Cowboy Ciao and Digestif host wine, beer, and absinthe dinners

By Michele Laudig

Okay, I fully expect wine dinners coming from the Spaghetti Western camp -- have you ever read the wine menu at Cowboy Ciao or Kazimierz? My god, "read" is probably not the right verb. "Study" is more like it, since the thing resembles the bible in its thickness.

But wine isn't the only cause for a culinary occasion. Beer and booze are in the picture, too. Here's the rundown at three upcoming events that are as noteworthy for drinks as for dining (call 480-385-WINE to snag a seat at any of them):

Cowboy Ciao: Mat Garretson from Garretson Wine Company -- the winemaker known as "Mr. Viognier" -- will be showcasing his Paso Robles selections, while chef Bernie Kantak and pastry chef Tracy Dempsey will cook up a kickass six-course meal (get a look at the menu here: Download file ) The event starts at 6 p.m. and costs $75 (plus tax and gratuity); reservations are required.

Sunday, September 28, at Digestif: Absinthe historian Ted Breaux will host an absinthe tasting, with food pairings by chef Payton Curry. If you've ever read up on the artisanal absinthe movement, then Breaux's name should ring a bell. The scientist/absinthe expert deserves many thanks for helping resurrect the Green Fairy. More details to come...

Cowboy Ciao: The fact that Halloween falls on a Friday is a good excuse to hit the town, but better yet, Cowboy Ciao is doing a six-course beer dinner featuring the excellent beers of Dogfish Head brewery -- one of my faves. How about foie gras with pumpkin tartlet, black mission fig relish and malt vinger gastrique, paired with a glass of Chateau Jiahu? Get a look at the menu: Download file The costume-optional party starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $75 (plus tax and gratuity); reservations are required.

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