A host of local restaurants are gearing up for the Tasty Tomato Festival this Saturday at City Roots by including tomato-themed specials (Tomato Feast!) on their menus this week. For this week’s Bite, Free Times checked out Rosso’s beautiful insalata caprese, with beefsteak tomatoes from Lexington County layered between fresh, delicate mozzarella from North Carolina’s Chapel Hill Creamery, along with fresh basil (including some tiny basil sprouts) and mixed greens in a blood orange vinaigrette. It’s no secret that basil and tomato belong together. Italian cooks figured this out intuitively centuries ago, but now there’s some evidence to support it. Recent research by the University of Florida on the chemistry of tomato flavor has shown that the tomatoes most people prefer are the ones with higher levels of certain aromatic compounds, which just so happen to resemble those present in basil. Pictured in the background is a perfect-for-summer pairing of a chilled glass of 2012 Fratelli Allessandria Verduno Pelaverga ($9). — Jonathan Sharpe
Now Hiring in the Vista!
Hickory Tavern is opening mid-December and looking for bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff. Apply in person: Click for details!
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
Surreal Innovation Salon Now Open
Columbia’s newest total care spa is now taking appointments and offering $10 off services $25 or more for first time clients. Location, hours, and more info here.
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
This Week @ Social
Edward Shouse performs Friday the 21st, and on Saturday Absolut Vodka presents A Night in Sweden, with specialty Absolut drinks and live music by Christian Slick. Follow us!
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season: