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Will wine reign again at J.K. O'Donnell's?

J.K. O'Donnell's (121 W. Wayne St.) is holding its third Wine-vs.-Beer dinner Aug. 20.

The event features five courses, each paired with one beer and one wine. Diners vote on which is their favorite, and at the end of the meal, a winner is declared.

"Wine won both times," general manager Fritz Hoffman says. "We're known for our beers, and it surprises me. The first one we did literally came down to the last pairing."

The dinner encourages people who don't like wine or beer to try something new.

"(People) will bring in a friend who doesn't like one or the other," he says. "What inevitably happens is, 'I don't like beer, but I picked beer with this course' (or) 'I don't like wine, but this pairing was so perfect.' "

J.K.'s chef creates all the menus, and Hoffman says the dinners are a great way to show off the chef's talent.

Much of the meal is from local produce – 85 percent of the restaurant's produce is local – and includes dishes such as barbecue rabbit pizza, roasted lamb shoulder and goat cheese ice cream.

Spots are limited to 44, which always sell out, Hoffman says. To make reservations, call 420-5563.

Tickets are $40, plus tax and tip.

New restaurant

After serving his Coney dogs out of a cart for a year, owner William Drake has realized his dream of turning his food cart into a brick-and-mortar store.

Detroit's Finest Coney Island (2145 Taylor St.) opened last month in a spot that formerly housed the Olde Town Tavern.

While Drake served only Coneys, hot dogs and Polish sausage on his cart, the store front has allowed him to expand his menu, which now includes burgers and a variety of fries.

He doesn't use the cart much anymore, he says, but it came in handy on the restaurant's opening day, July 2, when the restaurant lost electricity during the storm that left much of Fort Wayne without power. The grand opening for the restaurant took place with the hot dog cart in front of the restaurant.

Tastings

•The Wine and Beer Festival will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Headwaters Park. The event is hosted by Cap n' Cork and the Mad Anthony Brewing Company. The festival celebrates Indiana's winemakers and craft brewers.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the gate and $15 for designated drivers. Get them at Cap n' Cork stores, Mad Anthony or online at www.jani.org. All proceeds benefit Junior Achievement.

•Lebamoff's Cap n' Cork (1031 Broadway) is holding a free beer, wine and liquor tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.

The tasting will include six beers, including five Boulevard beers; four wines, including three Rosenblum wines; and 11 liquors, including three Svedka-flavored vodkas and three Skinny Girl cocktails.

Sandwich month

August is National Sandwich Month, and I want to know where you find your favorite sandwich in northeast Indiana.

Maybe it's a breaded pork tenderloin from Nick's Kitchen in Huntington or Acme. Maybe you're a fiend for the creations at Honey on the Table or just can't get enough of the gourmet grilled cheeses at Dash-In.

Tell me about your favorite sandwich – where you get it, when you discovered it, why it's so dang good – by emailing me at jyouhana@gmail.com. Be sure to include your full name and city of residence. I'll feature some of your picks in a future column.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email jyouhana@jg.net or call 461-8462. For more restaurant news, go to The Dish blog at journalgazette.net/thedish.

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