Good Start for Farestart

Anyone who's cut coupons and tight corners in order to raise funds for a kitchen remodel can surely relate to FareStart's "Futures Rising" campaign. It ain't easy; no matter how much you save, it's never enough—and the final penny-pinching stretch is always the most difficult. With just about 10 months to go before meeting their December 2005 deadline, FareStart recently announced that a $750,000 grant award from the Kresge Foundation puts them just past the halfway point of their $8 million fund-raising goal. The money raised will allow FareStart to put the finishing touches on their new, much-improved facility at 2004 Westlake Ave. By moving from its current space at 1902 Second Ave. to the much larger location in the growing South Lake Union neighborhood, the organization will more than double its capacity to comprehensively change the lives of homeless men and women—and more than double its ability to operate in an increasingly autonomous, self-sufficient manner by increasing the workspace and revenue potential of the five businesses under its umbrella. (In addition to offering a lunch cafe and the very popular Thursday evening guest-chef dinners in its in-house restaurant, FareStart also runs two off-site cafes, a catering company, and a meal-service program that delivers hot lunches to homeless shelters and low-income child care and senior centers.) Aside from a similar operation in Boise that FareStart has helped to foster, there are no social services programs of this magnitude in the country. It is unique and truly revolutionary. To find out how you can help with the last half of FareStart's capital campaign, go to Troi', Troi' Again The new year saw a new name, changes in the menu, and a new emphasis on service at Paul McKay's year-old Third Avenue and Madison Street downtown-dining spot, now to be known as Troiani Italian Steakhouse. Under McKay's personal management, the emphasis is now on grilled meat offerings, several with an Italian flavor spin: braised pancetta and truffle black pepper cream with the filet mignon medallions, herb pesto and arugula grilled onion salad with the T-bone, and a New York cut dressed with gorgonzola piccante and caramelized cipollini. Fans of tableside fiddledeedee will be pleased to learn they can now watch their waiter slice 'n' dice their chateaubriand or "château of sirloin" as well as their "steak Troiani" for two with its side of salame and cheese. The Cult Of Mauro On Christmas Day, the chef-owner of Assaggio, Mauro Golmarvi, flew to New York to prepare an eight-course meal at the James Beard House. He wasn't the only Seattle foodie on that JetBlue flight: 50 Assaggio regulars went along to pay $115 each for a meal they could get for half that much at home. Now's your chance; on Wednesday, Feb. 2, Mauro will re-create his Beard bouffe at Assaggio (2010 Fourth Ave., 206-441-1399) for just $65 a head. A Northwest take on festive Italian food, the menu includes ravioli ai granchi (with Washington asparagus, ricotta, and Dungeness crab), as well as quaglia ripieno (Oregon quail stuffed with pancetta and lamb sausage made in Ellensburg). Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at

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