More. kitchen and bar will hold its grand opening Friday, Nov.13. The restaurant is located at 116 N. West St. in the old Mantra location. It's the latest concept from the folks who brought us The Oak and Taste. The restaurant will offer an Italian influenced menu of small plates, including a lamb, veal and pork meatball topped with pesto. WRAL's Out and About got a sneak peek of the new restaurant Thursday night. The modern, yet rustic venue features tables made of reclaimed wood and an inviting outdoor patio that can be heated and enclosed for colder months. A wine locker program allows diners to always have a bottle of wine ready and already paid for when they dine. The owners, brothers Justin and Ryan Riek, had a little help coming up with the name. While the two were trying to come up with a name for the new venture, Justin's 2 year old son asked for "more" milk. The name stuck. More. will be open Tuesday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 11:30 a.m. to midnight on Fridays. Saturdays it will be open 4 p.m. until midnight.
Unless you were under a rock this week, you are sure to have heard that after 18 years downtown Raleigh’s Irish pub/restaurant Tir Na Nog will be closing on Nov. 22. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Van and Vanvisa Nolintha, the brother-and-sister team behind the Laotian restaurant Bida Manda next door, plan to fill the Tir Na Nog space with Plenty, a brewery serving room with a focus on food pairings and communal gathering. The fare will be Chinese dim sum, and the space's concept will additionally feature flowers and a library.
Wake County Restaurant News
And more big news out of Raleigh, this time on Hillsborough Street. The News & Observer has reported that the former Varsity Theater spot is being converted into a restaurant concept and it involves some big names from the Triangle restaurant scene. The effort is being led by Gary Bryant, who most will remember for bringing us the Bear Rock Cafe concept. But more notable (I think) is that he is bringing on chef Adam Rose (Jujube, Elaine’s, Il Palio, Straw Valley) as his culinary director. The concept will open next year and will feature “American fare done well.” We will, no doubt, keep an eye on it.
And if that is not enough big news for you, we learned this week that the former Cafe Helios building on Glenwood South has been purchased and there are plans (obviously) to open something in that space. While the “official” word is that it will be some sort of coffee/cafe concept, every early indication we are getting suggests that it will actually reopen as Cafe Helios! So, stay tuned on this.
Up in north Raleigh, Rise Biscuits & Donuts will open its second franchise location on Nov. 14 in the Sutton Square shopping center at 6325 Falls of Neuse Road. According to the press release, free donuts will be given away from noon to 2 p.m. the day before (Nov. 13).
Also in north Raleigh, my friend Jo Smith tipped me off to the fact that Fresh Levant Bistro, a new restaurant featuring gluten-free cuisine prepared with non-GMO ingredients, is now open in Lafayette Village.
Also saw on James Borden’s Raleigh Public Record blog that Hillsborough Street is getting another eating establishment - this one called Hangover Grill. It was just issued renovation permits and will be located adjacent to Marco’s Pizza at 2908 Hillsborough St.
And down in Garner, they will be getting a new coffee shop next year. Renovations have begun for Full Bloom Coffee Roasters in historic downtown Garner at 110 E. Main St.
And finally, a huge congratulations to chef Ryan Conklin of UNC Rex Healthcare as he was named the 2015 “Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series” champion this past Saturday. He took home the ultimate title in the tournament’s annual Battle of Champions, impressing foodies from both North and South Carolina alike. Looks like a visit to Rex wouldn’t be so bad after all! Congrats Ryan!
Durham, Orange & Chatham County Restaurant News
We have an update on the former Merlion location in Chapel Hill’s Southern Village thanks to Julie Grubbs. She noted that a new sign now appears in the space that says that Rasa Malaysia will open on Monday, Nov.9 at 11 a.m.
Also in Chapel Hill, I got word from the folks over at the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership that The Northside District Restaurant and Bar has opened at 403 W. Rosemary St. They are open daily for dinner and late night and specialize in what owner Eddie Sanchez calls “international bar food."
The Triangle Business Journal reported this week that Triangle Seafood Market, a new restaurant featuring a seafood-based menu and Italian entrees, has opened in Durham's Brightleaf Square. They are located at 905 W. Main St. and are open for lunch and dinner.
I am happy to officially report (although it has been open for a little over a month now) that Bean Trader’s has successfully completed their expansion and they are in full-operation in their new space. They are still in their same location, but just expanded. The space allows them to increase their food offerings and better serve their clientele. Love it when a local joint works hard and grows!
