a m u s e

by Brian Clarey

a m u s e BOUCHE

Well deck my halls, jingle my bells and trim my tree… I was pretty sure I’d be filling this space with… space filler this week in consideration of the winter holidays. But lo and behold! Unto us a very busy week in foodrelated news is born! Or something. Big news in Winston-Salem is the opening of the kitchen at Club Oasis, where Ziggy’s veteran Crow has sett up shop. It’s a bar with live music, of course — that’s Crow’s department — but the space will also include a Caribbean kitchen dishing out island specialties. And no, Crow won’t be doing the cooking. Also, according to my friend Smitty, the building that once held Frankie Rowland’s Steakhouse on Reynolda Road will soon be home to Vinnie Sardine’s Grill and Raw Oyster Bar. Vinnie already has a joint in Charlotte, I hear, but I was unable to confirm that the manager’s name is Mussels Marinara. The Proximity Hotel, possibly the greenest building in the Old North State, was recently recognized by the state tourism industry when it made the cover of the 2009 North Carolina Travel Guide. Vintage 301 in Greensboro is clearing out all of the wine left over from former tenant the Press. Hundreds of bottles are available at huge markdowns, according to an e-mail. Go, see, buy. Ben & Jerry’s will sell its line of all-natural chocolates and candies at its Greensboro scoop shop. So now you can buy just the “phudge phish” from Phish Phood ice cream instead of having to dig them all out with a spoon. Other items include gummy pandas, dark-chocolate peace signs and a acdy version of Chubby Hubby ice cream. On Christmas Eve, the Hive in Greensboro will be serving Christmas dinner for anyone who needs it at 6 p.m. Want to help out? Voilunteers and donations will be coordinated through our friend Liz Seymour, The Hive is currently in need of warm underwear and T-shirts, toiletries and shaving supplies, decks of cards and board games. There are eight guests riding out the winter over on Grove Street. And New Year’s Eve is fast approaching. Were I you, I’d make my reservations now, or at least send a press release about my restaurant to the Triad’s definitive alt-weekly. So far I’ve heard from just two restaurants. The last dinner menu of 2008 at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar will feature a heavy-duty lobster trio (paired with rack of lamb, yo). Hit the website,, for more information. And the Melting Pot, another chain with Triad locations, will feature a prixe fixe menu with $10 bottles of champagne. One more: Burger King has introduced a cologne that smells like flame-broiled Whoppers. That  is all.