ON THE PLATE Saltys is greeting spring with new menu items at both Seattle-area locations. Saltys on Alki chef Byron Shultz is preparing his warm

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Halibut at the Market

ON THE PLATE Saltys is greeting spring with new menu items at both Seattle-area locations. Saltys on Alki chef Byron Shultz is preparing his warm white asparagus salad with an Oregon truffle vinaigrette ($11.95). At Saltys on Redondo, chef Gabriel Cabreras composing seared Alaskan halibut over mashed potatoes and a garlic-, thyme-, and olive oil-grilled Portobello mushroom ($16.95$22.95). 1936 Harbor Ave. S.W., 206-937-1600, WEST SEATTLE; 28201 Redondo Beach Dr. S., (253) 272-0607, FEDERAL WAY Thanks to an early season, fresh Alaskan halibut has arrived at the Pike Place Market ($5.99$12.99 per pound). Halibut keeps well in the freezer, so head down to Pure Food Fish, Pike Place Fish, City Fish, or Jacks Fish Spot now and get your spring fish-buying urges out of your system. PIKE PLACE MARKET Atlas new Texas menu gets down n dirty with little vittles such as the Lone Star Tostadas ($7.50) with smoked chicken, roasted poblanos, cotija cheese, cilantro, and pico de gallo; and big bites like the Hill Country Honky Tonk Brisket Bar-B-Q ($13.50) with Texas caviar, southern slaw, and ranch-hand fries. Good eatin! Available through mid-May. 2820 NE University Village, 206-522-6025. UNIVERSITY DISTRICT Mardi Gras over, but the Coastal Kitchens southern party is just gettin down to bizness. Now through May 1, the ber-popular Capitol Hill restaurants serving up New Orleansinspired fare like Beauregard Parish bronzed catfish ($13.75) and Big Daddys Bowl of Gumbo ($6.25). Even the kitchens popular brunch is getting the Bourbon Street treatment with specials like bananas Foster French toast ($7.75) and, for the brave, a crawfish poboy breakfast sandwich ($8.75). 429 15th Ave. E., 206-322-1145. CAPITOL HILL March 19 The Boomtown Caf钳 March dinner, donated and prepared by Chef Shah Kahn of Cucina Mama Mia, with wines from Click Imports, includes baked chicken marsala and an Italian trifle with mascarpone. $20 donation for dinner, $7 donation for wine tasting. 5:307:30 p.m. Boomtown Caf鬠513 3rd Ave., 206-625-2989, www.boomtowncafe.org. DOWNTOWN March 21 Maximilien in the Market aims to bring French coastal cuisine to the table tonight. Try seafood dishes from the Atlantic Coast and the Riviera. The three-course meal is accompanied by live musicyou might end up feeling like youre at the seaside in Cannes. $39. 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (two seatings). 81 A Pike St., 206-682-7270. PIKE PLACE MARKET March 22 Havent heard of Slow Food yet? Its an international organization pushing for the recognition of local, artisanal, and traditional foodsthe anti-McDonalds, in short. The Seattle chapter is hosting a tasting focusing on Washington wines and a local-cheese-centric buffet (Quillasascut goat cheese bruschetta, roast chicken and Sammish Bay herbed gouda). Youll help keep the wheels turning in favor of quality food: The proceeds go toward a student scholarship to Quillasascut Farms culinary school. $50. 10 a.m.2 p.m. LeRoux Room, 1000 E. James St. (Seattle University), 206-525-2288. FIRST HILL March 22-23 Thinking about the way of the vegetarian? Dont even think about leaving hungry this weekend at Vegfest 2003, presented by Vegetarians of Washington. Watch a cooking demonstration; listen to nutritionists; shop at the greatly expanded cookbook store; and sample food from more than 70 companiesthat translates to 120,000 free samples, from Italian baked tofu to garbanzo bean curry! $5, kids 12 and under free. 10 a.m.6 p.m. SEATTLE CENTER Fisher Pavilion. 206-706-2635 or www.vegofwa.org/vegfest/. March 25 Get those screwdrivers out of hiding: its Anthonys 14th annual Oyster Olympics. This unabashed bivalve boosting features restaurant contests, fashion judging, oyster art, a living oyster contest for growers, auctions, celebrity oyster slurps, live entertainment, and more. And, of course, all the tasty little mollusks your heart desires. $75 (advance purchase only). 