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Cannon's Pig Paint shoots to Austin, TJ's does wine and Morton's does philanthropy.

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Getting Sauced

You know him as a longtime bartender at Starlite, or the guy who runs a barbecue cart at James Center Plaza. Now Sean Cannon puts a new stamp on the brand, beyond the pig snorting on his voice mail and the devotion to pit mastery. He's just back from Austin, Texas, where his Cannon's Pig Paint was part of a juried contest at the National Barbecue Association's annual conference. Though his sauce didn't bring home an award this time, Cannon says the experience was first-rate. “I was impressed by how familial that whole group is,” he says of his barbecue brethren. “It started off as a hobby but now I want to pursue it more.”

 “It's a combination of pretty much every type of barbecue sauce flavor — vinegar, sweet, heat and smoky,” Cannon says of his recipe. He admits that he doctored bottled sauces for years at his home cookouts before deciding he “couldn't live under the lie anymore, so after nine months of trial and error, this is it, and it's great. You don't want to put bad sauce on good meat.” Jars of original and hot are selling at Shields Market, Belmont Butchery, Stonewall Market, Mojo's, Bleu Bistro and Starlite for $5.

Cannon's Pig Paint resumes cart service at 10th and Main streets in mid-March. A slow-roasted, hand-pulled pork sandwich will be $6, or with two sides and a drink, $8. www.cannonspigpaint.com.

Dine On

TJ's Restaurant at the Jefferson Hotel: Winemaker Michael Shaps hosts a Virginia wine dinner Saturday, Feb. 28. The event caps Virginia Wine Month and the Virginia Wine Expo, also that weekend. A tariff of $85 per guest includes tax and gratuity, a multicourse meal prepared by TJ's chef James Schroeder, and wines from the Shaps portfolio of Virginia wines. Seating limited to 40 guests by advance reservation. Contact Ben Eubanks at 649-4629 or ben.eubanks@jeffersonhotel.com. www.jeffersonhotel.com/dining_wineexpo.aspx.

Morton's The Steakhouse: The restaurant's semiannual philanthropy week features a three-course meal for $75. A third of that will be donated to that evening's designated charity: March 9, Richmond SPCA; March 10, Caritas and the Healing Place; March 11, Richmond Symphony; March 12, Salvation Army and the Alden Aaroe Shoe Fund; March 13, Child Savers; March 14, Richmond Ballet. Reservations at 648-1662. 111 Virginia St. www.mortons.com.

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