Is a new restaurant open in your neighborhood? Are you opening a new bar? Have an event coming up? Email your dining, restaurant and cocktail news to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read more from Sarah Baker Hansen, go to her blog, OMAvore.
* * *
Omaha Tap House to open Monday
The Omaha Tap House, on the first floor of downtown Omaha's Paxton Building, is scheduled to open Monday.
The gastropub, at 1403 Farnam St., is in the former Crane Coffee space.
Owner Kent Letnes described the menu as upscale bar food, including appetizers such as pig wings — like chicken wings but made of pork — and short rib nachos; a number of specialty burgers; salads; and sandwiches, such as the pork and pickle and the rotisserie chicken honey basil. The bar will serve 33 craft beers, classic cocktails and a selection of wines.
This is the first Omaha restaurant for the Letnes Group. The group has 16 restaurants around the country, though this will be the only Tap House.
Beastie Boys-themed beers
I've been known to grab a drink at the Upstream after work with co-workers, and, while perusing the “Brewer's Whim” beer offerings recently, I noticed two Beastie Boys-themed beers and thought that was really cool and really random.
So I called Upstream brewer Mike Hall to ask about it.
Hall said he is a huge Beastie Boys fan, and after band member Adam Yauch, aka MCA, died from cancer earlier this year, the brewer decided to create some tribute beers in memory of one of his favorite musicians. He chose the names for the beers with Yauch in mind: They're either titles of songs he wrote or rhymes he performed.
The beers I saw were the second and third in what Hall says will be an ongoing series. The first beer, called “Till the Break of Dawn Saison,” just ran out. He described it as a hoppy saison with notes of lemongrass, lemon verbena and rosehips.
The “I Don't Know Tropical Saison,” named after the Beastie Boys' melodic tropical tune, is fruity and spicy with Jamaican dried whole hibiscus flowers and passion fruit puree.
The “Gratitude Chocolate Saison,” named after what Hall calls “one of the best songs written and rhymed by the late beer enthusiast and musician Adam Yauch,” is spiced with orange zest and aged on 43 pounds of cocoa nibs from Ghana. Both beers will be available until the restaurants run out.
Hall has more beers in mind, and lots of names, too. He said the next beer in the Beastie Boys series will likely be flavored with ginger, though he hadn't decided on the name. He also plans a pumpkin brew. Those should be available in late summer and early fall.
The Beastie Boy beers are at both locations of the Upstream: in the Old Market, 514 S. 11th St., and in the Shops of Legacy, 17070 Wright Plz.
Omaha's first food truck fest
Omaha's first food truck festival is taking place today in north downtown.
The Old Mattress Factory and Bomb Digs Food Truck are playing host to the event in the restaurant's parking lot at 501 N. 13th St.
LocalMotive Food Truck, New Orleans Sneaux, Brotato's, Island Seasons Mobile Kitchen and Ty's Amazing Southern Cuisine all will be on site serving their goods on wheels.
The festival takes place today from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Real Actors Reading Yelp
If you haven't checked out “Real Actors Reading Yelp” online yet, you should. So far, three actors have dramatically re-enacted real — mostly somewhat ridiculous — reviews that actual users wrote on Yelp.com. Trust me, they're both dramatic and hilarious.
If you or someone you know is crazy about the holidays, Taste of Home magazine wants to hear about it. The magazine is looking for its official “Mrs. Holiday.” As the magazine's holiday ambassador, Mrs. Holiday should be an American woman, 18 years old or older who “truly embodies the holiday spirit.” The winner can enter concerning the celebration of Independence Day, New Years, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The winner of the contest will receive the title, $50,000 and the chance to travel the country sharing recipes, doing interviews and cooking segments and contributing to Taste of Home magazine.
Women can enter until Sept. 7 by visiting Facebook.com/tasteofhome and uploading a short video and signature recipe that demonstrates how they bring the holiday spirit to family and friends. The winner will be selected from the top 100 entries that receive the most votes from the public.
Nebraska's best sandwich
Food Network Magazine thinks it has found the best sandwich in Nebraska: The Avocado Melt at Maggie's Vegetarian in Lincoln's Haymarket district.
The melt joins 49 other notable sandwiches in the magazine's feature “50 Sandwiches, 50 States.”
The magazine has done similar surveys in the past for burgers and pizza.
Here's what the editors wrote about the sandwich at Maggie's: “Even meat lovers in Nebraska crave this tasty veggie wrap, stuffed with cheese and mustard sauce.”
Maggie's is in downtown Lincoln at 311 N. Eighth St. The sandwich is $9.50. For more information, visit maggiesvegetarian.com.
And tell us: What's your favorite sandwich?
Dante Ristorante Pizzeria has a wine dinner slated for August that will celebrate Italian white and rose wines and seasonal local vegetables.
On Aug. 27, the restaurant will serve wine from five of Italy's most prestigious wine regions paired with local vegetables that will be part of a five-course menu. The dinner is $65 per person, tax and tip not included, and a deposit is required to reserve a seat. Space is limited. To reserve a seat, call Andy Wood, Dante's wine director, at 402-932-3078 or via email at email@example.com.
Dante is at 16901 Wright Plaza in the Shops of Legacy.
— Staff writer Sarah Baker Hansen