A new year, a new you. While some might vow to eat less in 2010, restaurant fans might consider promising themselves to eat out more interestingly. Following are a few suggestions:
1. Make the drive: Break out of your neighborhood dining mold. If you live on the west side, vow to try one restaurant a month on the east side and vice versa. If you never go downtown, make a plan to eat there a few times.
2. Stop wondering. Go in: You've driven past the restaurant a million times but for some reason have never gone in — places like MIF Deli, Byblos, Marchello's, Sakura. Stop driving past. Go in.
3. Try a new cuisine type: Vietnamese, Indian and authentic Mexican food should not be feared. It should be savored. Vow to try a place like Pho Hot, Maharaja or Laura's Super Torta.
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It's time to chat live about restaurants again. Restaurant reporter Denise Neil will answer questions about the local dining scene during a live chat at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7. The first chat drew about 40 people, who posed more than 160 questions, ranging from "Will Wichita ever get a Cheesecake factory?" to "Who serves good Italian food in Wichita?" Join the chat at Kansas.com.
Brothers Keith and Bryan Shapiro (who recently teamed up to open Doc Howard's night club) are also planning to open a new restaurant in the former Amici's space at 37th and Rock. They're envisioning a neighborhood bistro that serves drinks. They hope to open in late March and are still deciding on a name.
Tea room trouble
Two of Wichita's more well-known tea rooms have closed in the past few weeks, citing slow business. Riverside Cup of Tea at 1617 W. Briggs closed before Christmas, and Aunt Hattie's Tea Room at 1910 W. Douglas closed on Wednesday.