39 p.m. Anthonys HomePort, 6135 Seaview N.W., 206-297-7002. BALLARD March 27 Chef Vicky McCaffree of the Yarrow Bay Grill is in control of the kitchen at FareStart tonight. The menu, with romaine salad and cojita cheese; pan-seared salmon with poblano polenta; and mango rum tapioca, brings sunny south-of-the-border tastes to the table. $16.95. 5:307:45 p.m. 1902 Second Ave., 206-443-1233. DOWNTOWN THE GRAPEVINE March 19 Tonight Serafina hosts a four-course St. Josephs Feast. The menu includes baked Alaskan halibut with Ligurian fishermans sauce and couscous, roasted lamb loin with mushroom bread pudding, cocoa cannoli, and the wines of Chinook Winery. $75. 7 p.m. 2043 EASTLAKE Ave. E., 206-323-0807. David LeClaire, Library Bistro sommelier, brings together syrahs from all over the state as part of Washington Wine Month. Light appetizers will accompany. Think about securing a designated driverthere are over 50 varieties. $20. 47 p.m. 82 Madison St. (Alexis Hotel), 206-624-3646. DOWNTOWN Sakes not the only match for Asian food. Tonight, Dragonfish Asian Caf頩ntends to prove it with a four-course dinner and pairings from Washingtons LEcole winery. Wines include a 2001 LEcole No. 41 barrel-fermented semillon and a 2000 cabernet sauvignon. Dishes include an amazing-sounding pepper-crusted prime beef topped with plum wine demi, accompanied by Vietnamese white corn cakes and sesame-grilled asparagus. $50. 6 p.m. 722 Pine St., 206-467-7777. DOWNTOWN March 20 Esquin Wine Merchants have wines from Red Mountain vintners Andrew Will, McCrea, Hedges, Kiona, Terra Blanca, and Sandhill. Taste them tonight. Free. 56:30 p.m. 2700 Fourth Ave. S., 206-682-7374. SODO Canlis hosts Cayuse Vineyards Christophe Baron for its March wine dinner. Meet Baron and taste his wines over a Canlis dinner. $125. 6:30 p.m. 2576 Aurora Ave. N, 206-283-3313. QUEEN ANNE./AURORA In celebration of Washington Wine Month, the Dahlia Lounge prepares a five-course meal and wine pairings from Walla Wallas Seven Hills winery. Wines include a 2001 pinot gris, a 2000 merlot, a 200 merlot reserve, a 2000 syrah, and a 2000 cabernet sauvignon. Dinner looks to be a feast with Dungeness crab gratin, smoked squab, and roast venison. $75. 6:30 p.m. 2001 Fourth Ave., 206-682-4142. DOWNTOWN March 21 Get in touch with your pagan side and join Salish Lodge chef Mike Davis and sommelier Mark Kieras as they host a Feast of the Equinox. The four-course dinner will feature spring mechoui lamb (raised in the Mondavi vineyards) and Robert Mondavis most prestigious wines. $95. 6:30 p.m. 6501 Railroad Ave. S.E., 425-888-2556. SNOQUALMIE Cant get enough of Washington Wine month? Flying Fish hosts a dinner tonight pairing fish with reds from Walla Wallathe very first tasting for some varieties. Expect lobster sandwiches, fennel-cured steelhead, and halibut. $75. 6:30 p.m. 2234 First Ave., 206-728-8595. BELLTOWN March 22 More Walla Walla wares. Today at Esquin Wine Merchants, taste wines from Walla Walla wineries Canoe Ridge, Russell Creek, Glen Fiona, Walla Walla, Saviah, Whitman, and Waterbrook. Free. 14 p.m. 2700 Fourth Ave. S., 206-682-7374. SODO Dont cry for Argentinadrink to it. The Fremont Red Apple Market & Wine Bars featuring Argentine reds at its weekend tasting today. $5. 36 p.m. 3601 Fremont Ave. N., 206-633-3663. FREMONT The first winemaker dinner in the Waters Lakeside Bistro series will feature the wines of Paso Robles, Californias Justin Vineyards and Winery and a four-course menu from Waters executive chef Alex Nemeth. Begins with a tapas reception. $75. 6:30 p.m. 1200 Carillon Point (in the Woodmark Hotel), 425-803-5595. KIRKLAND March 25 The Tasting Room will donate a portion of the days sales to help support FareStart, the culinary employment-training program. Come in during regular business hours to make your wine purchases, and effortlessly give a little back to the community. 1924 Post Alley, 206-770-WINE. DOWNTOWN March 26 McCarthy & Schiering is throwing a bash to celebrate Oregon winemaker Veronique Drouhins visit to Seattle. Taste six of her wines over a five-course meal featuring Alaskan halibut, wild salmon, and venison. $95. 6:30 p.m. Nells Restaurant, 6804 E. Greenlake Way N., 206-524-9500. GREEN LAKE Pike and Western Wine Shop presents some of the best new Washington cabernets. Taste Betz, Woodward Canyon, and Leonetti. Most will be available for purchase, so bring home a bottle as well. $25 (reservations required). 