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New restaurants and happenings

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The Saxapahaw Rivermill Farmers' Market & Music Series starts up again Saturday, May 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. The weekly festivities include performances by top bands featuring bluegrass, back porch, roots, Americana and old time music, and a thriving farmers' market with fresh, local produce, cheese, eggs, baked goods, flowers, honey, organic meat, local wine, handmade arts and crafts and more. Every week, Ceres, Saxapahaw's local quality of life organization, sets up events and activities for children, including the famous zipboat (a kayak on a zipwire low to the ground), the environmentally engineered slip-n-slide created in the shape of the Haw River, face painting, children's arts and crafts and a weekly kids' parade. Admission is free, though donations are appreciated—organizers pass around a "Swan Bucket" each week for the band. The Steep Canyon Rangers will be coming in for a special performance to kick off the summer series. Events take place outside in downtown Saxapahaw next to the post office and run through August. For a schedule, directions, pictures and more, visit www.rivermillvillage.com.

Prime Only Steak, Seafood and Sashimi Bar (505 W. Jones St., Raleigh, 835-2649, www.primeonly.com) will host a Kentucky Derby party Saturday, May 5. With the Brookhill Steeplechase canceled this year, Prime is stepping up and starting a new Raleigh tradition from 4-8 p.m. General admission tickets are $25 and include food and mint juleps provided by Bulleit bourbon. VIP tickets are $50 and include reserved seating, SterlingSilver Premium steak, seafood and sushi and an open bar. Additional highlights include live music and large-screen monitors throughout the restaurant for race watching. Derby (or business casual) attire required, hats encouraged!

Author Alan Tardi will be introducing his new book, Romancing the Vine: Life, Love & Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo, at a dinner reception at Il Palio (1505 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 929-4000, www.sienahotel.com) on Friday, May 4. The book illustrates his life in the Piedmont region of Italy (he is an American chef who moved to Italy a few years ago). The evening will be a celebration of Piedmont cuisine, wine and stories from the book, with an hors d'oeuvre reception followed by a classic regional dinner paired with wines. Cost is $95.

The Grape at Cameron Village (403 Daniels St., Raleigh, 833-2669, www.yourgrape.com) will host a Cinco de Mayo celebration Saturday, May 5, from 11 a.m. to midnight. Enjoy sangria (red and white!) and outdoor seating along with Cinco de Mayo menu options including homemade chips and salsa and assorted quesadillas. The Steve Hobbs Trio will play in the wine bar at 8 p.m.

The Borough (317 W. Morgan St., Raleigh, 832-8433, www.theboroughraleigh.com) will feature cheese pizza at its monthly eating contest Monday, May 7, at 8 p.m. The vendor has yet to be decided, but the contest will consist of 10 contestants racing to consume one whole large pizza. The first 10 people to sign up can enter, and the $5 entry fee goes to The Humane Society.

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