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RestaurantsNorth Bay
June 6-12, 2007

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By Brett Ascarelli

Flying the Coups

Marin Organic has nabbed famed DIY food writer Michael Pollan for an airy night of dining and discussion under a tent in West Marin. Having name-checked Marin Organic in the Omnivore's Dilemma, Pollan has starred in at least two of their fundraisers, conversing with Wendell Berry last August and doing a book talk at Toby's Feed Barn the month before. But for the upcoming fundraiser, Pollan and fans will sup together at Stubbs Vineyard, the only certified organic vineyard in Marin County, and drink new releases of 2005 Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Merlot. The menu, devised by the excellent chefs of the former Manka's Inverness Lodge, will be culled--as the restaurant's was before a tragic fire last December halted business--exactly from what's fresh and local from the very ground around us. A local quartet will provide the ambiance while Pollan regales diners with what the press release assures will be "heartfelt humor and engaging stories." A Q&A to follow. An evening with Michael Pollan transpires on Saturday, June 9, at Stubbs Vineyard; directions come with reservations. 5pm–9pm. $150, but $500 snags a seat at Pollan's table. Proceeds in part benefit school lunch programs. 415.663.9667 or 707.486.3152 . . .

Buncha Brunch

After last fall's shriveling cutbacks, COPIA can finally concentrate on expanding what it does best, which, by the way, is food and wine. Recently, the nonprofit announced that it would double its "Taste of COPIA" educational programs, which generally offer multicourse meals, drinks, cooking demos, wine/beverage discussion and garden talks. Now, instead of just featuring lunches and "walk-around tastings" in this format, COPIA also hosts winemaker dinners and brunches. Brunch! Now that's a good idea! Just listen to the menu for the "Here Comes the Sun" brunch on Sunday, June 24: kiwi-coconut cooler; raspberry-infused Royal Blenheim apricots; grilled, vine-leaf-wrapped, garlic-herb turkey sausage with cheesy scrambled eggs . . . it's definitely not your typical two-pigs-and-a-raft.

And even if the price tag ($25–$35) gives an initial stagger, the meal comes with an interactive cooking demo and, as an extra incentive, COPIA offers a "buy three, get one free" deal for this series. For details on the promotion, along with upcoming Taste of COPIA events--like the Zinfully Elegant Barbeque lunches held Saturdays, June 9–29, and the African-American Vintners Winetasting walk-around winetasting on Saturday, June 16--visit 500 First St., Napa. 707.259.1600.

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