1112 W. Sixth Street, 499-0442

Dinner nightly from 5 pm to midnight

If you've been hungry for the full, hearty flavors of Raymond Tatum's definitive Texas cuisine since the closing of 612 West, drop in for dinner at Brio and satisfy yourself. This new dinner-only spot from the creators of neighboring
Z Tejas Grill features what they describe as "spirited contemporary Texas cuisine with European and Asian influences." The Z Tejas folks brought Texan Robert Mayberry home from their Las Vegas outlet to get this restaurant off the ground before he moves on to open another Z Tejas at the Arboretum. Chefs Tatum and Mayberry are serving up appetizers such as tasty Crawfish Tamales ($6.95) and delicious Shredded Duck and Scallion Pancakes ($7.50). Standout entrees include a Spit-Roasted Leg of Lamb with Asian BBQ Sauce ($13.95) and a Grilled Vegetable Pasta ($9.95). This place definitely fills the longtime local need for a fine-dining restaurant that serves dinner 'til midnight.

Rinehart's Real Texas BBQ

6701 Burnet Road, 453-0604

Daily from 10am to 7pm Father-and-son team Charles and Mike Rinehart have turned their love for the fine art of Texas barbecue cookery into a business. They started with a little catering and that grew into a cozy spot at the Travis County Farmer's Market. These days they are serving up BBQ beef, chicken, and Elgin sausage smoked in their portable pit while they wait for their custom-made, permanent pit to be finished. The traditional side dishes of pinto beans, potato salad, and coleslaw are made from scratch, and the creamy banana pudding is prepared fresh daily, as is the homemade lemonade. They'll feed you there, pack it to take home, or cater your next event. You can check them out while you're shopping at the market or sample their Texas victuals while you attend the upcoming Hot Sauce Festival. PROFESSIONAL SALSA INSTRUCTION

The Herb Bar presents Chef Ruben Rodriguez

Sunday, August 20, 5pm to 9pm

$45.00 per person; call 444-6251 for reservations

If you want to enhance your salsa-making skills before the Hot Sauce Festival, this class comes just in time. Ruben Rodriguez, chef-owner of Botanitas Restaurant (formerly Evita's) at 6400 S. First, will present a class featuring a complete menu of dishes from his Mexican homeland: Stuffed Jalapeños, Grilled Tuna in Hoja Santa leaves, Lime Cilantro Rice, black beans, fruit salad. Chef Rodriguez will also share tips on preparing his award-winning salsas, including techniques for roasting tomatoes and chilies. Participants will join in the preparation of the meal and dine like royalty afterwards. Space is limited.


Cornerstone Home and Hardware 3801 Bee Caves Road, 327-0404

There's just nothing better than a good hardware store with lovely gifts, functional and attractive gardenware, and a great selection of quality kitchen ware. This newly opened Westlake business fits the bill. Of particular note in the cookware department is the complete line of German Rösle stainless steel kitchen utensils. These exquisite cooking tools are each designed and engineered for a specific function. Cornerstone is one of a very few retail outlets in the U.S. to carry the Rösle line. A perfect but pricey purchase for the passionate cook.

Grand Opening of Breed & Co. Westlake Saturday, August 19th

3663 Bee Caves Road, 328-3960

If you love the original Breed store on 29th Street, the new larger, suburban location will surely double your pleasure. The opening festivities will include a book signing with local cooking teacher and author Ann Clark, a demonstration of Calphalon cookware, and tastings of a variety of gourmet food items. In addition to a complete line of hardware, garden tools, cookware, and gifts, the new store will feature a Coffee Bar, a Baby Boutique, and a Cooking School with Belgian chef Marie-Claire Quittelier as a consultant. She reports that popular local cooking teachers will alternate teaching classes on Tuesday nights, with the occasional chef or cookbook author added to spice up the schedule.

Whole Foods Puts Your Money Where Their Mouth Is

Thursday, September 7

In celebration of National Organic Month, Whole Foods will hold its first ever statewide 5% Charity Day, donating 5% of the gross sales from all 11 Texas stores to the Texas Organic Growers Association (TOGA). The 5% Charity Day event is designed to be both fun and educational, so in-store demonstrations will feature Texas chefs preparing dishes with fresh local produce and growers will be available to answer questions about production techniques. Funding for TOGA supports organic farmers in Texas and a wide range of educational and information programs, so if you like to eat organic, shop 'til you drop on September 7. -Virginia B. Wood

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