Monthly Archives: November 2011

Question of the week: Best date destination?

Local foodie Jeff Christensen suggested this question of the week:

“Here’s a question for you to do next week,” he wrote to me. “What’s the best place for a first date/date with the wife, and why?”

Can you help him, dear readers? He clearly has someone to impress. Answer in the comments section below.

Restaurants serving on Thanksgiving Day

It’s Nov. 16, which is the traditional day for readers across the state to begin frantically e-mailing me, demanding to know which restaurants will be open and serving traditional foods on Thanksgiving Day.

So without further turkey adieu, I present this year’s list, which includes an interesting addition: Newport Grill has joined the Thanksgiving Day fray and is serving plated dinners rather than a buffet. (Warning: This story made every editor who dealt with it this morning very, very hungry.)

Know of a restaurant I missed? Let me know. There’s still time for me to get it in the newspaper version of the story, which will be published on Friday.

Newport Grill adding lunch

Newport Grill, the year-old seafood restaurant at 1900 N. Rock Road, will begin serving lunch the day after Thanksgiving — on Friday, Nov. 25.

Though managers are still finalizing a menu, they say it will include smaller, lunch-sized portions of several regular menu items plus some new sandwiches and burgers.

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Newport added a Sunday brunch, served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., earlier this year. The restaurant also has introduced other regular specials, including $6 glasses of wine on Sundays, $5 martinis on Tuesdays and live music on Thursdays.

For more Newport Grill information, call 316-636-9555.

A full week of Scotch, wine and courses

Several local restaurants are doing their part to help you get your stomach expanded and your tolerance increased just in time for Thanksgiving.

During the next few days, three wine events and a Scotch tasting are planned at local restaurants. Here are some of your choices:

Chapada Chop House, 2142 N. Tyler Road: The new restaurant is putting on a single malt Scotch tasting with guest speaker Robert Sickler at 6:30 p.m. tonight. The event will feature five Scotch whiskeys and heavy appetizers. Admission is $35 a person. Make reservations at 316-201-4694.

Hangar One, 5925 W. Kellogg: The restaurants monthly Wine Flight Dinner is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday and will feature five courses with wine. Admission is $39.99 a person. Make reservations at 316-941-4900.

Carrabba’s, 3409 N. Rock Road: Carrabba’s monthly wine tasting also is on Wednesday. It’s at  6:30 p.m. and will include five to six wines paired with five to six small plates. It’s $35 a person. Call 316-315-0777 for reservations.

Luca Italian Kitchen, 301 N. Mead: The restaurant’s “Terra” dinner is at 7 p.m.  on Thursday and will feature four courses paired with wines. Tickets $65 a person at 316-262-3232.

Know of any others coming up? Let me know and I”ll put them on my wine and beer events page.

Opening Wednesday: Charlie’s PizzaTaco

I’ve been following pretty closely the development of Charlie’s PizzaTaco, a Pratt-based restaurant that will start a “soft-opening” on Wednesday. (Reminder: “Soft opening” means that the restaurant is open and sort of practicing while the kitchen and staff figure out what they’re doing. In other words, if you demand perfection in your dining experience, wait a week or two.)

The restaurant is at 601 N. Tyler Road In the former Pita & Paninis space. The menu is fascinating. Never mind that Charlie has invented a pizza/taco hybrid (which looks delicious.) There’s also a pizza log, which marries a hot dog and a pizza, and a pizza raft, which involves smoked sausage and kraut and looks seaworthy. It’d at least get you across the Little Ark. You can see the full menu here.

A trusted local foodie, Andrew Gough, stopped by the original Charlie’s PizzaTaco in Pratt last week and loved his food. The picture he took is at right.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

A grand opening is scheduled for Dec. 3.

Little bites of restaurant stuff

Check out Bella Vita's new sign. Hopefully, it'll make the restaurant more visible to passers-by.

I’ve been collecting little restaurant details that I thought I’d better share. Consider this entry to be blog tapas, if you will.

1. Bella Vita’s new sign: For a long time, I’ve thought that Bella Vita Bistro, a good but previously hard-to-find restaurant at 120 N. West St., could use better signage. It sits way back off the road in a strip center, and if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t know it was there. I noticed the other day that the restaurant now has a new sign — a big one, right up next to the street. Good move.

