amuse bouche

by Brian Clarey

I have received anecdotal over the last several months from area restaurateurs who say they are not exactly getting creamed in this stagnant economy, but that their numbers are off from those heady days of 2006-’07. But you know who has made a killing since the recession began in December 2007? Why, McDonald’s, of course. The company opened more than 600 new Golden Arches in 2008 alone and has shown an increase in sales every month this year so far. Locally, the Avenue Restaurant has opened in the lobby of CenterPointe in downtown Greensboro. An informal interview with a couple of servers who worked the soft opening last week — and a surreptitious peek at the menu — tells me that things will bode well for this new restaurant. And offering room service for all of the building’s residents won’t hurt their numbers, I don’t think. Madison Park Café & Marketplace (see review) has recently placed me on their mailing list so I can inform you that they will be offering crepes beginning on Monday in three flavors — seafood, chicken veloute and beef bourguignon. The Greensboro Children’s Museum has been chosen to be the first in the nation to implement the Edible Schoolyard educational program designed by Alice Waters and the Chez Panisse Foundation. The program, which will begin in spring 2010, will implement gardening, nutrition and cooking to teach kids about healthy eating. And the Wyndham Championship, taking place this week at Sedgefield Country Club, will hold a food drive to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. Donations will be accepted in the parking lots through Sunday. Also happening this week: Wednesday sees Green Drinks Greensboro take a meeting at a 7 p.m. Grasshoppers game at NewBridge Bank Park. Want to go? RSVP at Also on Wednesday, Undercurrent hosts an Italian wine dinner with lecturer Pascal Salvadori, the fine wine manager of Palm Bay Imports. Reserve a seat at 336.370.1266. Also Wednesday sees a screening of The Big Lebowski at 6th & Vine’s Dinner and a Movie series. Showtime is at 9 p.m. On Thursday, Winston-Salem’s Whole Foods Market hosts Part 2 of the What Summer Tastes Like cooking series with Chef Kevin at 6 p.m. Reservations are required andf obtained by calling 336.722.9233. On Saturday EarthFare in Greensboro holds a Back-to-School Bash beginning at 10 a.m. with ideas for healthy eating during the school year. Then on Sunday the organic market holds a tasting of Chef Ricardo’s Authentic Appalachian Tomato Sauce at noon. Both events are free and open to the public.