Last updateTue, 17 Jan 2017 4pm

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March

Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Oven fries, a slice of feta cheese and the bite of harissa mayonnaise make for a late-winter, early-spring dinner perfectly paired with Cabernet Franc.

I can’t help but wonder whether March will come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.

In an attempt to cover both bets, I’m planning ahead. My Lion’s Mane Ragout with Creamy Polenta kicked off the month. And I’ll close out March, and welcome spring, with Lamb Burgers with Harissa Mayonnaise and Rosemary Oven Fries.

Dim sum, ramen, artisan pizza and more: Four new Los Altos restaurants open or soon to debut

Ramen on State Street

Cho’s Mandarin Dim Sum, formerly a standby for the budget-oriented on California Avenue in Palo Alto, recently opened at 209 First St., next door to Tin Pot Creamery.

The eatery – open for an extended lunch for now, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily – offers pork buns, egg rolls, Shanghai pork balls, shrimp dumplings and pork and chicken potstickers. A serving of three nibbles costs $2.50-$3.25, a dish of six runs $5-$6.25.

Pro and not-yet-pro brewers turn out for local beer events

Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
Craft Artisan Ales’ Nebulous Imperial IPA is one of California’s latest small-scale craft ales to earn a place at local beer events.

While SF Beer Week is now behind us – and there won’t be another intense concentration of beer events until Silicon Valley Beer Week this summer – plenty of interesting events are still happening.

Steins Beer Garden in Mountain View is scheduled to celebrate its second anniversary March 28 with its first homebrew competition, which aims to become an annual event. With the theme “Spring into Beer,” the contest has official sanction from the Beer Judge Certification Program, and the beer selected as the best springtime brew will be professionally brewed and served at Steins, with proceeds supporting a charity of the brewer’s choice. Entrants must register on the Steins website by March 13. Visit steinsbeergarden.com for more details.

Cupid takes aim: Pairing wine with dessert

Courtesy of CHristine Moore
Looking to impress your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day? Pair a Yalumba Antique Tawny Museum Reserve Dessert Wine with truffles.

When I imagine Cupid stringing his bow and taking aim at a soon-to-be-in-love couple, I envision a platter of some sweet concoction and a goblet of dessert wine beside him. Both seem to be the most fitting fuel for the winged master of amore as he goes about his happy business of sparking love.

Of course, I also imagine that pairing wine with dessert comes easily for Cupid, who knows a thing or two about passionate pairings. For us mere mortals, however, deciding on which wine to drink with dessert can be a bit more hit and miss. To get your aim right this Valentine’s Day, I’m offering some thoughts on dessert and wine pairing.

What's sweet on the outside but tart when you bite?

Courtesy of Pooja Mottl
The sweet-and-sour flavor of kumquats complements a seasonal salad of winter greens.

Whether you’re buying them dangling pendulously from trees near Costco’s entrance or heaped in bags at San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market, kumquats are dotting the region this month.

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