A vat of news; plus, the summer Event Menu is heating up

Plenty O' News

In all the hubbub about Tyson Cole's being named to Food & Wine's 2005 list of the Top 10 new chefs, we completely overlooked an important accolade for some other local folks in the very same issue of the magazine. The editors of F&W also recognized the best restaurant wine lists in the country and included Austin's 7 (1716 S. Congress, 383-8877), with its wine list designed by consultant Greg Steiner as one of them. Kudos to Greg and 7 owners Sam Dickey and Will Packwood. If you're curious about the wines at 7, drop by for happy hour in their newly completed Lounge... While Emmett and Lisa Fox are busy getting their new Mediterranean restaurant ready to open, the kitchen at Asti (408 E. 43rd, 451-1218) is in the capable hands of chef Morgan Dishman and her top-notch crew. Dishman was promoted to the top spot when chef Bruce Enloe departed for Canada earlier this year... Amy's Ice Creams has a new "Supersouth" (3100 S. Congress, 851-2697) location across from St. Edward's University in the chic new development from Darryl Kunik and designers Michael Shu and Joel Mozersky. It's a real sit-down ice cream parlor with Fifties retro décor... The Paggi House (200 Lee Barton Dr., 499-8835) is one of the three oldest residences in Austin and a true historic treasure. Many people were saddened when the restaurant housed in the old plantation house closed last fall, and we hoped the great tree-shaded location on a bluff overlooking Town Lake would be resurrected. New owners Bobby Sharp and Rick Engel have done just that, refurbishing the building and installing a casual fine dining restaurant with an eclectic menu designed by chef George Thomas, formerly of Truluck's. Sharp says they've added decks for outdoor dining, a fence to block the lights and sounds from the Taco Cabana next door, and a stage for possible musical performances. All of this is making me very curious to see the charming old cottage in its new incarnation.

Event Menu: June 25-30

Jeff Blank, chef/owner of Hudson's on the Bend, will sign copies of his second self-published cookbook, Fired Up! More Adventures and Recipes From Hudson's on the Bend, at both Breed & Co. stores this Saturday, June 25; 12-2pm at 718 W. 29th, and 2:30-4pm at 3663 Bee Caves Rd.

• The Austin Music Hall (208 Nueces) hosts VIVA! Las Vegas, offering an evening of live entertainment, faux gaming, delicious appetizers and desserts from more than 20 Austin restaurants, and scores of great live and silent auction items – all to benefit AIDS Services of Austin and the Capital Area AIDS Legal Project. Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door, and can be purchased by calling 406-6115; Saturday, June 25, 8pm-midnight.

• Indulge in a Taste of Spain at Doña Emilia's (101 San Jacinto, 478-2520), where importer Steve Lawrence will present six wonderful Spanish wines paired with Latin appetizers and Spanish entrées, enhanced by a thrilling flamenco performance by Tierra Adentro. These wine events sell out quickly, so make your reservations now; cost is $60; 7pm, Tuesday, June 28.

• Have a "Hot Time in the City" at the Four Seasons Hotel (98 San Jacinto) when the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas presents a cool tasting of more than 40 warm weather varietals paired with distinctive summer fare prepared by 11 local chefs. The tasting tops off the third annual Texas Wine Symposium, which will feature a daylong discussion of warm-weather varietals. Tickets are $40 for members and $50 for nonmembers. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact 327-7555 or go to; 6:30pm, Thursday, June 30.

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Greg Steiner, 7, Amy's Ice Cream, Morgan Dishman, Jeff Blank

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