The Hot Sheet

What's in, what's fresh, what's cooking.

ON THE PLATE CASCADIA—Diners without trust fund support can now sample chef Kerry Sear's way with food in Cascadia's brand-new bar and terrace menu. All items—among them Campari tomatoes stuffed with goat cheese and basil, a skewered-seafood salad with lemon thyme dressing, escalope of organic chicken, stir-fry beef tenderloin, and potato salad—come in under $10. 2328 First, 448-8884. NELL'S—For spring dining, may the management suggest a first course of seared sea scallops with grapefruit and avocado puree in a cilantro vinaigrette ($12)? Then perhaps roast duck breast with kohlrabi and braised wild leeks ($22), or the halibut with roasted spring onions, pea sauce, and a drizzle of truffle oil ($21). 6804 E Green Lake Way N, 524-4044. CAFE FLORA—Madison Park's temple of vegetarian gastronomy features an artichoke, cheddar, and peppercorn aioli poorboy sandwich ($9.50) and a portobello and swiss "French dip" with mushroom "jus" ($11) at lunch, black-eyed pea fritters with peppers and chard on turmeric basmati rice ($13.50) and a "Napoleon" of mushroom, tomato, spinach, and goat cheese layered between sheets of red-pepper pasta ($17) for dinner. P.S. Our 2001 Dining Guide erred in saying Flora's a dry house: Beer and wine have always been on the menu. 20901 E Madison, 325-9100. CASSIS—It's asparagus month at Cassis, with both crispy green and sleek white stalks gracing dishes as various as a salad with ham and mustard vinaigrette ($10), a pasta with fresh peas, garlic, cream, and parmesan ($16), and with hollandaise as a side dish to roast chicken ($21). 2359 10th E, 329-0580. IN THE GLASS L'ECOLE 41—One of the Walla Walla Valley's top wineries releases its eagerly awaited 1998 Bordeaux-style red blend ($36) and two editions of 1999 merlot: a $30 Columbia Valley bottling including a dash of cabernet sauvignon and cab franc for complexity, and the top-of-the-line Seven Hills Vineyard at $40. MATTHEWS CELLARS—Not usually open to the public, this small premium Woodinville winery welcomes volunteers to help with its annual bottling. This year's WHITE WINE BOTTLING takes place Monday-Wednesday 5/14-16; if you're interested in taking part—i.e., working—give the winery a call at 425-487-9810. COMING UP 5/22—When it comes to choosing wine to go with Copper River salmon, there are two schools of thought: Some swear by fine Oregon pinot noirs, others will have only a dry white from France's Alsace region. The latter (assuming they've got $150 to spare) will be in heaven attending the six-course banquet at Pier 70's WATERFRONT RESTAURANT featuring the legendary wines of HUBERT TRIMBACH. Call 956-9171 for information. 6/2—Easygoing sips and snacks at the annual COLUMBIA WINERY SUMMERFEST in Woodinville, offering the Northwest's biggest promotional spread of locally made specialty foods. Saturday 11-6, Sunday 11-5. $10. 14030 NE 145th, call 425-488-2776 for directions. 6/3—A baker's dozen of top Northwest chefs contribute their services for the third annual CHEF'S NIGHT OUT benefit at the Golf Club at Newcastle. Participants, each of whom cook exclusively for a table of 10, include the Herbfarm's Jerry Traunfeld, Stephane Desgache of the Barking Frog, Chateau Ste. Michelle's John Sarich, and Greg Campbell of Kirkland's Third Floor Fish Caf鮠$150 per person, from predinner cocktail to postprandial port. For information, call 694-6846. If it's fresh, hot, or new, we want to know. E-mail

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