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Chimay Dinner - Wellspring - Valentine-A-Gram


The Grain Overtakes the Grape

Vintner dinners are so passe these days, having slowly been outpaced by the much less pretentious brewer dinner. Front Door takes the credit for really getting the ball rolling with these meet-the-brewer deals, but Cafe Vicino certainly gets bonus points for upping the bar. This week, the North End eatery hosts the first of what organizers hope will be a handful of beer dinners this year. And while you won't be meeting the brewer behind the evening's featured beer, you can't beat the brew: Belgium's Chimay.

All three Chimay offerings—yep, read it and weep: the red, the triple and the blue—will be served throughout the night with a five-course meal. Course one is, appropriately, three of Chimay's four signature cheeses. Course two sounds like something straight from foodie heaven: flatbread with wild mushrooms, chevre, thyme and white truffle oil. Grilled oysters follow and lead into the entree, which is an ale-glazed chicken on fontina polenta. However, the denouement is most definitely dessert. A Belgian chocolate beer truffle will be served with a pinch of Chimay Blue (the Co-op just happens to have a few '05 Grand Reserve magnums of the stuff hidden away for such an occasion). Space was very limited as of BW's press run, so get on the horn and reserve a seat ASAP.

Sun., Feb. 10, 5 p.m., $65 per person. Cafe Vicino, 808 W. Fort St., 208-472-1463.

Learn It, Love It, Live It

Put down the out-of-season, imported-from-a-hothouse-in-California tomatoes, stop shelling out cash for Chilean grapes and no matter what happens, don't even think about shopping at Sam Walton's place for your food. Instead, learn more about eating closer to home.

This week, the Wellspring School for Healing Arts hosts "Organic and Beyond," a panel discussion with current students from the school's wholistic nutrition class, as well as community members who are deep in the trenches growing food and promoting the practice of eating locally produced, organic and sustainable foods. Presenters include Becky Morgan and Susan Medlin of Boise Urban Garden School, Janie Burns of Meadowlark Farms and Homegrown Poultry, Casey O'Leary from Earthly Delights Farm, David Krick and Lisa Buck of Just Eat Local, and Rylen Feeney of The Wellspring School.

Reservations are required because space is limited. The evening starts with refreshments at 6 p.m., presentations start at 7:30 p.m., discussion follows at 8:30 p.m. Kids over age 10 welcome.

Fri., Feb. 15, 6-9 p.m., FREE. The Wellspring School for Healing Arts, 723 N. 15th St., 208-388-0206,

Direct to Your Sweetie: Chocolate for Charity

Only because it's for a good cause do we bring the Valentine-A-Gram to your attention. Meals on Wheels has landed some donations that just happen to make for a nice little Valentine's Day box of special treats. Here's how it works. You buy a gram for your Boise- or Meridian-based babe. Meals on Wheels delivers the gram. All proceeds benefit Meals on Wheels, an organization that daily provides hot, nutritious meals to homebound seniors.

And this box of special treats ain't no chalky candy hearts or Red Hots. It's two cinnamon roles from Pastry Perfection, Dawson Taylor coffee and a matching DT travel mug, Noble organic orange juice, chocolate from Goody's and Earthpure Organics, and gift certificates for a Booster Juice smoothie and a movie rental from Hollywood Video.

Valetine-A-Gram orders must be placed by Fri., Feb. 8. Cost is $26.50. Call 208-327-7460 to place your order.