<strong>Tasting Petaluma:</strong> On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the eighth annual Taste of Petaluma offers an opportunity to wander one of Sonoma County's loveliest downtown areas while nibbling and sipping all manner of good things.
More than 50 purveyors are involved this year.
Highlights include meatballs with arrabbiata sauce and iced tea at Wild Goat Bistro; muffaletta with house-made coppa and salami at Sugo Trattoria; smoked pork shoulder and heirloom tomato salad at Social Club Restaurant and Bar; rock cod ceviche by Nick's Cove at Ooh La Loft; shepherd's pie at Maguire's Pub; and a signature salad with smoked salmon, farro, lentils, kale, arugula, walnuts, apples and lemon vinaigrette at Free Range Provisions and Eats. And so much more.
Here's how it works. Buy an advance ticket package before 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, for $35, or pony up $40 starting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Packages include 10 tasting tickets, a map with all sampling locations, a menu and a plastic glass. Guests are welcome to bring their own glass if they prefer.
The first 1,000 attendees will also receive a Petaluma tote bag.
All tastes are $4 each. You can buy additional tasting tickets once you've purchased a ticket package.
All ticket packages, including those purchased in advance, must be picked up at Helen Putnam Plaza (129 Petaluma Blvd. N.) after 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
There will be musicians and other entertainment throughout the day.
For full details, visit <a href="http://tasteofpetaluma.org" target="_blank">tasteofpetaluma.org</a>.
<strong>Dinner With "The Birds":</strong> Next Saturday, Aug. 31, the Inn at the Tides hosts a very special benefit dinner celebrating the 50th anniversary of the classic Alfred Hitchcock film "The Birds."
Tippi Hedren, star of the movie, will be the evening's special guest and proceeds will benefit the Roar Foundation Shambala Preserve, her long-term project that educates the public about the dangers of private ownership of exotic animals. (For more information, visit shambala.org.)
The menu has an exotic flair, too.
The first course features "Paupiette of Petrale Sole Tippi Hedron," with a delicate blonde sauce and Ferrari Carano chardonnay alongside.
Next comes "Bird's Nest," with quail eggs nestled into pasta with wild mushroom sauce, paired with Trecini Cellars pinot noir.
"Tournedo of Beef Hitchcock" features beef tenderloin stuffed with Dungeness crab with Madeira and a bearnaise sauce. Kendall-Jackson cabernet sauvignon will accompany the beef.
For dessert, can't you guess? It's "Love Birds," of course, featuring amaretto and chocolate mousse with Mondavi Moscato d'Oro.
The evening begins with a no-host reception, followed by an interview with Hedren, a trivia contest, a screening of the film, and dinner.
Cost is $190 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
For more information and for reservations, call 875-2751.
<strong>Les Blank Film Screening:</strong> Beloved documentary filmmaker Les Blank died at his Berkeley home in April.
Blank was a friend to many in Sonoma County, and over the last several decades, there have been several screenings of his films — going all the way back to the early 1980s, when he released "Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers," his evocative ode to the world's favorite allium.
Back then, the film was shown at Sonoma State University and it was an extravaganza, with Blank and an assistant roasting garlic in toaster ovens on the sides of the stage during the screening.