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OUT TO EAT: Great dishes, drinks and people

A Fabulous Feast

Months before curtains rise on Shakespeare in the Park, the Fabulous Feast whets patrons' appetites in dramatic fashion.

For 15 years, the Elizabethan-themed dinner has raised money for the free summertime drama in Delaware Park. It's grown into dinner for more than 200, served in the Connecticut Street Armory (184 Connecticut St.) at 6 p.m. Saturday.

The five-course menu changes slightly from year to year, said Steven Guagliardi, catering manager for Rich's Catering. Instead of butternut soup, this year it's roasted tomato soup with creme fraiche, served in a bread bowl.

There'll be mounds of cheeses, breads and other rustic fare, with mains like braised beef short ribs. And drumsticks, both turkey and chicken, said Guagliardi. The drumsticks are a must, he said.

With jugglers and other entertainers strolling the room as patrons dine, the combination can be something to behold, Guagliardi said. "You could have someone in a tux sitting next to a full-gowned woman dressed as a queen, and they're both chewing on drumsticks in their hands."

Tickets are $65 for Shakespeare in Delaware Park members, $75 for nonmembers. For more information: www.shakespeareindelawarepark.org.

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Wine and art

Head out to the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail for a Wine and Art Weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

Some 21 wineries will participate in the event pairing vineyard visits with a chance to meet local artists and drink in their work. The wineries will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days; artists will be demonstrating their processes at scheduled intervals.

Tickets are $30 Saturday, $35 both days, or $55-$60 per couple. Visit www.chautauquaarttrail.com.

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A spring pairing

Daniels Restaurant (174 Buffalo St., Hamburg) will offer a spring wine and food pairing dinner on Sunday and March 28.

The six-course menu, $90 before tax or tip, includes salmon gravlax with house-made pickles, paired with Maschio Prosecco (Italy); free-form herb ravioli with rabbit casserole, paired with Arnaldo Caprai "Anima" Bianco (Italy); crispy gnocchi with wild mushrooms and foie gras sauce paired with Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir 2007 (California); grilled shrimp and scallop with sauce vierge and spring pea custard, paired with Sequoia Grove Chardonnay (California); grilled loin lamb chop with saffron roasted garlic sauce, paired with Chateau Mont-Redon Cotes-du-Rhone (France); and puff pastry with strawberries, mascarpone sorbet and balsamic syrup, paired with Toad Hollow "Amplexus" (France).For reservations, call 648-6554.

-- Andrew Z. Galarneau