Two longtime independent businesses in our community—Harmons Grocery and Weller Book Works—are collaborating with the monthly Harmons Bangerter Crossing Book Club (125 E. 13800 South, Draper). Each month, they’ll present food and travel books, by local authors whenever possible. Each book chat will be hosted by a Weller Book Works bibliophile. The first event takes place Saturday, Sept. 22, at 6:30 p.m., and features Harmons Cooking School Chef Evan Francois, who will prepare merende (Italian small bites) to accompany Seeking Sicily by John Keahey, a 22-year veteran Salt Lake Tribune reporter and editor and a lover of Italy. A wine pairing is included with Italian favorites like Sicilian pizzas and crostini. The registration fee includes the book, food, and wine or a nonalcoholic beverage. A copy of the book will be sent upon registration. Register online at HarmonsGrocery.com or call 801-617-0133 for more information.
I’m excited to check out Squeezebox, a new restaurant and bar located in the historic Peery Hotel, opening Sept. 5. Squeezebox will offer fresh American, homestyle and Cajun cuisine, in an atmosphere described as “a selective blend of steampunk originality meets ultra-chic modern design.” The eclectic menu ranges from classics like French dip, chicken Cordon Blue and an “All-American” cheeseburger to jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, ratatouille, “drunken” chicken (with Epic beer tomato sauce), blackened catfish and desserts such as bourbon bread pudding, deep-fried cheesecake, chocolate panna cotta and a New Orleans favorite: beignets with powdered sugar. Stay in touch with Squeezebox on Twitter (@SqueezeboxSLC) or at SqueezeboxRestaurants.com.
Buca di St. George
St. George gets its own Buca di Beppo restaurant this week, opening in the Red Cliffs Mall on Aug. 27. A popular casual-dining Italian restaurant group with more than 95 locations in the United States, Mexico and Europe, the restaurant will feature its signature quirky décor, complete with irreverent photographs, strings of multicolored decorative lights, gingham tablecloths and over-the-top service, not to mention some killer old-school Italian-American food and bodacious spaghetti & meatballs. Visit BucaDiBeppo.com for more information.
Quote of the week: Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti. —Sophia Loren