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On October 5, 2005, restaurants across the country will band together in a "Dine for America" day, a national fundraising effort to support the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Their site is: http://www.dineforamerica.org/

On Tuesday, September 27th, restaurants across the nation will donate a portion of their dinner sales to Share Our Strength's Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.Their web is: http://www.strength.org/katrina/relief/

ITALIAN COOKBOOK ICON MARCELLA HAZAN TO RECEIVE LDEI GRANDE DAME AWARD IN MIAMI
Legendary Italian culinary expert, Marcella Hazan, who reshaped America's perceptions about authentic Italian cuisine will be in Coconut Grove to receive Les Dames d'Escoffier's (LDEI) Grande Dame Award, the organization's highest accolade, at a gala dinner on Saturday, October 1, 2005. For more information contact: Sandy Hu, 415.626.1765 , 415.533.5653 or sandy@sandyhuFM.com
Les Dames d'Escoffier International is an organization of professional women of high achievement in diverse careers across the food, beverage and hospitality industries. These women leaders create a supportive culture in their communities to foster culinary excellence through educational and philanthropic activities. The organization grows its membership selectively, by invitation only. For more information, visit www.ldei.org

GRAZIANO'S OPENS IN CORALGABLES
Graziano's in the Gables, a spawn of Graziano's Parrilla Argentina, the Argentine steakhouse on Bird Road and 92nd St. (305-223-4933), has opened where Giacosa and lately Yuca used to be. The 200-seat indoor restaurant will feature a menu similar to its mother location: pastas, steaks and a wine list with over 1,000 selections says owner Leo Graziano. 394 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables. 305-774-3599.



NEW WINE ROOM AT CASA TOSCANA ON BISCAYNE CORRIDOR
The Biscayne corridor is picking up steam. To please her increasing clientele, Casa Toscana's owner Sandra Stefani has just put the last touches in her new wine room in the back of the house seats 14 indoor and 16 in the garden terrace. Wood paneled walls are lined with wines from boutique wineries and hard-to-find bottles from Italy, Argentina, Chile and Spain she serves by the glass for $5, or by the bottle at the table at almost retail price. ¤ don't like to hype up prices," explains Ms Stefani, who is planning to open a wine boutique nearby, in the near future. The quaint neighborhood restaurant is popular for the Ricotta & Porcini Ravioli topped with Fontina sauce, Lamb Shank Ossobuco with Parmesan Polenta, as well as for the daily specials Chef Stefani cooks up from her Tuscan background. Casa Toscana will be closed for two weeks' vacation until September 22. 7001 Biscayne Blvd (@ NE 70th St), Miami. (305) 758 3353.

TOBY'S SPORTS BAR & GRILL OPENS IN KENDALL
TOBY'S SPORTS BAR & GRILL celebrated its Grand Opening with menu specials, happy hour, Glow in the Dark Nocturnal Golf and a 9-hole Twilight Scramble. The restaurant comfortably seats 50 diners, with additional seating at the bar, and a 57" color screen. On the menu, there are burgers, grilled chicken wings, hot dogs, scrumptious sandwiches, assorted salads, appetizers, and the frozen lemonade Toby's has been serving for years at Miami MetroZoo, Miami Seaquarium, the Orange Bowl, and the Miami Arena . Toby's is open daily from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and catering events. Happy Hour is daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. TOBY'S SPORTS BAR & GRILL, 9300 SW 152nd Street (152nd Street and South Dixie Highway at the Palmetto Golf Course), Miami, (305) 254-4653.

LITTLE PALM ISLAND CHEF TONY KEENE COOKS FOR CONDE NAST, VOGUE AND VANITY FAIR IN NEW YORK
Chef Tony Keene from Little Palm Island Resort & Spa will be showcasing The Keys at the Frank Gehry-designed Conde Nast Cafeteria on September 21. The high-end "cafeteria" is a stomping grounds for employees of magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Gourmet and Conde Nast Traveler. Chef Keene will also be doing a cooking demonstration at the flagship Williams- Sonoma store in the Time Warner Center that evening.


To submit information and tips for this column, please e-mail to: editor@southfloridagourmet.com
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