Monthly Archives: December 2011

J.Rae’s a new bakery in New Market Square

J.Rae's pretty cookies are making me feel all springy.

While Christmas shopping last week, I noticed a very pretty new awning facing Maize Road in New Market Square.

What’s going on inside is even prettier. 

J.Rae’s is a new bakery specializing in those pretty frosted sugar cookies, cupcakes and cheesecake. It opened on Nov. 25 at 2537 N. Maize Road.

Owner Jana Morris, who opened the original J. Rae’s three years ago in Ft. Worth, is a Cheney native who recently moved back to the area and decided to open a second J.Rae’s with her sister, Kim Uppendahl, and her niece, Alyson Voth.

One of J.Rae’s specialties is sports-team cookies, and in Texas, they’ve perfected the Texas Longhorn and the TCU Horned Frog. The Wichita store has Jayhawk and Wildcat cookies always in stock. They’re working on a Wichita State cookie, Voth said, but a Shocker is a little more difficult to turn into a cookie than one would think.

J.Rae’s hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. For more information, call 316-721-0090.

Lakeside Club set to open next month

Several months ago, businessman Wink Hartman announced that he planned to open the private Lakeside Club in the former Bella Donna/Garrozo’s space at 2121 N. Webb Road. Now, the opening of that club is likely just a month away. Hartman says he’s hoping to open at the end of January.

In the meantime, the menu and wine list are both about 95 percent complete, Hartman said. It will feature steak and seafood dishes prepared by head chef Jeremy Wade.

Lakeside Club will require a $20 a month membership, and already, Hartman says, he has around 200 people signed up. He urges those interested to apply for a membership card as soon as possible because, under state law, a diner isn’t eligible to visit the club until 10 days after the initial membership payment has been processed. So people who show up hoping to buy a membership then sit right down for a meal will be disappointed.

Hartman said the club will be non-smoking, and he’s completely gutted and remodeled the interior, which features a modern look, lots of booths, a dance floor and a room for private events.

I’ll share more details about the menu as they become available. In the meantime, those interested in joining can find an application on the club’s new website.


Question of the week: Biggest dining development in 2011?

Bocconcini Italian Eatery was one of many restaurants that opened in Wichita in 2011.

My story for Friday’s dining page in Go! is a look back at many of the most exciting/upsetting/oddball developments on the Wichita restaurant scene in 2011. From openings (Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, A.V.I.) to closings (Kwan Court, Johnny Carino’s) to undeniable trends (frozen yogurt, anyone?), the year was anything but dull.

My question for you: Which event did you think was the most interesting or significant? You can read my story for ideas or nominate your own.

Answer in the comments section below.

Now open: Fusa Fusion Cuisine…plus

Apparently, all the restaurants in town chose to finally open while I was gone.

Fusa Fusion Cusine, which closed in Towne East Square in April, reopened on Dec. 19 at 303 S. Greenwich Road.

Customers who visit will notice two other names on the front of the building in addition to Fusa: Chill Gelato and Red 8.

Owner Yolinda Diec has modeled the new restaurant as a sort of 3-in-1 thing, describing it as a “mini food court.” Customers can order “fusion” items, such as the restaurant’s famous honey walnut chicken, noodle dishes, quesadillas and even burgers, from the Fusa menu. They then sit down and wait for the food to be delivered.

The Red 8 section of the restaurant allows customers to view several prepared Chinese specialties, order up exactly what they want, and take it immediately to the table to enjoy. A gelato counter also is available.

Fusa is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For more information, call 316-618-1818.

Now open: LongHorn Steakhouse

Lobster and steak: Two great tastes that taste great together.

Another restaurant that opened while I was off work: Wichita’s new LongHorn Steakhouse.

The restaurant officially opened on Dec. 19 at 2720 N. Maize Road, just across the street from the Target at New Market Square.

LongHorn is an Orlando-based chain that specializes in steaks, seafood, ribs and chops and is open for lunch and dinner. The timing of the opening is good for Wichita: LongHorn is in the middle of a promotion offering some pretty sinful looking stuffed filets. One is stuffed full of lobster, and another oozes cheddar and bacon. You can stuff yourself on the stuffed steaks through Feb. 2.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 316-722-3313.

Sugar Sisters has reopened in Delano

The new Sugar Sisters awning

Hello! I’m back, and I have some sweet news.

