Dining 

FOOD NEWS

The duo responsible for the North End (and the hot fudge pie) is back in business. Jake Shore and David Harsh opened the restaurant, a staple of the Pinch District, in 1983 and ran it together until Shore sold his interest in 2002 and Harsh closed the doors for good in February.

Now the two, friends since 1976, have opened Westy's, at 346 N. Main.

"This restaurant will have a lot of things the North End had: 30 varieties of wild rice, Creole cooking, and, of course, hot fudge pie," says Shore. "But the North End was one of a kind, and Westy's will again be one of a kind."

Solid-mahogany booths, tables, and bar offer the same casual setting as the North End. Plus, Shore says you can expect the same attentive service even in the wee hours.

"If you order at 3 a.m., we're not going to run you out at 3:30," says Shore. "I don't believe in rushing anyone out."

Westy's menu features pastas and melts, like tomato and cream cheese. Many of the new dishes are tailored to the health-conscious and to vegetarians. The drink list features nearly 80 beers, inexpensive wines, and a full bar in a few weeks.

The Cordova Ridge Italian CafE at 1204 N. Houston-Levee offers dishes from pizza and sandwiches to gourmet Italian dinners and a variety of wines.

Husband-and-wife team Zack and Autumn Abdallat designed the space to mimic an Italian outdoor café. While there is sidewalk seating, the real transformation is indoors. With wooden shutters, candlelight lanterns, and soft Italian music playing, it's possible to imagine the café overlooking a piazza in Florence.

Zack gained experience as a general manager for Memphis restaurants, such as Applebee's, the Olive Garden, and the Macaroni Grill, but he acquired his talent for cooking from his mother who was born in Milan.

"I learned a lot from my mother," says Zack, who opened the restaurant in May. "We are quality-driven. People definitely get their money's worth and more. People tell us, 'This is too much food,' and we say, 'Take it home and share it with a friend.'"

The cost of lunch is $6 to $8, while dinner ranges from $10 to $13 a person. The dinner special always includes two glasses of the featured wine of the week. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Explosions of Chinese fireworks kicked off the grand opening of China Inn II, 2829 Covington Pike, on August 3rd. The first China Inn is known for its mix of Chinese food and American home-cooking and has served South Memphis since 1971. After nearly 20 years in business, owners Lynn and By Fong passed the restaurant down to Lynn Fong's niece, Jasmine Chow. Jasmine and her husband, King Chow, relocated the restaurant once because of an expired lease but remained in Whitehaven.

"We have customers from Mississippi, Arkansas, and East Memphis who would always ask when we planned to open another location," says Jasmine Chow. "Then we found an opportunity on Covington Pike. It is much bigger and nicer."

What can be said about deviled eggs? Apparently a lot. Entire books have been devoted to the subject. Now the Southern Foodways Alliance, an organization under the auspices of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at Ole Miss, will chronicle recipes and recollections in "an online deviled-egg diary."

The Foodways folks are seeking stories about (100 words or so) and recipes for these creamy picnic favorites. Send yours to DeviledEggs@olemiss.edu. Three finalists will be selected on September 15th, and the winner will be crowned king or queen of deviled eggs during the Southern Foodways Symposium held in Oxford, Mississippi, October 7th-10th. The winner will also receive a free pass to this annual four-day event.

NOW there's no reason to stand in line for a table at Jim's Place, 5560 Shelby Oaks Drive. For years, Jim's Place -- known for its Greek specials -- accepted reservations on Fridays and Saturdays for large parties only. You can now call ahead for a table for two or 20. The number is 388-7200.

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