Farm Fresh

Stroll through the Ballard Farmers Market, where you might be tempted to pick up some fresh local eggs, fancy locally produced cheeses, and such pantry standbys as potatoes and honey in a range of exotic varieties. It's open Sundays, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., at Ballard Avenue at 20th Avenue Northwest ( To find a farmers 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 Wednesday, March 14 A Greek Orthodox church hosts a wine tasting put on by the Seattle Wine Society, titled You Say Syrah, I Say Shiraz. Sample a variety of syrahs from France, Australia, and Washington state, 50 wines in all; your entry fee gives you access to a whopping 12 tastes. Appetizers and chocolates served as well. $33/$23 members. 7–9 p.m. St. Demetrios Cultural Center, 2100 Boyer Ave. E., 621-9463, CAPITOL HILL Wednesdays, March 14–28 As part of Washington Wine Month, BOKA is hosting a tasting series of McCrea wines, featuring a 2005 roussanne, Ciel du Cheval (Red Mountain), and a 2004 Sirocco (grenache, syrah, mourvèdre, counoise; Washington state). Served with cheese and charcuterie (cured meats, most often pork). $30. 5:30–7 p.m. BOKA, 1010 First Ave., 357-9000, Saturday, March 17 This Saint Paddy's Day, if you need an excuse to drink up, try your hand at a limerick contest at the Metropolitan Grill. Prizes include a night at Hotel Max. 4–7 p.m. Metropolitan Grill, 820 Second Ave., 624-3287, DOWNTOWN McCormick & Schmick's will host Saint Patrick's Day parties at their restaurants all over town. Their Fourth Avenue location features bagpipe players, Irish dancers, eating contests, giveaways, and Irish fare on the menu, such as shepherd's pie. McCormick's Fish House & Bar, 722 Fourth Ave., 682-3900, DOWNTOWN Sundays, March 18–April 29 If you like a fine glass of wine but can't begin to articulate why, sommelier Arnie Millan's Introduction to Wine Classes might be the perfect way to while away a Sunday afternoon, or several. Tasting at least six wines per class, you'll explore topics including grape varietals, Washington wines, wine-food pairing, and wine trends. 4–6 p.m. $39 per class/$250 for the seven-class series. Warwick Hotel, 401 Lenora St., 612-6547. DOWNTOWN ON THE PLATE Thursday, March 15 A French dinner for a French birthday: Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Seattle chapter of Alliance Française, the local school for French language and culture. The menu includes moules marinières (mussels, white wine, garlic, and herbs) and boeuf bourguignon (beef stewed with red wine), as well as salad, cheese, dessert, and coffee, prepared by culinary arts students. Noon. $20–$22. Art Institute of Seattle, Portfolio Restaurant, Fifth Floor, 2600 Alaskan Way, 632-5433. DOWNTOWN Saturday, March 17 Kirkland's Wilde Rover Irish Pub & Restaurant hosts an all-day, kid-friendly Saint Patrick's Day celebration, from brunch to closing, with local Irish bands and face painting for the little ones. $20 prix fixe brunch menu/$10 cover for live music. 10 a.m.–close. Wilde Rover Irish Pub & Restaurant, 111 Central Way, 425-822-8940, KIRKLAND BACK TO SCHOOL Sunday, March 18 With bars and pubs all over town competing for your Saint Paddy's day buck, Fadó has come up with a Saint Patrick's Day After-Party, with a 10 a.m. Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar and, though it sounds like hangover torture, Seattle's Longest Running Irish Session: Traditional Irish Music, from 4 to 7 p.m. Fadó Irish Pub and Restaurant, 801 First Ave., 264-2700, PIONEER SQUARE Food and/or beverage news or events? E-mail

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