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Restauranteurs team up for Main Street benefit

Youth arts programs will get a boost from this year's Main Course in downtown Forest Grove

If one local restaurant is good, then six are even better.

That was the thinking of those who organized the 2011 Main Course, which will take over Forest Grove's historic Main Street on Saturday, July 9.

As usual, the Main Course will host a dozen local wineries, but this year the food will come from a half-dozen local eateries, representing a broad selection of cuisines.

Those who attend the fundraiser will have two options. Wine tasting and appetizers will be served at 5:30 p.m. at a cost of $30. Those who want the tasting and dinner that follows will pay $75.

The group effort will benefit youth art programs through the Forest Grove Public Arts Commission.

Kathleen Leatham, chair of the commission, said funds raised through the Main Course will allow for mini-grants to support improved access to the arts kids.

'Our programs provide exposure to the arts at no cost to the public,' she said. 'Artistic exposures and hands-on experiences are vital to the social development of children into adults.'

This annual celebration will focus on local wines and ingredients.

Rather than feature the work of a single chef, organizers this year approached several local restaurants.

'We figured this was a way to show off some of the newer restaurants and highlight some different cuisines,' said Hope Kramer.

So, the entrée from 1910 Main Bistro will feature Carlton Farms grilled pork tenderloin with Epler Farms blueberry sauce and veggies from the farmers market.

Bistro Stecchino, meanwhile, will serve fresh tapenade and crostini for appetizers and flourless chocolate cake with fresh Oregon berries and sweet crème for dessert.

Grendels English Pub will present local L-Bar-T buffalo pasties, while Izgara Middle Eastern Cuisine will serve up handmade falafels with tahini and freshly made hummus.

Pac Thai will provide freshly made salad rolls and Urban Decanter will serve a range of appetizers.

'The restaurant owners were really excited about this,' said Kramer, who is a co-owner of the Urban Decanter. 'And, we've all worked really well together.'

Like the dinner, local high quality wineries will be featured. The tasting will be a casual affair allowing participants to talk with winery staff, including some winemakers and owners.

Participating wineries are Apolloni, Montinore Estate, Purple Cow, David Hill Vineyards, Plum Hill, Provincial Vineyards, Zimri Cellars, Tualatin Estates, Abbey Creek, Kramer Vineyards, Helvetia Vineyards and Saké One.

Tickets may be purchased at Urban Decanter at 2030 Main Street 503-359-7678, the Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce 2417 Pacific Ave 503-357-3006, or through the web at www.maincoursedinner.com