Amuse Bouché

by Brian Clarey

Going by the announcements in my e-mail box (that’s editor@yesweekly, my friends) there’s one thing that people in culinary circles all think of when the ass end of winter comes a-biting.

It’s wine, of course, the drink of the gods, and this is the time of year when a glass of good, full-bodied red can warm up a whole body.

So in accordance with the general theme of the season, there is beaucoup wine news this week.

First off, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar has been honored with an Award of Distinction from Wine Enthusiast magazine in its February 2008 issue. Prizes are awarded by a panel of judges consisting of wine experts and food editors and are given based on “selection, service, individuality and value,” according to Karen Berman, a spokesperson for the magazine. Visit their Greensboro location to give their wine list a run.

The Press Wine Bar & Café, also in Greensboro, introduces its Harvest Club, which gives members discounts up to 25 percent on dinner checks and wine tastings.

Earth Fare in Greensboro has a little wine mojo working as well, with a Wine and Chocolate Festival happening next weekend, but I’ll have more on that next week. Earth Fare also runs an installment of its culinary series, a lesson in honey-glazed tofu on pumpkin seed couscous, on Wednesday at noon.

And Undercurrent restaurant in downtown Greensboro encourages patrons to bring in those special bottles of wine they’ve been saving for a Monday and Tuesday tasting menu special in which they will waive corkage and pouring fees, which doesn’t necessarily mean free wine, but at least it’s wine that’s already been paid for.

Speaking of restaurants… it’s time to start thinking about your Valentine’s Day reservations. I remember one year I waited until the last minute and my wife and I were actually on line at the Golden Corral, waiting to stuff or faces, when we hot a call from a nearby restaurant, where I had left my phone number, with a vacancy. Not that there’s anything wrong with the Golden Corral, but if you want to have a special Valentine’s dinner, a word to the wise: Plan ahead.

Anything else? Sure! Old Salem’s Winkler Bakery at Old Salem Museum & Gardens has received a $25,000 grant from the Cannon Foundation. The money will go towards renovations and space increases in the bakery with an eye to making a restaurant on the grounds.

And Zabar’s, a favorite of New Yorkers for a hundred years, now has a website,, offering delivery of every item on the vaunted delicatessen’s menu. Caviar, Nova salmon, pastry, coffee, a serious catalog of cheeses and chocolate babka are now, as they say, only a mouse-click away.

Email your food and restaurant news to Brian Clarey at