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Odds & ends

A new bakery

But this isn't your usual doughnuts and cookies. Panaderia La Canasta Mexican bakery is open at 1545 E. Montgomery Cross Road. My recent visit turned up some three dozen different delicious baked goods, from breads and pastries to cookies and muffins. The bakery is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. (8 .m. on Sunday) until 9 p.m. It's a welcome addition to the growing number of Southside Mexican markets and authentic eateries. In fact, the Southside is somewhat of an ethnic culinary destination, with lots of Chinese, one very authentic Korean restaurant (Kim Chi II) and even Jamaican cuisine.

100 grapes on the wall...

Well, not exactly, but Noble Fare restaurant is hosting a Century Club dinner on Monday, Aug. 9. Participants in the 7-9 course dinner will sample 100 grapes through multiple courses of wine, sauces, reductions and menu ingredients.
Completion of the night will qualify guests to become members of the free Century Club, a group that recognizes oenophiles who have sampled 100 grapes. That many grapes is quite an accomplishment. At best, I've only scored about two-thirds of the list - and I've had some pretty obscure grapes. $119 per person ++, very limited seating. Call 443-3210 to make your reservation.

Rock star wines

I expect Ruth's Chris Steak House Chef Cody Buford to pull out the stops when he cooks for a wine dinner featuring legendary Napa vineyard Silver Oak. I visited the winery during my recent Napa trip and was blown away by a sample of the then unreleased 2006 Silver Oak Napa. The list for dinner is not finalized, but I would expect Silver Oak Napa and Alexander Valley Cabs, as well as Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from the winery's non-Cab label, Twomey Cellars. This will be a perfect opportunity to sample these high-priced wines, enjoy a stunning meal and learn more about great wines - for a fraction the cost of trying to do it yourself. No price tag yet, but the date is set for Sept. 2.