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BREAD IS BACK IN A BIG WAY

Look no further than the covers of the August Gourmet, Bon Appetit and Food & Wine magazines for proof that our love affair with bread has been discovered anew. This after years of turning up our nose at yeasty carbs. The Ultimate BLT made with pancetta, arugula, burrata cheese and tomatoes is Bon Appetit's sumptuous offering. Barbecue Pork Burgers with slaw on big buns is on Gourmet's cover, and Food & Wine tempts us with an open-faced grilled chicken sandwich with mozzarella, tomato and basil on crusty loaves.

Speaking of magazines, St. Petersburg writer Gelareh Asayesh (Saffron Sky: A Life Between Iran and America) has an article in the August Gourmet. "Season of the Flower" is the Iranian-born journalist's memories of home and how they are intertwined with the taste and scent of saffron.

More organics all the time

Americans spent $13-billion on organic foods in 2005, and new products are hitting the marketplace at a record pace. Naturallysavvy.com is a new online resource dedicated to healthy living, featuring product reviews, cooking tips, a learning center, plus tips on how to implement healthy options in our everyday lives. In a world where terms like "organic" and "all-natural" are tossed around loosely, the site lists products that are truly natural and organic.

On the bookshelf: sizing up seafood

- Aliza Green's Field Guide to Seafood (Quirk Books, 2007, $15.95)

Do you know your blowfish from your bluefish? How about your smelt from your snook?

If not, consider taking the latest entry in food writer Aliza Green's Field Guide series on your next trip to the fish market. These pocket-sized books tackle food with Green's signature breathtaking thoroughness.

Green's Field Guide to Seafood is divided into sections covering fish, mollusks, crustaceans and the entertaining "other water creatures," which include turtles, frog legs, sea urchins and sea cucumbers.

Though there are many recipes and serving suggestions, this book is more reference than cookbook. An insert of color photographs is particularly helpful when trying to identify your catch.

RESTAURANT NEWS

Sarasota comes to St. Petersburg

The Table, one of the most celebrated restaurants in Sarasota, has just announced plans for a second location in St. Petersburg. Chefs Rafael Manzano and Pedro Flores aim to open a second venue for their sleek "Atlantic Rim" cuisine at 533-539 Central Ave. in mid-October. The 160-seat restaurant will feature a menu that draws inspiration from South America, the Caribbean, South Florida and Spain. The Table will feature a lounge, a private dining room and a VIP living room. The restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

Two seafood restaurants close

Two local fish houses have quietly closed shop. Wild Fish in Clearwater (28910 U.S. 19 N) and Catch 23 (2543 Countryside Blvd., Clearwater) are no more. The latter's Caribbean-Latin inspired seafood can still be sampled at the original Westchase location (10103 Montague St., Tampa, (813) 920-0045).

DINING BLISS

"A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety."

Aesop, Greek slave and fable author

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