What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Foodie news: Dean's Seafood changes concepts

Posted April 21

Moules Frites Mussels at Dean's Seafood in Cary.

— The latest on restaurant openings, closings, events, food trucks and more in the Triangle and beyond.

Featured Restaurant News

Justin and Ryan Riek, partners in JMR Kitchens, announced this week the expansion of their popular restaurant concept, taste, with a second location in Raleigh. This new addition is expected to open in May at 1912 Bernard St., also in Raleigh, where the Cave 1912 restaurant is currently located.

Wake County Restaurant News

Dean Ogan continually amazes me at the way he adapts and responds to changes in the marketplace. So it comes as no surprise at the recent changes ($100k in renovations to be exact!) to his Dean's Seafood Grill & Bar location in Cary. He announced this week that it will reopen April 24 as Dean's Kitchen+Bar. Located at 1080 Darrington Drive in Cary, Dean's Kitchen+Bar will retain the former's favorite seafood dishes while adding new seasonal menus (70 percent of their ingredients will be locally sourced), redesigning the outdoor dining space and expanding service to include lunch.

Caught wind this past week that super-talented chef Marshall Smith has joined the staff over at Midtown Grille as their new executive chef. I'm a huge fan of Marshall and Midtown, so this is great news! Check out Midtown Grille here. Thanks Jo Smith for the tip!

New Raleigh reported last week that Hillsborough Street is getting a new Mexican restaurant, Coco Bongo, in the former La Rancherita spot, at 2400 Hillsborough Street. We couldn't find an online presence for them, so you'll just have to check them out when they open.

Over in Cary, WRAL reported that Thai Lotus will look to swing open their doors (after some unexpected construction delays) on Friday, May 26.

Down in Holly Springs, WRAL reported that Mama Bird's Cookies and Cream will hold their grand opening on Friday, May 5th with Napoli wood-fired pizza, music, dance, bounce house, face painting, balloons and much more.

And some menu updates to some popular establishments here in Raleigh. First up, over at Tupelo Honey Cafe, located in Raleigh's Cameron Village, chef Eric Gabrynowicz has launched a new menu, but don't worry, many of the old classics are still there. And over at Jimmy V's Osteria & Bar on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, new executive chef Tom Stagikas has introduced a new wood-fired menu, while staying true to their Italian roots. Check out the new Tupelo menu and the new Jimmy V's menu.

Durham, Orange and Chatham Restaurant News

Got word from the gentlemen behind the two Jersey Mike's in Chapel Hill, and the one on Hwy. 54 near I-40 in Durham, that they are opening another location, this one in Hillsborough in mid to late May in the Oakdale Village Center a few doors down from Pizza Hut. Congrats to Charlie Farris and Clint Winslow. Owner/operator of the Hillsborough store will be Griffin Kennedy.

Got word from Amber Watson, author of the Durham food blog Bites of Bull City, that Maybelle's is now open inside the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. This barbecue and biscuit concept is from the folks behind Tyler's.

And reader David Scocca informed me that the long-anticipated move of Chubby Tacos, renamed Guacamaya Fresh Mex, from one side of Woodcroft Shopping Center to the other side (and a bigger space) has finally happened. Get by and check out the new space.

Food trucks

Cary's Downtown Chowdown Food Truck Rodeo will take place on Sunday, April 23 from 12:30 until 5 p.m. on Chahtam Street between Harrison Avenue and Walker Street. Looks like nearly 30 food trucks and beer and wine vendors will be present, along with music throughout the day.

On April 23, The Hill Center in Durham will hold its annual school fundraiser - Hill Mile! There will be a one mile race & walk, a kids' dash and a fast mile on the track. All proceeds benefit Student Financial Aid at The Hill Center, a half-day school program for children with learning differences. Additionally, a mini food truck rodeo will feature: Caffé Bellezza, Flirting with Fire, Locopops, Only Burger and Sympathy for the Deli.

The food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up this month. Every Thursday from April through June and September through November, they will host a new truck at Knightdale Station Park for lunch and dinner. Just look for it from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. near the amphitheater (rain or shine – shelters are covered).

TABLE, a nonprofit organization that provides food to hungry kids in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area, is hosting their 5th annual Food Truck Rodeo on Saturday, April 29, from 3-7 p.m. at Orange United Methodist Church on MLK Jr. Blvd. near Homestead Road. Get all the details here.

