On the table Cascadia—Highlights from Kerry Sear's four new seasonal menus for spring include a mussel rutabaga chowder ($8); a roast veal chop with Japanese>"/>
On the table Cascadia—Highlights from Kerry Sear's four new seasonal menus for spring include a mussel rutabaga chowder ($8); a roast veal chop with Japanese pears, dandelion greens, and blue potatoes in brandied pan gravy ($35); baked leeks with vegetarian stuffing ($18.50); an appetizer crab-cake on baby cabbage ($13.50); morel and white truffle bisque ($11); and herb-baked lamb steak with a side of grilled kidney, crabapple, and chanterelles ($32). If you've room left, how about caramel whole-wheat cr갥s enfolding brown-butter pears and cr譥 fraiche sorbet ($8.50)? (206-448-8884) Rover's—The Columbia River fishing season's likely to be short, but runs are first rate: Check out chef Rautureau's sturgeon with caramelized turnips and lobster sauce (on the six-course menu d餵station, $75) or the salmon with braised red cabbage in a red wine-bacon sauce (on the nine-item grand menu, $110). (206-325-7442). 96 Union—Just opened in the former Leo Melina space south of Pike Place overlooking Elliott Bay, Bryan Weener's menu promises "Mediterranean morsels with fresh-from-the-Market flavors." Grazers will favor items like pears and polenta in Gorgonzola cream ($7), goat-cheese- stuffed grape leaves ($7), and pancetta-braised greens ($4); heartier appetites might gravitate to first-week specials like chicken tagine with couscous and almonds ($15) or the black-pepper parpadelle pasta with forest mushrooms ($16). The wine list is southern European with a dash of California. (206-623-3783) Brad's Swingside Caf魭South meets North in dish of sauteed fresh line-caught Alaska halibut drizzled with a fennel-blood orange sauce and served on a strata (a kind of polenta lasagna) filled with succulent California rainy-season chanterelle, hedgehog, and black trumpet mushrooms ($19.50). (206-633-4057; reservations only for parties of six or more Canlis—Some springy little items among the savory standbys: a mango, shrimp, and avocado salad with watercress greens ($9); jumbo asparagus spears rubbed in oil and grilled, served with white truffle butter ($10); chicken breast stuffed with morel duxelle and roasted in white wine and cream ($24); fresh rhubarb crisp with ginger ice cream ($10). (206-283-3313) In the glass Snoqualmie syrah—The 1999 edition of Snoqualmie's Columbia Valley label is a super bargain among Washington reds: fresh, fruity, and, through the end of the month, under $9 a bottle. Arbor Crest sauvignon blanc—Winemaker Kristina Mielke-van L�-Selsas a dash of semillon to deepen the complexity of this fruity quaff. A mouthwatering $7. Upcoming 3/31—Love cooking? Thinking about turning pro? The Culinary Institute of America is in town this weekend recruiting. Turn up at 11am Saturday at the Penthouse Suite of the Sorrento Hotel, 9th and Madison, to learn all about the CIA's programs in Hyde Park, New York and St. Helena, California. More info? 845-452-9600 or www.cia.edu. 4/2-8—Billed as the biggest wine-and-food fest in North America, this year's weeklong Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival features the wines of Spain, but there's an event to suit every taste and pocketbook. Check out the full program at http://www.winefest.mybc.com/ and make your travel plans. 4/3—Sample eight wines of Spain—some traditional, some new-style—accompanied by a four-course Spanish-accented banquet centered on an egg-and-potato tortilla starter and wild boar as main dish. The Bungalow Wine Bar & Caf鼯B>, 2412 N 45th, 7pm, 632-0254. ($50) 4/4—Six courses chosen by Campagne chef Daisley Gordon including the signature house p, seafood sausage, snails with wild mushrooms, and roast squab to compement six wines from the Robert Kacher collection of top French vintages. Reservations: 728-2800; tab: $125 plus tax and gratuity. 4/22—85 wineries and 45 restaurants show their paces at the Washington Wine Commission's Taste Washington! at the Paramount Theater. A few tickets remain ($85): Call 667-9463 or check out www.washingtonwine.org.