The Hot Sheet

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

ON THE PLATE PIATTI Open again in U Village, the Napa-based Italian cuisine chain is touting a new menu based on executive chef Paul Marks' recent research in the land of la bella figura. Results include a salad of shaved carrot and baby greens garnished with baked goat cheese ($5.95); a leek, mushroom cream, and Oregon blue cheese lasagna ($13.95); grilled peach and pork chop with fingerling potatoes and a drizzle of balsamico ($14.95); and oven-roasted breast of duck with cherries poached in Chianti and a citrus risotto ($18.95). University Village, 524-9088. VIDAL'S The long-awaited expansion's been delayed until summer, but Vidal Bitton continues to cook up a storm in his original Kirkland quarters. Currently on the bill of fare: a crab tart drizzled with mild horseradish sauce and a red pepper coulis ($11); a grilled fish "Napoleon," sauced with dried tomato pur饠and basil oil ($22.75); New Zealand venison with Bing cherry sauce and souffl頰otatoes ($28.50); and Bitton's signature citrus marinated Moroccan chicken ($21.50). 107 Lake, Kirkland, 425-822-0977. CHUTNEY'S Open again under the eye of founder-chef Nazir Khamisa, the popular Queen Anne dining spot is putting more emphasis than ever on Indian cuisine with a Northwest twist: king crab cakes with coconut-mint chutney ($7.95); salmon, halibut, prawns, and mussels poached in a mild tomato-curry sauce ($14.95); medallions of lamb marinated in saffron-scented yogurt, then tandoori-baked ($12.95); plus a dozen flavorful vegetarian delights all under $11. 519 First N., 284-6799. IN THE GLASS JANUIK 1999 REDS Veteran winemaker Mike Januik releases his first reds under his own label: a Columbia Valley syrah at $30, a Seven Hills Vineyard merlot (available in limited quantities) for $40, and a Coumbia Valley merlot that has, in the words of one who should know, "the colour of a Turley, the nose of a Opus, the sweet fruit of a Leonetti, the balance of a Newton, and, best of all . . . oops, the bottle's empty!" Around $35 at serious wine shops. CHINOOK 2000 CAB FRANC ROSɼ/B> The third edition of Chinook's "European-style" (i.e., dry, food-oriented) ros鬠designed for sipping chilled with casual summer meals. Now in shops at around $14. Keep an eye out, too, for the winery's '98 cabernet franc, soon to be released at about $20. IN THE MARKET At SOSIO'S Produce in the main arcade of the Pike Place Market, look for salty "sea-beans" and garlic spears (the flower stalk of elephant garlic). Chinese broccoli (gai lan), yu choy, snow peas, and sugar peas are coming into season. Keep in mind that the seasonal farmer's markets are now in full swing all over King County (see this week's Side Dish). COMING UP 6/9 Washington winemakers present their latest in a free tasting at ESQUIN WINE MERCHANTS. Among the vintners expected to attend are Washington Hills/Apex, Hyatt, Januik (see above), Terra Blanca, McRae, and Chatter Creek. Tasting from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 2700 Fourth S., 682-7374. 6/21 Celebrate the solstice (with luck) on the terrace at SERAFINA with a five-course, five-wine Italian dinner featuring a bounty of antipasti; tagliatelle topped with bunny, fava beans, and morels; a salad of grilled squab with cippolini onions; and fruit-topped panna cotta for dessert. $85. 2043 Eastlake E., 323-0807. E-mail to let us in on the hot stuff.

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