Food News

September 27 - October 4, 2006 (expanded from print version)

News Cafe Europa, the mysteriously tagged "non–Capitol Hill cafe on Capitol Hill" has closed its doors on 17th Avenue East at Galer Street. A sign heralds a soon-to-open eatery from two former Carmelita folks named Heather and Ericka (we're assuming that's chef Ericka Burke). The menu will feature comfort food—with, we hope, lots of vegetarian options—for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Eventually, they'll offer some special wine dinners. The new sign makes a point of saying everyone will be welcome, a detail we love, so be sure to head on over next month to check it out. Fresh from Portland, restaurateur Michael Hebberoy (part of the recently split husband and wife duo that created the nationally known restaurant company ripe) has teamed with Gypsy Dinners under the new moniker Vagabond. Continuing Hebberoy's explorations into the way we think about food culture, Vagabond will serve communal three-course meals, with the main course dished up in a big cast-iron pot. The idea is to go out to dinner, eat and drink with perfect strangers, and come away with new friends. The meals are $35, with tax, tip, wine, and dessert extra. On Mondays beginning Oct. 23, Ballard's Portalis Wine Bar will host Vagabond's underground family-style dinners where guest chefs will make "the sexiest peasant food in one pot." The kicker: You can't just show up at one of these gypsy dinners, you have to fill out an application. They want to know what you will bring to the table. One of the application questions: "What makes you cool enough to join?" Farm Fresh Well, one has to admit fall has finally arrived, and the produce at this week's farmers markets seems hard evidence of this. Squash will crowd the tables, including Delicata and Rouge Pumpkin varieties, as well as Chicken of the Woods mushrooms and Crimson Thor potatoes with red skin and flesh. Chinese chestnuts are available at the University District Market, Saturdays, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at University Way and Northeast 50th Street. To find a market in your neighborhood, visit Advance registration or reservations are recommended for most of the following events. Prices exclusive of tax and gratuity unless otherwise noted. Drink Up Wednesday, September 27 Drink up for a good cause. Boomtown Cafe feeds low-income people in dignity by offering low-cost meals as well as the opportunity to pay for a meal by working in their kitchen. To raise funds for their new downtown location, Boomtown is hosting a beer and wine tasting, with samples from Coeur D'Alene Cellars Winery, New Belgium Brewing Company, Elysian Brewery, and Georgetown Beer. $35 6:30–9 p.m. The Lakeside, 2501 Northlake Way, 206-625-2989 LAKE UNION Back to School Thursday, September 28 Have you always wanted to decorate a cake like a professional? Here's the class for you,promising tips to improve your frosting handwriting, border piping, and proper knife usage. And (we're guessing) lots of lick-your-fingers samples of the buttercream. $55. 6–8 p.m. Starry Nights Catering & Events, 11200 Kirkland Way, #220. 425-284-2479. KIRKLAND On the Plate Tuesday, October 3 Dark Dining, in which you are blindfolded as you eat, has come to Seattle, beginning at Rover's, the upscale Madison Valley spot that's been around so long many people have never heard of it. Run by "chef in the hat" Thierry Rautureau, this four-course dinner (with wine) promises to be an unusual experience in high-concept dining. The Food Filer is not quite sure how she feels about eating (and drinking) blind, but at this price (which includes a performance of some sort), one hopes that diners' senses are indeed challenged. $165. 6:30 p.m., Rover's, 2820 E. Madison St. 206-325-7442. MADISON VALLEY

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