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
Discounts on restaurants, stores, shows, nightspots and more.
Surreal Innovation Salon Now Open
Columbia’s newest total care spa offers a variety of hair and nail services as well as massage/aesthetics. Location, hours, and more info can be found here!
In The Red and Brown Water at Trustus
Trustus Theatre’s newest show opening Friday, January 23rd combines poetry, movement, music, and song to tell the story of a young Louisiana girl thrust into womanhood. Click here for a list of performance dates and to purchase tickets. For mature audiences.
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NorthStar Child Development Center now hiring staff. Require 1yr exp. in licensed center. To apply click here.
Real Estate Spotlight
Celebrating 30 years of Building Dreams! YOUR HOME…YOUR WAY, WE build = YOU save! Ask about US Paying your Energy Bills for a Year! 803.917.5583 or click here