2. Seal Team Six at Wichita Brewing Co & Pizzeria: Owner Jeremy Horn called today to tell me about a special beer he’s brewed and titled “Seal Team Six,” a nod to the Navy Seals team that captured Osama Bin Laden. It’s a black IPA, which he describes as “dark like a Porter, without the roasted character, and hopped.” (Sounds strong.) He’s brewed only five barrels of it, meaning it should be available for another month. Today, in honor of Veteran’s Day, he’s serving goblets — normally $5.50 — for $4.50.

3. Adrian’s menu update: George Matta from Adrian’s at 2121 N. Rock Road asked me to let people known about some of his new menu items, including a 14 oz. T-bone steak served with roasted potatoes and vegetables; a stuffed pork tenderloin filled with spinach and walnuts and topped with an apple Brandy cranberry sauce; and a grilled chicken Parmesan served with vegetables and spaghetti or roasted potatoes. Matta also says he’s considering adding a Sunday brunch to his offerings.

4. Bonnie’s latest chef classes: Bonnie Aeschliman of Cooking at Bonnie’s Place, 9747 E. 21st St. N., has two more chef classes on her schedule. There are still a few seats left for Tuesday’s session with Tallgrass Country Club chef Ben George, who will be demonstrating “West Coast Fusion” style cooking. And speaking of Bella Vita, the restaurant’s chef, Adrian Prud Homme DeLodder, will be teaching an Asian cooking class on Nov. 29. Both classes start at 6:30 p.m. and cost $45 a person. Make reservations here.

A.V.I.’s official opening date: Nov. 21

A.V.I. Sea Bar & Chophouse, the restaurant that’s going into the newly remodeled Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel, has a pretty new sign — and an official opening date.

Owner Ben Arnold, who’s partnering with local chef Adam Courtney on the restaurant, told me yesterday that it will open on Nov. 21. Arnold has been waiting on an elevator from Canada that has been delayed, delayed and then delayed again. He’s decided to stop waiting and open, though the elevator is supposed to arrive in a couple of weeks.

Once open, A.V.I.’s hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. The restaurant’s bar will be open later.

I peeked my head in while I was shooting the pic of the sign yesterday, and crews were busy finishing up the interior, which included muted, classy colors, a stone wall and a balcony overlooking the main dining room. I have plans to meet Arnold for a tour next week.

While you wait, feel free to study the menu. And check out the cool sign I shot a few weeks ago at the Broadview while hanging with the Democrats.The guy in the red coat is Courtney.

Del Sol Super Tortas takes over Laura’s space

Del Sol Super Tortas opened Friday in the former Laura's Super Torta's space.

There’s a new tenant in the old Laura’s Super Tortas space at 1425 E. Central.

On Friday, Hasan Mahamud and a partner opened Del Sol Super Tortas. Mahamud, who owns Central Liquor right across the parking lot, said Laura’s closed several months ago. (How this escaped my attention, I’m not sure.) He took over the building, and for now, his restaurant is offering Laura’s exact menu. He’s made a few changes, including switching to a higher quality cheese, he said. And he plans more changes, including adding more tacos to the menu.

Mahamud is planning a grand opening on Nov. 20. He also plans to open a Mexican grocery store in the adjoined space. It should be open this weekend and will be called Express Mart.

Del Sol Super Tortas is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 316-269-4494.

Chat friends who I promised I’d get to the bottom of this torta mystery: You’re welcome.

Live dining chat today at 1:30 p.m.

I hope you will join me for today’s live dining chat. We can talk about anything you want. Best sandwiches. Best sweet potato fries. Where to eat if you don’t want to cook on Thanksgiving. New restaurants. What have you.

I’ll be here at 1:30 p.m. Tell all your friends.

Question of the week: Best sweet potato fries

This week’s question on the Dining with Denise newsletter is from a reader named Paula, who asks which local restaurants serve good sweet potato fries.

An increasingly trendy side item, sweet potato fries are available at many local restaurants, including early adopter The Anchor.

But which Wichita restaurant serves your favorite sweet potato fries? I’ve always liked The Anchor’s, and the ones served at Mike’s Wine Dive are deliciously drizzled with truffle oil.

What do you think? Answer in the comments section below.