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Upcoming food events, wine tastings

Special events

Meatball Majesty: Today-Thur., Maggiano's, WestShore Plaza, Tampa. Submit an index card with your favorite family meatball recipe; winner announced at Festa Italiana March 30, receives $250 Maggiano's gift certificate, recipe featured at Maggiano's for one week. (813) 288-9000.

Cool Taste of Spring: Thur., Rita's Water Ice, 1010 Court St., Clearwater. Kick off first day of spring with free cup of Italian ice at this and other area Rita's Ice locations, hours vary. (727) 446-3023.

Tampa Bay Vegetarians: 7 p.m. Tues., Yasmina's International Bistro, 28530 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. Choice of entree and dessert in vegetarian dinner, guests welcome. $12.50, plus $2 for non-members. (727) 432-3327 or (813) 269-4665.

Rum Festival Dinner: 6:30-10 p.m. March 27, Island Way Grill, 20 Island Way, Clearwater. Each of five courses from chef Tom Pritchard infused with rum, plus rum tastings, part of International Rum Festival, benefits Abilities, Sky Ranch Foundation. $125. (727) 947-3522.

Italian Wine Dinner: 7 p.m. March 27, Toasted Pheasant Bistro, 14445 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Five courses, including duck confit, paired with prosecco, sangiovese. $49.50. (813) 265-6700.

Bargain Tastes: 6:30-8:30 p.m. March 28, Bern's Fine Wine & Spirits, 1002 S Howard Ave., Tampa. Wines rated more than 90 points that cost less than $20. $25. (813) 250-9463.

"Rum On the Bar B Q": 7-10 p.m. March 28, Gaspars Grotto, 1805 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Rums paired with grilled foods, plus guest rum judges, rummakers, part of International Rum Festival. $35. (727) 947-3522.

Rum's the Word: 8-11 p.m. March 29, Cuban Club, 2010 Avenida Republica De Cuba, Tampa. International Rum Festival with global array of rums, Brazilian cachacas (brandies), culinary treats, master distillers and rummakers, must be over 21. $50 advance, $60 at door for VIP (7 p.m. admission), $35 advance, $45 cash at door for general admission (8-11 p.m.). (727) 947-3522.

Festa Italiana: 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. March 30, Centennial Park, Eighth Avenue and 18th Street, Ybor City. All things Italian, with food, grape stomping, cooking demonstrations; kids' activities include marionette show and rides; entertainment includes Frank Stallone, Italian Idol finalists; Ferrari, Maserati show. $5 admission, under 12 free, charge for food. (813) 342-3630.

Cooking classes

Hors d' Oeuvres #101: 6-10 p.m. Thur., Let Them Eat Cake, 3805 S West Shore Blvd., Tampa. Chef Jason's class makes easy hors d'oeuvres. $50. (813) 480-5466.

"Eat 2 Live": 6:30 p.m. Thur., Nature's Food Patch, 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Dining and discussion group. Free. (727) 443-6703.

Classical French Cuisine: noon-4 p.m. Sun., Let Them Eat Cake, 3805 S West Shore Blvd., Tampa. Chef Jason shares classic French menu. $50. (813) 480-5466.

Cafe Largo Cuisine: 6:30 p.m. Mon. and March 31, Cafe Largo, 12551 Indian Rocks Road, Largo. Chef Dominique's informal class on French cuisine with a modern twist includes wine, light dinner. $37.50. (727) 596-6282.

Conversational Cuisine: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tues., Castellano and Pizzo Italian Foods, 4200 S Henderson Blvd., Tampa. Italian for Travelers two-week class Tue.- April 1, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. $80; Beginner's Italian four-week class, Thursdays 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. March 27-April 17, $195, both include Italian dinner. Four-week Italian language class 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Wednesdays March 26-April 16 includes dinner, Bacco's Tuscan Dining, 23 N Lemon Ave., Sarasota. $215. (727) 866-6892.

Kicked-Up Brown Bags: 6 p.m. March 26, Apron's Cooking School at Publix Supermarket, 7835 Gunn Highway, Tampa. Make muffuletta, roasted

chicken and brie wraps, other upscale lunches. $40. (813) 926-4465.

Sweet Strawberry Treats: 6-10 p.m. March 27, Let Them Eat Cake, 3805 S West Shore Blvd., Tampa. Chef Jason makes strawberry desserts. $50. (813) 480-5466.

