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Small Bites: Rooftop gardens, retirement parties and signature kitchens

January 27, 2009 |  5:40 pm

Lawrystheprimerib Sowing the seeds of change: Blue on Blue, the poolside restaurant at the Avalon Hotel of Beverly Hills, has planted a rooftop garden with two worthy intentions. The first is to provide the freshest possible ingredients for chef Scott Garrett to use in his dishes (and to inspire the creation of new dishes and cocktails). The second is to use the garden as an educational tool via the restaurant's new "Small-Space Food Gardening" series, which costs $150 per person, but is available free of charge to low-income families. The classes are scheduled for Feb. 21, 28 and March 7 from 7 to 9:30 p.m., and will be taught by Darren Butler of EcoWorkshops.com. 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 407-7791, www.avalonbeverlyhills.com.

More Nancy Silverton: Signature Kitchen has opened at Macy's South Coast Plaza Home Store. The new shopper-friendly restaurant features the food of three chefs on Macy's "culinary council." They are: Nancy Silverton, Cat Cora and Marcus Samuelsson. Silverton will offer fresh sandwiches, salads and paninis under the La Brea Bakery moniker, while Cora dishes up barbecue, and Samuelsson his signature burgers. Think of it as a gourmet food court for shopaholics. It opens daily at 11 a.m. and closes one hour before the Home Store closes. South Coast Plaza, Macy's Home Store, Level 1, 3333 Bear St., Costa Mesa. (714) 708-3333, Ext. 3601. www.southcoastplaza.com.

Wine that's good for your wallet: The Patina Restaurant Group wants to thank its customers for all the challenging recession dining they've been doing. To that end, every last one of the group's offspring is offering 25% off all bottles of wine sold through the end of February. They're calling the promotion "Wines for the Wise." I'm calling it: "My Friday night." Patina Group restaurants, www.patinagroup.com.

Congratulations, Feathers! It's come to our attention that tonight a server named Jennifer Williams (who is affectionately called "Feathers") is retiring from Lawry's the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills after 45 years of service. Her retirement dinner commences at 9 p.m. The service industry is a rough but rewarding beast and that kind of time spent feeding it merits sustained applause. 100 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 652-2827. www.lawrysonline.com.

-- Jessica Gelt

Illustration: Gibbs Smith