Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

Sure, they popped the cap in Asheboro this month, and now you can go get drunk at the zoo. But from Greensboro comes other Prohibition-style news: The Press Wine Café is adding spirits to its list of inebriating beverages. That’s right, vodka, whiskey, gin… belly up to the bar and get you some while you’re waiting for Michael and David’s wine dinner, which has been postponed until October. Check this space for more details. Speaking of new… Ruby Tuesdays restaurants have undergone a sudden and drastic makeover. Gone are the Tiffany-style lamps, the kitschy wall hangings and sports memorabilia, the white-checked tablecloths and cheesy server uniforms adorned with “flair.” In their places are softer tones, upholstered seats, actual artwork, better lighting and black server uniforms, along with a slightly revamped menu that should make dining there a whole new experience. Check out YouTube for a mock demolition of the last Ruby Tuesdays before giving the new concept a try. Also new: Sur la Table celebrates the onset of fall with a trove of new products straight from Parma, Italy that includes foodstuffs like cheeses, cured meats, olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars; cookware like terra cotta pots and pizza stones; tools like ravioli stamps and pasta machines; and all kinds of other stuff. Give it a look-see at the Shops at Friendly Center in Greensboro. And there are enough culinary events this week to keep your tummies full. On Friday, Caffe Prada in Winston-Salem holds an August wine tasting with labels that come from places like Argentina, Austria and Australia. Get it? Pradda will also be serving its signature gelato line, espresso and whatever other goodies they have on hand. Also on Friday, Earth Fare in Greensboro hosts an installment of the Cancer Project Cooking Class at noon. This one’s called “Replacing Dairy,” and it deals with the relationship between insulin-like growth factor I and cancer cell growth, along woth substitution suggestions and samples of dairy-free dishes. Call 336.369.0190 to reserve your seat. Then on Monday at 6:30 p.m. Earth Fare hosts a class on ADHD and nutrition with expert Melba Lemley, who traces the connection with the ADHD diagnosis and what these children are eating. Of interest: The Chowhound message board has a “South” tag that often includes dispatches and queries from our corner of the world. The most recent request comes from a traveler who will be spending 10 days in the North Carolina heartland, and the crowdsourced wisdom recommended stops at Giacomo’s, Sticks & Stones and Liberty Oak in Greensboro; Skippy’s Hot Dogs, West End Café, Sweet Potatoes and the meat and three at Meta’s in Winston-Salem. And from the consumer rip-off department, according to, Arm & Hammer baking soda once claimed on its packaging that it could keep a refrigerator smelling fresh for three months. Now the label advises just 30 days of maximum usage, which is the biggest scam since “lather, rinse, repeat.