Sugar Sisters, the restaurant and bakery that used to operate in the space at 4811 E. Central now occupied by Bocconcini Italian Eatery, has reopened at 917 W. Douglas in Delano. The business closed last January after struggling with finances and service issues.

But owner Kelli Sykes said that’s all behind her. She opened the doors on Dec. 16 and has hired cheerful, energetic people to work with her, she said. She’s serving a more streamlined menu, the star of which is the giant bierocks (served with or without cabbage) that were a hit at the previous Sugar Sisters incarnation. You can check out the full menu, which also includes salads, quiches and several sweet treats, by clicking here.

Sugar Sisters hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. There’s seating inside for about 14.

For more information, call 316-519-3814 or visit the Sugar Sisters Facebook page.

Carry on without me

Starting tomorrow, I won’t be on the Wichita Eagle premises again until Dec. 27. At which point I’ll return and madly scramble to catch up with all the dining news I’ve missed.

The Dining with Denise newsletter will still come out next Wednesday, and you can find a restaurant review of the new Charlie’s PizzaTaco on on Wednesday and in the paper on Dec. 23.

Beyond that, you’re on your own, dear diners. I plan to spend the break hanging out with my favorite people and cooking them an array of fabulous dishes. My Christmas dinner plans include a buffet of soups created using the help of my Tanya’s Soup Kitchen recipe collection. Dessert will be Tanya’s famous bread pudding with caramel sauce.

My five extra pounds and I will see you on the 27th.

Zaytun adds pizza and other Indo-Pak deliciousness

Zaytun, the fabulous Middle Eastern restaurant at 2020 N. Woodlwan, has recently updated its menu.

When he called to tell me he was going to open on Christmas Day, owner Syed Abbas also told me about the many additions to his lunch and dinner menu. You can view the menu here. The new items are in bold.

Abbas is particularly excited about the addition of some Mediterranean pizzas, which he cooks in a brick pizza oven left behind by the building’s previous tenant. They’re unlike a typical pizza, he said, and their descriptions support that claim. I’ll take the Spicy Seekh Kabab pizza, which is topped with cilantro chutney, green chili, onion and mozzarella cheese.

He’s also added a Tandoori chicken dish and several vegetarian selections, and Abbas enthusiastically recommended his new rib eye steak, which is charbroiled and served with charbroiled steak with rosemary garlic potato and pomegranate mushroom sauce.

One other change: Zaytun now allows lunch customers to order a la carte from the menu or choose the always-different Indo-Pak lunch buffet.

Zaytun is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays for lunch. Dinner is served from 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Abbas also offers an elaborate Pakistani brunch from 11 to 3 p.m. on Sundays.

Call 316-613-2474 for more information.

Santa’s pizza helper at Talliano’s

Santa's helper, Clyde Oster, volunteers his time each Christmas at Talliano's Pizza.

There’s a volunteer Santa’s helper who’s been charming little pizza eaters at Talliano’s Pizza, 8404 West 13th St., for years.

His name is Clyde Oster, and he’s the best type of Santa’s helper: the type who doesn’t need a fake beard, fake hair or any additional padding.

Talliano’s doesn’t pay him, and he doesn’t accept donations. He just likes making kids smile, say Talliano’s managers, and he poses for photos at no charge.

Santa will be at Talliano’s from 6 to about 7:30 p.m. tonight through Sunday. He’ll also be there this coming Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. Stop in for a complimentary ho ho ho.

Bella Vita expansion is complete

Lory Wooley, left, Crystal Prud Homme DeLodden and head chef Adrian Prud Homme DeLodden.

Bella Vita Bistro, the Italian restaurant that’s one of West street’s best-kept secrets, just finished an expansion that’s added a bar and 32 more seats.

Owner Lory Wooley, who along with her daughter, Crystal, and Crystal’s chef husband Adrian Prud Homme DeLodder, opened Bella Vita in early 2010, took over the space next door formerly occupied by a nail salon and spent the past six weeks feverishly remodeling it.

The expansion, which doubled the size of the restaurant to 2,400 square feet, will allow it to cut down on sometimes long weekend-night waits,

“We were turning too many people away,” Wooley said. “I hated to do that.”

The expansion also will give Bella Vita the ability to host small events such as business meetings and wedding rehearsal dinners.

In other Bella Vita news: The restaurant is putting on a special plated New Year’s Eve dinner, which will include five courses for $50 a person. It’s taking reservations now.

Bella Vita Bistro is at 120 N. West St. For more information, call 316-941-4500.