Five Dishes to Try at New Times' Fourth-Annual Pairings on September 15

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As we're counting down to the New Times Pairings event this Thursday at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, I've been perusing lineups as they're posted over at Wine Watch. Some trends so far: Restaurants are counting on pork buns, sliders, meatballs, and tacos to please crowds. Lamb makes an appearance as a slider and as a coffee-braised cheek dish. Ceviche, tartar, and sushi are offered up aplenty. Big reds pair with beef raviolis or pasta and sausage dishes. And from what I gather, beer pairings weave throughout the event, something I've been wanting in restaurants around town but have found very little of on everyday menus (special events are another story). Some teasers after the jump.

1. Spicy tuna roll from Buddha Sky Bar and Vinoce Sauvignon Blanc Napa 2010. Flinty Sauvignon Blanc can be a safe bet pairing with shellfish or sushi. Here's hoping for a handroll, since the cone is fun to eat.

2. Tuscan beef ravioli with white bean sauce from Cafe Maxx and Ferrari Carano Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2008. Comfort food for fall and a big red make for a crowd-pleasing pairing.

3. Beef carpaccio with arugula and capers from Farradday's Steakhouse and Estancia Meritage Paso Robles 2007. Though raw beef isn't for everyone, when carpaccio is good, it's sublime. I'm excited to try it from here.

4. Steamed pork buns from YOLO and Row Eleven Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2007. I have yet to make my way to this restaurant, but I've been given the heads-up on several menu items from here. I'm looking forward to trying its rendition of pork buns, a new bar-food standard.

5. Veal risotto timbale with pecorino, thyme, and tomatoes from Casa d'Angelo and Corte Pavone Brunello di Montalcino 2005. The culinary destination restaurant offers a pairing that's particularly decadent.

Otherwise, you can click on Pairings to get your $45 online tickets or pay $55 at the door. Deep-pocketed readers can

shell out $80 for VIP tickets that allow you in early, before the

general admission crowds.

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter. Follow me @melissamccart.

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