Muffins & Breads for Kids: 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. March 29, Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium, 2080 Badlands Drive, Brandon. Kids' class makes blueberry-lemon muffins, banana spice loaf, more. $25. (813) 653-2418.

Jewish Family Cooking: 7-8:30 p.m. March 31, Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 2713 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa. Judy Bart Kancigor, author of Cooking Jewish, shares favorite recipes, with samplings. Free, but registration preferred. (813) 264-9000.

Wine tastings, classes

Sneak Peek Menu Pairing: 5-8 p.m. today, VINO 100, 5056 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. City Cafe and Marketplace's new menu items, paired with wines. Free. (727) 522-8466.

ABC Tasting: 6-8 p.m. today, ABC Fine Wines & Spirits, 3110 W Gandy Blvd., Tampa. Savor more than 70 wines, hors d'oeuvres, chat with wine experts. $10. (813) 839-7167.

Mystery of French Wines: 6-8 p.m. Thur., Tampa Wine Institute, 2009 N 22nd St. , Tampa. Learn how France elevated wine to art form, compare wines from France's growing regions. $30. (813) 241-8587.

Pasta, Pizza Pairings: 6-8 p.m. Thur., Lincoln Heights Bistro, 603 Elm St., Safety Harbor. Pizza Rustica, eggplant parmesan, more, paired with Italian wines. $12. (727) 726-4210.

Borra Vineyards: 5-7 p.m. Thur. B-21 Fine Wine & Spirits, 43380 U.S. 19 N, Tarpon Springs. Steve Borra of Borra Vineyards in California's Lodi area shares new vintages. Registration preferred. Free. (727) 937-5049, ext. 431.

Ace Winefest: 4-7 p.m. Fri., Ace Liquors, 800 Chestnut St., Clearwater. Winefest with variety of wines rated 90 points or more. Free. (727) 446-6754.

Easter Favorites: Sparkling, merlot, other wines to match with Easter favorites:

• 4-7 p.m. Fri., VINO 100, 1038 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico. Free. (813) 654-8466.

Noon-7 p.m. Sat., VINO 100, 5056 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 522-8466.

VIP Sampling: 6-8 p.m. Fri., Pic Pac Fine Wines, 6609 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Wines from around the world, Salt Rock Grill food, benefits Abilities Foundation. $25. (727) 347-0743.

California Favorites: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fri., Uncorked Fine Wines and Accessories, 2706 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. California classics chardonnay and cabernet, plus newer varieties including pinotage. $10, benefits Blossom Montessori School for the Deaf. (727) 892-9463.

Spanish Exploration: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fri., Bern's Fine Wine & Spirits, 1002 S Howard Ave., Tampa. Spanish wines from portfolio of Jorge Ordonez. $25. (813) 250-9463.

Champagne Tastes: 7:30 p.m. Fri., Charlie's Wine Cellar, 533 S Howard Ave., No. 2, Tampa.

Dom Perignon Champagne, shrimp, crabcakes, cheesecake and more. $35, advance registration required. (813) 250-1967.

Spring Wines: 1-4 p.m. Sat., A&L Fine Wines, 35249 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor. Usher in spring with riesling, pinot grigio, chianti, other lighter style wines. Free. (727)


Got Global Wines? 6-8 p.m. Sat., Got Wine, 662 Main St., Dunedin. Belgian and German beers, red and white wines from around the world, appetizers, live R&B music. $10. (727) 736-4077.

Napa & Sonoma Taste Tour: 7:30 p.m. Sat., Charlie's Wine Cellar, 533 S Howard Ave., No. 2, Tampa. Napa, Sonoma wines and cuisine combine in dinner, wine lesson. $35, advance registration required. (813) 250-1967.

Festive Wines: 6-9 p.m. March 27, Italian Club, 1731 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. "Wines of Italy'' sampling; more than 80 wines, antipasti, dessert, benefits Restoration Fund. $50 by Fri., $60 afterwards. (813) 248-3316.

Sipping Outside the Box: 4-6 p.m. March 29, West Palm Wines, 2009 N 22nd St., Ybor City. European wines paired with artisan cheese and breads, plus wood wine boxes for sale for $10 per box, or free with 12-bottle purchase; e-mail RSVP required: [email protected] Free tasting. (813) 241-8587.

Food file is compiled by Peggy Anders. Send news of coming events at least two weeks in advance to Food File, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, e-mail [email protected], or fax (727) 892-2327.

Upcoming food events, wine tastings 03/18/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 6:00am]
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