The Hot Sheet

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

ON THE PLATE St. Cloud's The menu mixes traditional neighborhood restaurant comfort food with sophisticated seasonals: At breakfast, standards like chicken-fried steak ($8) and French toast ($5.50) sit next to inventions like the Imperial mix-up ($7), a concoction of rice, scallions, eggs, and ginger with marinated tempeh or Portuguese sausage. For dinner, the same delectable dilemma remains—a grilled cheeseburger with green chili aﯬi ($8) or the curry-breaded fish with lime-coconut sauce and roasted butternut squash (market price)? No problem choosing dessert—a thick slice of sweet potato bourbon pecan pie ($5). 1131 34th, 726-1522. IN THE GLASS Sagelands '00 Four Corners Columbia Valley merlot Grapes from four regions—the Horse Heaven Hills, Rattlesnake Hills, Wahluke Slope, and the Walla Walla valley—are blended to produce Fr餩rique Spencer's latest release, crafted to complement hearty roasted and smoked meats. Around $14.50 in most wineshops. AT THE MARKETS This week Seattle's neighborhood farmers markets reopen for the summer with a wider selection of foods than ever: not just veggies and jams and eggs and flowers but frozen free-range chickens and pork and—first time ever—fresh fish and shellfish! The weekly Wednesday market in Columbia City runs 3-7 p.m., the market Saturdays at University Heights in the U District is 9 a.m.-2 p.m., and Sundays in West Seattle there's a market from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Thursday market opening June 20 in Lake City—another first—runs 3-7 p.m. THIS WEEK June 3 Devour six delicious courses—but decorously!--as you learn the ins and outs of dining etiquette, from where to leave your napkin if you must excuse yourself to how to complain—firmly but politely!--that there's a bug in your Beaujolais. Hans-Peter Aebersold does the continental cooking while master sommelier Dieter Schafer offers the tactful tips. $68. Geneva, 1106 Eighth, 624-2222. June 5 Yee-hah!!! Tom Douglas turns his Palace Kitchen into a barbecue pit. Sample Tom's sauces and rubs applied to ribs, brisket, chicken, and salmon, not to mention two Red Hook brewskies, all for $25 a head. Plus live blues! No reservations. 5p.m.-1a.m. 2030 Fifth, 448-2001. June 5 Philip Mihalski crafts a hearty country-style menu for a tasting of nine country wines of France rarely seen on restaurant lists. The dinner includes mussel soup, duck confit with roast turnips and fava beans, braised veal cheeks with spaetzle, a cheese course served with fruit compote, and strawberry shortcake with strawberry ice cream. $65. 6:30 p.m. at Nell's, 6804 Green Lake Way N., 524-4044. COMING UP June 12 Shop Pike Place with a professional as Kaspar Donier of Kaspar's assembles ingredients for a barley and mushroom risotto, cooks them up, and shares the results with you—you lucky, lucky person. $30 per person. 9:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. For reservations, call 774-5249. Food and/or beverage news? Bring it: E-mail the Hot Sheet at

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