Café Azul Oso at the Bear Mountain Lodge in Silver City is now open for brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. According to Bear Mountain's Linda Brewer, "The entrees are rustic in nature. Some of the standards are spicy flank steak with creamy polenta, roasted veggie egg strata and homemade chicken potpies. Homemade ice cream, pear tart, cookies and carrot cake are some of the weekly desserts." During the week, the café is also open by reservation only; call for lunch reservations or to plan an event, 538-2538.
Silver City may now be closing in on Seattle as home to the most coffeehouses per capita — and, happily, ours continue to be all non-chains, locally owned. The latest and one of the most cleverly named is Gil-A Beans Coffee Shop, featuring Java Dave's coffee, coffee drinks, tea, other hot and cold beverages, frappes and smoothies. It's in the building at the Silver City RV Park that most recently was home to Music Express, 1304 N. Bennett St. Owners Keith and Julie Cason will satisfy your java jones daily from 7 a.m.-noon and 4-6 p.m.
Looking for some culinary love this Valentine's Day weekend? Shevek & Co. offers couples dining Friday through Monday, Feb. 11-14, a free champagne toast or dessert with dinner. And the Café at the Kumquat will be serving a 10-course Chocolate Fantasia Dinner on Feb. 12, which also happens to be the day of Silver City's annual Chocolate Fantasia (see Arts Exposure section).
The Mesilla restaurant with more lives than a cat, Meson de Mesilla, will be reopening this month after its latest extended shutdown. The under-construction website at www.mesondemesilla.com promises both lunch and dinner offerings. 1803 Avenida De Mesilla, 652-4953.
Okazuri Sushi Bar, which we reported last month is moving into Pan Am Plaza in Las Cruces, is aiming for a March opening. The sushi bar, which will also serve terikayi and seafood dishes, is an expansion of a business that already boasts two locations in El Paso.
Speaking of teriyaki, fans of the Teriyaki Chicken House will want to check out the new Teriyaki Bowl at 2300 N. Main St., formerly the site of Pepe's Chicken. (Do we need to draw you a chart here?) That's because Xeng Thach and wife Trinh Ngo, who sold the Teriyaki Chicken House a year ago, are back in town and back in the restaurant business. Their new Teriyaki Bowl is open 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday. 524-2055. Meanwhile, the Teriyaki Chicken House continues under its newish owners at 805 El Paseo Road, 541-1696.
Readers with a sweet tooth may want to check on a new Las Cruces offering called The Cake Box opening on Missouri, just a few blocks west of Triviz.
The Las Cruces area has also lost a couple of eateries: Shem's Moroccan Restaurant at 1340 E. Lohman Ave. has served its last couscous. And the Victorian Tea Room, 1605 South Main St., which we'd hoped was shut down only seasonally, has apparently hung up its doilies for good.