Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Fun Food Facts - February 8, 2013

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

Featured Restaurant News
  •  This week the Herald Sun provided the details of what is going on over at Shiki Sushi Asian Bistro in Durham. Let me break it down for you. The current Shiki Sushi is moving into the space next door and will become Tasu, which has locations in Raleigh and Cary (all the same owner). This concept will be identical to Shiki (i.e. two-for-one sushi) but will be a bit larger and will have an expanded menu (i.e. steak and seafood). Once the move is complete, renovations will take place at the original Shiki location to launch a new Asian hot pot concept. Tasu will be open in March, with the new concept opening in May or June. Keep up with Shiki/Tasu here. 
Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News 
  • According to the Herald Sun, Carmine’s Ristorante & Pizzeria in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Shopping Center closed on January 24th. Sorry to see them go. That’s the bad news. The good news is that in about a month, Vinny’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria will open in that location. Interestingly enough, one of the partners with Vinny’s is Josephine Finazzo, the daughter of the former owner of the Sal’s that used to be in that location. Vinny’s has locations in North Carolina and Virginia and was started by her cousin. This will be North Carolina’s second location. Get more details here. 
  • We got a tweet this week from former blogger Bull City Rising letting us know that Parker & Otis, located at 112 S. Duke Street in downtown Durham, was back open. They suffered a fire towards the end of December, but all is well now. Check them out here and welcome them back by paying them a visit. 
  • A happy-birthday shout out to Chapel Hill’s Carolina Brewery as they celebrate their 18th anniversary of its location at 460 W. Franklin Street. Look for a number of events through the weekend to celebrate. The Pittsboro location will celebrate its 6th anniversary in August. More details on their website and their Facebook page.  
  • According to the Herald Sun, Bella Donna Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria in Pittsboro has closed temporarily (until the middle of this month) in order to facilitate a move into a new location at 440 East St. They are moving into the building that previously housed a Pizza Hut. Get more details here. 
Wake County Restaurant News 
  • According to the News & Observer, Rock Harbor Grill, located at 121 N. Salem Street in downtown Apex, is now open. The restaurant, owned by David and Chandra Vance, takes over the former Hideaway Restaurant and Bar, which had previously occupied the space. They tout themselves as your favorite vegetarian-friendly seafood restaurant. (Chandra is a vegetarian). Get all the details here.
  • The News & Observer reported this week that Bella Mia has reopened under new ownership. The new owner, Dan Morrison underwent intensive training with Rick Guerra and his family, the original owners. There are plans to expand the menu a bit to include a few panini and pasta dishes and he hopes to add lunch service, possibly as early as next week. The restaurant is still located at The Arboretum, near the intersection of Harrison and Weston Parkway in Cary. Get more details here.
  • Thanks to one of our blog readers, Lorri (she didn’t leave a last name), we were told about a new pizzeria in historic Wake Forest called Cannizzaro's Pizzeria & Restaurant. It is located on top of the Cotton Company at 238 South White Street (formerly Frankie C's Pizza...and before that, the original location of Over The Falls Deli). Worth a visit. Not much info on their Facebook page.
  • We got a tweet this week from Gary Lane that a Hwy. 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries (formerly Andy’s) is heading to North Raleigh and will be located in Falls Village in the former Baskin Robbins location at 6613 Falls of the Neuse Road. No word on an exact open date. Get all the details here.
  • Last week we told you about Vivo Restorante moving into the former Vesuvius / Bear Rock CafĂ© / Atlanta Bread Company location on Six Forks Road (across from Celebration at Six Forks). Thanks to a tip from Carole Walker we learned that it is now open.  
  • I happened to be at the Staples on East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill the other night and noticed that the Camos Brothers Pizza location adjacent to that had closed. It had just opened in September of 2012.
  • The latest concept out of Niall Hanley is hosting a grand opening today (Feb. 8th). Located on the ground floor of Solas, Bia Restaurant will donate 10% of the proceeds from the event to the Wake County Firefighters’ Burned Children Fund. The restaurant, which we first told you about in early December, features chef Dan Yeager.
  • How many of you are reading this after camping out last night for tickets to see Food Network star Alton Brown who will be coming to Durham as part of the N.C. Science Festival? "An Evening with Alton Brown: The Science of Cooking," will be April 18 at the Durham Performing Arts Center and tickets go on sale this morning (Feb. 8th) at 10 am. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the DPAC ticket office at 919-680-2787. Special VIP access/tickets are also available. 
  • The Valentine’s Day dinner specials are too numerous to list here (seriously, call your favorite restaurant, I guarantee you they are doing something...). But we will give two shout-outs. One, to the News & Observer and my buddy Andrea Weigl who has a list of options here. And our second shout-out goes to a truly unique Valentine’s option through Carolina Food Tours. On February 14th, they are offering four different versions of their very popular walking tours. And like I said last week, these will fill up fast, so act now. Check them out here.
  • The seventh annual Empty Bowls event to benefit Urban Ministries of Durham will be held on Thursday, March 7th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Purchase your tickets here.
  • Thanks to a tip in the Herald-Sun, we learned that Durham will have its first Louisiana seafood festival when the Bayou Festival Tour comes to town on April 20. It will be held from noon to 8 p.m. at the CCB Plaza downtown. The festival is slated to include seafood, beer and beer samples. And it will return again, to Raleigh, on October 5th. Get all the details here
  • Hold the date for the annual Wake Tech Culinary Arts Showcase which will be held this year on April 30th from 4-7 p.m. at the Raleigh Convention Center. Get all the initial details here.
  • We have just a few more weeks to make our very own Bull City, aka Durham, Southern Living Magazine’s “Tastiest Town in the South” for 2013. We need to put Durham (and the entire Triangle) on the map ahead of Atlanta, Charleston, New Orleans, Miami, etc. Vote early and vote often! You have until February 28th.
Editors Note & Shameless Plug
 And we close with a program note and a shameless plug.  

First, we will stop listing the “Opening Soon” section of our blog in every issue. It was simply getting too long (yea for the Triangle!) and it wasn’t changing much each week. Any changes (i.e. openings) are listed in other parts of the blog. But that said, we’ll continue to watch those and we will list them once a month (at the first of the month).

And finally, an appeal from me. Each year the Independent Weekly publishes a “Best of the Triangle” issue of everything you can imagine. It truly is a great resource. That said, if you like what you read here, I would be humbled if you would take a moment to vote for us for Best Local Blog in the Triangle (it is all the way on the last page). It really would mean a lot to me. Also, while you are there, you could also vote us Best Person To Follow on Twitter, and if you use us for your catering, Best Caterer. It really is a fun survey/poll to complete. Thanks in advance for your time.


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