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Cork Floats

Jon Smith, owner of Cork & Bottle Fine Wines (3700 Orleans Ave., 504-934-1386), plans to reopen his Mid-City wine shop Tuesday (Nov. 1) with steep discounts on inventory that weathered the storm and plenty of new deliveries. Located in the American Can Company building, the store took a few inches of water. Bottles that touched floodwater have been tossed, but Smith says other bottles that sat through nothing worse than weeks without climate control will be on sale at Òhurricane prices.Ó Cork & Bottle has seen an expansion since Katrina; within a few weeks of evacuating to Baton Rouge, Smith bought Marcello's Wine Market (3911 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, 225-344-1414), one of the capital city's best-known wine merchants. Cooking on Canal Mid-City may still be pretty desolate after nightfall, but there are plenty of people around during the day working on their homes and businesses. That's why Maria Vieages decided to reopen her take-out and catering business, Maria's Multi-Regional Cuisine (4145 Canal St., phone unavailable). Her plan was to begin Oct. 24 serving meals in the heart of her stricken neighborhood, where as of this writing no restaurant had yet reopened. She planned to cook dishes like jerk chicken and cinnamon pork on a propane grill outside the flood-damaged building and serve take-out only from lunchtime to sundown. Maria's was based on Harrison Avenue for six years and opened on Canal Street in June.

Gretna Green

The new Gretna Farmers Market is open on the West Bank, providing consumers and farmers with a marketplace for fresh produce, baked goods and garden plants. The first market was held Oct. 29 and is scheduled to continue each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Old Train Depot in downtown Gretna (300 Huey P. Long Ave.) Plans for the market have been in the works for years, says organizer Marcia Madere, and were inspired by the success of the Crescent City Farmers Market, whose four weekly market days in Orleans Parish remain suspended since Katrina. The Gretna Farmers Market began with about 10 vendors, and Madere says applications are being accepted for others interested in joining. Contact her at 362-8661.

Here and NOWFE

The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE) will go on as scheduled next year with its 15th annual event on Memorial Day weekend. The schedule of events is in the works, but in the past NOWFE has been a weekend-long series of culinary seminars, wine and food tastings and vintner dinners at restaurants and other venues around town. The event is run by a nonprofit organization that raises money for culinary and hospitality education programs in Louisiana. Look for updates online at www.nowfe.com.

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