The Hot Sheet

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

CELEBRATE WASHINGTON WINE MONTH Cascadia A seven-course tasting menu accompanied by savory three-ounce samples of as many superb Washington wines, including Mountain Dome's 1995 sparkling wine (with the sea-salt-cured salmon appetizer), L'Ecole No. 41's '00 S魩llon (with the white truffle and wild mushroom bisque), and Hedge's '98 Red Mountain reserve (with the grilled fillet of Washington beef). $70 per person. 2328 First, 448-8884. ON THE PLATE Elliott's Oyster House Oysters native, European, and Japanese, to be sure, but there's also succulent two-pound-and-up Dungeness crab, steamed, spice-grilled, or chilled ($36.95, lunch half-portion $19.95), likewise salmon alder-planked, mesquite-grilled, or lightly smoked and grilled ($24.95/$15.95 lunch), plus enough clam, shrimp, and mussels dishes to keep any shellfish lover wreathed in smiles. Pier 56 (1201 Alaskan Way, foot of Spring), 623-4340. IN THE GLASS Maryhill '00 sauvignon blanc Far from being available only at the winery as we averred in our Feb. 14 issue, this crisp, Bordeaux-style white, a finalist in the great Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition, is to be seen on a number of distinguished restaurant wine lists hereabouts and (for a mere $11) in better wineshops as well. Pyramid Coastline Pilsner A new year-round beer crafted with Northwest seafood and spicy Asian cuisines in mind, matching two-row malted barley and locally grown Vanguard and Hallertau-Hersbrcker hops for full, crisp flavor. Available on draft and in stores (about $6.50 a six-pack). AT THE MARKET Even before the tender green spears of asparagus, the robust red stalks of rhubarb signal the return of local produce to Puget Sound markets. And for those who've been licking their lips over articles in Gourmet and elsewhere about exotic butters from round the world, the Pike Place Market Creamery is the place to go for blocks of the best from contented cows fed on the lush grass of Ireland, Denmark, and Catalunya. THIS WEEK March 9 Train your taste buds to appreciate the wines of Spain and Portugal from ap鲩tif (sherry) to dessert (port), and all stages in between. Free. 3-5 p.m. at La Tienda Cᤩz, 350 15th E., 267-0570. Also note that this nice new spot is open seven days a week, purveying the goods and serving the foods of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco, with dinner till 10 p.m. every darn night. COMING UP March 19 Sip samples of a dozen of Washington's most aristocratic wines and chat with their makers while you nibble equally well-bred appetizers at Seattle Cellars' and El Gaucho's salute to Washington Wine Month. $35. 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Pampas Room, El Gaucho Restaurant, 2505 First in Belltown. By reservation only, 728-1337. THIS JUST IN . . . From now through summer, Szmania's in Kirkland will be closed on Sundays but open for lunch and dinner Mondays. 148 Lake St., 425-803-3310. E-mail the Hot Sheet at!

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