• The fourth annual Austin Chocolate Festival is this weekend at the Monarch Event Center (6406 N. I-35 #3100); some proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The opening party ($35) offers chocolate samples, wine, cocktails, appetizers, live music, and a Best Truffle competition; the Saturday events ($20 for adults and $10 for kids for each of four time slots) feature samples from a variety of area chocolate artisans, competitions in several chocolate categories, and delectable chocolates for sale. Friday, Sept. 18, 7-10pm; Saturday, Sept. 19, 10am-6pm.
• Check out pairings of Kiolbassa & Kab along the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290. Nine wineries between Johnson City and Fredericks-burg will each feature 300 complementary samples of sausage dishes from area restaurants and caterers paired with Hill Country cabernet sauvignons. More info at www.texashillsvineyard.com. Saturday, Sept. 19, 10am until samples are gone.
• Enjoy the second in a series of fashion brunches at Sagra (1610 San Antonio, 535-5988, www.sagrarestaurant.net) – a fresh fall menu complemented by hot fashion trends and original artworks from Fab'rik boutique and gallery (12801 Hill Country Blvd., 263-1644, www.fabrikaustin.com). Brunch, a Fab'rik goodie bag, and a raffle drawing for valuable prizes can all be had for $24. Saturday, Sept. 19, noon-2pm.
• AAARRRGGGHH! Put on your best pirate or sexy wench garb, and sail into Opal Divine's Freehouse (700 W. Sixth, 477-3308, www.opaldivines.com) for the Talk Like a Pirate Day festivities: food and drink specials, live music from the Jolly Garogers, and cash prizes for the best costumes. Saturday, Sept. 19, 4pm-12mid.
• 34th Street Cafe (1005 W. 34th, 323-2000, www.34thstreetcafe.com) brings back its popular Lounge 34 with snacks and appetizers, special wine cocktails, DJ'd music, and a fun photo booth. The prix fixe menu is $24 in advance; limited admission. Reserve at email@example.com. Saturday, Sept. 19, 10pm-12mid.
• Chef/nutritherapist Alain Braux presents a cooking class based on recipes from his new book, How to Lower Your Cholesterol With French Gourmet Food: A Practical Guide, at the Whole Foods Culinary Center (Fifth & Bowie, 542-2209). $45 per person, reservations necessary. The book is available at Whole Foods, Peoples Rx, and www.amazon.com. Wednesday, Sept. 23, 6:30-9pm.
• Hoover's Cooking (2002 Manor Rd., 479-0889) has entered into a catering contract with the historic Victory Grill (1104 E. 11th) and will serve a limited menu of its down-home specialties for lunch (11am-2pm) and dinner (4-10pm) four days a week at the legendary East Austin venue and a late-night (9pm-12mid) short order menu on nights when events are scheduled there. Wednesdays-Saturdays.
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