Taking Five at Garlands 

No plans for dinner? Head to Garlands restaurant, which is celebrating its 5th anniversary during the month of September.

Keeping with the theme, chef Michael Grogan is offering an anniversary tapas menu that pairs five wines with five appetizers, each for $5. Among the pairings: baked escargot with truffled Madeira sauce and Pecorino Romano served with the Alamos Malbec. Another is spicy lump crab bruschetta with roasted pepper, goat cheese, and cucumber salad served with Trinchero Cabernet Sauvignon. If you're looking for more than tapas, try the chef's five-course tasting menu for $55.

Garlands will donate 5 percent of all sales through September 30th to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Garlands, 712 Brookhaven Circle

(682-5202), www.garlandsrestaurant.com

Football widows: The Grove Grill has you covered. When planning a special Saturday lunch series, chef/owner Jeffrey Dunham thought about all the women whose husbands and boyfriends are glued to the television set during football season.

So, ladies, don't get upset. Get up, get some spending money from your significant other, call your friends, and enjoy a three-course meal paired with two wines for $30 plus tax and tip. On the menu this Saturday: sweet-potato soup with apple pecan chutney, shrimp salad with lemon fennel rémoulade, and orange creamsicle ice-box pie.

If you can't make it for lunch, check out the Grove Grill's new dinner menu. Seasonal changes include a new cream of broccoli soup with sharp cheddar, chives, and garlic croutons, hickory-smoked pork chop with whipped sweet potatoes, braised turnip greens, and chipotle barbecue.

The Grove Grill team has also added daily entrée specials. Look for pompano en papillote on Mondays, grilled teriyaki beef brochette on Tuesdays, crab-stuffed flounder on Wednesdays, a surf-and-turf of Maine lobster and top sirloin on Thursdays, and on Sundays roast prime rib with horseradish cream.

The Grove Grill, 4550 Poplar (in Laurelwood Shopping Center) (818-9951)

Joe Cartwright is the new executive chef at Lolo's Table downtown. Cartwright, an Arkansas native, went to school for a music education but got sidetracked by his college job. "I started out washing dishes at Lazzari, an Italian restaurant in Jonesboro. I eventually moved to a cooking position and really felt like it was what I wanted to do," Cartwright explains.

A move to Memphis and several restaurants later -- Elvis Presley's Memphis, Puccini and Pasta, the Gibson Lounge, McEwen's on Monroe, among them -- Cartwright finds himself heading Lolo's and changing the restaurant's focus a little too.

"We were very big on Mediterranean low-country cuisine, and even though we'll keep some of those aspects, we're also trying to lighten up the menu and the portion size," Cartwright says. "I'm really trying to get away from the heavy sauces and heavy portions," says Cartwright.

The overhauled dinner menu is already in place, and the lunch menu will get a total makeover in a few weeks.Lolo's Table, 128 Monroe (522-9449)

Anita Black, owner of Mo's Memphis Originals near the University of Memphis, knows that trying to whip up tasty food in a dorm kitchen and on a student's budget can be a challenge. That's why she created Wok 'n Roll cooking classes. She wants to give students a starting point and a few easy-to-prepare and inexpensive recipes.

"We cook a lot of things in the wok, and, really, it's the perfect equipment for tight spaces because you can pretty much cook anything in it, from omelets to soups and stews," Black says.

The Saturday classes are led by Josh Coopwood, a student at the U of M's Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management. Classes are $3 per person and are held at 11 a.m. on Saturdays. Call to reserve your spot.

Mo's Memphis Originals, 3521 Walker (413-1315)

siba@gmx.com

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