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August 10, 2005

Newbie restaurant in town: Tapas Estrella • Atkins goes bankrupt, and carb is crowned again


Newbie restaurant in town: Tapas Estrella

The owners of the Milky Way will be opening a new sister restaurant, Tapas Estrella at the end of September in Plaza 121, currently being refurbished at 9th and Idaho Streets. Estrella is the Spanish word for "star," and the name was chosen to align with the astrological theme of the Milky Way while highlighting the Spanish theme of the new restaurant.

The tapas (small dishes) will be the central culinary focus though complimentary entrées of seafood paella, braised pork cheeks and veggie napoleon will be offered for the guest seeking a more traditional meal. The innovative concept behind Tapas Estrella is that it will bring a little European lifestyle into our little American city. Tapas are a celebratory cuisine, encouraging spontaneous and frequent compadre gatherings around the versatile seating. When three unexpected friends pass your table, simply wave them over as all tables will be cut with eclipses (the cosmo theme again) on one side to push together for evolving parties.

The Mediterranean-style cocktails, glass wine list (including wines from around the world with a focus on Spain) and Spanish dry sherries will complement the menu. The modern urban design of the interior adds a new twist to the rustic Spanish design, featuring a chocolate brown, white, deep red, gold and silver color palette. There will be some nook tables for privacy-seeking guests, as well as a large communal table and benches in the middle of the restaurant for larger parties. Modern art prints by Miro will add to the ambiance and atmosphere and Miro-esque star cut outs in the facade of the bar will be lit from behind.

The company's theory is: "If the food is great, if the drinks are great, if the room is comfortable, then people are happy, conversation is good, people enjoy themselves and return again and again."

Atkins goes bankrupt, and carb is crowned again

Perhaps one of the most controversial diets of the past few decades, the Atkins diet has had a dedicated following and likewise stringent opposition. Boisean Bernard Callen recently wrote BW regarding the Atkins regime as a "profit-driven agenda" producing "life-long chronic afflications and a curtailed life span." Due to being over $300 million in debt, the company was officially scheduled for bankruptcy court Monday, August 1, to appease its debtors. The founder of the company, Robert Atkins, failed to see this demise of his brainchild as he died in 2003, another controversy stirred by allegations that he suffered a heart attack after his fatal accidental fall, and was obsese himself. The obesity rumor is unsubstantiated, but numerous studies disproving the nutritional health of the sans carbohydrates diet are valid and back Callen's criticism. "Over the past three decades, a dozen expert panels reviewing thousands of diet and health studies concluded that Americans should replace meat and dairy products in their diet with vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains," Callen writes. "None reached the opposite conclusion." His sentiments seem to be the trend of the day, as the Atkins craze continues its decline to be known as just another fad.

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