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Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Get your gumbo on this Saturday

gumboMardi Gras is coming and that means it’s time for gumbo. The 7th annual Gumbo Throwdown is from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Vineyard Farmers Market at Blackstone and Shaw avenues. For $10, you get to try gumbo from five local restaurants and vote on which one you think is the best. There’s some pretty talented chefs on the list this year. Check it out:

Leftover gumbo will be sold for $5 a bowl after voting is finished at around 11:30 a.m. More information here.

Swanky new wine bar opens in Tower

The new Cuvée Spirit & Wine Parlor looks more like something you’d stumble upon in San Francisco’s Union Square than in the Tower District. Swanky, I think, is the best word to describe it.

The new wine bar is at 1140 North Van Ness Ave., just south of Olive Avenue. The owners have put a lot of effort into making this spot look nothing like the Hungry Howie’s Pizza and the mixed-martial arts store it used to be.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but as for the experience, expect modern lounge music soft enough to hear yourself talk and waitresses clad in black, skin-tight clothing.

It’s definitely a different vibe from the more down-to-earth Pinot Wine Bar down the street on Olive Avenue. Different wines too: Where Pinot carries wines from all over the world, Cuvée serves only wines from California and France.

There’s food too, with small plates and appetizers ranging from sweet potato fries to plates of cheese and chocolate. Their wine and food menus are online here.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

After you read my “farewell” column from today’s Bee.

1. FIND YOUR LATIN R & B GROOVE AT FULTON 55
Latin R & B group Tierra, 40-year vets of the music biz, are a perfect fit for this oldies-leaning town. Fresno music lovers should gobble up their Saturday night show at Fulton 55. Also: My favorite show poster of the week. [More]

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