Death and Taxes and The Bridge
105 West Hargett Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
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Ashley Christensen's newest ventures opened in June 2015.
Death & Taxes
Named for the two previous tenants of the building (a funeral home and a bank), Death & Taxes will celebrate the technique of wood-fire cooking, as expressed through the ingredients of the South. The idea for the restaurant took hold during a trip to Uruguay with the Fatback Collective, a coalition of Southern chefs and pitmasters of which Christensen is a member.
“Cooking with wood and coals has such a beautiful simplicity, and results in such singular flavor,” says Christensen. “I was reminded of that in Uruguay, and am continually reminded whenever I eat the amazing barbecue joints in our state. I wanted to acknowledge that flavor, and the feeling of familiarity and sense of place that it elicits in me.” The menu’s influences are expansive, and still taking shape, but Christensen envisions an array of larger, shareable platters of vegetables, seafood and meats, their flavors harnessed in a custom wood-burning oven.
Death & Taxes will feature an open kitchen, Christensen’s first since her days as chef of the now-shuttered Enoteca Vin. Also returning from the Vin days is Sunny Gerhart, who also worked with Christensen as the opening sous chef at Poole’s Diner and has since been chef de cuisine at Durham’s Watt’s Grocery. He will return to Raleigh as chef de cuisine of Death & Taxes.
Located in the basement, the restaurant’s bar will have a low-lit cellar-like atmosphere, with a classic menu of wine and cocktails curated by beverage director and partner, Matt Fern. The bar itself will be constructed around one of the preserved bank vaults.
Located on the second and third floors, Bridge Club will be a private event space that is styled to feel like a beautiful downtown apartment. The space will host private events, pop-up series with visiting chefs, special dinners hosted by the restaurant group and educational opportunities. The space, which features 14-foot ceilings and huge, nearly floor-to-ceiling windows, will have a separate kitchen and bar, along with a small rooftop patio.
“Our grandmothers came together to socialize over bridge games, and that spirit infuses this space. We’re bridging people together with a shared experience,” says Christensen.
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