Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

The cooling climate this month brings with it a sense of urgency and change. Triad restaurateurs, acutely aware of the changing vibe, take the cue to shake things up in their kitchens and dining rooms.

For example, the Bonefish Grill (a chain, I know) has added a variety of new menu items: a few sandwiches and salads, a shrimp taco and a shrimp, scallops and crab-stuffed longfin with imperial sauce; and a petit portions designation on some longstanding favorites.

Sur la Table in Greensboro has begun the Halloween season with kitchen items, crockware and other goodies. The must have item is the Bone-Chiller ice cube trays that makes ice in the shape of skulls and crossbones.

Fall restaurant openings include Ombud Wood Fired Fusion in Winston-Salem, featuring a bled of delights from the Southwest to the Pacific Rim, open for lunch, dinner and brunch; San Luis II in Greensboro, a spin-off of the successful authentic Mexican eatery; and Monesi Brazilian Buffet, brought to us by the people who own Leblon churrascaria, also in Greensboro.

It’s also great time to eat outside, as attested to by a timely press release sent out by the owners of Lucky 32, Print Works Bistro and Green Valley Grill, all of which offer excellent al fresco dining spaces.

And there are plenty of event to mark the season as well. On Tuesday, Undercurrent Restaurant in Greensboro offers a Longview wine dinner, featuring five courses and six wines from the Adelaide region of Australia. Reserve a seat at 336.370.1266.

Wednesday sees a Brooklyn beer dinner at the Press Wine Café, again five courses, each matched with beers from the Brooklyn Brewery. Make a reservation through the website,, or by calling 336.333.3190.

And Thursday night Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar hosts a wine dinner in honor of artist Thomas Arvid, who paints pictures on the vintner’s theme. It’s a four course affair. with wines from California and a few remarks from the artist himself. Book a seat at 336.294.7790.

And it seems the Chinese poison train is still rolling, even after they sentenced the equivalent of their FDA chief to death last year. Now the problem is with dairy, or more specifically, baby formula, which has been found to contain melamine, an industrial chemical which boosts protein levels of whatever it is added to but also causes kidney stones and, uh, kills people. This time around, more than 50,000 Chinese babies got sick, 13,000 were hospitalized and four of them died after ingesting the tainted formula. Last week the Chinese government has accepted the resignation of Li Changjiang, chief of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, and the country’s dairy industry will see a massive overhaul.