Triangle restaurant news...that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.
- This is huge news for downtown Raleigh! Over in the warehouse district the Italian restaurant Blue has opened in The Depot (327 W Davie St.). Blue is the creation of Maurizio Privilegi, the former long-time chef at Café Luna, and his wife Patricia. If you are looking for truly authentic Italian cuisine from the countryside of Tuscany, this is a must! Here is a link to their website.
- Also in downtown Raleigh, you've now got a new pizza option. Located on the ground floor, plaza side of the Bank of America Building, ZPizza has opened their third Triangle location. Be sure to stop in and say hello to Steve!
- Can't afford to go to Europe? Well, the folks over at Lafayette Village in North Raleigh just brought "Europe" a little closer - this place is cool. Located on Falls of the Neuse Road (at the intersection with Honeycutt Road), not far from the 540 Interchange, this European-style shopping village has an amazing list of new "foodie" destinations: Henry's Gelato, Paparazzi Italian Restaurant, Simply Crepes, Antonio's Gourmet Market, Jubala Village Coffee, Upper Crust Bakery, Vinos Finos y Picadadas and Village Grill. Here's a link to the village website. Well worth the visit!
- Also in North Raleigh, a new sports pub has opened up called Tap City. Dubbed as an American saloon, they feature 32 beers on tap, and another 32 in bottles (that's 64 for those keeping score at home). While the menu is "classic American," they are quickly gaining a reputation for their hand-patted burgers. Visit them at 6675 Falls of Neuse Road or online here.
- There is a new bistro opening next Monday, December 13th in North Hills. It just happens to be in a bowling alley! The Bistro at Sparians is a full-scale restaurant serving American favorites with an upscale twist. Trust me, this isn't your "typical bowling alley food"!
- We have a quick update on Chapel Hill's newest restaurant addition - Streets Restaurant, Market & Deli. It is looking like a soft opening at some point after December 17th (inspection), with a grand opening likely the first of January. Hang in there! If you want to keep up with them, visit their Facebook page here.
- The News & Observer's Sue Stock noted this morning a couple of new dining options in Raleigh: Ichiban Grill Buffet opened at 2105 E. Millbrook Road offering a Japanese buffet, sushi and hibachi. And in the Brierdale Shopping Center, Fiasco's restaurant is open at 107 Moncreiffe Road, serving food like sliders, flat breads and salads.
- And not far down the road in Johnston County, the legendary Holt Lake Bar-B-Que & Seafood re-opened this week after a fire back in April. Let's just say this place will be packed for quite a while so you better get there early!
- Weathervane, the restaurant at A Southern Season in Chapel Hill, is hosting a beer dinner featuring brews from LoneRider Brewing Company on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 7 pm. The five-course meal with beer pairings costs $45. To make a reservation, call 929-9466.
- Downtown Carrboro's Acme Restaurant is having a Holiday Wine Dinner on Sunday, December 12th beginning at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will feature wines from France selected by Bruno Arricastres of Wine Without Borders. The price is $55 and reservations can be made by calling 919.929.2263.
- Kudos to the Angus Barn for being recognized in the latest copy of Our State magazine as one of the state's premier steak houses. There is no doubt about that! Read the article here.
- Sammi's Pizzeria is now open again for lunch. They held their grand "reopening for lunch" event last Monday. Sammi's is located in the Shoppes at Bedford, at 3607 Falls River Avenue in Raleigh.
- Shuckers Oyster Bar & Grill in Wake Forest (3309 Rogers Rd) has launched a new menu. The menu now features all of your old favorites with lots of new items that will be sure to please your taste buds! Take a peek here.
- Guglhupf Bakery (2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. in Durham) will hold the 2nd Annual German Christmas Market this Saturday (Dec. 11) from 10-5. Do your holiday shopping while you take in live music, great German food and beverages, crafts, art and more. Visit their events' site here.
- Looking for the perfect gift for the food lover on your list? How about cooking classes? And how about cooking classes at our brand new culinary school - The Chef's Academy. See the full list of classes open to the general public.
- And if not cooking classes, how about some "foodie" gift ideas unique to North Carolina. Here are some great gift ideas that are unique to North Carolina. This list was put together by the News & Observer's Andrea Weigl and the Charlotte Observer's Kathleen Purvis.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
And finally, during this season it is especially important to remember those who are struggling in our community. During this season of celebration, we need to remember those that are less fortunate, even in a community as vibrant as the Triangle.
It was brought to my attention this week by blogger Mary Choe that the Raleigh area food hardship rate is 16.7, almost twice the national average. People are counted as food hardship cases when there have been times during the year that they didn't have enough money to buy enough food for themselves or their family.
To that end, I'd encourage you to consider some sort of donation this holiday season to two of the hardest working organizations in our community that help those that are simply hungry.
Please consider a donation to either the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle or the Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina.