Small Plates: Thursday, 3/8

Acero is now open at 7266 Manchester Road in Maplewood (the space last occupied by Arthur Clay's). The restaurant and wine bar featuring northern Italian cuisine -- an enoteca -- is the third area restaurant from Jim Fiala, who also owns Liluma and The Crossing. Acero is open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Mon.-Sat. For more information, call 314-644-1790.

Meanwhile, Marion's St. Louis Rib Co. has closed. Its storefront at 5860 Delmar Boulevard is empty, save for a few chairs and campaign signs from this week's municipal election. I never had a chance to visit Marion's, but my predecessor Rose Martelli was a fan. You can read her review here.

Finally, several food-related articles (all registration required) to recommend this week. After blogging last week about how much protection diners need from "risky" foods, I was intrigued by this New York Times article about the unintended consequences of New York City's ban on trans fats. Also from the Times, this article shows how Coca-Cola and Pepsi are trying to reposition their most popular brands as healthy beverages. Um, good luck with that.

This fascinating Washington Post article details Philadelphia's thriving scene of bring-your-own-booze restaurants. While this is largely a result of Pennsylvania's strict control of liquor sales -- as anyone who has ever lived in or visited the commonwealth can attest -- it's an interesting and, in my opinion, very cool business model. Wonder if a restaurateur here would ever give it a try?

-Ian Froeb

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