Planning Ahead for Mardi Gras: Two local Mardi Gras events warrant early planning so you don't miss out.

First, Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation in collaboration with the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is hosting a Mardi Gras Casino Night on February 2 from 7 to 11 p.m.

The evening, which takes place at Heron Hall (900 Sanford Rosd, Santa Rosa) includes traditional Cajun foods, wine, beer and cocktails, music and lots of raffle prizes, along with blackjack, roulette and craps.

Admission is $75 per person, which includes food, $200 in gambling scrip and five raffle tickets. No tickets will be sold at the door so get yours at lagunafoundation.org or by calling 527-9277 ext. 110.

Proceeds benefit the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation's Learning Laguna education program and the Sisters' Community Grant Fund.

Second, the Krewe of Meadowcroft Wines (23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma) is hosting its third annual fete on Feb. 9 from noon to 4 p.m. This year, the music will be from Rhythmtown Jive of Petaluma. The event includes a second line parade through Cornerstone Sonoma, the crowning of a new king and queen, authentic foods and, of course, delicious Meadowcroft wines.

The menu features Cajun sausage, crawfish etouffe with rice, red beans and rice, French bread, "Louisiana Sensation" salad and New Orleans King Cake.

Tickets are $50 if you buy them before Feb. 1 and $60 thereafter. Wine club members pay $40. For tickets, call 934-4090.


Road Trip! If winter weather and viruses have you edgy from cabin fever, how about a road trip to Treasure Island? This weekend, the monthly Treasure Island Flea takes place both indoors and outdoors.

This is no typical flea market. In addition to scores of local vendors offering antiques, vintage, retro, repurposed and new goods, art, photography and more, there are do-it-yourself workshops, scavenger hunts, free tours of the Treasure Island Museum and plenty to eat and drink. Food trucks at this month's market include Sam's Chowder Mobile, Le Truc, Chairman Bao, Curry Up Now, Manna Sushi, An The Goc, Hiyaaac, Missing Link and Harvey's Gourmet Donuts. Wine is available, too.

There will be live music from Kenya Bakerc, Scott Holliday and Michel Michellis.

The Flea takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults. Kids, pets and parking are free.

And then there's the spectacular location, in the middle of San Francisco Bay.

For more information and directions, visit treasureislandflea.com


Petaluma Gap Winter Wine Soiree: On Saturday evening, the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance is hosting its second annual WinterWine Soiree at McNear's Mystic Theater (21 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma).

The area, which extends from southwest Sebastopol to Two Rock, Lakeville, San Pablo Bay and into northern Marin, is defined by the cooling winds, known as the Petaluma Express, that pour in from the coast nearly every day. There are some outstanding cool-climate pinot noir, syrah and chardonnay coming from the region. Currently, Petaluma Gap is part of the large Sonoma Coast viticultural area yet its unique characteristics warrant a separate appellation, which may be on the distant horizon.

The party kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with a walk-around dinner by Sally Tomatoes and wine tasting until 8:45 p.m. Dancing to The HOTS begins at 9 p.m.

Admission is $40 and you must be 21 and over to attend.

If you want to join in, get tickets pronto at either mystictheatre.com or petalumagap.com.


Radio Dinner: On Sunday, Murphy's Irish Pub (464 First St. E., Sonoma) hosts "Old Time Radio Dinner Theater" from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The play, entitled "Income Tax Problems," is from the "George Burns and Gracie Allen Show."

Burns and Allen, who married in 1926, performed in vaudeville theater and on both radio and early television. Burns played the straight man to Allen's giddy scatterbrain and they were, during their more than four decades performing together, absolutely beloved.

Cost is $35 per person, which includes dinner and the show.

For reservations, visit sonomapub.com or call Sharry at 815-6159.


Guest Chefs at Farmhouse Inn: Starting next Thursday, The Farmhouse Inn (7871 River Road, Forestville) hosts a series of guest-chef dinners.

Visiting chefs will work side-by-side with executive chef Steve "Stevo" Litke to craft a multi-course meal, with wine pairings by Geoff Kruth, the Inn's wine director and master sommelier.

The first dinner, taking place on Jan. 31, features Sarah Scott and Connie Green, authors of "The Wild Table Cookbook." Scott and Green are both from Napa County, where Green is well-known for her foraging skills and mushroom expertise.

On Feb. 21, Ken Tominaga of Hana Japanese Restaurant in Rohnert Park is the featured chef and, on March 21, it's Matthew Accarrino of SPQR of San Francisco, featuring modern Italian food and wine.

Cost is $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

If you can't make it on a Thursday evening, Monday night's popular prix-fixe dinners have returned and will continue through April. Known casually as Locals Night, each Monday there's a new three-course dinner for $49. There's also an optional wine-paring with special prices.

To reserve a table for any of these dinners, call 887-3300.


Crab, crab, crab: By our count, there are at least 10 crab feeds coming up in the next few days. Some are already sold out. One, Cinnabar Theater's All-You-Can-Eat Crab and Shrimp Feed, taking place next Tuesday, January 29, at Lagunitas Brewing Company Beer Garden (1280 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma) was, as of press time, adding names to a wait list; call 763-8920 to be added.

Because there are so many and we really can't be picking one over the other, we've posted all details for upcoming crab feeds in the "Eat This Now" blog, which you can find at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.

Michele Anna Jordan hosts "Mouthful" each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM.

E-mail Jordan at michele@micheleannajordan.com.

You'll find her blog, "Eat This Now," at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com