Wild Ginger is a new Asian bistro and sushi bar in the Progress Energy II building (180 E. Davie St.) in downtown Raleigh, owned by the same folks who own Tokyo House in Raleigh and Cafe Zen in the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. Wild Ginger serves lunch and dinner daily except Sundays. Call 277-1999.
On Wednesday, July 12 from 5:30-9 p.m., Panzanella in Carrboro is hosting a Pig Pickin' Style Totally Local Dinner featuring a menu of foods created from ingredients produced and purchased within a 250-mile radius of Carrboro. This dinner is also a benefit for the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, a membership-based organization of farmers, producers and individuals dedicated to expanding sustainable agriculture and organic farming in North and South Carolina. For reservations: 929-6626.
On Thursday, July 13 from 5:30-10:30 p.m. (multiple seatings), Enoteca Vin in Raleigh welcomes back Craig Lehoullier, a Raleigh-based chemist and internationally renowned tomato preservationist. Craig and his wife Susan will discuss their efforts to save some of the world's rarest tomatoes, how they've become the suppliers of parent heirloom seed to many seed companies--and how they've done it all out of their yard right here in Raleigh. Chef Ashley Christensen will prepare a dinner with some of the Lehoullier's 1,000 tomato varieties. The cost is $39 per person excluding alcohol, tax and gratuity. Call 834-3070 for reservations.
On Monday, July 17 from 7-9:30 p.m., Panzanella in Carrboro hosts a German wine dinner. Jutta Bracy of Owl's Nest Wine Importers and Distributors will explore terroir--the belief that natural elements contribute to the flavor and style of a wine--through a selection of handcrafted, single-vineyard German wines. Artfully matched foods will be served from the kitchen. The cost is $40 per person. Reserve your place, pay in advance and pick up a ticket at either Panzanella or the customer service desk at Weaver Street Market in Carrboro. Info: 929-6626.
On Tuesday, July 18, Lantern in Chapel Hill presents their next Lantern Table. Chef Andrea Reusing hosts a Japanese-inspired summertime dinner featuring unusual Asian ingredients, all sourced from the 227-year-old Shady Grove Farm (www.theshadygrovefarm.com). This five-course dinner will include fresh soybeans, Asian heirloom tomatoes, heirloom Delaware Chicken, Berkshire Pork and more. For reservations, call 969-8846. Lantern's Web site is www.lanternrestaurant.com.
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 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 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.