Restaurant News & Reviews

October 3, 2013

Three events for oenophiles in Wichita


Three events for oenophiles


Wine classes at Center for the Arts: The Wichita Center for the Artsat 9112 E. Central is putting on three wine classes through October and November. The first is from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and will feature wine expert Whitney Post talking about grape varieties, wine vocabulary and more. Attendees will be able to sample six wines. Post will offer the same class from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 19.

And on Oct. 22, a class from 6 to 8 p.m. called Entertaining with Wine will include tips about planning parties that include wine. It’ll also include six samples. Tickets to the classes are $45 for Wichita Center for the Arts members and $55 for nonmembers. Enroll at


Larkspur wine dinner: Also on Tuesday, Larkspur Bistro & Bar at 904 E. Douglas will be putting on a wine dinner featuring Foley Family Wines. It’ll offer five courses and four wines and will cost $65 a person. It’s at 7 p.m. For reservations, call 316 262-5275.


Wichita Wine Opener On Oct. 24, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will put on the fourth annual Wichita Wine Opener from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Abode Venue, 1330 E. Douglas. It will feature wine tasting and food from several Wichita restaurants, including Larkspur, Freddy’s, Oeno, YaYa’s Euribostro and more. Tickets are $60 per person at

Quick bites

Stephan buys Caffe Moderne, puts Hopping Pita on hold

Melad Stephan’s Empire Restaurant Management group is in flux at the moment as he tries to prioritize the needs at his various businesses, he said. About two weeks ago, he said, he finalized a deal to completely buy out Janet and Grant Rine, the founders of Caffe Moderneat 300 N. Mead. Stephan partnered with them in June of 2011 and has been running the restaurant ever since. Now that it’s all his, he’s going to start using its kitchen for his Empire catering business and stop using the one at Revolution Rock Bar.

Another change: He’s put the Hopping Pita, a food truck he started with chef Roni Attari in April, on hold. He wants a bigger, more efficient truck, he said, and he’s put his original truck on Craigslist, asking for $20,000 or the best offer he can get. Stephan says he plans to reopen the Hopping Pita eventually but that it’s not at the top of his priority list right now.

“I’m so busy, I don’t know which direction I’m going these days,” he said.

As for Caffe Moderne, Stephan said he plans to keep the name and the concept the same. He may eventually get a new sign and plans to add new menu items for fall. Stephan also owns Sabor and Oeno Wine Bar in Old Town Square. He closed his fine dining Italian restaurant, Luca Italian Kitchen, in August.

Byblos axes dinner hours

People who want to have Byblosdelicious Lebanese cuisine for dinner are going to have to start planning ahead at lunch. The restaurant at 3088 W. 13th St., owned by Ilham Saad, no longer has evening hours. It’s open just for lunch – from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Saad said that she cut back on her hours at the urging of her daughters. They all are grown and have families and jobs of their own now, she said, and none are able to be in the restaurant. Saad and her husband and restaurant co-owner, Kamal, opened the restaurant in 1989. He died in 2009. Saad works alone in the kitchen now and needs to slow down, she said.

“I love my job. I love my work,” she said. “But I’ve been doing this for 24 years.”

For more information, call Byblos at 316-943-3999.

Newest food truck serves ‘cue

Rip’s Rib Shak is among the latest additions to the ever-growing food truck fleet in Wichita.

This one is owned by Steven Pittman, who has worked at several barbecue restaurants over the years, and his father-in-law, Kevin Smith. It’s been running since August and for now has a regular parking spot. Pittman opens the truck from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Builder’s Inc. in Parklane Shopping Center at Lincoln and Oliver.

Eventually, Pittman said, the truck might be open more often, move around and participate in food truck gatherings around town. Pittman serves St. Louis-style spare ribs, pulled pork, hotlinks and more. One of his specialties is chicken legs cooked on a Himalayan salt block.

For more information on the truck, look up Rib’s Rib Shak on Facebook.

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