"Community Bites

Tune in to Too Many Cooks! on WICR, 88.7 FM at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13, when Patti & Gary welcome Chef Carl Conway, director of training for Second Helpings, a non-profit food rescue, hunger relief and job training organization. Conway came on staff in the spring, and will have a class graduating in January.

Thanks to the students of the Ivy Tech culinary and hospitality programs for hosting a wonderful dinner and fund-raiser for IndyEthnicFood on Thursday, Nov. 30. From the tortilla Española to the vanilla flan with fresh berries, the dinner was an excellent showcase for the abilities of these students, guided by Chefs Thom England and Eric Piatek.

Indy’s grocery scene will be getting a little more interesting — and catching up with other American cities — as Whole Foods Market has officially announced plans to build a 60,000-square-foot store at the northwest corner of 86th Street and Keystone Avenue. The announcement comes on the heels of a decision last week by Marion Superior Court Judge Gary Miller upholding disputed zoning for the project. Whether 86th Street needs another big box grocery store while downtown still has so few food markets is yet to be seen, but the Austin-based grocer will certainly bring a new grocery shopping ideology to the Indianapolis area.

Au Bon Pain, the Boston-based fine pastry franchise, has now officially opened its latest location in the Guaranty Building at 20 N. Meridian on the southwest quadrant of Monument Circle.

Don’t forget that Steve and Anita Spencer of Homestead Growers Community-Supported Agriculture in Sheridan are currently selling shares in their high-quality, naturally-grown produce for the 2007 growing season. For more details, contact 317-727-2730 or homesteadgrowers@aol.com.

Restaurant Notes

Johnny Carino’s Italian Restaurant at 920 U.S. Highway 31 North in Greenwood recently unveiled an updated menu featuring such entrees as cedar plank salmon and a prosciutto-wrapped filet, alongside a mix of its favorite Italian dishes.

R bistro will open for three New Year’s Eve seatings on Dec. 31 and offer a special menu for the day. Spots are now available for 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. seatings. Cost for the dinner is $55 per person. Call 317-423-0312 for more details.

A variety of holiday events are scheduled at the Conrad Hotel, 50 W. Washington St. In addition to a Sunday jazz brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ($39/adults), live jazz is scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday through Dec. 30 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Vitesse, the hotel’s signature bar, which will also be offering themed cocktails. A Yuletide Tea will be offered Thursday through Saturday through Dec. 24 from 2 to 5 p.m. ($22/adults) with a children’s themed Teddy Bear Tea every Saturday at 2 p.m. ($10/children 3-10). On Dec. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Executive Chef Doug Knopp will teach adults and children how to design their very own gingerbread houses. Finally, a Christmas dinner will be served on Monday, Dec. 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. ($30/adults). Call 317-713-5000 for more information or to make reservations.

Hard Rock Café Indianapolis, 49 S. Meridian St., will feature Endobent performing live on New Year’s Eve from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Reservations are not required, but call 317-636-2550 for details.



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