What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Foodie news: Swedish meatballs for Cary, La Madeleine for Raleigh

Posted May 19

la Madeleine

— Last week, JMR Kitchens owners Ryan and Justin Riek opened the second location of their very successful taste restaurant. Dubbed taste 2, it is located at 1912 Bernard St. just off Whittaker Mill Road. The original location is at 3048 Medlin Dr. The Rieks also own and operate more. and the oak.

Wake County Restaurant News

Unless you were under a rock this week (or the past several months), you heard there is an IKEA coming to Cary. And we all know what that means! Swedish Meatballs! Oh yea, and shopping for crazy cool, well-designed Swedish furniture and accessories. But seriously, have you eaten at an IKEA? Not too shabby. But the good news is, you don't have to wait until 2020 to get your grub on. They post a lot of the recipes for the items served online. Smaklig måltid!

And staying in Cary, my friend Greg McNamara at the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce brought it to my attention that the much-anticipated Stellino's Italiano, sister property of Raleigh's Bella Monica, has opened in the Parkside Town Commons shopping center.

Also in Cary, the Triangle Business Journal reported this week that a local franchise owner for Dickey's Barbecue Pit has signed a lease to open a new location at the Parkside Town Commons shopping center in west Cary.

More importantly (we think) than the facelift coming to the 510 Building in downtown Raleigh (can you believe it is already 20 years old!), is the announcement this week that a new BBQ restaurant is coming to that location. Matt Kenner (think Milk Bar, The Anchor Bar, and a partner in MoFu Shoppe) is behind the concept. They will be located next to Pho Pho Pho and are looking to open this fall. We will keep an ear out for the name once it is decided. Thanks to the News & Observer for the lead on this.

This week the folks behind Alamo Drafthouse Cinema unveiled plans to open their first location in North Carolina in east Raleigh's Longview Shopping Center along New Bern Avenue. Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh, an 11-screen theater, bar and restaurant, will feature 660 seats and a beer hall with 36 local beers on tap and is expected to open before year's end.

In nearby downtown Raleigh, Pizza LaStella's Rudy Theale is keeping things interesting by adding a brunch service to his establishment. Rudy has partnered with Greenville's Smash Waffles to bring an exciting new twist to his lineup according to the News & Observer. Also, look for Theale to make an announcement soon about a second location of Pizza LaStella. As well, the folks behind Smash Waffles plan to announce a brick and mortar location in Raleigh as well.

La Madeleine French Bakery & Café announced this week that it would open its first Raleigh location May 23 at 6320 Plantation Center Drive (former Mimi's Cafe spot in Plantation Point). I guess it could be better classified as a "move" as the Cary location closed recently. It was located adjacent to Cary Town Center. The restaurant is a French-inspired bakery and cafe with classic French dishes.

Also in North Raleigh, John Huisman, aka Triangle Explorer, pointed out that Bad Daddy's newest location, off Falls of the Neuse Road in the same shopping center as Sprouts and City Barbecue, is opening next Wednesday.

Everyone is familiar with Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar, right? (if you aren't, shame on you). Anyway, they recently launched a "tiny little division" of their operation called Kitchen Table Catering where you can get family or party size portions of your favorite items of Relish and take them home with you! Oh, and while I'm talking about Relish, go ahead and mark Sunday, September 17 on your calendar for their Mac & Cheese Throwdown! Yours truly and my daughter will be judges again this year!

And finally, just up the street from Relish, a shout out to the folks over at Margaux's Restaurant as they celebrate 25 years! What began as a French restaurant became so much more than that and is now self-described as a perfect fusion of a high-energy metropolis and soulful Southern hospitality. If you haven't been, you should treat yourself to what has surely become a Raleigh institution. As part of their silver anniversary celebration, they will host a lobster fest, along with lots of other activities, on June 15th.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

My boys Charlie Farris and Clint Winslow, who own the two Chapel Hill locations of Jersey Mike's, and the Falconbridge location in Durham, announced the opening of their 4th location – this one in Hillsborough in Oakdale Village at 115 Oakdale Drive. They are holding a "friends and family" event on Monday, with a scheduled opening of Wednesday.

Joe Van Gogh on Broad Street will celebrate its 10-year anniversary on Thursday, June 1st from 7-10pm with music and karaoke. Joe Van Gogh's other two Durham locations are at Duke University and the Woodcroft Shopping Center.

And speaking of coffee, the News & Observer pointed out that Coco Bean Coffee + Tea, which opened eight months ago, doubled its size last weekend, allowing it to add more seating, tables, couches, a fireplace, even a restroom. The shop, owned by Tamara and Steve Lackey, is in East 54, a mixed-use complex off N.C. 54 with restaurants, housing, offices and retail.


Twitter friend BurgeoningBaker brought it to my attention that the TCBY location in Chapel Hill's Eastgate Crossing has closed.

