• Malabar uptown has a new lunch menu, and it’s a real change-up from the prior one: Now “lunch plates” are $10.95, and range from chicken and pepper stew to lamb skewers to grilled skirt steak. Each comes with one choice from among “side” tapas, which include fried yuca, the spicy potatoes called patatas bravas, sauteed swiss chard and more. (Choose three of these and you have a vegetable plate, for $8.95.) There are entree salads for about $9 to $12 and sandwiches in the $9-$10 range, plus a handful of dishes designed to be shared, such as cheeses and charcuterie. 214 N. Tryon St.; 704-344-8878.
• Gallery’s new fall menu is out. Among the introductions: roasted cauliflower soup, local-orchard fruit salad, short rib ravioli, tagliatelle pasta, duet of lamb, halibut, and desserts of banana pudding cake and a sweet “flight.” 10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway; 704-248-4100.
• Dakota’s Sports Bar & Grill is open in Monroe, a new sports bar concept. Restaurateur Tom Lewison, former president at Bojangles’, plans more locations. The menu ranges from tacos and pizzas to burgers and steaks and is staffed by “Dakota’s Girls.” 608 W. Roosevelt Blvd. in Monroe; 704-776-9813; www.dakotassportsbar.com.
Wine dinners etc.
• The Palm celebrates Caymus Vineyard’s 40th anniversary with a four-course dinner from chef Colin Johnson tonight. Among the courses: foie gras with caramelized red onion and balsamic vinegar, with 2010 Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir; choice of porcini-rubbed filet mignon or Dijon-crusted rack of lamb with 2010 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon; and more. $150 ($125 for 837 Club members); 704-552-7450; 6705-B Phillips Place Court.
• Rooster’s Uptown hosts a six-course Italian wine dinner Oct. 20, with courses such as amberjack crudo (with blood orange, green coriander seed and fennel oil) with 2012 Icardi Cortese; pasta with sea urchin butter, with 2010 Terlano Terlaner Classico; and Looper Farms’ pork loin saltimbocca with 2009 Fontodi Chianti Classico. $65; 704-370-7667; 150 N. College St.
Then, Oct. 23, the place goes French -- or French-ish -- with a Gerard Bertrand wine dinner featuring wood-grilled quail breast and leg confit (plus more Italianate courses of tuna crudo, beet and chevre agnolotti, and gelato) and more. Also $65.
• Harper’s at Carolina Place hosts a beer social Oct. 23, with Olde Mecklenburg tastings and small plates. Three courses, three beers: $25. Reservations: 704-541-5255.
• Passion8 hosts its October Farm Dinner Oct. 24, highlighting Laughing Owl Farm, Charlotte Fish Company and Clover Mushroom Farm (four courses for $48). 803-802-7455; 3415 Highway 51 N, Fort Mill.
• Upstream hosts an Elk Cove wine dinner with the Wine Vault Oct. 28, with Todd Stewart on hand (now with Elk Cove, formerly a manager at the Vault). Among the fare: braised yellow and orange beet salad with Dry Riesling; pine-nut-crusted salmon with butternut squash and Willamette Valley Pinot Noir; and more. $70; 704-548-9463; Phillips Place.
• Blue hosts the “Halfway to Festa 2013 Italian Weekend” Nov. 4, with a food and wine pairing that includes whole suckling pig roasted with chestnuts and herbs, whole roasted salmon and more. $95; tickets at www.festaitalianacharlotte.org or 704-333-8300.
BBQ & Blues festival winners were announced Oct. 13, with Mac’s Speed Shop taking prizes in each of three categories (fourth in whole hog and rib, third in shoulder), while the Plaza Midwood “Big City BBQ” team of Tate Self, Allison Self and Allen Helms won both grand champion and first in Boston Butts in the Charlotte Challenger Contest. (That is separate from the Memphis Barbecue Network competition categories.) MBN grand champion was The Contractors Inc. from Memphis, which won just the shoulder category but finished with the highest score.
Dine out, do good
• Through Oct. 27, both area Melting Pots will donate $5 from every bottle of wine purchased to Carolina Breast Friends for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Lake Norman location: 16625 Statesville Road in Huntersville, 704-987-2201; Midtown: 901 S. Kings Drive, 704-334-4400.
• Chipotle brings back “Boorito” for Oct. 31: Come in costume between 4 p.m. and closing that day and you get a burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos for $2. Proceeds from the fundraiser, up to $1 million, will benefit the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which supports “farmers and organizations that make sustainable and humanely raised food possible,” said founder Steve Ells.
• Herons, the restaurant at Cary’s Umstead Hotel and Spa, is one of 10 destinations chosen for the 2012 Fête du Bordeaux, which will give diners a preview of the 2010 vintage – and it appears to be a good one. It’s the first time a restaurant in North Carolina has been included. (Other destinations this year include the Four Seasons in New York and One Market in San Francisco.) Representatives from three top Médoc chateaux will be on hand for the Oct. 25 dinner. Among the courses: guinea hen with foie gras pudding and pine barley risotto; and venison loin with quinoa and smoked dates. $185; 919-447-4000; 100 Woodland Pond Drive, Cary.
• “Final Fire: Battle of the Champions” is the last piece of The Got To Be NC Competition dining series, and will span three evenings -- Nov. 15, 16 and 17 -- in Raleigh. Winners from the preliminary series in the Triangle, Triad, Wilmington and Blowing Rock will compete at the Renaissance North Hills Hotel. The final evening sold out in half an hour; tickets are $119. Info: http://bit.ly/RFUJdY.