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Side Dish 

Fio's La Fourchette, closed to daily traffic, now takes diners on "Culinary Journeys"

Just about every food lover in town was dismayed to hear that Fio's La Fourchette, for many years one of the best dining experiences in St. Louis, had ceased day-to-day operations earlier this year. The good news is that since then, Fio and Lisa Antognini have been opening Fio's for about one week every month, Wednesday-Saturday, for single-seating, prix-fixe "Culinary Journeys."

If you had a favorite at Fio's, there's a good chance it's on the menu for next week's Journey, a collection of four of the dishes the Antogninis considered their signatures: chilled Atlantic mussels with Dijon-mustard sauce; Roquefort-stuffed Gulf shrimp; sautéed free-range veal chop with green Madagascar-peppercorn sauce; and Swiss-chocolate soufflé. Wines will be matched with each course, and the all-inclusive price is $99 per person. Call 314-863-6866 for more information; because of limited seating and the nature of these meals, reservations must be prepaid by check.

And for a taste of the best of Missouri wines, circa 2001, call 800-392-WINE for tickets to the Infiniti Missouri Wine Awards Tasting, to be held 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27 at the St. Louis Art Museum. The annual event usually features close to 100 medalists in a wide variety of categories for wines and juices and culminates in the presentation of the Governor's Cup for Best Missouri Wine of 2001. (Last year's winner was Adam Puchta Winery's 1997 Estate Bottled Norton.)

Hors d'oeuvres will also be served, with music provided by the Eddie Fritz Trio. Tickets, which are $40 in advance ($35 for members of the Art Museum or Friends of Missouri Wine) and $45 at the door, can be obtained by phone at the above number.

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