This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Wednesday, January 13
New downtown nightspot Segredo is holding a preview party for Isthmus readers this evening. Guests will be able to check out the boutique bowling, Wii stations, and a variety of sports bar-style games at the gathering, and try free samples of dishes from the club's "platos-style" menu. Segredo, 624 University Ave., 5-7 p.m., free. RSVP here.
Thursday, January 14
The Madison Raw Food Meetup Group is holding its first gathering of the New Year this evening with a "Soups, Salads, & Sandwiches" potluck. Hearty comfort foods, prepared raw, are encouraged for this winter gathering. Each attending person should bring one dish large enough to serve eight people, which should "reasonably" cost the preparer somewhere in the neighborhood of $15. Raw rookies are encouraged to bring a simple dish, such as organic seasonal fruit or veggies, or a raw trail mix. Attendees should also bring their own dishes, cups, and serving and eating silverware to the potluck. Greenway area of Middleton, 5:30 p.m. New members should join the online group and indicate their interest in attending and learn more about what kinds of food to prepare.
Friday, January 15
Fitchburg Fields, an organization working to build a model sustainable agriculture and farm-to-community connections on some 250 acres of farmland just east of Highway 14, is hosting a potluck benefit this evening. Accompanying the meal is a screening of Homegrown, a documentary about a family that operates an urban organic farm on less than a quarter-acre in Pasadena, California. Guests are asked to bring a dish to pass and their own place setting. Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St., 6:15 p.m., $5 donation. Call 223-9571 for more info.
Saturday, January 16
This morning's Taste of the Market breakfast at the Dane County Farmers' Market will be prepared by Chef Matt Pace of Monty's Blue Plate Diner. The menu features: roasted carrots and sweet potatoes with rosemary and garlic; crepes with apples; biscuits and preserves; a tomato, bacon, and cheese frittata; and, a spinach, mushroom and cheese frittata as the vegetarian option. Music will be performed through the meal by Hoot 'n Annies. Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St., 8 a.m.-noon, call 261-4000 for more info.
The ecumenical Churches' Center for Land and People is holding a brunch and farmers' market today as a benefit for its Harvest of Hope fund, which "offers financial help and hope to Wisconsin farm families in distress." The brunch will be prepared by Chef Barbara Wright of The Dardanelles, while sustainable and organic foodstuffs and other products will be available for purchase at the accompanying market. Madison Christian Community, 7118 Old Sauk Rd., 10 a.m.-2 p.m., $8 adults and $4 kids 12 and older in advance and $10 adults and $5 kids 12 and older at the door. Call 839-4758 for more info.
Fromagination kicks of a month of Fondue Saturdays today with a Prix Fixe menu that includes Wisconsin Alpine cheese, a house salad, fingerling potatoes and roasted carrots, cornichons, summer sausage, and breads for dipping. Fromagination, 12 S. Carroll St. seatings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., $22.50. Call 255-2430 for reservations.
The Aldo Leopold Nature Center invites families to revel in winter this evening at its Tiki Torch Toboggan & Campfire Cookout. Participants are encouraged to bring sleds or snowshoes for some fun in the snow, which will be followed by a lesson in fireside Dutch oven cooking, along with cake and hot chocolate for a celebration of the January 11 birthday of the preeminent ecologist. Aldo Leopold Nature Center Black Earth Campus, 10648 Sutcliffe Rd., 4-7 p.m., $6 person and $20 family for members and $7 person and $25 family for non-members. Call 221-4038 for more info.
Sunday, January 17
Wisconsin children's book author Florence Parry Heide will be reading and signing books at a special Princess Brunch at Liliana's today in celebration of her new work Princess Hyacinth: The Surprising Tale of a Girl who Floated. The regular brunch and children's brunch menus will be served, and there will be free cookies, hot cocoa, and balloons for kids, along with free tiaras and wands for girls wearing princess costumes. Heide is the grandmother of the owner and chef Dave Heide and great-grandmother of his daughter and the restaurant's namesake. Liliana's, 2951 Triverton Pike, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Call 442-4444 for reservations.
Monday, January 18
Advocates of heightened protections for surface and drinking water around Wisconsin are gathering at a benefit dinner this evening, looking to raise funds for an ongoing court battle over livestock facility site conditions. "Proceeds will help cover legal expenses of attorneys Christa Westerberg and Peter McKeever, who've supported environmental protections for citizens across Wisconsin," detail organizers. The meal will feature lamb and other food donated by farmers. Supporters can send a check for $40 or more to the Green-Rock Audubon Society in Beloit for a ticket to the dinner, and are asked to note in the memo that the funds are for "clean water legal defense." Dardanelles, 1851 Monroe St., 6 p.m., $40 donation. Call 608-897-4288 for more info.