Here’s a look at what’s happening in the South Sound dining world this month.
ARISTA FARM DINNER
The downtown Puyallup fresh pasta restaurant Arista will host a farm-to-table dinner at its restaurant Feb. 19. The five-course meal will feature produce from the restaurant’s Clarks Creek Farm in the Puyallup Valley. The dinner begins at 4 p.m. and the price is $60, which includes wine pairings for each course. Find the restaurant at 109 W. Pioneer Ave., Puyallup. Make reservations at 253-604-4288. Information at facebook.com/aristarestaurant.
GIG HARBOR SIP AND STROLL
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Gig Harbor businesses and Washington wineries will participate in the Gig Harbor Winter Sip and Stroll on Saturday. The tour, hosted by the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance and the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor, is affiliated with the Gig Harbor Wine and Food Festival. Stops at businesses include sips of wine and beer and small bites to eat. Check-in begins at 1 p.m. at 3104 Judson St., Gig Harbor. The ticket price of $35 includes 15 tastes (and could sell out) and free shuttle transportation in the waterfront area. More information at 253-514-0071 or facebook.com/gigharborwineandfood.
ORTING CHOCOLATE STROLL
Downtown Orting businesses will host a chocolate stroll 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Cash-only tickets are $15 at Arrow Lumber, 201 Calistoga Ave W., Orting. Tickets include a map for the self-guided tour of chocolate bites. Proceeds go to the Orting Community Daffodil Float. More information at facebook.com/OrtingChocolateStroll.
BLUE OCTOPUS OPENING
Tacoma’s waterfront champagne bar, Blue Octopus, will have its grand opening 5 p.m. Feb. 10 at its Point Ruston storefront, 5111 Grand Loop, Tacoma. The event will include a christening toast (complete with a bottle smash), food from nearby restaurant WildFin American Grill, a champagne tasting and a talk with Portland artist Christina Romeo. More information at 253-226-0166 or facebook.com/theblueoctopuspointruston.
Puyallup’s Chick-fil-A has set an opening date of Feb. 9. This is the fifth Chick-fil-A in the state and it’s owned by South Sound resident Mike Lehman, who spent most of his military career in the Navy stationed in the Puget Sound region. The restaurant will open at 104 39th Ave SW, Puyallup; 253-200-3450.
With the opening comes two things of note.
The first is that a number of diners will camp-out prior to the opening to win a chance at free food for a year. The camp out starts the day before and only 100 customers are eligible to win. Those camping out must reside within nearby ZIP codes.
The second is the intersection already is the worst for traffic in Puyallup — which is saying a lot considering the nightmare that is Meridian. Will that mean Meridian will become even more of a parking lot similar to what happened when the Tacoma Chick-fil-A opened? The city of Puyallup is requiring Chick-fil-A to hire traffic controllers to help ease congestion. A company spokesman confirmed, “The restaurant has hired off-duty officers to help mitigate traffic during opening week.”
Development Services Director Tom Utterback with the city said, “The city is currently fine-tuning the details of that traffic control plan. That plan will be required to be in effect until such time as the city traffic engineer has determined that the initial crowds have subsided to a point that standard traffic measures are sufficient.”
BIMBO’S SAUCE IS BACK AT E9
Bimbo’s Sauce is returning to the menu of Tacoma’s Engine House No. 9. For the second year, the Sixth Avenue restaurant and brewery will host Jerry Rosi, the cook who knows the original recipe for the sauce from one of Tacoma’s most legendary restaurants. Like last year, Rosi’s sauce will be served with pasta. A burger and other specials will be featured on the restaurant’s Italian-themed specials menu through the month. Find the restaurant at 611 N. Pine St., Tacoma; 253-272-3435; ehouse9.com.
Here’s the Cliff Notes version of that old Tacoma restaurant: Bimbo’s operated downtown for close to 80 years. Rosi’s great uncle, Vittorio “Bimbo” Perniconi, founded Bimbo’s and passed the restaurant to Rosi’s father, Reno. Jerry Rosi’s reign began in 1969 (he actually sold the restaurant once, only to reclaim it years later). It was bought by the city in 2001 to make way for the Marriott.
Rosi also makes his sauce and sells it at Stadium Thriftway.
GNOSH HEADS TO UWT
Stephanie Brooks has headed over the bridge with her grilled sandwich truck, Gnosh. She’s now serving 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays at the University of Washington Tacoma campus. On Wednesdays through Saturdays, she serves 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in Key Center at 9115 Key Peninsula Highway N. More information at 253-778-9549 or facebook.com/pg/GNOSHfoodtruck.