Food News

December 20 - 27, 2006 (expanded from print version).

NEWS In case anyone needs convincing that Washington produces some of the most critically acclaimed wines in the world, our state took home eight of Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 picks. Noted wines include the eight-place Chateau Saint Michelle 2003 Ethos Syrah, with 94 points; J. Bookwalter Winery's 2005 Riesling 22nd with 93 points; and Soos Creek Wine Cellars' 2003 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 45th with 94 points. Yet another well-founded reason to drink our local wares. If you're looking for a swank (or not too swank) place to take your honey out to Christmas dinner, we've received tempting menus from several places around town, including the following: Earth & Ocean, Mulleady's Irish Pub, and Coldwater Bar and Grill. Christmas Eve dinner is offered by 35th Street Bistro and Tulio, and Anthony's Homeport will serve a lutefisk holiday brunch on Christmas Eve. For the uninitiated, lutefisk is a lye-cured cod delicacy, which I am told, brings fond childhood memories to the Scandinavians who grew up on the stuff. FARM FRESH The U District farmers market is one of the only markets to run year-round, and this weekend, they welcome back the much-loved La Panzanella bakery. Though their baked goods are available at cafes and restaurants all over town, since the bakery's Union Street storefront cafe closed a few months ago, their crusty Italian-style loaves have not been so easy to take home. Also offered at this market are Olympia oysters, red Kuri squash, duck eggs, as well as raw, whole milk and heavy cream. All the better for topping those holiday pies and tarts you've been planning to make, right? For these and other unusual food finds, visit Saturdays, 9 a.m.–2 p.m., at the corner of University Way Northeast and Northeast 50th Street. To find a market close to you, visit Advance registration or reservations are recommended for most of the following events. Prices exclusive of tax and gratuity unless otherwise noted. DRINK UP Through December 23 The Elysian, a favorite Capitol Hill brew pub, opened a second location in September; if you haven't visited their new downtown space yet, this might be a good time to stop in. Belgian Noel Week at Elysian Fields offers a tasting of Belgian holiday ales on tap, including their own version, Elysian Bête Noel '06. Sample a variety of Belgian brews, from Delirium Noel '06 to De Dolle Still Nacht '02 to N'ice Chouffe '06. Prices vary. Elysian Fields, 542 First Ave. S., 382-4498, PIONEER SQUARE Thursday, December 21 If you're still trying to suss out the perfect champagne to give or pop on New Year's, you might want to stop into "champagnes and sparklings" tasting with Marco D'Ambrosio from Alaska Distributors. 6–9 p.m. Free. Maple Leaf Wine Cellar, 9634 Roosevelt Way N.E., 523-1333, MAPLE LEAF Need the perfect bottle of wine for a gift, and don't quite know what that is? This complementary tasting offers a chance to find some taste-tested holiday presents, as well as sample some port. Free. 4:30–6:30 p.m. Vinado Retail Warehouse, 14 S. Idaho St., 233-9463, SODO Food and/or beverage news or events? E-mail

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