Caribbean Cafe delivers a happy taste of Haiti

As autumn marches toward winter and colder weather wraps the region in its frigid embrace, thoughts of the sunny Caribbean dance in our heads like visions of sugar-plums and other happy things.

Mention the Caribbean, and chances are you’ll think of white-sand beaches, cruise ships, sun-tans, strong drinks served in coconut shells, and balmy relaxation. Tourism, after all, is the No. 1 economic driver for the region, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, and the people of the 700 islands that make up the Caribbean archipelago are working to recover from the damage dealt by Hurricanes Irma and Maria this summer as quickly as they can. For Puerto Rico, Barbuda and a few others, sadly, that’s going to take a very long time.

While we wait, here’s good news: Caribbean restaurants are blossoming in the metro. Continue reading Caribbean Cafe delivers a happy taste of Haiti

Tandoori Fusion masters the science of fusion

When I first heard about Tandoori Fusion, the new Indian restaurant way out in the East End across the way from Costco, my imagination leapt up. I know that the tandoor, the iconic Indian clay oven, can reach temperatures upward of 900ºF, a searing fire that does something magical to meats and flatbreads too.

But Tandoori Fusion? Can these people possibly have mustered nuclear fusion, the fierce energy that lights up H-bombs and the Sun itself? Crazy! That would make some remarkable tandoori food, all right, and it would be wicked fast.

Nope. Continue reading Tandoori Fusion masters the science of fusion

V-Grits works vegan magic with meat-free seafood and fish

You’d be surprised to know how many people who give up eating tasty animals for reasons pertaining to the environment, health or animal welfare nevertheless harbor a nostalgic memory for the comfort-food pleasure of the meat that they won’t eat any more.

But there’s good news for vegetarians and vegans who want life to be more than a boring run of side dishes: There’s a variety of humane alternatives that can approximate that experience without Bossy or Porky having to die for their pleasure. Continue reading V-Grits works vegan magic with meat-free seafood and fish

The House-Made Tale

Almost anyone who enjoys dining out has a whole range of places they enjoy, from fast food chains to casual stand-alone restaurants to (if cash flow permits), the occasional splurge at a high-end fine dining establishment. If you’re a reasonable person, your expectations of what gets brought into each restaurant pre-made, versus what’s made from scratch, should be on a sliding scale. Continue reading The House-Made Tale

Lupo’s pizza and pasta sing a fine Italian song

Whatever might prompt two members of an indie rock band with a 17-year record and three songs on the Billboard 200 to leap from the world of music to the hard work of opening Lupo, an Italian restaurant that features pizza and pasta?

That’s just what vocalist and guitar player Adam Turla and cellist-keyboardist Sarah Balliet of the band Murder by Death have done, though. In August they joined Sarah’s brother Max Balliet, owner of the popular Holy Molé taco truck, to open Lupo, a fine, casual eatery in a nicely restored 19th century red-brick house on the far inner end of Frankfort Avenue where Clifton meets Butchertown. Continue reading Lupo’s pizza and pasta sing a fine Italian song

Volare brings its top game to Italian delights

I hate to be a whiner, so before I get to my one complaint, let me tell you all the things that I love about freshly renovated Volare.

• It looks classier than ever, thanks to a light but effective makeover.
• Chef Joshua Moore’s menu is better than ever.
• Its impressive selection of pasta dishes has been kicked up by a fancy new Italian-made pasta machine.
• The bar’s comfortable vibe is not diminished by sophisticated live music Wednesdays through Saturdays. Volare scores as both a neighborhood hangout and a city-wide destination.

But first we had to get our table. Let’s talk about that. Continue reading Volare brings its top game to Italian delights

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