Food and wine news from around the area

PLEASANT COMPANY: Mount Pleasant Winery in Augusta hosts the seventh annual Barbecue for Beard — a fundraiser for the St. Louis Friends of James Beard, which in turn benefits, among others, St. Louis' homeless — on Sunday, Sept. 19. Participating chefs include a veritable who's-who of the local restaurant community, and for 40 bucks you can wander from cook-station to cook-station and build yourself the ultimate smorgasbord. Call 636-482-4419 (toll-free from the St. Louis area) or 800-467-9463 for ticket information. Or, if the humble chicken wing is more to your taste, the Florissant Valley Jaycees are hosting the Greater St. Louis Chicken Wing Cook-Off that same weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 18, as part of the Hazelwood Harvestfest activities in North County. Some wings will be for sale to the public; others will be entered in a competition. The city of Hazelwood is 50 (incorporated) years old this year — I'd never have guessed it was a day over 30.

CLAYTON MORE: Hi-ho, Silver! The available food adventures in Clayton continue to grow with the addition of lunch Monday-Friday at Grenache (7443 Forsyth Blvd., 727-6833). Fans of Bryan Carr's prior place (Bryan's) will be pleased to note that old faves like boneless chicken thighs, crispy liver and gnocchi have all made their way back onto the menu, which, at mainly $6-$8 for lunch entrees, is an afternoon delight. You can always run next door to sister business the Cheese Place for a little fromage to carry back to the office, but you might also consider a trip around the corner to John Nash's Wine Merchant (20 S. Hanley Rd., 863-6282), which is now featuring its own selection of "artisan produced" cheeses (European and American) uniquely available at its Clayton store.

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