Raleigh, N.C. — Rye Bar and Southern Kitchen executive chef Michael Rigot is serving up his own brand of Southern comfort food in downtown Raleigh.
Rigot might have graduated from the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, but his menu at Rye, located in the Raleigh Marriott City Center, is filled with favorites from his Tennessee upbringing - shrimp and grits, mac and cheese, gumbo and fried green tomatoes.
The menu is Southern and the ingredients are local. Boulted Bread, First Hand Foods and Raleigh City Farms are just a few of the local vendors will products on the menu. Local craft beer is also featured prominently at the bar and in several dishes.
Rigot said it is all part of the restaurant's mission to "try to take as much local products as we possibly can." Something he says, means a lot to him.
Rye is definitely achieving that with dishes like "Seven Springs" Pork Loin and Cheerwine marinated Spareribs.
The menu features many stand-outs. Here are a few of my favorites.
What to eat at Rye
Coastal BBQ Shrimp - Pan-seared and served over Parmesan chive grits, you will be asking for extra barbecue sauce with this one.
Sweet and Spicy Calamari - Fried and tossed with house-made pickles and a sweet chili aioli, this dish is a great blend of sweet heat. The pickles are so good and the acidity really goes nicely with the calamari.
Pork Belly - It's pork belly, so you really can't go wrong. The citrus braising helps bring out the flavor of the meat.
Local Greens salad - Featuring sweet and spicy pecans, blueberries and sea-salted goat cheese crumbles topped with a citrus vinaigrette, this dish again features some sweet and heat. The goat cheese and pecans really make this dish pop.
Cheerwine Spareribs - If you love Cheerwine, then these ribs are for you! They are fall off the bone tender.
Chili Glazed Salmon - The honey chili glaze over the fish is absolutely delicious!
Seven Springs Pork Loin - This brown sugar brine grilled double cut pork chop is seasoned beautifully and big enough that you will likely be taking some home for the next day.
Chard Carrots with honey and goat cheese - Order this. Just order it. The honey and goat cheese combine to make carrots a decadent treat.
Dessert - You really can't go wrong with anything on the dessert menu. Order the Chocolate Jar, a take on a traditional "dirt cake."
What to drink
Grandpappy - This cocktail features Troy and Sons original moonshine, Disaronno Amaretto, handcrafted orange bitters and is served with a flamed orange peel on top. A strong but smooth drink.
Balsamic Berry - If you want something sweet, this is perfect for you. It contains marshmallow-infused Covington gourmet sweet potato vodka, Creme de Cassis (a liqueur made from black currants), fresh muddled strawberries and balsamic vinegar.
Craft beer - You can get local craft beer flights or just order your favorite. Fullsteam, Big Boss, Lonerider, Crank Arm, White Street and Red Oak all have beer on tap.
Rye is open Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.