A bright Future, area “buzz,” and a good way to swine local: This week’s restaurant news

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You’ve heard of eat local, but what about give local? Young, ambitious fundraisers aim for the future—Future Fund, that is—Wednesday, March 13 when Clifton Inn hosts the second annual Future Fund-raising dinner. All food, service, and alcohol will be donated by the Clifton and the community to award grants towards education in Albemarle County and Charlottesville. Guests will dine on a lavish three-course dinner, with wine reception beginning at 6pm. Tickets are $113 per person for non-Future Fund members, and $90 for members. All proceeds benefit the organization, and seating is limited to 100 guests. E-mail ffclifton@cacfonline.org for more information.

Local coffeeshop darling Mudhouse is preparing to compete in New York City for Coffee Fest’s “Best Coffeehouse in America” title. Local owners John and Lynelle Lawrence are sending their rockstar team of Dan Pabst, Eric Mason, and Amy Guzzardi to the competition on Saturday, March 9, with the first challenge starting at 2:35pm. No stranger to accolades, Mudhouse has garnered a Best of C-VILLE “Best Coffee” win for the last 16 years. Watch this week’s competition streaming live at the Downtown Mall or Crozet Mudhouse locations, or see it online at coffeefest.com. The top three teams will then in the finals on Sunday, March 10. Fingers crossed!

Swine ‘n Dine with chefs Ben Thompson of The Rock Barn and Angelo Vangelopoulous of the Ivy Inn (where dinner will be served) on March 16. Guests will enjoy a six-course pig-centric tasting menu highlighting pork from Thompson’s own farm, where he raises pigs and transforms their meat into delicacies such as tasso, bacon, and sausage. Courses will include themes such as “two heads are better than one,” and the “belly roll,” which is carved tableside. Each course will be paired with artisan wines from the West Coast—Montinore Estate, Owen Roe, and Cochon among them—presented by Robert Crum of Roanoke Valley Wine Company. At $75 per person, this all-inclusive dinner is not to be missed, especially if you’re planning to run the Charlottesville 10-miler in the morning. You’ll have earned that pork fat! Call 977-1222 for reservations.

In wine news, Virginia wine sales reached an all-time record high in 2012, with more than 5.8 million bottles sold, according to figures from the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control. Governor Bob McDonnell said in a statement, “As Virginia’s wine industry grows in standing and collects accolades from around the world, it means more tourism and more jobs here in the Commonwealth.” We’ll cheers to that.

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