Movie theaters offer previews of films, so why shouldn't bookstores offer a taste of their wares? At Sutton Place Gourmet, they do.

Perhaps better known for its wide range of groceries than its stock of cookbooks (it carries several hundred titles, according to spokesman John Rusnak), the upscale food shop has been hosting frequent complimentary "book tastings" in conjunction with the appearances of food authors.

This month's literary menu kicks off at the store's New Mexico Avenue location Friday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with Jane Bradley, author of "Southern Style." Among the foods to be showcased from her book will be Virginia baked ham with miniature biscuits and raspberry poppyseed dressing with fresh fruit. Following Bradley, who will also appear Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sutton Place Gourmet in Bethesda, will be food writer Craig Claiborne (New Mexico Avenue store, Oct. 16, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.); Susan Derecskey, author of "The Hungarian Cookbook" (New Mexico Avenue store, Oct. 24, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and in Bethesda, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.); and author Georges Blanc (New Mexico Avenue store, Oct. 28, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)