Weekend To-Dos

With Thanksgiving on the very near horizon, many of us will be spending this weekend cleaning the house, putting fresh sheets on the sofa bed, stocking up on butter, cranberries, brandy and Valium, and chasing a reluctant Mr. Wattles around the backyard with a hatchet. If you find the time, however, here are a few diversions.

apertivotasteuniqueAperitivo Hour at Taste Unique
Fri. 11/19, 4-7pm
2134 SE Division St. Portland
tasteunique.com

Perhaps you’ve spent many a Tuesday night with cartons of Taste Unique‘s bechamellian vegetarian lasagna and moka-brewed coffee-spiked tiramisu, maybe you’ve munched a lunch of their warm, chewy flatbread, bean soup and Spaghetti alla Carbonara, perhaps you’ve even been to one of their weekly communal dinners…but have you experienced this homey Italian kitchens newish Aperitivo Italiano yet? Three hours, 20 traditional Italian appetizers, one glass of wine, $15. It’s excellent end-of-the-week math, if you ask me. Bigger better visual>>

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holocene apertivoHolocene Aperitivo Happy Hour
Fri. 11/19, 5-8pm
1001 SE Morrison St. Portland
Free food and soft rock

Love Michael Bolton and free buckwheat-fontina fritters? Holocene’s European-style happy hour lets you partake of free happy hour appetizers like smoked brisket, buckwheat-fontina fritters, meatballs with peperonata, pistachio chicken skewers, housemade Vietnamese sausage, lobster mushroom and corn bread pudding, and panna cotta while  DJ Kendall Holladay plays all your soft rock favorites– like America, Seals & Crofts, Bob Welch, Bread, Ambrosia and Stevie Wonder. Cava is $5 a glass and there are a few inventive cava cocktails for sale too. No, I am not making this up.

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bn9th Annual Beaujolais Nouveau Fête and Wine Auction
Fri. 11/19, 6pm
The Heathman, 1001 SW Broadway
$70-$100

Join the French-American Chamber of Commerce and Alliance Française of Portland in welcoming the 2010 shipment of Beaujolais Nouveau with a lively celebration at downtown’s Heathman Hotel. Graze a grand buffet including wild boar, seafood, charcuterie, cheese and dessert, five wine-pouring stations, and food stations set up by the Heathman Restaurant’s James Beard award-winning chef, Philippe Boulot, bid in the wine auction, and sip Beaujolais nouveau wine jetted over from France. More info and tickets>>

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oliveoilOregon Olive Mill Olio Nuovo Festa
Fri. 11/19 – Sun. 11/21 11am-4pm
5700 NW Breyman Orchards Rd. Dayton
Free Admission

It’s Olio Nuovo Festa weekend at the Oregon Olive Mill, a celebration of freshly-pressed olive oil and firsthand insight into how olive oil is made. Sample young olive oils and treats like warm bruschetta grilled and rubbed with garlic, olio nuovo and sea salt. The Durant family will be pouring their Durant Vineyards estate wines and you can purchase olive oil to go by hand-filling a bottle from the fusti (stainless steel decanter). It’s like a little trip to Italy, except without all the shouting and heinie-pinching (I think). More info>>

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biggourdThanksgiving FEASTival at the Portland Farmers Market
Sat. 11/20, 9am-2pm
SW Park Ave. & SW Montgomery St.
Free

This Saturday’s Portland Farmers Market at PSU is no ordinary market, it’s the annual FEASTival! You’ll find cranberries, pears, hazelnuts, apples, shallots, walnuts, wild mushrooms, winter squashes, and Brussels sprouts to fill your cornucopia, artisan breads to sop up the last of the pumpkin soup with, and if you still need a gobbler, call and let Pine Mountain Ranch (541.312.0185) or Deck Family Farm (541.998.4697) know, and they will sell you their last few. Pick up some apple ciders, Oregon ales and wines, or a homemade pie (including vegan and gluten-free versions) from one of the market bakers. More info>>

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benbettingerCooking Where the Wild Things Are
Sat. 11/20, 2pm
Whole Foods Pearl, 1210 NW Couch St.
Free

Curious about how to forage and cook your own wild edibles? This Saturday, join super cute Beaker & Flask chef Ben Bettinger and local culinary instructor Andrea Slonecker at the Pearl District Whole Foods for a complimentary “Cooking Where the Wild Things Are” class focusing on local wild edibles. Ben and Andrea will cook up some tasty dishes in the lovely Whole Foods kitchen and give you a few tips about how to forage in the Pacific Northwest without poisoning yourself. If this sounds like your cup of truffles, email mary.crowe@wholefoods.com to secure a spot in the class. More info>>

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duckduckdindindduck duck din din dinners
Thu. 11/18 7pm
Sat. 11/20 7:30pm
The Chef Studio (2818 SE Pine Street)
$75 plus gratuity

If you have yet to experience a din din supper club (recently named one of Portland Monthly’s Best Restaurants of 2010), there are a few seats left for this weekend’s irresistibly named “duck duck din din.” The menu includes garlic soup over brandied pain perdu with mussels and crème fraîche, duck leg confit, a duck fat potato galette with winter savory, braised chicories with prune and olive, and chestnut cake with chocolate Chartreuse ganache, and all courses are paired with wines and spirits. Call chef Courtney Sproule at 971-544-1350 or email her at courtney at courtney@dindinportland.com to save your seat. More info>>

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watermelonwheatSaraveza’s 21ST AMENDMENT ON THE 21ST
Sun. 11/21, 10am
1004 N Killingsworth St. Portland
Free admission

It’s a big game and big beers this Sunday, as San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery roots with Packer fans and samples a 21st Amendment line up at Saraveza, North Portland’s beloved tavern and bottleshop. Sample Fireside Chat, Hop Crisis and Watermelon Wheat while watching the Green Bay Packers face off against the Minnesota Vikings.

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monaco cupMonaco Cup
Sun. 11/21, 3-6pm
Hotel Monaco, 506 SW Washington St.
Buy tickets, $20

With a name like “Monaco Cup: Portland Chefs Unite Through Beer,” how can you not be intrigued? Sunday afternoon, during prime naptime, six local chefs–from Wildwood, Davis St. Tavern, Gilt Club, Aquariva, Red Star Tavern and Cafe Nell–will storm the Hotel Monaco and get paired with a beer, which they in turn must pair with beer-friendly bites. The winner takes the Monaco Cup. It’s that simple. May the beery best chef win. (Sorry.) More info>>