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EaterWire: New Clock Bar Menu, St. Helena's Wine Train Stop, Asparagus Contest, MORE!

UNION SQUARE—Jon Bonne, the Chron's resident wine master, discovers that Michael Mina has done some welcome downscaling of his food menu at Clock Bar. In lieu of lobster corn dogs and such, Clock Bar is now offering more "normal" bar snacks, all under $10. [Cellarist]

ST. HELENA—Sure the town of St. Helena seems docile, but its restaurants and businesses are adamant about their desire to hop on the gravy train that is the, um, Wine Train. They've put together a petition to allow passengers to stop in town, claiming that "In tough economic times the Wine Train could be 'downtown’s economic stimulus package,' and it wouldn’t create parking headaches or traffic congestion." [NVR]

HAYES VALLEY—In conjunction with 7x7, Absinthe and Jamie Lauren are holding a recipe contest. Interested parties should submit their finest asparagus recipes, and the winner gets their dish on the Absinthe menu for two weeks. [SFist]

PENINSULA—We took a look around Madera last week, and as the Menlo Park restaurant nears, they've made a few more hires: Paul Mekis (who has spent the last decade at the Plumed Horse) is the wine director, Shannon Swindle is pastry chef, Felipe Gomez-Kraus has been hired as food and beverage director. [EaterWire, previously]

[Photo: Jennifer Yin]