What's cooking, March 27 

Capsule review

Saturday is the last day of business for Imagine a Restaurant. Chef/owner Adam Rosenblum tells us “a lot of aspects played into” his decision to close and that it's hard to identify “which one was the last straw.” Rosenblum says that he and his chef de cuisine, John Baker, are forming G3, a catering company that stands for Gourmand Guru Group. Rosenblum says that, in addition to catering, he and Baker plan to offer cooking classes in homes and, possibly, the River Market. The company's website is www.g3food.com and the phone number is 353-8378.

Don't read any deep significance into the new logo at Vermillion Water Grille, which now reads Mike Selig's Vermillion. The restaurant will continue to boast a wide variety of fresh fish. Chef/owner Selig tells us that it was just time to change the logo, and since a seasonal menu change is just a week away, the timing made sense. Expect more relishes and sauces for the spring menu.

Downtown Music, a metal and punk venue on Capitol Avenue, has moved next door into the old Don Vicci's Italian restaurant space at 211 Capitol. So far, that means Downtown patrons have two to three times the amount of space to head-bob, but come summer, co-owner Alan Wells says the venue will start serving homestyle Southern food for lunch and at concerts. Expect the likes of barbecue and funnel cakes.


ZAFFINO'S We have not been here in years and looked forward to a great Italian meal, and to experience watching our young daughter have her socks blown off. Her idea of Italian is the OG (Olive Garden). Upon arrival, she was silent for a few minutes, totally intimidated by the dimly lit room painted in deep rich colors and decorated with large ornate framed paintings. Soft opera music played in the background. But the place has a sense of humor, “Hey, why do they have a painting back there of the Sopranos?” she asked. She loosened up a bit when our waiter brought out a plate of warm toasted bread slathered with garlic butter. When the plate was empty, she wondered aloud if they'd bring more. And they did. “I LIKE this place!” She ordered the vermicelli with meatballs and devoured it. We ordered a special of the evening, polpettone. It was meatloaf with boiled egg mixed in, with brown mushroom gravy and potato dumplings. Reminded us of an all American meal, but Italian. Later a cook came asking the patrons, “Who ate the meatloaf?” and explained that it was his mom's recipe from northern Italy. We also ordered an old stand by, the very flavorful, chicken parmesan. It came atop some delicious pomidoro sauce and a large portion of vermicelli on the side. Our daughter kept eyeing the vermicelli and asking, “You going to eat all that?” We shared that and other bites of our main courses and soups. It was a very lively little evening with our new student of haute cuisine. 2001 East Kiehl, 834-7530, beer and wine, CC, D Tues. - Sat., $$.


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