Taita, a new restaurant featuring seafood, is opening in Benson.
The restaurant's name is from an ancient Peruvian dialect, and it means “father.” Chef and owner Jose Dionicio is of Peruvian descent.
Dionicio will cook some Peruvian food, but he also is trained in sushi preparation, so the restaurant “will dabble in different genres,” said R. David Morrison, general manager.
“We're focused on serving the best seafood, not only in Omaha but in the country,” he said.
The restaurant, 6109 Maple St., has been having a “soft opening” since last weekend, and will have an official grand opening starting Friday. It's in the historic Benson Bakery building, most recently home to the Today Cafe.
Dionicio is a food-service veteran who had worked at the Boiler Room in the Old Market. Morrison also has worked in several restaurants, including his own fine-dining establishment in Persia, Iowa.
Hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. or so. In a couple of weeks, Morrison plans to add lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but hours aren't yet determined.
Dante Ristorante is adding items to its lunch menu.
Chef Nick Strawhecker said the menu includes six paninis baked in the restaurant's wood-fired oven, a seasonal soup and fresh salads, including the signature Dante chopped salad. The restaurant's famous pastas and wood-oven baked pizzas are available on both the lunch and dinner menus.
Ingredients and menu offerings will change depending on what's fresh and available from local purveyors, he said.
The lunch menu is available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Reservations are recommended: 402-932-3078 or online at www.dantepizzeria.com. Dante is at 16901 Wright Plaza in the Shops of Legacy.
The Chatty Squirrel Cafe, in a strip mall near 120th Street and West Center Road, has closed.
Owner MJ Zaremba said finances were the cause.
“I loved being in the restaurant business but it was actually costing me too much to stay in business,” she said.
She hopes to open a store selling gently used merchandise to home cooks and people who like to entertain.
New line of wines
Master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colo., will present their Scarpetta line of wines on Tuesday at the Boiler Room in Omaha's Old Market.
The wine dinner will feature smoked guanciale, farm-fresh Araucana chicken eggs, Savoy cabbage, Wellfleet oysters, grass-fed Piedmontese beef and Mulefoot pork.
The price is $80 before tax and gratuity. For reservations, call 402-916-9274.