Taste of things to come: Hot, happening and opening soon

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The Independent Culture
755 (0171 371 0755, right) on London's Fulham Road is offering diners the chance to learn how to match food and wine with a series of talks and tastings led by wine experts such as television presenter Charles Metcalfe. The sessions - the first of which is on 23 February - are followed by dinner, 755's chef Alan Thompson being an expert in East-meets-West cuisine. Cost of the evenings, including dinner, is pounds 50.

Gary Rhodes's first restaurant outside London opened at the newly built Quality Hotel, Manchester last week. Positioned next to Old Trafford football ground, Rhodes & Co (0161 868 1900) offers the chef's trademark English fare - fishcakes, steak-and-kidney pud and bread-and-butter pudding - and the odd European dish too, such as risotto. The decor is also meant to be patriotic, with walls and tables made from oak and beech.

Fans of the Belgian-themed Belgo restaurants are in for another treat. The latest concept, Bierodrome (0171 226 5835/226 3295), is set to open next week at 173/174 Upper Street, Islington, north London. It will be more of a drinks-led operation than its sisters (with 200 varieties of Belgian beer on offer and 101 different schnapps) but the familiar mussel pots and frites will be there too. Bar snacks for those in a hurry are also on the menu, such as Belgian cheese with rye bread or charcuterie and mustard.

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