And the food truck rodeos in Durham (just had one) and Raleigh are swinging back into full gear. Check out the Durham dates here and the Raleigh dates here.


Families Moving Forward in Durham launched Chefs for Change, a fundraising dinner series that will pair the burgeoning Durham food scene with the needs of families experiencing homelessness. The series features a dinner every other month (beginning April 17) featuring one of the distinguished chefs serving three or more courses.

Glenwood South’s The Wine Feed is partnering with the United Arts Council and Locals Seafood to bring you Hook & Vine: Seafood & Wine Festival on April 30 from 12-5 p.m. Each restaurant partner will be preparing seafood-inspired dishes which will be paired with a sample of wine that will be specifically chosen by The Wine Feed.

Acclaimed chef Scott Crawford is launching a guest chef series in April at his restaurant, Crawford and Son. “Oakwood and Friends” will serve food from Crawford and collaborators – chefs from renowned restaurants in the Southeast. The first dinner is Sunday, April 23, with Ryan Smith of Staplehouse.

One of my favorite annual events is coming up soon – The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market present the Piedmont Farm Tour, an event hosted by 35 Triangle area farms April 22-23 from 2 to 6 p.m. each day. The tour, in its 22nd year, is the oldest farm tour of its kind in the United States. The family-friendly (and budget-friendly) two-day event features farms spread across Alamance, Chatham, Orange and Person counties. Tour tickets purchased in advance are $30 per car for all farms, all weekend – good for a full carload of people. Day of tickets are $35. The tour is rain or shine.

April 20-23 are the dates for TASTE, a huge culinary event that includes a series of culinary experiences. Now in its fourth year, TASTE invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers and mixologists in the local area.

The extremely popular craft beer festival, Brewgaloo, returns this weekend in downtown Raleigh. The weekend kicks off with a block party/sampler event on Friday night followed by Saturday’s big event from 2 to 10 p.m. featuring craft beer, food vendors and trucks, live music and more.

The SECU Family House in Chapel Hill is hosting a pig pickin on Thursday April 27, from 5:30-8:30 pm with fare by Chapel Hill Restaurant Group featuring an auction of artist-painted garden pigs and music by Honey Magpie.

On April 30, the Taste for a Cure Gala will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Rickhouse in Durham, where guests can sit back and watch the excitement while local, renowned chefs prepare a five course, farm-to-table feast showcasing local ingredients and inventive plate presentation right before your eyes. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 5 p.m.

Got word from event organizer Lisa Jeffries that the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival has set their dates for this year as May 18-21.

The restaurant and farm pairings for the 2017 Farm to Fork Picnic were announced this week. The 10th anniversary Farm to Fork Picnic Weekend, June 2-4 at Fearrington Village, will celebrate creative partnerships among Triangle farmers, chefs and culinary artisans. Pairings for the June 4 picnic, which has been dubbed "The Country's Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast" by Bon Appetit, represent more than 70 farms and restaurants.

The Blind Pig Supper Club in partnership with TerraVita Food & Drink Festival brings you an incredible evening on May 7 of amazing cuisine featuring eight chefs from across the state working together to create an eight-course meal. Eve of the Eighth will celebrate 2017 as the eighth year of the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival. Our "8" theme will appear visually on the plate and in ingredient selection and sourcing. To see a list of those amazing 8 chefs and purchase tickets ($88), click here.

The dates for TerraVita in Chapel Hill (one of the largest foodie events in the South) have been released. It will kick off on October 18 and end with the Grand Tasting on The Green on Saturday, Oct. 21. TerraVita has grown from one tasting event into a four-day festival led by James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs, nationally-acclaimed cookbook authors, award-winning journalists and food artisans, winemakers, baristas, craft brewers and distillers.

Food Bank Corner

Go ahead and start planning (get your kids involved) and join the National Association of Letter Carriers for the largest one-day food drive in the nation! Stamp Out Hunger takes place on Saturday, May 13. Look out for a designated donation bag delivered to you by your letter carrier, fill it with your donation, and your letter carrier will pick it up on May 13! Or forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store and "shop" their virtual food drive and maximize your donation times ten!


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all