By Paul Giorgio

When Reality sets in. Alina Eisenhauer, owner of Sweets, a bakery on Worcester’s Shrewsbury Street, is a contestant on the Food Network’s new reality show “Chopped.” The show is hosted by Ted Allen, formerly of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” fame. The premise of the show, which premiered on January 13, is to have aspiring chefs turn a group of everyday ingredients into a meal.

Michelle is so sweet. Michelle Bohigian, Worcester’s wedding cake uber designer and owner of Something Sweet by Michelle, recently had one of her cakes featured on the cover of Elegant Bride Magazine. Bohigian has made appearances on The Today Show and created the cake for former GE president Jack Welsh’s wedding a few years back. She makes a decadent chocolate cake that is to die for.

Blue Marlin reopens. Leominster’s Blue Marlin restaurant has recently reopened with a new “family friendly” menu and a new warmer décor, according to owner Donna Balletta. Entrees now range in price from $8 to $15. Balletta also owns the Monument Grille, which is right down the street in the center of the city.

Bender’s closes. Bender’s Bar on Worcester’s Park Ave. has closed its doors. The club, which was formerly known as the Foo Bar, is in a great location and is currently up for sale by George and Company.

Cooking at the Zia. Paula McCarthy of Worcester’s Zia Grill has started up her winter cooking classes. On Feb. 9 you can learn about Heart Healthy meals ~ and then you can throw that knowledge out the window on February 23 because that class is all about Mardi Gras Madness. Classes are $50 per person per session. Call 508-363-3477 for information.

Sophie’s has new owner. Sophie’s on Route70 in Shrewsbury has a new owner. Look for a March opening. We’ll keep you posted on the name and concept.

Westboro goes Italian. Tavalina is the name of the new restaurant opening this May in Westboro. It’s part of a small chain that will also include a location in Foxboro opening this month, plus the chain runs a restaurant in Mashpee called Siena.

Arturo’s changes hands. Westboro’s Arturo’s, owned by Arturo Cartagenova and his wife Diane, has been sold to Domenic Fabiano. The name and menu will stay the same and Fabiano will assume the duties of Chef. Arturo’s started out in West Boylston and moved to Worcester before finally settling in Westboro about 10 years ago. Fabiano has been in the restaurant business all his life. There are no staff changes expected.

Grand Slam strikes out. Rutland’s Grand Slam Café recently shut its doors, a casualty of the December ice storm. Owners Len and Cheryl Ann Gengel decided to call it quits after getting into a disagreement with their insurance company over the coverage for lost business during the storm. The eatery had a strong following among families in the area who were drawn in by the baseball-themed restaurant.

Eller’s in Leicester. Eller’s, a full service restaurant with over 200 seats, opened in Leicester’s Cherry Valley the third week of January and specializes in traditional American food. Jeff and Lucy Eller formerly owned a breakfast and lunch spot (“Eller’s on the Hill”) on Stafford St./Route 56.