The Table introduces Sarasota's favorite girls' night out to St. Petersburg with its "Women and Wine Wednesday" evenings. Tonight the Table will match July's scorching heat by kicking it up a notch with a one-of-a-kind event featuring fashion artist Aleka Phoenix and celebrity stylist Albie Mulcahy and the VLVT lounge stylist team. The event, hosted the first Wednesday of every month from 9 to 11 p.m., invites women who attend in their perfect little black dress to drink "Little Black Dress" wine, compliments of the house. The Table, 539 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; (727) 823-3700.
And at MOSI, free ice cream
Guests of Tampa's Museum of Science & Industry on July 20 are in for a cool treat. Blue Bell Ice Cream will be serving ice cream samples, free with MOSI admission (while supplies last), from noon to 2 p.m. in celebration of National Ice Cream Day. Museumgoers will fully understand the science of ice cream while MOSI's InterActors demonstrate the mysteries of freezing with their cryo-demo using liquid nitrogen. MOSI, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa; (813) 987-6100.
Gump joins lineup at John's Pass
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. opens in Madeira Beach at John's Pass Village on July 13. In preparation, brush up on your Forrest Gump trivia (the trivia contests get heated, waiters already having a massive corporately mandated head start). The menu features shrimp front and center, but also does a fine job with Dixie-style ribs and margaritas. Another tip: To call your waiter, turn your tabletop sign to "Run Forrest Run. Turn it to "Stop Forrest Stop" when your needs are fully met. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., 185 Boardwalk Place, Madeira Beach; (727) 392-1500.
Tofu by any other name . . .
According to a story on Slate.com, China is preparing for the Beijing Olympics in a new way. In anticipation of hoards of foreigners coming to enjoy Chinese food, the government is suggesting that many traditional Chinese dishes be given new, more appetizing translations. The government has produced a 170-page book for Beijing hotels suggesting new names for more than 2,000 dishes. Dishes such as "husband and wife's lung slice" or "chicken without sexual life" may be given a makeover. The latter becomes a more demure "steamed pullet." Some in the Chinese culinary community object to this sanitizing, saying it removes the richness from this historic cuisine. On the other hand, which would you rather eat, "bean curd made by a pockmarked woman" or "Mapo tofu"?
Laura Reiley, Times food critic