Restaurant Roundup: Blake Shelton cocktails, Pile of Poo cookies

Feb. 14, 2019

R Wine Bar has expanded its food menu after opening three months ago on the East Bank. New antipasti items include bruschetta and panzanella. Both are super fresh, owner Riccardo Tarabelsi said, and will explode with flavor when local ingredients are available at farmers markets. For the new paninis, Tarabelsi said he’s a fan of the chicken parmigiana because the chicken is grilled instead of being breaded and homemade marinara is served on the side so the panino won’t come slathered in too much sauce.

For dolci, or dessert, the bignoline are new. The cream puffs are filled with a Nutella pastry cream and drizzled with a milk chocolate glace. Tarabelsi said they remind him of growing up in Florence, Italy. In keeping with the Italian theme, the charcuterie section has changed from the French word to salumi, the Italian word for cured meats. The menu has several items that are gluten-free or can be prepared that way, Tarabelsi said. There’s even a separate panini maker for those items.

Food is served starting at 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, when the wine bar opens, and the kitchen typically closes an hour before the bar. See the full menu at 

In honor of Blake Shelton’s concert Saturday in Sioux Falls, the bartenders at Carnaval Brazilian Grill have created several cocktails using the country singer’s Smithworks Vodka. A few of them are named after his songs – Honey Bee, Sangria and Some Beach, which includes the vodka, pineapple juice, coconut water and grenadine. They’re available Friday and Saturday.

The Underground at The Blarney Stone Pub has added another day of free appetizers during happy hour. Buy a drink from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, and nosh on meatballs and veggies. Thursday features a chili-nacho bar, and Friday is wings and veggies. The special is offered in the 21-and-older lower-level area of the downtown pub. Also new for entertainment: Trash Can Trivia, with general knowledge trivia, starting at 7 p.m. Wednesdays and live music beginning at 6 p.m. Thursdays.

McNally’s Irish Pub is having a St. Practice Day party Saturday to start training for its big St. Patrick’s Day party next month. Get specials on drinks, and listen to The Shamrockers from 7 to 11 p.m. The Great Guinness Toast is at 8 p.m.

Wine Time on Main turned to pastry chef Chris Hanmer at CH Patisserie for a special treat through Friday. Get a chocolate-covered strawberry while supplies last with special deals on champagnes and sparkling wines.

The Cookie Jar Eatery made a special “Pile of Poo emoji” cookie and touted it as a revenge gift for anyone who was forgotten on Valentine’s Day. There still might be a few left Friday at the downtown bakery and restaurant, or they’re always available by special order.



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Restaurant Roundup: Blake Shelton cocktails, Pile of Poo cookies

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