Special Valentine's Culinary Calendar

Here are cuisine writer Terry Kirts' picks for culinary-related events and special Valentine's Day promotions in the upcoming week.

Wednesday, Feb. 8 The Villa Inn, Restaurant, Spa, 1456 N. Delaware St., 317-916-8500, 6 p.m., $60/person

South African Wine Dinner with ex-patriot South African Peter Clinton

Saturday, Feb. 11 Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 W. Washington St., 317-715-2002, $50/person

WFYI Indy Wine Fest sponsored by D'Vine a Wine Bar

H2O Sushi, 1912 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-254-0677, $55/person

Four-course dinner with an optional special wine menu with wine pairings for each course

Tea's Me Café, 140 E. 22nd St., 317-920-1016, $10/advance, $12/door Poet Fallon Taylor-Gray and the instrumental sounds of the Elements Band will entertain. All participants receive a free CD of this recorded event. Limited seating, so call for reservations.

Morris-Butler House Museum, 1204 N. Park Ave., 317-636-5409, 6 p.m., $80/couple ($75/members) Celebrate a Victorian dinner in the beauty of this 1865 historic home. The meal includes a 19th century menu of chicken à la Merango, Shirley Plantation mushroom soup, red-skinned potatoes, green beans and éclairs.

Sunday, Feb. 12 Morris-Butler House Museum, 1204 N. Park Ave., 317-636-5409, 6 p.m., $80/couple ($75/members)

See listing for Feb. 11.

Tuesday, Feb. 14 R Bistro, 888 Massachusetts Ave., 317-423-0312, $50/person Three-course meal with Greg Norman sparkling wine, choice of salad or appetizer, entrée and chocolate tiramisu for dessert

H2O Sushi, 1912 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-254-0677, $55/person

See listing for Feb. 11.

Bella Vita, 11699 Fall Creek Road, 317-598-9011, $19.95/person

Two for Tuesday: shrimp-topped filet over asparagus with martini or glass of wine

Oakleys Bistro, 1464 W. 86th St., 317-824-1231, 5-6 p.m., free

Tuesday Tastings: casual, informal tasting and wine education

Cobblestone Grill, 160 S. Main St., Zionsville, 317-873-4745, 5-9:30 p.m.

Special dinner with oyster sauté and salmon encrusted in a heart-shaped pastry

If you have an item for the Culinary Calendar, e-mail Terry Kirts at tkirts@nuvo.net.

Community bites

Indiana winemakers got some more bad news last week about the continuing possibility of selling directly to in-state consumers. Despite pleas from wineries such as Oliver and Butler in the Bloomington area, the House voted overwhelmingly (60-36) to pass House Bill 1190, which greatly restricts wineries' ability to sell to Hoosier consumers, forcing them in most cases to go through a distributor. This could put out of business those wineries that sell most of their wines in their own tasting rooms or at farmers' markets and special wine events. Rep. Marlin Stutzman urged further revision in the Senate. To take action, contact your state senator, or call the Indiana General Assembly at 317-232-9856 or the Indiana Senate at 317-232-9400.

The Indiana AIDS Fund's annual partnership with performing arts organizations to raise awareness and funding for HIV/AIDS education and prevention has taken a sweet turn for 2006. Spotlight 2006 has partnered with Endangered Species Chocolate to sell two kinds of "Spotlight bars," a solid dark chocolate and a milk chocolate with cherries, for $5 each. All proceeds benefit the Indiana AIDS Fund. Chocolate bars can be purchased at the Indiana AIDS Fund office at 342 Massachusetts Ave. during regular business hours and at Mailbox Etc., 1508 E. 86th St., and Out of the Closet, 8517 Westfield Blvd.

Steven J. Oakley of Oakleys Bistro took top honors for the second time at the Taste of Elegance sponsored by the Indiana Pork Producers Association in partnership with the Indiana Farm Bureau and the Indiana Soybean Board Chef's Competition held Jan. 31 in Indianapolis. Chef Oakley's winning entree called "Suckling Pig - Four Ways" featured four complementary pork preparations: pork belly glazed with orange blossom honey and mustard; pork confit with rosemary goat cheese crepe and pear "apple sauce"; potato-wrapped cherry-smoked loin with sweet potato-vanilla puree; and tongue and cheek marsala risotto with pickled garlic. Chef Oakley received $1,000 in prize money, sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Board, and will compete for $5,000 at the National Pork Board's Taste of Elegance contest in May.

Restaurant notes

Two new restaurants opened on the IUPUI campus just this past Friday, Feb. 3 as part of an extensive renovation and remodeling of University Place Conference Center & Hotel. While Chancellor's hasn't changed its name, Chef Jon Oliver has changed the menu of this casual eatery considerably, integrating some fun local and seasonal ingredients into dishes such as Hurst's 15-bean soup, maple brown sugar barbecued salmon and "Meatloaf 101." The Den features such small plates as crab fritters and a Mediterranean flatbread salad. The new restaurants are located in the Conference Center at 850 W. Michigan St. Call 317-231-5221 for Chancellor's and 317-231-5226 for Our Den.

Have a favorite restaurant, a favorite dish or a favorite waiter/waitress you'd like to rave about? Send your reader's recommendation to Terry Kirts at tkirts@nuvo.net, and we'll make sure to let Indianapolis diners know about the great things happening around the Indy food scene every week. - TK

Send your food-related news and announcements to indyeats@nuvo.net