Three Austin businesses scored well in the recent Scovie Awards competition produced by Fiery Foods Magazine. Satay's Thai Roasted Coconut Salsa took first place in the "Most Unique" category, the Rosemary Habanero Jelly from Austin Slow Burn garnered a win in the "Condiment/Jams & Jellies" division, and its Salsa con Habanero received honorable mention in the "Salsa" category, as did Sgt. Pepper's Tejas Tears.
The building at 612 West Sixth is currently under renovation and the projected opening date for the new Ninfa's restaurant is mid- to late December. Brothers Gino and Tom Lorenzo, sons of Ninfa's legendary founder Ninfa Lorenzo, will own and manage the outlet. "We've moved our families to Austin," says Gino Lorenzo, "and we are looking forward to being part of the Austin community." ...The owners of Xena have joined forces with the Treviño family of San Antonio to turn the Northwest Austin restaurant into the local branch of El Mirador (10201 Jollyville Rd., 345-9944), featuring the cuisine of Interior Mexico. Wine buyer/Sommelier Len White is still very much with the company, and his wine list has grown to 52 wines by the glass with an additional specialty list with 30 hard-to-get labels.
Random news: Becker Vineyards (Jenschke Ln. off Hwy290 W, 830/644-2681) hosts Christmas Fireside Chats this Sunday, December 14, noon-5pm. The Belgian Restaurant (3520 Bee Caves Rd., 328-0508) is now open for Champagne Sunday Brunch, 11am-2pm. Doubletree Inn (Hwy290 W & I-35, 454-3737) welcomes the Simi Winery/Domain Chandon representatives for a wine dinner on Wednesday, December 17. A reception with appetizers begins at 6:30pm, followed by a four-course dinner at 7:15pm. Call the Doubletree's Courtyard Cafe to make reservations. The same night, starting at 7pm, Curra's Grill (614 E. Oltorf, 444-0012) will host a traditional Mexican posada, with a piñata, carols, and traditional Mexican holiday foods like buñuelos, tamales, and ponche. Lucero's (6701 Burnet Rd., 450-1006) at the Travis County Farmer's Market is taking tamale orders for the holidays.