Food Trucks

The food truck events in Knightdale are cranking back up every Thursday 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 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 8pm near the amphitheater (rain or shine - shelters are covered).

And the food truck rodeos in Durham and Raleigh are back in full swing.


This weekend, starting today at noon, is the Got To Be NC Festival in Raleigh at the Fairgrounds. 'Got To Be' is a festival highlighting all the great things from North Carolina. Enjoy carnival games and rides, live music, food, animal and agricultural displays, antique tractors, and more. Most of the festival is free with the following exceptions: $3 admission charge for the Food and Wine Expo; and costs for rides, games and food.

The Raleigh Food & Wine Festival is going on now (May 18-21)! The festival is a four-day event highlighting some of the most unique offerings in food and beverage, including including wine dinners and cooking classes.

Cary's Fest in the West is this Saturday, May 20, at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. Festival-goers can hop on an antique tractor, take a selfie with Lisa Gaither's 3D mural, browse art and watch demonstrations from local artisans, enjoy the food truck rodeo, compete in a pie-eating contest, and visit the beer garden with five local brewers all while listening to music from 4 area bands. A KidZone will include an obstacle course inflatable bounce house, face painting, roving magician and make & take crafts.

Learned from Bites of Bull City's Amber Watson that the Durham Blues and Brews Festival is back this Sunday, May 21st at Durham Central Park. Delicious NC craft brews, rockin' blues, food trucks and fun! Enjoy unlimited 12 oz. pours of 20 of the finest brews that North Carolina has to offer. Advance festival tickets are $40 or $50 on site. Designated driver tickets are $20.

Black Twig Cider House, Mattie B's Public House and the Rickhouse are bringing back Txakolifest this Sunday May 21st from 12 - 4 p.m. at the Rickhouse. Txakolifest is a celebration of Basque country's finest white wines combined with Durham's best food - the list of participating restaurants is impressive. Tickets are $75 ($100 VIP).

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.

Catering Works' executive chef Rich Carter, winner of "Cooking for a Classic" chef competition, is sharing a secret - he doesn't like to fly, so he goes on FOODCATIONS around the world. And you are invited to join him! Carter and his team are preparing a six course meal with wine and cocktail accompaniments for their 2017 Global Culinary Adventure. It will be held on Thursday, June 1st at 6:30 pm at Catering Works' new venue, The Laurelbrook. I recently got a tour of the space thanks to friend Rebecca Antonelli and it is absolutely gorgeous! Tickets are only $45 and will definitely sell out (the trip to Spain last month did). Wine + cocktail pairings are an additional $25 per person. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 919.828.5932.

Triangle Restaurant Week is 10 years old! The week-long event, June 5-11, features restaurants that offer three-course menu options and fixed pricing. Pricing for the event is $15 for a 3-course lunch, and $20,$25, $30 or $35 for a 3-course dinner. It is a great way to check out places you haven't been before.

Childhood friend Gordon Brown and his wife Lisa have some amazing children - and daughter Meredith is no exception. The Broughton High School junior has taken it upon herself to organize a road race, The Food Shuttle Garden Gallop 5k, to raise money for the Food Shuttle's Camden Street Learning Garden. The race is on Saturday, June 10. (Editor's note: I'm running in it and am certain to eclipse Gordon's time.) Kudos Meredith!

Folks, listen up. I try to make it a habit not to tell people what to do (mainly because I don't want them to tell me what to do, but I digress). Here is an exception. Go to this event! You can thank me later. Trust me. And get your tickets EARLY!

Speaking of which, tickets to the eighth annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival, scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in and around Chapel Hill, are now on sale. It will sell out. Trust me!

Food Bank Corner

Nearly 300,000 children in the Food Bank's 34 counties rely on the free and reduced-cost meals at school to get them through the day. For them, summertime doesn't mean a fun-filled vacation. For them, no school means no meals. Stop Summer Hunger is the Food Bank's annual initiative to provide additional food to feed these children and their families during this season of increased need. For example: A donation of $35 will feed a child for two months; A donation of $75 will feed a family of four for one month; and a donation of $150 will feed a family of four for two months. Help reach the goal of 3.4 million meals before July 31 and ensure that children will receive the daily, nutritious meals they need to grow healthy and strong!

Sean Lennard covers the Triangle food scene on his site Triangle Food Blog.


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  • Russell Townshend May 20, 6:57 a.m.
    user avatar

    La Madeleine locations in the DC area are quite decent. This one in Cary had terrible management and poorly trained staff. People just stopped going because it was too frustrating. Let's hope they learn something before re-opening.

  • Steve Faulkner May 19, 4:33 p.m.
    user avatar

    Oh boy We MIGHT have Swedish meatballs in two and half YEARS---IF Cary changes some zoning ordinances!