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Local chefs plan to build a Better Burger, launch party for Em's Neighborhood Kitchen, plus a dozen new restaurant openings

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Atlanta-based Concentrics Restaurants opens two new spots this summer: The 4,500-square-foot Slate starts serving chef Dominic Rice's seasonal, wood-grilled cuisine next month at the Parkside at Dr. Phillips (near the latest Trader Joe's); Somm – yes, it's a wine bar – will offer a curated selection of boutique and fine wines, as well as a selection of hot and cold dishes prepared by Slate. Somm is, ahem, slated to open in July at the I-Drive 360 complex.

Local restos Seasons 52, the Rusty Spoon and K Restaurant are taking part in the James Beard Foundation's Better Burger Project, which aims to create a more sustainable burger by incorporating mushrooms into the mix.

The folks behind the well-received Pizza Paradiso near Valencia College will open a more upscale restaurant/pizzeria on South Semoran near Baldwin Park.

The Altamonte Springs branch of Eastern Pearl will be reborn as an outpost of up-and-comer Yummy House, a Tampa-based chainlet offering authentic Chinese and dim sum.

OPENINGS

Grounding Roots opens this week on Park Avenue, in the Park Plaza Hotel ... Canadian chain Coffee Culture is open on Orange Avenue near Citrus and Shin ... Sofrito Latin Café opens today on Palm Parkway ... Big Daddy's Grill, advertising "the biggest sandwiches in Florida," has opened on South Goldenrod Road ... Look for Fuzzy's Taco Shop to open near Seminole State College in Sanford ... A restaurant will be a part of the new NBA Experience at Downtown Disney ... The new Lombardi's Seafood on Fairbanks is now open, as is the café ... Unicorp's Lakeside Crossing retail complex (in the old Best Western Mount Vernon Inn) will feature a Chuy's Tex-Mex when it opens next summer.

EVENTS

Grouper, foie gras, hamachi, lamb chops and goat cheese mousse are on the menu at the Darioush Wine Dinner at the Ravenous Pig June 15. Cost is $125 ... The Dinner Party Project, an invitation-only weekly dinner party, hosts the official launch for Em's Neighborhood Kitchen at the Brookhaven Space June 13 at 6:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $40-$50 and it's open to 100 guests.

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