New: Brundog's Zy-De-Que
"Life's too short to eat boring food" hails the tagline of the month-old establishment where Capriccio's formerly dwelled. Chef Tom Brunner's love for layers of flavor and his penchant for pork led him to create his dream cuisine of hickory-smoked pulled pork and brisket of beef, catfish po'boy sandwiches, apricot habanero-glazed chicken wings, gumbo and much more. Brundog's is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 4825 N. First Ave.; 887-2333.
New: Habaneros Fresh Mexican Grill
James Jordan, who formerly worked at La Parrilla Suiza, opened his own southern Mexico City-style fast-casual eatery recently, serving enchiladas Suiza, sopes, quesadillas and fish tacos (grilled not battered). Jordan says that everything is made fresh daily, including the tortilla chips. Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m., at 6875 E. Sunrise Drive, No. 101; 529-8048.
Mama Louisa's Italian Restaurant
Joseph V. Elefante Sr., 80, the former owner, died earlier this month from colon cancer complications. The restaurant opened in 1956 and is still thriving as a family-owned business at 2141 S. Craycroft Road; 790-4702.
Primavera Cooks September
The summer-long fundraiser benefit for the Primavera Foundation winds down with Jonathan's Cork on Sunday, Sept. 10; Gold Room at the Westward Look on Wednesday, Sept. 20; and Kingfisher on Sunday, Sept. 24. The cost for diners is $100 per person, which includes wine, tax and gratuity. For reservations, contact David at 623-5111, ext. 101. Payment should be made in advance to Primavera Foundation; 70 percent of the donation is tax-deductible.
Pennies From Heaven
The Cup Café at the historic Hotel Congress renovated and added a full bar, a floor made from more than 180,000 pennies and 10 additional seats. The expansion's design was a collaboration between Gary Patch, Darren Clark and Shana Oseran, owner. Wine-bottle chandeliers create a touch of whimsical lighting. Congratulations to the hotel for being one of three Arizona hotels included in The Hotel Book: Great Escapes North America