• Get your green on early at Tigin. The authentic Irish pub is starting its St. Patrick’s Day Party at 7 in the morning on March 15 with satellite coverage of RBS Six Nations Rugby (Ireland vs. England, Scotland vs. Italy, and Wales vs. France) games. The pouring of perfect pints continues until 3 a.m.; the covered and heated patio will have a DJ playing Irish tunes and a Red Bull Bar to keep partyers going. For those traditionalists who celebrate only on March 17, Tigin will open at 11 a.m. on Monday. Beer and boxty (Irish potato pancakes) will be served until the wee hours.

Fu Manchu is the ‘working name’ for Mike Johnson’s newest place in Maplewood. The diversified restaurateur has taken over the 7336 Manchester Road Grateful Inn, just a few doors east of his Creole Boogaloo and Tex-Mex El Scorcho, and is planning an Asian tapas/dim sum restaurant/bar. After some interior work, Johnson expects Fu Manchu, or whatever he decides to call it, to be open in late April. Dim Sum Sundays are likely, as the elusive chef is working to secure a Sunday liquor license!

Thali Palace has opened at 9720 Page Ave. in Overland. Chef Prasad Devi, from the Southern Indian area of Kerala, first brought his family recipes to New York City. But a connection to restaurant owner Charles Isaac, of KYO fame, brought him to St. Louis. While Devi prepares purely Indian cuisine, the cultural diversity of the staff, the interior, music and patrons stem from Isaac’s experience as a nightclub owner.

• A dazzling array of award-winning wines will be featured at an Israeli Wine Tasting at Provisions Gourmet Market, 11615 Olive Blvd, on March 26. The Jewish Community Relations Council is bringing in Chicago-based distributors Royal Wine to present wines from Segal’s, Psagot, Barkan, Yatir, Castel and Bazaelet Hagolan wineries. The 7:30 p.m. tasting is free, but please RSVP to 442-3871 or jcrcstl@jcrcstl.org.

• Congratulations to the trio of St. Louis chefs recently nominated for 2008 James Beard Foundation Awards. Lou Rook of Annie Gunn’s and Michael Roberts of Atlas are two of the 20 chosen in the Best Midwest Chef category, and Niche’s Gerard Craft is one of 28 vying for the nationwide Rising Star Chef award, restricted to chefs under the age of 30. Keep your fingers crossed; on March 24, the five finalists in each category will be announced.

Want to know where I dined during my trip to D.C. and Baltimore? Write to me at spicybits@laduenews.com.

More Diversions articles.