March 16th: International Chocolate Panel. The folks at the at 92nd Street Y are putting together a panel discussion and a fantastic-sounding tasting of chocolate from around the world. The panel, moderated by author and culinary historian Alexandra Leaf, includes Stephanie Teuwen, special events producer for the Chocolate Show, Clay Gordon, chocolate critic and founder of the New World Chocolate Society (sign us up for that one!), Francois Payard, chef-owner of Payard Patisserie & Bistro, and Bill Yosses, executive chef of Joseph’s Citarella. Tickets are $45 and can be bought online. 7:30 PM, 1395 Lexington Avenue (92nd and Lexington), (212)415-5500.

2005_03_food_TOFH150pix.jpgMarch 20th: Time Out for Hunger - Dine Out & Make a Difference. On Sunday, March 20th, New York's top restaurants will help feed New Yorkers in need by graciously donating 10% of their day's proceeds to the Food Bank For New York City. Do you need a better excuse to eat out? We sure don't. For a list of participating restaurants, visit the Time Out New York website.

March 21st: First Day of Spring Raw Dinner. Celebrate Spring at Counter Vegetarian Restaurant & Wine Bar, featuring a special pairing of raw food prepared by guest Chef Chad Sarno and organic and natural wines. Spring is a great time to get healthy, after all. 7:30 PM, 105 First Avenue, 212-982-5870.

March 22nd: Bringing the Old World to the New. This dinner will explore wines and food whose inspiration has come from France, but which have been cultivated and grown in the vineyards and farms of America, featuring the wines of Austin Hope and Treana in Paso Robles, California, and the traditional French ingredients of D’Artagnan. The menu will include Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Crisp Corn and Fennel Tortilla, Dried Fruit Chutney, Balsamic Vinegar and Molasses Reduction, as well as Roasted Guinea Hen Seasoned with Toasted Coriander and Cumin, Green Vidalia Onions, Baby Vegetables, Fingerling Potatoes and Herbed Red Wine Jus. The five-course dinner will feature five wines from Austin Hope and Treana for $80 per person. A tad steep, perhaps, but we've become D'Artagnan junkies ever since we participated in the Duckathlon. Sigh. 7:00 PM, North Square Restaurant, 103 Waverly Place.