a m u s e BOUCHE

by Brian Clarey

a m u s e BOUCHE A veritable blizzard of activity in the Triad restaurant sector — with mixed consequences — is striking just as the dining season should be hitting its peak. One of my longtime favorites, the Grappa Grille in Greensboro, has closed its doors. Owners Stacy Land and Jodie Crandall blame the economy. And yet, like the Russian soldiers in World War I, more restaurants rise to the fore and take up their arms. Grioli’s Italian Bistro and Pizzeria, a national chain, has opened in the Shoppes at Battleground Avenue. Noma, a new bar/restaurant concept, has opened on the corner of 4th and Marshall streets in downtown Winston-Salem. The Mellow Mushroom slated for downtown Greensboro is scheduled to open Dec. 22. And the Press Wine Café in Greensboro’s Southside neighborhood has been renamed Vintage 301 and is reopening under new ownership. Josh Michael, David Gainey, Rowe Piper and Ben Sullivan invite you to celebrate the grand reopening on Wednesday night. Call 336.333.3190 or e-mail for a reservation. There will be more about these new places in the coming weeks. Also worth mentioning: Allen McDavid’s Twin City RibFest is changing locations in this, its fifth year. No longer will rib lovers be forced to bite the bone in the parking lot of the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Winston- Salem. This year’s event, to be held June 11-14, will be held at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds. And if you’ve got the time in between bouts of shopping, there are a few worthwhile culinary events this week. Wednesday takes us out to SciWorks in Winston-Salem for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems’ workshop, Building a Sustainable Local Food Economy in North Carolina: From Farm-to-Fork. It begins at 5:30 p.m., and a RSVP is required. Call 336.767.6734 for more info. On Friday, Lynne Rossetto Kaspar, host of NPR’s “The Splendid Table” and the woman who taught me about the subtleties of umami, makes an appearance at Greensboro’s Revolution Mill Studios in conjunction with 88.5 WFDD. There will be food and wine, and a $50 cover charge. Call 336.758.8850 to see if there are any tickets left. On Saturday, RayLen Vineyards in the Yadkin Valley holds its holiday open house beginning at 1 p.m. Food, wine , gifts… all that stuff. Hit the website, www.raylenvineyards, for more info. And Greensboro’s Earth Fare opens its Taste of the Holidays experience. All you need to know is this: It is free, it starts at 1 p.m. and there will be food. Sunday sees the Slow Food Piedmont Potluck Dinner and Seed Exchange at the Handance Farm in Reidsville at 5 p.m., after the board meeting at 3. The farm is known for its heirloom vegetables and heritage poultry. Ands because there will be many foodies in attendance, you should pay special attention to your own covered dish. Check out the Slow Food website,, for more details.