Side Dishes: Three openings — and a closing
During the recent deluge, new eateries have mushroomed around the state. Persian café Farah’s Place  quickly became a Seven Days staff favorite after opening last week at 147 North Winooski Avenue, the space left vacant by North End Rotisserie last winter.
When owner Farah Oberlender closed Farah’s Middle Eastern Foods in Johnson last year, she began planning the menu for her larger city digs: kabobs, kofteh and unusual appetizers such as kashk o’bademjan — sautéed eggplant and tomato topped with fried mint and onion. She also has dolme, hummus and an herbaceous yogurt soup topped with fried onions and oil.
Down at 112 Lake Street, Japanese restaurant San Sai  has opened after what must have been a frenetic setup. Ramps have a prominent place among the appetizers, and the sushi menu offers twists such as salmon topped with carrot sauce and ikura, seared uni, and chopped toro with pickled radish.
In Montpelier, the Black Door Bar and Bistro  has reopened under new chef-owner Ignacio Ruiz, formerly of Plainfield’s River Run. The dinner menu features tapas and Spanish-influenced seafood dishes, and there’s live music on Fridays and Saturdays.
PK Café, just across the street from St. Michael’s College, closed its doors on Monday. “We’re bummed, but it’s something we couldn’t help,” says co-owner Leslie Wells. “The building needs a tremendous amount of work. To stay open, we’d have to put a lot of money into it, and we don’t own the building.”
Wells says she hasn’t yet found a new space, but she’s on the lookout. Until then, we’ll pour one out for the buttery turkey-and-apple Vermonster sandwich.