Elizabeth Lee is a dentist and watercolor artist who says she reads cookbooks like they’re novels. “I’ve cooked since I was a kid, so I’ll be cooking here,” she says of her newest endeavor as co-owner of Peacock’s Pantry in the Fan.
Lee and John Purcell, a software sales exec, are opening their gourmet bistro in early December at 1731 W. Main St., a recent revolving door of restaurants. “We looked at so many spaces,” Lee says; this one feels right with its 60-some seats, corner visibility, even its proximity to the Visual Arts Center across the street, where Lee has taken painting classes.
They rented the restaurant at the end of July and have reworked the kitchen, developed a menu and concept, and added plenty of the namesake bird’s blues and greens to the once-white interior. Then they unveiled it to family members with a surprise Thanksgiving dinner and their first real meal in the new space.
Peacock’s Pantry will offer dinner Thursday through Sunday evenings, weekend brunch, and prepared foods for takeout. The menu “is familiar foods taken to another level,” Lee says. She’ll create soups, dressings and sauces to complement a mostly Continental menu of steaks, seafood, lamb, cassoulet, a bistro burger and other entrees in the $14-$29 range.
Desserts are a specialty, and will include a chef’s pastry basket of small sweets designed for sharing. Brunch offers truffled egg toast, red velvet waffles, huevos rancheros, sandwiches and sides, priced in the $10-$15 range and showing the owners’ desire to offer a casually elegant experience. 732-3333.
Fond Farewell: Fans of Jazzbo’s Rollin Gumbo, the nearly 4-year-old food cart on MacArthur Avenue, are mourning the recent death of chef Jamie Dickerson. He and Molly Buford had a passion for Cajun food and their business was among the area’s first mobile servers.
North Side sparkler: Tastebuds American Bistro presents its annual all-sparkling wine tasting dinner Dec. 11 by reservation. The menu is being developed, the tariff is $55 per person, and it’s a good opportunity to try out this intimate, independent dining room in a food-destination neighborhood. Two seatings for New Year’s Eve dinner are another holiday option. See details at tastebudsamericanbistro.com. 4019 MacArthur Ave. 261-6544.
Tastes like Christmas: Can Can Brasserie always gets lighted up for the holidays, and then rolls out the seasonal breads (cranberry pecan, walnut raisin, apricot pistachio, cherry almond, Normandy apple and pear hazelnut) for customers to order for pickup. See details on other specials and featured wines at cancanbrasserie.com.
Weekly wine: Of all the new food pitches around town, Matt Brehony’s spiels for Secco Wine Bar are the most fun to read. He goes by the title minister of propaganda, which gives an indication of the principles that guide this idiosyncratic Carytown establishment. On Monday and Tuesday nights, Secco now offers flight nights, three ways to sample three different wines — dealer’s choice ($10), customer’s own ($12) or flight of the week, chosen by Secco owner Julia Battaglini. The deals run all night on those evenings, sometimes with specials on appetizers from chef Tim Bereika’s kitchen. 2933 W. Cary St. seccowinebar.com.