By PEGGY ANDERS, Times Staff Writer
Special events and food tastings
POSTTAX SNACKS AND WINE: 7-9 p.m. Thur., Harr's Surf and Turf Market, 3235 Tampa Road, Palm Harbor. Tax Relief Tasting samples 30 wines, plus food specialties prepared by Harr's chefs; benefits Kiwanis projects: $25. Call (727) 785-8873.
PREVIEW TASTE OF THE BEST: Special-menu wine dinners at four Tampa restaurants preview the annual Best of Tampa Bay benefit: Mon. at T.C. Choy's Asian Bistro, 301 S Howard Ave.; Tue. at Roy's, 4342 W Boy Scout Blvd; April 24 at Six Tables, 4267 Henderson Blvd.; April 25 at Centre Club, 123 Westshore Blvd. All dinners at 7 p.m., $95 per dinner, inclusive. Proceeds benefit the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Call (813) 222-1037 to reserve.
FINE WINES AT FLEMING'S: 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. dinner Tue., Fleming's Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 4322 W Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa. Wine dinner co-hosted by Gallo of Sonoma includes oysters on the half shell with citrus pinot gris ice, mushroom ravioli with tarragon pinot noir sauce, apple Cheddar cobbler with gingered custard sauce; wines include Gallo's pinot gris, northern Sonoma estate cabernet sauvignon, Russian River Valley chardonnay; $80. Call (813) 874-9463.
SAFFRON'S SUPPER: 7 p.m. Tue., Saffron's Caribbean Restaurant, 1700 Park St. N, St. Petersburg. Tampa Bay Vegetarians gather for black bean and corn salsa and chips, curry pasta, collard greens with coconut milk, baked bananas; talk on traditional Chinese medicine follows. Cost: $12, plus gratuity. Reserve by calling (727) 392-0268 by today.
RODNEY STRONG WINE DINNER: 6:30 p.m. April 24, St. Larry's Restaurant, 34980 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor. Spring wine dinner pairs Chef Bill Schrems' creations with Rodney Strong wines. Menu includes Thai curry salad-stuffed Belgian endive, grilled filet mignon with crab cake and truffle-infused sweet potato pancake, herbed Hollandaise and fried leeks, swans of pate choux on a strawberry and chocolate pond; $75, inclusive. Limited seating, call (727) 786-0077.
BACCHUS IN BLACK TIE VII: 6 p.m. reception, 7:30 p.m. dinner, April 25, Renaissance Vinoy Resort, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Starting with "Abbondanza" champagne antipasti reception, gala dinner features the flavors of regional Italian wines and cuisine; benefits the education programs at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Tickets: $175. Call (727) 712-2760.
VIVA SPRING!: beginning at 6 p.m. April 25, Viva La Frida Cafe and Galeria, 5901 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Four course spring menu, followed by dessert and live art performance; menu includes seared scallop with brie and sweet pepper Thai sauce, chipotle rubbed chicken with grilled pesto vegetables, sweet potato mash and a jicama mango mint salsa, mango sorbet: $29.99 plus tax and gratuity. Call (813) 231-9199 to reserve.
CREAM OF THE CROP: 7-11 p.m. April 27, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Best of Tampa Bay combines signature tastes from more than 50 area restaurants such as 42nd Street Bistro, Los Papagallos, Samba Room, Roy's and Armani's with wines, beers and entertainment, to benefit the center's research and education programs: $50, $60 day of event. Call (813) 229-7827 or Ticketmaster.
Wine and beer tastings, classes
WINE TOUR DE FRANCE: 6-9 p.m. Fri., Vintage Wine Cellars, 3629 Henderson Blvd., Tampa. Taste France's newest bottlings and latest releases, with 25 wines from Loire, Provence, Alsace, Burgundy, Bordeaux, other areas: $15, includes $5 coupon. Call (813) 879-2931.
BURGUNDY AND BORDEAUX: 6:30 p.m. Fri., Uncorked Fine Wines and Accessories, 2706 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. French wine tasting, with varieties from the Burgundy and Bordeaux regions sampled; proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: $10, includes souvenir glass. Call (727) 892-9463.
PURPLE MOON TASTING: 1-3 p.m. Sun., Purple Moon, 833 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Purple Moon asks patrons to help choose new wines to be featured on their wine list from among wines tasted; free. Call (727) 738-1540.
SPANISH RENAISSANCE: 6 p.m. April 24, J.D. Ford Fine Wines, 1925 S Osprey Ave., Sarasota. Explore the new age of winemaking in Spain at tasting seminar; $25. Call (941) 362-9463.
TASTES OF ITALY: 6 p.m. April 26, Clubhouse at Aston Gardens at Tampa Bay, 12951 W Linebaugh Ave., Tampa. "Wine Professor" returns from Italy with a sampling of the latest vintner creations: $10. Call (813) 818-9463.
APRONS CLASSES: Aprons Cooking School at Publix Supermarket Shoppes of Citrus Park, 7835 Gunn Highway, Tampa. Create Chinese appetizers and small bites at hands-on dim sum class, 6:30 p.m. Fri., $40; "Beyond Basic Breakfast" takes kids 8-12 beyond soggy cereal in the mornings, $20. Call (813) 926-4465.
PIZZA PARTY AND LUNCH CLASSES: Pizza Party class teaches how to make bagel pizzas, pizza fondue, fresh fruit pizzas, 10 a.m.-noon Sat., $25; learn to be a gracious luncheon host at class that makes tomato bisque, chicken "presents" and lemon torte, noon-2 p.m. April 25, $35. Both classes at Margaret Ann's Catering, 5625 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 525-3983 to reserve.
OYSTERCATCHER'S MENU FAVORITES: noon Sat., Oystercatcher's Restaurant at Hyatt Westshore, 6200 Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. Oystercatcher's chef leads class from preparation to presentation of three-course meal with beverages. Cost: $50, inclusive. Limited seating, call: (813) 207-6815.
COOKING WITH TYLER: Aprons Cooking School at Publix Supermarket Shoppes of Citrus Park, 7835 Gunn Highway, Tampa. Tyler Florence, host of Food Network's Food 911, prepares an eclectic menu and teaches participants how to solve kitchen catastrophes, 1 and 5 p.m. Sat.; $60. Call (813) 926-4465.
CAPA'S ITALIAN CUISINE: Hands-on Italian cuisine cooking class; full meal and recipes are included, wine is extra; 6:15-9:15 p.m. Sun., Capa Italian Deli, 10839 Ulmerton Road, Largo. Cost: $25. Call (727) 518-6222.
BUDGET GOURMET: 6:30-8 p.m. Tue., A Passion for Food, 6837 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Sandra Morawski teaches how to use your imagination to create gourmet fare on a limited budget, $25. Call (727) 522-2882, RSVP required.
SEAFOOD MASTERY: 6:30-9 p.m. Tue., La Maison Gourmet, 471 Main St., Dunedin. Hands-on class makes scallop fritters and mango dip, roasted salmon with apples, onions and sage, coconut layer cake: $39.50. Call (727) 736-3070.
ASIAN CUISINE: 11:30 a.m. April 24, Chelsea Center at Thomas Moore Church, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota. Chef Paul Mattison teaches how to create a menu with Asian flavors; $35. Advance registration required; call (941) 923-8533.
SUPER SANDWICHES:7 p.m. April 24, 10 a.m. April 25, Nature's Harvest Market, 1021 N MacDill Ave., Tampa. Make vegetarian sandwiches for a change-of-pace lunch; free. Call (813) 873-7428.
Send news of coming events at least two weeks in advance of the publication date to Food File, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.
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