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Noteworthy openings; Triangle Wine Experience


Noteworthy openings this month span the spectrum. The much-anticipated reincarnation of Fins as buku (110 E. Davie St., 834-6963, has Raleigh downtowners writhing in our lunch seats in anticipation. Chef William D'Auvray promises a menu of global street food with French and Asian influences served in the former home of his highly regarded Fins. Co-owner Sean Degnan says lunch dishes will run from $5 to $10, and a global street-food tasting menu at dinner will run in the $5-to-$15 range. A few other dinner entrées will cost in the $17-to-$24 range. Buku may open by the end of this week, Degnan says.

In Chapel Hill, unlock a sweet, pre-Valentine's Day treasure at The Chocolate Door (516 W. Franklin St., 240-7290, The store will feature more than 25 flavors of handmade chocolate and truffles. Owner Megan Rosensweet (yep, that's her real name) is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta, and her training included a stint in the school's patisserie and baking program.

Also on Franklin, Kildare's Irish Pub opens in the former Buffalo Wild Wings spot (206 W. Franklin St., 932-7734,, boasting traditional Irish fare until 2 a.m. In Cary, Rocky Top Hospitality's newest venture opens Feb. 22: Tribeca Tavern (500 Ledgestone Way, 465-3055, At this casual, family-friendly tavern, highlights on the menu include gourmet, seasonal burgers ground in-house, a 20-draft, all-North Carolina beer tap and no menu items over $15.

It's easy to scope out a wine dinner around here. But the Frankie Lemmon Foundation hosts a full-blown wine experience this weekend, allowing wine lovers to sip for a great local cause. The 17th annual Triangle Wine Experience (845-8880, runs Thursday through Saturday with tastings, dinners, a gala and a wine auction highlighting celebrated wines from around the country. Foodies take note of Thursday's wine-pairing dinners across the Triangle. The dinner at Nana's, featuring wines from California's Kosta Browne, has sold out. The winery's 2007 Pinot Noir was voted the No. 4 wine of 2009 by Wine Spectator magazine. But other dinners on the slate will feature wines that are hard to find in North Carolina. Find Larkin Wines at Margaux's in Raleigh (8111 Creedmoor Road, 846-9846, and Windgap Wines at Cary's An (2800 Renaissance Park Place, 677-9229, Another treat: Pam Starr of Crocker & Starr wines will speak at Midtown in Raleigh (4421-115 Six Forks Road, 782-9463, She'll discuss 40 organic wines made by women winemakers.

The Triangle Wine Experience supports the Frankie Lemmon School and Developmental Center, a nonprofit, tuition-free preschool in Raleigh's Five Points neighborhood that caters to children with special education needs.

And if it's beer you're craving, or just an excuse to sport your Bad Penny T-shirt, Broad Street Cafe in Durham (1116 Broad St., 416-9707, hosts a local Big Boss beer dinner on Feb. 8. It's a steal at $40 for five courses accompanied by five beers. —Victoria Bouloubasis

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