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[whitespace] July Was Named for Julius Caesar ...

... and other tasty bits of information

By Christina Waters

NOW THAT YOU'VE GOTTEN YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF TRIVIA, here are some major upcoming events, celebrations and soirées you need to know about. Looking ahead, the weekend of July 15-16 is huge, offering not only the two-day Connoisseur's Marketplace in Menlo Park, highlighted by 10 musical groups, over 200 arts and crafts exhibitions and the sizzling wares of over 20 great restaurants and food purveyors (650.325.2818), but the gala Taste of the Nation benefit happens Sunday, July 16 at A.P. Stump's in San Jose (call 408.292.9928; online at www.strength.com). Sent Sovi, the innovative bistro in Saratoga jet-fueled by the restless mind of surfer/chef David Kinch, celebrates its fifth anniversary with a to-die-for, single-seating, prix fixe dinner, also on July 16 (408.867.3110 for reservations). . . . A great way to celebrate Bastille Day is to head over to the charming coastal village of Soquel and enjoy the Parisian brasserie menu created at Theo's Restaurant, located at 3101 N. Main St. (831.462.3657). Hum a few bars of the Marseillaise and they'll treat you extra nice. Stay tuned for details on all of the above, but just don't leave the South Bay that weekend!

Vintage Kudos

Santa Clara County's own family-owned Guglielmo Winery took a whopping Best of Show--Red Wine at the 2000 San Francisco Bay Wine Competition for its mighty 1997 Petite Sirah, an estate-bottled private reserve vintage made from home-grown grapes and retailing for a mere $16 (are you out the door and on your way to a Beverages & More near you?). But it gets better: the other big Best of Show winner, in the White Wine category, was over-the-hill neighbor Bargetto Winery in Santa Cruz County, whose newly released 1999 Pinot Grigio wowed the judges ($16). Taking gold medals at the prestigious wine show were Byington Winery (now is a great time to visit the panoramic estate above Los Gatos) for a 1997 Bordeaux Blend "Alliage" ($19) and Mirassou Vineyards for a 1997 Pinot Noir Showcase Selection ($30). If I were you, I'd add these wines to your shopping cart immediately.

Class Acts

If you love Mediterranean foods and would like to know how to improve your own Italian-style home cooking, sign up for a UC Extension class with ace Italian chef Marco Verduzco. A California Culinary Academy grad, Verduzco apprenticed all over Italy as well as at St. Helena's Tra Vigne before opening his own very sexy Convivio Trattoria in Santa Cruz two years ago. Verduzco's three-installment class in Contemporary California-Italian Cuisine runs three Saturdays, July 15, July 29 and Aug. 12. Classes ($65 each, 10am-1pm) will offer hands-on experience with authentic specialties like panzanella salad, schiacciata focaccia with caramelized onion and rosemary, seafood stew, stuffed pork loin with spinach frittata, four-cheese polenta, strawberry and lemon zabaglione--you get the delicious picture. Verduzco is a vigorous and forthcoming chef; he'll motivate you to re-create fine Italian cooking at your own table. And at the very least, these free-standing classes will give you a chance to sample some of the finest Mediterranean cooking in California. Enrollment is limited, so contact the UC Extension at http://www.ucsc-extension.edu and refer to these codes: EDP 001W05, 06 and 07.

To Market, to Market!

Yes, it's official. The Downtown Los Altos Farmers' Market is open each and every Thursday from 4 to 8pm until Oct. 26. The fertile field of wares from more than 40 farmers and purveyors--lots of organic produce, honey, ranch eggs and fresh flowers too--happens on State Street between Second and Third streets in tiny downtown Los Altos. Free admission and parking provided; you can find out more by calling the Los Altos Village Association at 650.949.5282.

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From the June 29-July 5, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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