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Wine Festival Returns
For the second year, Dominique's (1001 Toulouse St., 522-8800; and the Maison Dupuy hotel will host the French Quarter Wine Festival , a series of wine dinners and seminars hosted by either the winemaker or proprietor of wineries from California, Oregon and Italy. The restaurant will host a different winemaker on most Tuesday and Thursday evenings in March and April, with special menus from chef Dominique Macquet often paired with the vintners' selections. The cost varies, but is usually $95 per person. In some cases, the vintners also will hold a seminar in conjunction with the dinner for an extra fee. The festival kicks off on Friday, Feb. 29, at 6 p.m. with a reception in the Maison Dupuy courtyard featuring 35 wines and a buffet from Dominique's. The cost for the reception is $49 per person. For festival tickets and a schedule of events, visit

How Bittersweet It Is
Local confectioner Cheryl Scripter has been hooking up chocoholics with her exquisite, handmade truffles at the Crescent City Farmers Market and at all manner of culinary events and private parties for years. Now, her Bittersweet Confections (5331 Canal Blvd., 450-3149; has opened a boutique in Lakeview. Bittersweet's truffle varieties include such local, exotic and classic flavors as praline, pistachio, mango, passion fruit and dark chocolate. She also makes chocolate-dipped local strawberries, and dessert catering for weddings and other events is available.

Home for Food
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum ( announced plans to open its first permanent museum space in June in the Riverwalk Marketplace , the shopping mall along the riverfront at Spanish Plaza. The museum was formed in 2004 to showcase the food, drink and related culture of the South, and its organizers have since held exhibits on a temporary basis in other museum spaces. In 2006, the museum reported it would open its own space within the Contemporary Arts Center building, but those plans never materialized. At the planned Riverwalk space, the museum intends to open exhibit space, run a gift shop called the SoFAB store and have a tasting room for samples of items related to exhibits. As part of a pre-opening membership drive, individual annual museum memberships have been discounted from $50 to $35 until the June debut of the museum's home.

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