Darden tests new look for Olive Garden (Orlando Sentinel)
In a video tour given to the Orlando Sentinel, Darden Restaurants shows what elements make up its new look at a prototype in Winter Park, Fla. More contemporary design touches like atmospheric lighting, marble countertops, overhead wood beams and a more prominent bar are part of what Darden called a hopeful “brand renaissance.” Over the next year, Darden plans to remodel 75 Olive Garden units to the design for about $40 million.

—Mark Brandau

Danny Meyer probes essence of restaurants and community (The New York Times)
Danny Meyer, chief executive of Union Square Hospitality Group, pens an opinion piece about opening Union Square Cafe nearly 30 years ago “at a time when Manhattan rents were low, crime rates were high and the future of the city seemed, even for an optimist like me, to be an open question.” He said the restaurant’s second 15-year lease will expire at the end of December 2015, “and unless we’re able to complete a Hail Mary pass with our landlord” it will have to move. “I’m confident that we will find a new home, but the very prospect of taking Union Square Cafe out of Union Square is a heartbreaking pill to swallow,” he wrote.
 
—Ron Ruggless

Blue Bottle founder discusses chain's pending L.A. domination (Eater Los Angeles)
Oakland, Calif.-based Blue Bottle Coffee is shaking up the Los Angeles coffee scene with the acquisition of local brands and plans for new growth.

—Lisa Jennings

Bon Appétit experiments with computer generated recipes (Bon Appétit)
In the latest mash-up of food and technology, the food magazine brought a computer into its test kitchen.

—Bret Thorn