Chef Brad Sorenson has opened his new Rainey Street restaurant No Va, a project that has been in the works for a couple of years. The former Asti cook and contestant on “Chopped All-Stars” and “Next Food Network Star” named his restaurant (which translates in Spanish to “no go”) as a nod to the Joel Mozerksy-designed sleek two-story building’s incongruity in the boozy nightlife district populated by older bungalows.
No Va’s initial menu offerings include corn gnocchi with brown butter, roasted bell pepper and fava beans; Atlantic salmon with beet-radish salad and nicoise olive puree; and a “cheeseburger” tartare on an onion bun. The restaurant, which has future plans for a late-night menu of pizzas and tacos to satisfy the wobbly masses, will serve beer, wine and hard liquor, with a cocktail menu including drinks such as a gin-based pear meringue fizz with and the pitu cachaca-based Bossa No Va.
No Va plans to be open from 5 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday and Wednesday and 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. (87 Rainey St., 512-382-5651, NoVaOnRainey.com)
Max’s Wine Dive hosts the “Eat. Drink. Empower.” wine dinner Saturday night. The evening will feature food from eight female chefs, including Max’s executive chef Erica Beneke, a recent winner on the Food Network’s “Chopped.”
The five-course, wine-paired menu includes dishes from Searsucker sous chef Kenzie Allen (crispy quinoa salad with roasted carrot marshmallow, corn crema, beet powder and okra chips), Sway chef de cuisine Alexis Chong (melon soup with coconut cream) and Beneke (braised lamb with chorizo spiced foie gras, yellow mole, sweet potato and cherry pickle).
The event at Max’s Wine Dive (207 San Jacinto Ave.) starts with cocktails at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $150 a person, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting SafePlace. For tickets and more information, call 512-904-0111 or visit MaxsWineDive.com.
The 10th annual La Piazza Italiana takes place Sunday at Laguna Gloria (3809 W. 35th St.). The event features food from local Italian restaurants, wine from Vino Vino, Teo’s gelato, music from the Austin Lyric Opera and a host of artisan exhibitors. Tickets are $10 for adults and free for children younger than 10. The festivities begin at 4 p.m.
Popular food trailers East Side King are expanding their reach by adding service from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Draught House (4112 Medical Parkway.). The trucks also will offer lunch service from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays at Research Park Plaza (12301 Research Blvd.) and Wednesdays at the Domain near Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School (3110 Esperanza Crossing).
East Sixth Street Mexican restaurant Papi Tino’s (1306 E. Sixth St.) has scaled back its operating hours and is currently only open for dinners on Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., with the kitchen closing at 11 p.m.
New on the menu
All 29 locations of ThunderCloud Subs now offer gluten-free buns made by New World Bakery. Curious what makes up a gluten-free sandwich roll? The ones at ThunderCloud include garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, white sorghum flour, fava bean flour, water, soybean oil, sugar, milk powder, vinegar cider, salt, xanthan gum, yeast and cornstarch. The gluten-free option costs $1.70 in addition to the regular price of the sandwich.
Maudie’s Tex-Mex has partnered with Johnson’s Backyard Garden to source peppers and beets for a new temporary menu item. Maudie’s Café at 2608 W. Seventh St. will serve a quinoa and beet-stuffed pepper with fresh tomato sauce and cotija cheese through Sept. 22 with proceeds from the sales of the special benefiting the Sustainable Food Center.
Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar & Restaurant (506 West Ave.) has closed. The bar and grill still has locations open in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.