We learned about this last November thanks to the folks over at Triangle Business Journal, but we recently learned from a posting on Yelp that City Barbecue is well on their way to opening a third Triangle-area location, this time over in southwest Durham. The latest rendition is coming out of the ground on Hwy. 54 in the parcel in front of Kroger and between McDonald’s and Ruby Tuesday. They are shooting for a mid-March opening.
Bottle 501, a new beer and wine shop that describes itself as "upscale," will hold its grand opening Saturday, Nov. 7 at Durham's Gateway Terrace shopping center on U.S. 15-501 between Durham and Chapel Hill. The event will be held from noon to 10 p.m. and will feature local breweries and vendors, appetizers, a raffle and prizes.
Got word from reader Jacqueline Atlas that she saw a sign on the door of Lime Fresh Mexican Grill on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street that they have closed. They had been open since April, 2013.
John Huisman (aka Triangle Explorer) informed me about the fact that every Thursday from September through November, the Town of Knightdale is hosting "Food Truck Thursdays" with a new food truck scheduled each week. The weekly truck will be parked at Knightdale Station Park near the amphitheater each Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art Sheppard's page, The Wandering Sheppard on all things food truck related here.
There is definitely a chill in the air now and that means one thing - it is time to find out who has the best chili in the Triangle! That’s right, the folks over in Cary are hosting their annual Triangle Chili Challenge on Sunday, Nov. 8 from noon to 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Town of Cary with partners Heart of Cary, and Downtown Cary Food & Flea. Join them for chili tasting, live music, craft beer & wine, a raffle and a chance to meet some of the best chefs in the Triangle!
The Chef Dinner Series (The Fork Less Traveled) continues over at SEEDS where they pair Durham chefs with local farms and beverage purveyors to tantalize your taste buds for a dinner that supports Durham garden-based programming. Next up is a dinner at 5:30 p.m. on November 8th featuring Will & Pop’s Will Pettis. Get all the details and tickets ($60) here.
This event isn’t until November, but I’m here to tell you if you wait much longer you won’t be able to get a ticket. Acme Restaurant in downtown Carrboro will host its 3rd Annual Salt and Smoke event on Sunday, Nov. 8. They describe it as “oysters and barbecue, music and friends."
Also on Nov. 8, another pop-up dinner is being held by the folks over at The Familiar Supper Club over in Durham. The dinner is at 6:30 p.m. The theme is Pumpk(hen) and will feature all that is bountiful in North Carolina in the fall. Join chefs John Childers, Evan Sheridan and Greg Gettles. Cost is $80. Thanks to Felicia Perry-Trujillo for the tip on this event.
And thanks to a tip from Felicia Perry-Trujillo, we learned that The Wine Feed is partnering with Stop Hunger Now and Green Button Farm to bring you Pork & Vine - a pork and wine festival. On Nov. 8, from 12-4 p.m. our 5 restaurant partners will be preparing their pork-inspired dishes in small plates for you to enjoy - all of the pork is provided by Green Button Farm, a humane, certified organic, non-GMO farm. Each small plate will have a sample of wine to match that will be specifically chosen by The Wine Feed. The cost ranges from $40-$50.
Tickets are still available for Urban Ministries of Wake County’s 11th Annual Stone Soup Supper, which is being held at N.C. State University on Nov. 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. For a donation of $25, each guest receives one piece of handmade pottery donated by the Triangle Potters Guild and the chance to taste soups prepared by more than a dozen Wake County chefs. Participating chefs include Ryan Conklin of Rex Healthcare who recently was named statewide champion of the Got to be NC Competition Dining Series; Melanie Finkel of The Pit in Raleigh; Eric Gephart of Kamado Grille in Raleigh; Andrew Pettifer of Margaux’s Restaurant in north Raleigh; Scott Rowe of Prestonwood Country Club in Cary; and Jake Wolf of Capital Club 16 in Raleigh. Soups are also available to go for $10 per quart.
Expressions V. A Celebration of Food and Art will bring together philanthropists, food and wine enthusiasts and lovers of the arts. The annual event will be held on Friday, Nov. 20 at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, N.C., and will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Lucy Daniels Center. The featured artist for this year’s event is Beverly McIver.
Food Bank Corner
Looking for something your company can do this holiday season to help those in the community that are hungry? Host a Food Drive! The Food Bank relies on support from the community to help collect food to support our mission. And they have everything you need to get one set up at your company. Click here for all the details!
Sean Lennard covers restaurant news on his website, Triangle Food Blog.