by Brian Clarey

Wowza, the pickings are slim in the Triad food scene this week. Seriously, it’s deader than a movie theater on the Fourth of July around here, culinarily speaking. Which means I’ll have to suspend my “all killer no filler” rule for served this week.

It’s quiet weeks like that inspired the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership to hold the Big Eat, a two-month restaurant celebration, over HJanuary and February. Here’s the deal: Every Tuesday through February, all your favorite Winston-Salem restaurants offer signature dishes at half price — nothing to sign and no strings attached.

This week Dioli’s Tarttoria offered salmon piccata with risotto Milanese and grilled asparagus for just $9. You can imagine what they’ll have next week: something awesome!

Downtown Greensboro is getting a new Mexican restaurant this summer. Spice Cantina will have a 5,800-square-foot dining room and a 2,500-squarefoot patio when all is said and done.

And the Greensboro-based Fresh Market has a new cookbook. Cooking in Season with the Fresh Market is available at all three Triad locations.

On to the week’s events. On Thursday, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar holds a wine dinner featuring bottled from Napa Valley vintner Barnett Vineyards. Make a reservation at 336.294.7790.

Also on Thursday, Noble’s gets into the wine thing with a dinner featuring wines from the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. This one is billed as an “Upside Down Food & Wine Pairing,” which I assume is some fancy, wine-drinking version of a keg stand. Reservations can be made by calling 336.777.8477.

More wine! Whole Foods Market in Winston-Salem holds its monthly wine tasting event on Friday at the store at 4 p.m.

Also on Friday, Undercurrent in downtown Greensboro tries something new: a “demo dinner,” featuring Chef Michael Harkenreader and a lesson in ravioli.

More wine? Total Wine & More has tastings all weekend long at all three Triad locations.

Killer? And here’s some filler: A North Carolina shopper sent photos into the Consumerist website of a Food Lion produce bin. Under a sign reading “fresh from the field” were displayed a selection of chocolate-covered pretzels, gummy bears and sour gummy worms. Like that stuff grows on trees!