7 p.m. 1934 Pike Place, 206-441-1307. PIKE PLACE MARKET Jean-Pierre Vincent is his name. Bubblys his game. Ten Mercers honoring the Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte cellar masters visit with a five-course champagne dinner. $65. 6:30 p.m. 10 Mercer, 206-691-3723. LOWER QUEEN ANNE March 27 Want to find the beat on the latest pinot noirs? Our southern neighbor is reputed to be the pace-setting state for this varietaland so Oregon labels take precedence during this casual tasting at Esquin Wine Merchants. Free. 56:30 p.m. 2700 Fourth Ave. S., 206-682-7374. DOWNTOWN. Cascadia restaurant prepares a creative five-course meal to honor guests Patricia and David Gelles, owners of Klipsun Vineyards. Theyre bringing along some of their finest wines to be paired with dinner. $125. 6:30 p.m. 2328 First Ave., 206-448-8884. DOWNTOWN Seattle Cellars is popping the cork on wines from two Tri-Cities area wineries: Powers Winery and Badger Mountain Winery, the first certified-organic winery in the state. Free. 57 p.m. 2505 Second Ave., 206-256-0850. DOWNTOWN March 28 Chateau Ste. Michelle bids goodnight to Washington Wine Month with a multicourse dinner from chefs Scott Harberts and Laurel Davis accompanied by wines from Ste. Michelle sister wineries. $99. 7 p.m. 14111 N.E. 145th, 800-267-6793. WOODINVILLE ON TAP The beer folk at Hood River, Ore.s Full Sail Brewing have introduced a new seasonal beer for spring. Like all of their seasonal brews, Switchback Ale reflects the adventure-seeking spirit of their sporty nook on the Columbia River Gorge. This one, a medium-bodied American red ale with sweet caramel tones, is a tribute to mountain bike racing. About $7 a six-pack in stores now through June. March 21 Whole Foods kicks off its beer season with beer gurus from Merchant du Vin and Pike Brewing Co. Let them coach you on German pronunciation as each course (grilled prawns with tropical fruit salsa; bratwurst with sauerkraut and new potatoes; stout flavored gingerbread) is paired with top-notch German brews such as Pinkus and Ayinger. $30. 68:30 p.m. 1026 N.E. 64th St., 206-985-1500. ROOSEVELT March 28-29 Seattle Centers first annual spring beer festival, Hops on Equinox, celebrates the release of the regions spring beers, meads, and flavored malt beverages. Expect over 30 beer vendors, live music, and gourmet hors doeuvres. $20. 510 p.m. Fri., 110 p.m. Sat. Fisher Pavilion, 206-633-0422. SEATTLE CENTER DEAL MEALS Starting in March, Chef Gianfranco Bafaros dishing up four-course Italian meals for $25 at both his Eastside restaurants. The special dinners available SundayThursday weekly along with a selection of wines priced under $30. Calabria Ristorante Italiano, 132 Lake St. S., 425-822-7350, KIRKLAND; Gianfranco Ristorante Italiano, 8150-C Railroad Ave. S.E., 425-888-6621, SNOQUALMIE BACK TO SCHOOL March 23 Call it Turkey Day Training. As part of its ongoing Basic Cooking Series, Whole Foods stages an introduction to poultry, with an emphasis on turkey. Learn proper handling, sanitation, and preparations; also blanching vegetables, yams vs. sweet potatoes, and glazing techniques. Then cook maple-glazed turkey breast, candied cranberries, chipotle yam puree, and Brussels sprouts. $20. 6:309 p.m.1026 N.E. 64th St., 206-985-1500. ROOSEVELT March 29 Yarrow Beach Caf頣hef Cameon Orel has spring on her mind when she demonstrates how to prepare baby field greens with caramelized Vidalia onions, Alaskan halibut, grilled asparagus, and double chocolate bread pudding with brandy custard sauce. $39. 11 a.m.1 p.m. at the Yarrow Bay Grill & Beach Caf鬠1270 Carillon Point, 425-803-2941. KIRKLAND COMING UP April 12 Learn to prepare appetizers such as crab cakes, shrimp wrapped in Gai-lan, ahi tuna poke, and sister-in-law mussels with the talented folks at Flying Fish; Then impress the guests at your next cocktail party. Youll get lunch and wine pairings as well. $55. 10:30 a.m. 2234 First Ave., 206-728-8595. BELLTOWN. May 17 Learn all about buying, cutting, and cooking one of Seattles most illustrious exportsseafood. Recipes include Thai curry sea scallops, fennel cured steelhead, and black Kasu cod. Lunch and wine pairings will be served. $55. 10:30 a.m. Flying Fish, 2234 First Ave., 206-728-8595. BELLTOWN

 
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