This week in food and drink

NYE shindigs, MacDinton's St. Pete opens, tastings and more!

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This week in food and drink

Wednesday, December 28: Bianchi's Enoteca
It's "Pasta Wednesday" at Bianchi's and that means they're serving up yet another pasta special. This week, get a dish of mushroom and Gorgonzola cream penne and a glass of wine for $19.95. The catch: only 10 orders will be made and it's first come, first served. 6-8 p.m. 3215 S MacDill Ave. Suite G, Tampa, 813-837-2233,

Wednesday, December 28: Foodies Cooking School
Salt is an essential cook’s tool, and is being showcased with Salt-Roasted Shrimp with Scampi Dip, Salt-Baked Fish with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette, Salt-Crusted Beets with Horseradish Creme Fraiche, Crunchy Baked Potato with Maldon Salt and Salted Caramel Cheesecake. $50; 6:30p.m. 2312 4th Street North, St. Petersburg, 727-209-1418, — Juliette Cassistre

Wednesday, December 28: Willard's Tap House
It's Keep the Pint Night featuring Highland Brewing. Try their Kashmir IPA, Black Mocha Stout, Cold Mountain Winter Ale, and Thunderstruck Coffee Porter, and keep the logo pint for free. Free with purchase; 7-10 p.m. 2500 Starkey Road, Largo, 727-581-8600,

Thursday, December 29: Total Wine & More - Clearwater and St. Pete

Join Total Wine for a tasting of Nuvo Sparkling Liqueur, made with premium French Vodka, sparkling white wine and passion fruit nectar. It's a tasting that is sure to dazzle your taste buds. Free (21+); Clearwater: 1-4 p.m, St. Pete: 4-7 p.m. 2528 State Road 580, Clearwater, 727-431-1010; 4880 Park Street N., St. Pete, 727-544-6018;

Thursday, Dec. 29: Rumba Island Bar and Grill
International Cellar teams up with Rumba Bar and Grill for a six-course wine dinner, showcasing boutique varieties, after a prosecco reception. Registration required; call to RSVP. $70, inclusive; 6:30 p.m. 3687 Tampa Road, Oldsmar, 813-855-8099, — JC

Friday-Sunday, December 30-January 1: Total Wine & More - all locations

Ring in the New Year with bubbles! Attend a free tasting at Toal Wine to try a variety of sparklers, including Santi Nello Prosecco, Champagne Victoire Brut Prestige and many more. Free; 12-6 p.m. 2528 State Road 580, Clearwater, 727-431-1010; 4880 Park Street N., St. Pete, 727-544-6018; 1720 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa, 813-350-9601,

Friday, December 30: MacDinton's St. Pete
Now folks in the 'Burg can enjoy Irish revelry, plenty of drinks and pub fare as the MacDinton's St. Pete location will be opening its doors this Friday. On opening night, guests will be able to enjoy a $10 open bar on opening day 6-8 p.m. and live music throughout the night. There will be no cover charge and, if one chooses not to partake in the all-you-can-drink Happy Hour, single drinks will also be available for purchase. $10, no cover; 6-8 p.m. 242 1st Ave. N. (Jannus Live complex), St. Pete, 727-565-0544,

Friday, December 30: Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium
This cooking class will pair warming winter fare with tasty wines. Rolling Pin's classes feature a variety of culinary topics designed for the home cook. $40; 6:30p.m. 2080 Badlands Drive, Brandon, 813-653-2418, — JC

Friday, December 30: Cheese Please
Taste seven to eight new cheeses each week at Cheese Please's Friday night tastings. This week they'll be featuring both cheeses and sparkling wines to enjoy together. RSVP required. $20; 7 p.m. 4213 S Manhattan Ave., Tampa, 813-766-0060,

Friday, December 30: Vintage Wine Cellars
For Vintage's New Year's Eve Eve soiree, enjoy 10 selections of Vintage Wine Cellars' favorite wines of 2011, including Chardonnay, Cabernet, Malbec, Shiraz, Red Blends, White Blends and Sparklings. Reservations are appreciated and can be made by phone or email. $10, 7-9p.m, 3629 Henderson Blvd, Tampa, 813-879-2931,

Friday, December 30: Whole Foods Market
Learn some delicious, simple recipes to jazz up a raw foods lifestyle. Join Healthy Eating Specialist, Curtis Whitwam for an “un”cooking demonstration based on the 4 pillars of Healthy Eating. Please register by the exit lobby or by emailing [email protected] 1548 North Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa. 813-874-9435,

Saturday, December 31: Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe
Rock out for NYE at Ella's, offering a dinner buffet (from 7:30-10:30 p.m.) and live music by The Legendary Shack Shakers and Six Volt Rodeo. And, of course, the bubbly will pour at midnight. Purchase tickets at t Ella's, Microgroove, Daddy Kool and online at $48.50; 7:30 p.m.-2 a.m. 5119 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa. 813-234-1000,

Saturday, December 31: Mangroves

Feel like you've been transported back to the swinging 60s at Mangroves' Mad Men themed New Year's Eve shindig. Included in the price of admission is an open bar, an eight-course meal, live music, party favors, midnight toast and a breakfast buffet an hour after the ball drops. Tampa's D-10 group is hosting this party to benefit the nonprofit organization Pasco Kids First. Dress code is cocktail attire, getups from the 1950s or 60s are encouraged. VIP tables available. Buy tickets at $100-150; 8 p.m.-3 a.m. 208 South Howard Ave., Tampa, 813-258-3302,

Saturday, December 31: Independent Bar Tampa

Great craft beers, a DJ with a throwback '70s soundtrack and great people to ring in the new year with — what more could you want for your New Year's Eve? 9 p.m.-12 a.m. 5016 N Florida Ave., Tampa,

Saturday, December 31: Red Mesa Cantina
Party down on New Year's Eve and get bottle of bubbly and 2 flutes for $19.99 all night long, plus free party favors and live music. No cover (21+); 9 p.m.-3 a.m. 128 3rd Street S., St. Pete, 727-896-8226,

Saturday, December 31: Willard's Tap House

Offering drink specials all night long and $1 off all drafts for party-goers to help them ring in the new year. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. 12500 Starkey Road, Largo, 727-581-8600,

Saturday, December 31: Cassis American Brasserie
Cassis is throwing a swinging party with a six-course, prixe fixe menu that guests can enjoy before the fireworks start in Downtown St. Pete. A live DJ will provide the entertainment and the bubbly will freely flow at midnight. Call for more info and to RSVP, or book through $99; 10 p.m.-close 170 Beach Drive NE, St. Pete, 727-827-2927,

Monday, January 2: Publix Apon's Cooking School
Prepare comfort foods without spending hours in the kitchen. Featured menu includes pot roast with red potatoes, lemon baked chicken thighs and fudge pie. $40; 6p.m. 7835 Gunn Highway, Tampa, 813-926-4465, — JC

And don't forget to check out this weekend's New Year's Eve food and drink events tomorrow here on CL's Food & Drink site!

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