Small Bites: This week’s restaurant news

Photo: Cramer Photo Photo: Cramer Photo

Mangia l’etoile
L’etoile might be Virginia cuisine with a French influence, but on Tuesday, September 25, gourmet fineries from Foods of All Nations and wine from The Country Vintner will help it go Italian at its 6pm Italian Wine Dinner. For $80 per person (plus tax and gratuity) expect six family-style courses and eight wines that span from the boot’s kneecap down to its toe. Need further enticement? In one course, broccolini, crispy Sharondale mushrooms, and housemade burrata join lemony Falanghina from Campania; in another, 120-day dry-aged ribeye, braised cannellini beans, Tuscan kale, and salsa verde join a 2005 Barolo. Now wipe your drool and call 979-7957 for your reservation.

40 days of Oktober
Horse & Hound knows that 31 days isn’t enough time to celebrate Oktoberfest, so it’s getting a head start. Beginning this Saturday, September 22, it’ll offer a special German menu (like a huge soft pretzel with grainy mustard and “choucroute garni”—sausages, thick cut bacon, potatoes, sauerkraut, and apples in a stew cooked with beer) and a wide range of Oktoberfest and other seasonal beers. Buy a beer stein early in the festivities and get discounted refills every time you use it through the end of October. Happy hour’s still every evening from 5-7pm. There’ll be live entertainment on the patio, and there are gifts and prizes to be won all month long. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for daily updates and specials.

Drinks and a movie
Going to a movie’s a lot more fun after a little vino—especially when the film’s all about wine. The Paramount’s Food, Wine, & Film series kicks off for the year on Sunday, September 23 at 5pm with the film Sideways. First, you’ll prime your palate with savory and sweet treats from Fellini’s #9, Fleurie, Paradox Pastry, Petit Pois, and Tempo, and a wine tasting (do you like Pinot Noir or Merlot or both?). Then, take a seat in the theater to hear a panel discussion with Virginia wine experts and to watch Jack and Miles cruise the Santa Ynez Valley. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased online (theparamount. net/2012/food-wine-film-sideways/) or at the door.