> Lafayette Fire Co. No. 1: A Firehouse Grill is opening in the space formerly occupied by Soda Fountain Square. The restaurant will feature firehouse cuisine with recipes—deluxe rolled meatloaf and deep-fried banana bread, anyone?—from firemen in St. Louis City, St. Louis County and Illinois. The name is a nod to local firefighting history: “Lafayette Fire Co. No. 1 existed before the St. Louis Fire Department was founded in 1857,” notes Shawn Bittle, one of 28 firemen partnering in the venture. Look for lots of firefighter memorabilia and photos when it opens for three squares a day starting Nov. 27.
> In the Vineyard, the annual benefit for Edgewood Children’s Center, will be held Nov. 14 at Plaza Frontenac. It’ll be a showcase of more than 90 wines from around the globe with food prepared by chefs from top St. Louis restaurants, including Annie Gunn’s, ARAKA, The Crossing, Harvest, Monarch and Niche. Get tickets at eccstl.org. Other upcoming fine wine times include New World and Old World Wine Comparison Class with Kyle Harsha of Sip of Knowledge at Ernesto’s wine bar in Benton Park Nov. 16 and the monthly World of Wine Dinner Series hosted by Vino Vitae owner Craig Adams at The Tenderloin Room. The Nov. 19 dinner explores Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisine; Dec. 17 will be Eastern European and Asian food.
> Feasts in the outskirts: On Nov. 20 and 21, it’ll be Beaujolais Around the Bonfire at Overlook Farm, a new culinary destination in Clarksville that features two inns and Clarksville Station Restaurant. The fete begins with Beaujolais Nouveau and champagne on the patio. Follow that with a five-course spread featuring Mississippi River Valley cuisine prepared by Overlook chef Tim Grandinetti, former executive chef at the Renaissance Grand St. Louis. The Mount Pleasant Black Tie Winemaker Dinner, set for Dec. 12 in Augusta, is a multi-course feast paired with Mount Pleasant wines and port tasting, dessert, and caroling in the winery’s cellars. Details can be found at http://overlookfarmmo.com">overlookfarmmo.com and http://mountpleasant.com">mountpleasant.com, respectively.
> Larry Forgione of An American Place was featured chef at the 2009 James Beard Foundation Dinner held last week in NYC. Forgione created Butter-Poached Maine Lobster with White Asparagus, Fresh Hearts of Palm, and Roasted Parsnips.
> Enhance your culinary and mixology knowledge: On Nov. 17 you can hang in high spirits with Ted Kilgore at The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton, where the master mixologist will demonstrate eight Traditional Cocktails with a Contemporary Twist. Option 2: Meet Ree Drummond at Left Bank Books Downtown. The author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks will share hilarious stories of her transformation from big city gal to rancher’s wife and bring samples from her recipes. If you don’t know your scotch ‘nectars,’ head to Herbie’s in the CWE Nov. 18 for a single-malt scotch tasting. If you miss it, head to Moxy Bistro Dec. 5 to sample the single malts distilled in Scotland’s Isle of Islay.