What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Foodie news: Mulino Italian Kitchen opens Tuesday

Posted April 17

Mulino Italian Kitchen

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

Featured Restaurant News

Samad Hatchby’s new restaurant, Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar, will open Tuesday in his former Babylon space on Dawson Street at the entrance to downtown Raleigh. A new location for Babylon hasn’t been announced yet, but should be soon. In the meantime, look forward to a menu of homemade pastas, wood-fired oven pizza and entrees.

Wake County Restaurant News

Saw on the Jose & Sons Facebook page this week that they unveiled their newest concept which is going into the former Helio’s spot on Glenwood South - The Cortez Seafood & Cocktail. No word yet on an exact open date, so we will keep an eye on it. Congratulations to Charlie Ibarra, chef Oscar Diaz and their entire team.

The folks behind Two Roosters Ice Cream (a popular food truck scooping their yummy offerings from a vintage camper) have found a brick and mortar location in Raleigh’s Greystone Village shopping center. Owner Jared Plummer said the shop will offer 10 forever flavors, including Girl Scout Mint and Coffee Bourbon, and then four or five flavors that are collaborations with local chefs. Look for them to open in early June. Until them, you can find them at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. They are serving up their ice cream and special ice cream sandwiches in left field.

Saw in James Borden’s Development Beat in ITB Insider that Anisette Sweet Shop, a local bakery and coffee shop on Bickett Boulevard, announced its plans to open a second Raleigh location. The Anisette Little Shop will be located at 222 North Bloodworth Street in the Oakwood neighborhood. Although renovations are not scheduled to begin until the fall, the Little Shop will be open Saturdays only beginning in late May.

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 just over in Knightdale, reader “Elma” informed me that a new restaurant is on the way called iPho Sushi Kitchen & Bar. Apparently it's a pho/sushi/Vietnamese restaurant located in Widewaters shopping center, off of Widewaters Parkway/Knightdale Boulevard. Heard it was opening this past weekend.

Durham, Orange and Chatham Restaurant News

Saw on a Yelp message board that Stacey Poston and Wendy Woods (think Piper’s in the Park and Nosh) will be opening their next venture, Grub, in the next month or two at 1200 W. Chapel Hill Street (which is located between downtown and Duke’s campus).

Got word from reader Thomas Viemont that Chapel Hill’s Queen of Sheeba in the Timberlyne Shopping Center has closed, only to be replaced by (and now open) Queen of Pho.

Also in Chapel Hill, got a tip from a reader that the Captain Poncho’s location on East Franklin Street (in the former Mixed location) is now El Nino Taco Joint, and the truck with the same name was parked out front.

In Chapel Hill, got word from the Herald-Sun that Chipotle in Eastgate Crossing will officially open on Thursday.

Over in Durham, we told you about this back in February, but had several people inform me that Bua Thai is now open in Sutton Station on Fayetteville Road. Can’t find a website, but the Yelp reviews so far are fairly strong. Check them out here.

Food trucks

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).

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.

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  • Rod Runner Apr 17, 12:47 p.m.
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    Great, another Italian restaurant. Can we be any more boring?