The freshest dining spots and events in the city

Are you aware that Taylorwood Wines (1185 Mainland Street) hosts free tastings Thursdays and Sundays? Now you are. This Thursday (April 12), from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Township 7 winemaker Brad Cooper presents new releases plus some exclusives poured for the first time outside the winery.


Food from The Pear Tree, Horizons, Hart House, Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, and the Valley Bakery features at the 4th biennial Burnaby Empty Bowls event Tuesday (April 17) at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown. Other inducements, apart from feeding the Burnaby hungry, are entertainment, a silent auction, and a hand-crafted bowl to take home. For tickets, $50, call 604-664-8853 or 604-205-3000.


Chefs and dishes on CityCooks (6 p.m. weekdays) take you to far-flung places. On Friday (April 13), it's Greece with Nikos Patsis of Taverna Gorgona making kota gemisti (stuffed chicken) and kremithopita (onion pie). Then Tuesday (April 18) Vikram Bajaj of Ace Curries To Go prepares mixed-veggie sabz-e bahar , chicken teerandaaz, and other Indian fare. On Wednesday (April 17), it's time to come home with John Bishop's garlic-studded, slow-roasted lamb shoulder with Puy lentil stew.


An espresso-hued tiled faí§ade sets the scene for CHOW, a newly minted, minimalist eatery at 3121 Granville Street. Interiors follow suit with simple geometric shapes, dark wood tables, and cream chairs. Chef Jean-Christophe Poirier's (ex Lumií¨re and Toque) menu trots through mostly local comestibles like Polderside organic chicken and Sloping hills Farm organic pork, with most entrí‰es sliding in under $20.


Nope, not the divine West End eatery, but tried-and-true Hart House (6664 Deer Lake Avenue) in Deer Lake Park, Burnaby. New chef Dennis Peckham's (ex French Laundry, West, Lumií¨re) has ratcheted things up a few notches. Taste test for yourself with his $35 three-course table d'hí´te ($54 with wine pairings) available to April 30. Menu choices include duck confit, roasted lingcod, and lemon-curd cheesecake.


If your idea of a good time is a cocktail party pairing chocolate and wines, sign on for Les Dames' d'Escoffier Chocolate and Wine affair next Friday (April 20) at Miele (69 Smithe Street). Sweets are Green & Black's Organic, a line of fair-trade chocolates. Tickets are $49.95 at .


Buy a bottle of South African Obikwa Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Sauvignon Blanc in April and partial proceeds will go to the third annual Campaign to Support Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (Canada). The fund assists impoverished kids in South Africa, and closer to home supports Camp Moomba for B.C. kids living with HIV/AIDS.