The new seasonal menu at The Wine Market in Locust Point contains some impressive new dishes, as well as a Lite Fare menu that owner Chris Spann describes as "upscale affordable."

Items on the Lite Fare menu include the very popular Mediterranean lamb burger on flatbread ($15), steak frites with rosemary fries and blue cheese ($18), and a truffle-scented wild mushroom and arugula omelet with Gruyere sauce ($12).

I recently sampled several items executive chef Jason Lear and his sous chef, Chris Becker, added to the regular menu. They include a wonderfully flavorful nine-spice braised lamb shank with toasted orzo, glazed rutabaga and preserved tangerine truffle gremolata ($24), and a delicate sake-marinated black cod with squid ink capeletti, creamed chanterelles and lotus root chips ($25). Call 410-244-6166.

Oysters and wine at Oceanaire

The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Harbor East is holding its First Annual Oyster and Wine Pairing Extravaganza on Saturday, Jan. 17 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Ten varieties of East and West Coast oysters will be served, as well as a variety of oyster dishes, such as oyster stew and fried oysters. Oysters will be paired with 10 wines from all over the globe.

Oyster growers from Rappahanock River Oysters of Virginia will discuss oyster culture on the Chesapeake. Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door. Call 443-872-0000 for reservations and information.

'The Complete Book of Pies'

Just in time for the winter doldrums, along comes The Complete Book of Pies (Robert Rose, October 2008, $24.95), a paperback compendium with more than 200 recipes for pies both sweet and savory. Author Julie Hasson sets readers up with explanations of the best equipment and ingredients to use in pie making, then describes how to make the best dough and roll it out properly.

Recipes abound for fruit cobblers, crisps and tarts, ice cream pies, chocolate and nut pies, and more. Savory offerings include eight quiches and several pot pies. Each recipe has a short introduction and useful tips, such as how to clean grit from leeks. Ingredient lists are easy to read. A number of recipes are marked as vegetarian- or vegan-friendly. Go to for a sample recipe.