from the cafe menu will be served. The tasting is free. Call 929-1290.

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Grayson's Cafe has opened a second location at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, in the central courtyard adjacent to the Magic Wings Butterfly House. Grayson's Cafe is a casual, locally owned and operated restaurant serving traditional American favorites. Chef/owner Arthur Grayson is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. The museum menu includes gourmet wraps, soups, sandwiches, salads with toppers, combination platters and combos of the day. The museum location serves lunch daily and offers exclusive full-service catering for museum facility rentals. For more info: www.ncmls.org, 220-5429 x358 or www.graysonscafe.com.

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