Pinot With Your Parsnips

In a display of concord and common sense otherwise unseen this session, the Washington state Legislature passed and delivered to the Governor a bill permitting wineries to sell their products at registered farmers' markets statewide. Don't expect to see Ste. Michelle setting up a booth between the beets and the bratwurst; big wineries, even mid-sized wineries don't have a lot of difficulty getting their products through the state's complicated "three-tier" (producer-distributor-retailer) sales system. It's the momma-poppa operations that stand to benefit; winemakers who don't produce enough to interest a distributor and who can't afford tasting rooms of their ownwhich is nice, because they're the ones 37th District Rep. Eric Pettigrew had a mind to help when he started pushing the bill last fall. COASTAL CUISINE When Samis Land Company's William Justin needed someone to create a classy restaurant worthy of the company's renovated Smith Tower, he turned to the dining desert of north Capitol Hilldeserted, that is, with the notable exception of Jeff Fike's Cassis. The establishment in question was originally slated to open a year ago, but plans were put on hold in the wake of 9/11. Now due to open in June, Bandol ("the next town down the coast from Cassis," jokes Fike) will have a French country-style menu very like that of Cassis, seasonal and changing monthly, but lighter as befitting a luncheon spot (dinners may come later). The front of the shop will be devoted to a sandwich shop specializing in classic French take-out: croques Monsieur et Madame, baguettes, etc. A bar menu will encourage after-work drop-in trade, and a 12-seat banquet room will be available for business meetings and parties. Bandol chef Timothy Dunning will also be in charge of catering events for the Tower's 35th-floor 360-degree-view Chinese Room. MEAT-FREE MARINERS The American League West division champs have already been decided. By PETA. The Mariners win, but PETA's not so concerned with what's happening on the field as what's happening in the standsthe food stands. And by the organizations count, Safeco Field is the most vegetarian-friendly stadium in its division (Oakland, Anaheim, and Texas aren't far behind). But don't worry, traditionalists: The veggie dog won't be replacing your meat frank anytime soon. FAST FISH Rice N' Roll, the snazzy high-speed sushi stand that sprouted three Seattle-area locations in the past year alone, now has designs on locations from Bellevue to SeaTac. Taek Chong, the affable owner/ P.R. whiz who, along with his wife, Joana, is behind Rice N' Roll's speedy rise to success, says he'd like to see the family-owned mini-chain add another location in the area every six months. The conceptfast, fresh sushi rolls in a clean, supermodern environmenthas already been exported from the original downtown location at Second and Madison to outposts in Bellevue and, as of this Monday, Westlake Center. Will Rice N' Roll's impressively high quality get lost in the translation? Chong says quality control is his top concern as Rice N' Roll's march across Seattle advances. With all the new locations that are planned, Rice N' Roll could soon be the Starbucks of local sushi chains. Can a franchise be far behind? Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at food@seattleweekly.com

 
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