Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

There’s much afoot in the Triad culinary community, so if you don’t mind, I’ll dispatch with the cheap one-liner opening and get right down to business.

Believe it or not, even though hailstones and tornadoes have been pelting the region like snowballs thrown at the school bus, it is actually full-on spring. This means that the patios of all our beloved area restaurants are open for business. Bert’s Seafood Grille in Greensboro and Finnegan’s Wake in Winston-Salem are but two of the many, many fine Triad restaurants with outdoor eating space – and they’re the only two that bothered to mention to me that their patios were up and running for the season.

A new restaurant, Ombu Woodfire Fusion, has signed on as the first tenant at St. George Square on Hanes Mall Boulevard in Winston-Salem. Think wood-fired pizza fused with Asian, Southwest and California cuisine, served tapas style. Look for a grand opening in June.

Things are quiet at Greensboro’s EarthFare this week, but stop by in Monday at 6:30 p.m. for a lecture entitled, “The 25 Healthiest Foods on Earth” given by Melba Lemley, a certified nutritional consultant, certified master herbalist and professional educator. The event is free and open to the public.

It also dovetails nicely with a promotion by Triad-area CVS pharmacies, which offer free cholesterol screenings during store hours now through June 7.

The Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, fresh off a trouncing from the tornado that touched down there last week, will try to pull it together to hold Strawberry Day on Friday beginning at 10 a.m. and celebrate the absolute peak of the season.

Dewey’s Bakery, out of Winston-Salem, has begun marketing office and party platters consisting of cakes, pastries, muffins, brownies and other assorted baked sweets. Call any Triad Dewey’s Bakery or visit for more info.

Jeremy Westmoreland, an employee of Greensboro’s Olive Garden, was selected by the company to attend a weeklong training session at its culinary institute in Tuscany, Italy. According to a press release, Westmoreland visited wineries and restaurants to soak up the kind of culture that the Olive Garden pursues as its corporate brand.

“The passion that Italians have for their food and their wine is unbelievable,” he said. “We spent time learning how food and wine complement each other, tasted amazing food and really got to experience the all the passion, warmth and generosity that the Italian people bring to every meal.”

And finally, festival heads who are planning to asttend this summer’s Bonnaroo Festival, June 12-15 in Manchester, Tenn. – begun, I should say, by a group of Tulane students during Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest so many years ago – will note the event’s newest addition to the lineup: Moopheus.

Moopheus is not some new jam and out of panhandle Florida. He’s a cow, and star of the Meatrix series of short films – loose parodies of The Matrix that highlight food-supply problems that will be screened at the festival.