Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Fun Food Facts - February 18, 2011

Triangle restaurant news...that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

  • If you are a fan of William D'Auvray, former chef at Fins and bu.ku, we've got great news. It was announced this week that he would be the chef at a new Thai restaurant opening in the former Duck & Dumpling location in Moore Square in downtown Raleigh. The restaurant will be called Fai Thai. While there is not set date for opening. earlier reports indicated end of first quarter, early second quarter.
  • Also in downtown Raleigh came word this week from the N&O's Sue Stock that the RBC Plaza in downtown Raleigh has landed its first retail occupant, a restaurateur familiar with downtown Raleigh. G. Patel, who also owns The Oxford and Sono in downtown and Mura in North Hills, will open a new Pan Asian restaurant on the bottom floor of the RBC Plaza building. Expected to open this year, there is no word yet on the name.
  • Downtown Raleigh's Cherry Bomb, which replaced Joe's Place about seven months ago, will re-open in March as it transforms into Brewmaster's Bar and Grill. In addition to a new menu, and over 60-featured beers, they will host beginner homebrewing classes!
  • Raleigh's Hillsborough Street underwent major renovations in hopes of attracting new life to the area, and this week came an announcement from blogger GoGoRaleigh that it appears to be working. The extremely popular fast-Mex concept Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it would be opening the Triangle's fifth location across from campus. While the exact location hasn't been confirmed, the chain hopes to have it open by this summer.
  • Over in Durham, Bear Rock Café has successfully completed its move from University Mall in Chapel Hill to Durham, specifically the former, and recently renovated, Rick's Diner location at 4015 University Drive. Stop in and give Len Morton and his crew a warm Durham welcome!
  • And just across the street, the N&O's Andrea Weigl tweeted yesterday that Shane Ingram of Four Square Restaurant fame, is set to open a new restaurant: G2B (burgers, beer & charcuterie) in the old Starlu location. It is expected to open later this spring or in the early summer. The location is on the corner of University Drive and Shannon Road, on the backside of the building there on the corner.
  • Back over in Raleigh, El Rodeo Grill at 7420 Six Forks Road, will open its doors this Monday under a new name - La Rancherita - and with a new, expanded menu. Might want to drop in next week to enjoy their "grand re-opening" celebrations with lots of drink specials.
  • Chapel Hill (and really the entire Triangle) was dealt a huge blow this week with the news that Bonne Soiree, located in Chapel Hill's Courtyard, will be closing at the end of the April as Chip & Tina Smith plan to move to New York City. Make your plans to get in there between now and the end of April. Or, plan a trip to New York!
  • Raleigh's hottest entertainment district, Glenwood South, got word this week that Bogart's will close its doors at the end of the month after a 10 year run. This follows on the footsteps of the news that another member of the Rocky Top Hospitality group, Michael Dean's, is being replaced by Tribeca Tavern's second location. But Bogart's is going out in style, with a five-day celebration starting next Wednesday in which 10% of all proceeds will be donated to charity. Get by next week to give your last respects to Bogart's.
  • In downtown Raleigh the Wild Ginger Café, a sushi and Asian Bistro located on the ground floor of the new Progress Energy Building on Davie Street, is currently closed for renovations. No word on when it will re-open.
  • The list of James Beard Foundation semifinalists came out yesterday and seven local chefs are on the list for Best Chef Southeast. They are: Ashley Christensen, Poole's Diner of Raleigh; Andrea Reusing, Lantern of Chapel Hill; Chip Smith, Bonne Soiree in Chapel Hill; Aaron Vandemark, Panciuto in Hillsborough; Scott Crawford, Herons at Umstead Hotel in Cary; Scott Howell, Nana's in Durham; Shane Ingram, Four Square in Durham. Durham's Magnolia Grill also was nominated in the Outstanding Restaurant category. Its chef-owners Ben and Karen Barker are the state's only James Beard award-winning chefs. See more here.
  • In addition, Aaron Vandemark of Panciuto in Hillsborough was named one of the Best New Chef's in the Southeast by Food & Wine magazine. If you'd like to vote for Aaron, please do so here.
  • Listen up Food Truck fans! There is a Food-Truck-Round-Up this Saturday from 2-8 pm at Johnny's of Carrboro and 5% will go to Table, a local non-profit that helps to feed hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Participating trucks (at this point) are: Will & Pop's, Joe D's Hotdogs, Only Burger, ParlezVous Crepes, Valentino's Italian, Local Cookie, Johnny's Taco Truck...and more I'm sure.
  • The Angus Barn will hold a complimentary wine tasting this Sunday, February 20th with certified Sommelier Henk Schuitemaker and his staff. The tasting will be from 3:30 to 5 pm. Reservations are not required. Complimentary Wine Cellar tours will be available. Please email Kecia Bobbitt or Paige Person for all inquiries or call 919.787.3505.
  • Want to know where the hottest new restaurant scene in the Triangle is? You might check the new Terminal 2 at RDU! Check out this line-up - 42nd Street Oyster Bar, Brookwood Farms BBQ, Breugger's Bagel, California Pizza Kitchen, Carolina Ale House, Carolina Vintages, Five Guys, Gordeon Biersch, Jason's Deli, KFC Express, Panopolis and of course, Starbucks! Makes me want to fly!
  • The two Triangle locations of California Pizza Kitchen will be donating 20% of sales on February 22nd and February 28th to the St. Baldrick's Foundation providing needed funds for curing childhood cancers. Make your reservations now and support a great cause. More information is available here.
  • Here's another fun "food" fundraiser. The 5th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser will be held on March 3rd from 5:30 to 8 pm at the Armory in Durham to benefit Urban Ministries of Durham's food pantry. Tickets are $30 for soup sampling and an artisan bowl to take home or $15 for just the soup. Get more information here.
  • If you are a chef or restaurant owner, listen up. The Holly Springs Farmers Market is looking for chefs to be featured as part of their Farm to Table Chef series sponsored by Rex Healthcare. The market opens May 7 and runs through October. Contact me if you are interested.
  • And for you do-it-yourselfers out there, there is a workshop scheduled for March 5 at Marbles Kid Museum called Dig In, designed for anyone who wants to build and maintain a community garden or gain expertise for success in a home garden. Register here.
  • And we close with a cool, fun food fact. A recent survey by the National Restaurant Association shows that nearly 50 percent of restaurants are now owned by women. The research also shows that restaurants employ more minority managers than any other industry, and that Hispanic restaurant ownership has increased 42 percent in the past five years.

1 comment:

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