It’s about to get cheesy up in here

It’s been a much-anticipated event. Everyone keeps asking me when Mobile’s very own Melting Pot is going to open. We’ve known the location for some time now, but the renovated Chili’s on Montlimar just announced on Facebook that they are accepting applications.

For those who don’t know it, the Melting Pot is a full-service fondue restaurant. I’ve visited the Pensacola location a time or two, and I will say I enjoy cooking my own stuff at my table. Then again, I am a bit OCD. They cook it up in everything from bouillabaisse to vegetable oil, but I am partial to the beer cheese fondue. It’s almost as good as the protein section.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Italian Fisherman wine dinner set for May 6

The April episode of the Italian Fisherman’s wine dinner was a true delight. I was seated with our speaker Heath Karesh of Treasury Wine Estates as we pitted California wines against New Zealand wines. Highlights for me included a heavy-on-the-grapefruit Matua Savignon Blanc from New Zealand that paired well with the (I don’t care how you pronounce it) bruschetta with ricotta and basil.

A Penfolds Shiraz Port was the perfect end to the meal that powerfully supported the cherries jubilee. Not that I am complaining about the other three courses. Karesh was an informative speaker who was even better at the table with stories of his former life as a chef and some cooking secrets.

The next event is slated for May 6. Go ahead and book it for an early Mother’s Day gift. This one should prove to be a special event as we study French wines with guest speaker Jean-Francois Christini, recipient of Frances’s 2009 Order of Agricultural Merit Medal for his promotion of French wines into the American market.

I’ve seen the menu and Chef John will be cooking up a storm. He’s hitting all the bases with smoked salmon, creamed mussels, beef, pork, lamb, caviar and plenty of cheese. What else is there?

The cost of such luxury is a mere $60 per person. I shall be there with bells on. This event sells out at 40 people, so make your reservations on the double by calling (251) 478-2881.

Little House Midtown, not with a bang but a whimper

It is with heavy heart that we announce the closing of Airport Boulevard’s Little House Midtown. I had a charming meal there a while back with my favorite dining partner Lucas. No activity on the Internet lead me to stop by the business only to find a “For Rent” sign in the yard. We will have our memories of post-report card special lunches.

Pinzone’s celebrates three years with wine dinner

Our Italian friends on the Eastern Shore are gearing up to celebrate their third anniversary. Pinzone’s Italian Downtown in Fairhope is doing so with a stellar wine dinner featuring wines from A and G Beverage.

Limited seating makes this a special event. The fun begins April 29, at 6:30 p.m. The sneak peak of the menu on their Facebook page had my mouth watering, and is well worth the $65 per person. Make your reservation today by calling (251) 990-5535.

Fairhope Inn welcomes new chef and upcoming wine dinner

The little Eastern Shore gem known as the Fairhope Inn announced there is a new sheriff, I mean chef in town. Chef Charles Byrne began his career working in Michael’s Midtown at the tender age of 14. From there the Mobile native bounced around some of the city’s more upscale restaurants before a journey through a couple of Brennan’s restaurants in New Orleans and California. Now he’s back in our area and ready to show Fairhope what he’s all about.

The Fairhope Inn also announced the May 1 event known to many as Favret’s Italian Wine Dinner. I could tell you the whole menu, but let’s just say they had me at red snapper ceviche and rack of lamb. I’m pretty sure I will be wined out by the middle of May. I’m not complaining. Call for reservations at (251) 928-6226 or check them out at

Firehouse Wine Bar and Shop opens this Friday

It has nothing to do with the sandwich place. Firehouse Wine Bar is sure to carve its own niche in the landscape of our fair city in the former Mobile Hook and Ladder Company at 216 St. Francis St. The grand opening is this Friday, April 25 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Visitors should expect plenty of wine by the glass and beer for the non-wino crowd. A tapas menu is in the works, so chalk that up as another downtown eatery. Welcome to Mobile!

That’s all I have room for after all I ate this glorious Easter. Best meal yet. Special thanks to my brother-in-law for the Brussels sprouts. Remember kids, boiled eggs don’t last forever. If you decide to devil them don’t forget the paprika. But for God’s sake do not invite my sister over. She has been known to eat a dozen at one sitting. That’s no joke. Recycle those shells in your compost heap!