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Cheddar’s Sold to Olive Garden Parent Company for $780M

Plus other food news to know today

Photo: Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen/Facebook

• Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, the Texas-based casual chain best known for its chicken tenders, ribs, and broccoli casserole, will soon be swallowed by Darden Restaurants. Darden, best known as the corporate owner of the Olive Garden, reportedly ponied up $780 million for the Cheddar’s chain, which has more than 160 locations nationwide. Cheddar’s will join Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood in the Darden portfolio.

• Once again, a restaurant has found itself embroiled in controversy related to its decision to ban children. Caruso’s, an Italian restaurant located about 29 miles north of Charlotte, North Carolina, has drawn online attention for its no-kids-under-the-age-of-five policy, with some diners taking to Facebook to call the ban a form of “discrimination.” Of course, it isn’t the first restaurant to implement a no-kids policy, with several over the past five years deciding to ban unruly children.

• The New York Times brings this short profile of Ella Brennan, the grand dame of New Orleans dining and described by the Times as the “matriarch” of legendary restaurant Commander’s Palace. At 91 years old, Brennan reflects on her culinary legacy while drinking Champagne, coining what is sure to be everyone’s new favorite phrase: “I’m too damn old to drink cheap wine.”

• Speaking of wine, physicists have apparently concocted a wine bottle that doesn’t drip when pouring.

• Someone, meanwhile, paid $27,000 for a pair of special cantaloupes.