Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

Just as rumors of the death of Greensboro’s Press Wine Café were greatly exaggerated, so too were the stirrings in High Point about the demise of J. Basul Noble’s, according to owner Tim Applegate in a Nov. 8 article in the High Point Enterprise. This is good news in a bad time for the restaurant business. Still, we gourmands carry on — though, if a report in the New York Times is to be believed, more and more of us are eating Spam again. That’s right: Sales of Hawaii’s favorite potted meat product are up. But not in my house. I will not eat it with a goat; I will not eat it in a boat. I would like to take a crack at a new product created by Harris Teeter and the James Skinner Baking Co. It is “the first ever commercially produced Dulce De Leche Roulade,” according to a press release, which is coy about details. I’ll fill you in: dulce de leche means “sweet milk.” Or something. And it means caramel — or at least it does at Häagen-Dazs. And a “roulade” is simply something rolled, which in this case would be a sweet bread. Look for it in the frozen section, and let me know what you think. Here’s what I think about the culinary week ahead. The big day is Wednesday, which sees a bourbon dinner at M’Coul’s in Greensboro with the incomparably Fred Noe from Jim Beam as host and drinking buddy. Call the restaurant, 336.378.0204, for details or hit the website at Or you could head over to EarthFare, which is hosting a free vegan cooking class at 6:30 p.m. dedicated to holiday side items. On Friday, EarthFare hits it again two times: a cancer cooking class, the second of a four-class series, that deals with alternatives to dairy which begins at noon. Reservations are required; call 336.369.0190 to enlist. And then, at 6 p.m. the green grocer hosts a wine and beer tasting featuring artwork by students from the Exceptional Friends Art Studio. A $5 cover goes towards the Family Support Network of North Carolina. Also interesting: Bonefish Grill is a chain operating under the company that owns Outback Steakhouse which chooses to operate in mid- to small-sized markets rather than compete in big-city restaurant scenes. There are no Bonefish Grills in Miami, New York City, Las Vegas, Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, Charleston, and maybe the only thing California and Texas have in common is that neither state has a Bonefish Grill. It’s a solid restaurant, with very tasty food and a marketing department that is off the hook. This holiday season, for example, the restaurant’s gift cards bear designs by artist Burt Lancaster — not the actor, but the practitioner of the Japanese art of fish rubbing. That’s when you get an imprint of the fish on thin rice paper, and not the other thing you were thinking.