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The Dish

  • Updates continue on Lima
    If you drive along Lima Road, it's hard to miss the changes to the restaurant scene.
  • Updates continue on Lima
    If you drive along Lima Road, it’s hard to miss the changes to the restaurant scene.As I wrote in a March column, LongHorn Steakhouse is opening a restaurant at 5050 Value Drive in front of Costco.
  • Vanilla Bean shifting to orders only
    In most cases, closing up shop is bad times.  But for Sandra Wharton and Debbie Smith, the move from retail to production is a good thing for their business, Vanilla Bean Unique
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Kids can munch on cookies with Santa

It never seemed fair that Santa got to eat his delicious cookies in peace while I had to stay in my room and not get chocolate chip cookies and milk.

Vanilla Bean Unique Cookies & Cupcakes is putting an end to this unfair tradition – or at least trying to let the kids get in on the cookie munching with Santa.

Vanilla Bean (3410 N. Anthony Blvd.) is holding a holiday open house from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. For a $5 admission, kids can eat cookies with Santa, get a cup of hot chocolate or punch and decorate their own holiday cupcakes.

Vanilla Bean will also offer 10 percent off all in-store purchases during the open house.

Wine tastings

•At 5 p.m. Sunday, The Oyster Bar (1830 S. Calhoun St.) will be hosting a wine tasting and food pairing.

For $65 a person – which includes tax and tip – guests can sample wines paired with holiday fare. The wines will start from the “old world,” wines from Europe, where wine started off, says Sean Richardson, sous chef at The Oyster Bar, who helped create the menu and pairings. The wines will move to “new world” wines, from California and Napa Valley.

The wines are paired with foods so the flavors can compliment one another. Take the first of five courses: scallops and sweet potatoes with pear chutney, served with a Spanish chardonnay. The first thing you smell with the chardonnay, Richardson says, is apple and pear, to compliment the pear chutney.

To buy tickets, call the restaurant at 744-9490.

•The Georgetown location of Cap n’ Cork (6712 E. State Blvd.) is having a beer, wine and liquor tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday. The tasting will include seven beers, including three winter or Christmas brews; 10 liquors, including flavors such as chocolate, cinnamon, hot apple pie, caramel and fluffed marshmallow; and 10 wines, including three Greg Norman wines.

New restaurant

Mexico Antiguo Restaurante (2787 Maplecrest Road) opened Saturday afternoon in the former Blu City Tavern, which was the longtime home of the Blu Tomato.

The restaurant marks the third incarnation of Cebolla’s Mexican Grill, which also runs Don Chava’s Mexican Grill on Wells Street. The menu is the same, manager Jose Luna says, but the décor is more antique. It harkens to the Mexican Revolution, he says.

Liquor license

Zia’s Italian Cafe & Tea House (300 E. Washington Blvd., in the Lamplight Inn of Fort Wayne) will soon go through a bit of a change. It is working on getting its liquor license, owner Anna Barile says. She hopes to have it in hand around mid-January so the coffee and tea house can start to serve wine.

Barile imagines the café turning into a night spot for wine and appetizers, a place to stop before your dinner reservations. With this change would likely come a name change, she says, but she’s still working on that and on a revised menu.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email jyouhana@jg.net or call 461-8462. For more restaurant news, go to The Dish blog at www.journalgazette.net/thedish.

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