Start out with vodka and end with tea this week in food

A taste of Provence in St. Paul

A taste of Provence in St. Paul

We like the idea of starting our week off with a vodka dinner (who couldn't use a drink on a Tuesday night?) and ending it with a swank afternoon tea at the St. Paul Hotel (who couldn't use a dainty finger sandwich on a summer afternoon?). There are also plenty of tastings and classes in between to prop you up.


8/16 If you missed last week's French Regional Wine Dinner at Salut, here's your chance to catch it the second time around, and this month Provence gets top billing. The meal begins with an amuse bouche followed by four courses, all paired with a wine from the region. The price for this quick trip to France is $65, plus tax and gratuity. For reservations in St. Paul call 651.917.2345.

8/17 Tonight Enjoy! in Apple Valley will be awash in Tito Vodka at the "Titotaler" multicourse dinner with vodka cocktails. Tito Vodka is made in Austin, Texas, by Tito Beveridge (no lie) and will be paired with dishes like vodka-marinated halibut, arugula salad, and homemade key lime pie. We're drunk just writing about it. The dinner begins at 7 p.m. and costs $65. For reservations call 952.891.6569.

8/18 Get in a preserving state of mind at the Linden Hills co-op class "Homemade Jams and Jellies." Dean Davis will teach attendees about making the rich flavors of the summer last all year, show how to process and offer samples of pure fruit juice jelly. Everyone will leave class with a quarter pint of their own as well. Class runs from 6:30-8 p.m. and costs $13 for members, $15 for nonmembers. To sign up call 612.922.1159.

8/19 Paradise Landing ends its summer of Wisconsin Beer Dinners on a high note, with New Glarus the beer of honor tonight. The dinner will pair a delicious four-course meal with a select New Glarus beverage like Uff-da, Spotted Cow, and Raspberry Tart. A reception from 6 to 7 p.m. will get the evening started, and dinner will immediately follow. Cost is $45, and reservations can be made at 715-485-3210.

8/20 The St. Paul Hotel takes its lobby teas up a notch with this special Garden Tour Tea. The five-course tea offers a chance for guests to explore the 6,500-square-foot garden, where the hotel's full-time gardener, Sarah Orvik, will be on hand to answer questions. The menu includes everything from seared sea scallops and strawberry scones with chocolate-hazelnut butter to mini carrot cupcakes and raspberry shortcake. Seatings are at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and cost $35. To reserve your spot call 651.228.3860.

Sip tea, extend pinky at the St. Paul Hotel

Sip tea, extend pinky at the St. Paul Hotel

Since you're already in St. Paul for your tea, why not head over to St. George Greek Orthodox Church's annual Greek Festival? We can't think of a better place to nab a wonderful selection of authentic Greek food, pastries, and beverages as well as free entertainment. Saturday the festival runs from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday it's 11 a.m.-6 p.m. And guess what? Entrance is free! You can save your funds for gorging.