Wednesday, March 8, 2006
Metro area restaurants wait to wait upon you, at indoor and outdoor tables as spring approaches. Since you might like to try something new as you take your mind off the workplace and the yard or garden, here's what I've managed to find out.
Bravo!, 601-982-8111, gives you a boon when you support Bravo! the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra series. Before the next concert, bring your Bravo! series ticket to the popular Highland Village eatery and get a 25 percent discount on your pre-performance meal. Just show your waiter, then enjoy your meal before you head for Thalia Mara Hall and the music: "Festive Finale" with the music of Shostakovich, Poulenc, Wager and Tchaikovsky. Joining the orchestra are the Millsaps Singers, Mississippi Chorus, the Mississippi College Chorale, and Ballet Mississippi. That's March 25, and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Bravo!
In about three weeks Basil's and Cups opens as a joint restaurant and coffee shop in the renovated Plaza Building downtown at 120 N. Congress. Nathan Glenn tells me that they'll have a breakfast and lunch menu and be open 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m. "It's a combo of both entities, sort of a fusion of two families," he says. They will offer dine-in, call-in and take-out dining. The phone number will be 601-944-9888. And speaking of the number eight, keep in touch with your current favorite Cups, Basil's in Fondren Corner and the new place on Congress because in another eight months, a new combo could open in what Glenn describes as a happening place in the metro area.
In February, Fahrenheit Casual Dining & Celsius Lounge, 601-346-4935, moved to 4100 Interstate 55 South, just north of the Elton Road exit. Owner Orlando Mallett says that Fahrenheit provides a fine dining experience without the fine dining price. Open seven days a week at 11 a.m., the restaurant serves lunch and dinner from a menu that ranges from Southern fried chicken to dinner entrees like stuffed filet and Mandarin cherry duck. Sundays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., there's a gospel brunch. The restaurant closes at 9 p.m. On Friday and Saturdays, Farenheit remains open later. "We have all the flair of the big city with the hospitality of the South," Mallett says.
Old Venice Pizza, 1428 Old Square Road, 601-366-6872, now serves new lunch specials. You can have your choice of two slices of pizza, pasta or a sandwich, all with Caesar salad—for $6.95.
A second Nagoya, 601-856-5678, is open at 111 Crossing St., in the big building behind Bonefish Grill up in Madison. They're open 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. on weekdays. Saturdays and Sundays, their hours are noon-3 p.m., then 5-10 p.m. Naturally you'll find all your favorite Nagoya dishes there; look for hibachi grill to come on the scene in three to four months—they'll cook right there in front of you.
Primos has opened a new location in Ridgeland at 515 Lake Harbour Drive, 601-898-3400. Following their tried-and-true recipe for success, the new Primos opens at 6:30 a.m. Mon.-Sat. and serves breakfast until 10 a.m. weekdays and until 10:30 a.m. Saturdays. They've got their daily blue plate lunch specials, plus all-vegetable plates. And don't forget dinner—they're open until 9 p.m. Mon.-Thurs. and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Roly Poly, 601-919-9788, opened a second location in Flowood at Lakeland Commons, on the corner of Lakeland Drive and Old Fannin Road. You'll find their full menu of nutritious sandwiches, and they make their soups daily from all natural ingredients with no preservatives or other nastiness added.
Soulshine Pizza, 601-919-2000, moved from Lakeland Drive to 1139 Old Fannin Road, Suites B and C—that's at the Spillway Road end of Old Fannin. There's indoor and outdoor dining, plus a couple of new items on the menu. Look for their store on Highland Colony Parkway to open in April at The Township on Highland Colony.
Finally, you can support The Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund on March 15 by attending the Culinary Tasting and Wine Pairing Event at the University Club. Emceeing the event is Iron Chef Cat Cora. Special guests include Jill Conner Browne, the Sweet Potato Queen herself, Randall Wallace, award-winning screenwriter, director, filmmaker, novelist, and founder of Hollywood Habitat for Humanity, and Archie Manning, All-American quarterback at the University of Mississippi and former All-Pro quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. The Broadmoors from the Mississippi Gulf Coast provide live music. From 6-7 p.m. there's a private cocktail reception followed by the tasting and wine pairing from 7-9:30 p.m. with dishes prepared by over 15 of Mississippi's top chefs. Seating is limited; RSVP to 601-208-7422 or [e-mail missing] To attend the cocktail reception and the tasting and wine pairing, the donation is $2,000 per couple. The tasting and wine pairing is $1,500 per couple. It's business attire.