A huge congratulations to the Triangle and all of its nominees as this year's James Beard Award semi-finalists were announced this week. The James Beard Awards are considered the Oscars of the food world. Again, if you don't think we live in a very special area when it comes to food (among many other things), consider one simple reality that came out of this year's list. The Triangle had eiight semi-finalists, Charlotte had zero. Thanks to Dana McCall over at GoGoRaleigh for pointing that out.
Wake County restaurant news
It is actually going to happen! The News & Observer reported this week that Chef Teddy Klopf will open Provenance Monday, Feb. 22, in downtown Raleigh on the first floor of the new Skyhouse luxury apartment building on East Martin Street. Klopf describes the menu as "refined new Southern cuisine in a contemporary, casual setting." I've seen pictures of the inside, and this space is very cool.
Also in Raleigh, Shuckers Oyster Bar & Grill on Raleigh's Glenwood Avenue closed Thursday night. On Friday morning, the space began a new life as Shuckers Catering and Events. They still have the location in Wake Forest.
The first franchise owner of a Rise Biscuits Donuts shop in Morrisville, Ty Gwennap, has signed a lease to open his second Rise location in the Brier Creek Commons shopping center, where Elevation Burger is (but will be closing soon).
Got word from my friend David McCreary (aka Lunchboy Says) that Jonathan and Maggie Pierce, owners of The Mason Jar Tavern in Holly Springs, have announced plans to open a second location, this one in Fuquay-Varina, this spring. The couple has signed a lease at 305 South Main Street in the space formerly occupied by Beef 'O' Brady's.
Jubala Coffee opened their second location this past Friday - this one in the Aloft Hotel on Raleigh's Hillsborough Street directly across from Gonza Tacos Y Tequila at 2100 Hillsborough Street. This space is really cool.
I learned from reader Scott Eaton that Rock Harbor Grill in Apex has closed their doors. That is the bad news, at least for Apex. The great news is that they are planning to open a location in Fuquay-Varina at 132 S. Fuquay Ave. and are looking to open possibly in late May.
Over in Morrisville, got word from reader Abhijeet Chaudhari that a new Indian, specifically southern Indian, restaurant has opened at 1000 Lower Shiloh Way called Dharani. They are open for lunch and dinner.
And over in Cary, the Mimi's Cafe at Cary Towne Center on Walnut Street has closed their doors, but apparently to make way for a La Madeleine, which describes itself as a country French cafe (I'm more thinking Panera Bread-type). The remodel should have it open in a matter of days. Thanks to reader Kevin Crutchfield for additional information on this transition.
Durham, Orange & Chatham county restaurant news
And it is official. Scott Howell and Aubrey Zinaich Howell, owners of Nana's, NanaTaco and Bar Virgile, opened their Italian steakhouse, NanaSteak, last night. It is located on the ground floor of the Aloft Hotel in downtown Durham next to the DPAC.
Both the News & Observer and Triangle Business Journal reported this week that the owners of downtown Durham's Bull McCabe's Irish Pub are teaming up with Tandurm food truck owner BJ Patel to open an English-style gastro-pub in the Main Street space that's soon to be vacated by Beyu Caffe. Beyu is moving down the street to a larger space. The new restaurant, which is as yet unnamed, will offer a wide range of English, European and local craft beers and a selection of single-malt scotch. Patel will serve up South Asian flavors with such dishes as curried Shepherd's pie, chicken tikka masala and kabobs, as well as such pub classics as fish and chips and Scotch eggs. It will open sometime this summer. Stay tuned.
And over in Chapel Hill, a reminder that Franklin Street's Carolina Brewery begins offering Sunday brunch this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and every Sunday moving forward. Get all the details and check them out here.
In Carrboro, Rise Biscuits and Doughnuts announced that the new location on at East Main Square is set to open Feb. 27, and the new downtown Durham location at 401 Foster St. will open on March 12.
And finally, a quick shout-out to my friends over at ACME in Carrboro who celebrated 18 years in business yesterday.
The damage is worse than originally thought at the Boylan Bridge Brewpub, known for its view of downtown Raleigh. City inspectors closed the brewpub indefinitely on Feb. 10 after one of its basement walls collapsed under the weight of water from a leaky sprinkler. At best, it will take six months to make repairs. At worst, it may not reopen. Stay tuned.
The Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo has announced its dates for this year: May 1, June 12, Aug. 7 and Oct. 9. VIP early admission wristbands, which let you get in to buy food before the general public, are on sale now. Get all the details here.
For a listing of ALL food truck events, head over to Art’s page, The Wandering Sheppard, on all things food truck related here.
Got word from Felicia Perry-Trujillo that Snap Pea Underground is holding their next pop-up dinners March 18-20 at a secret location in downtown Raleigh. Tickets go on sale TODAY (Feb. 19) at noon. They WILL sell-out in less than an hour.
This Saturday, Feb. 20, is the 6th Annual Care to Share Gala to benefit the Guiding Lights Caregiver Support Center. It will be held at the Kerr Scott building in Raleigh.The event features a chef challenge in addition to the auction.
The 30th Anniversary of A Toast to the Triangle will be held on Sunday, March 6, at NC State University’s McKimmon Center from 5:30 pm-8:30 pm. Toast provides impressive offerings from the Triangle’s ﬁnest restaurants, caterers and purveyors of ﬁne wines and specialty beers, as well as a raffle and silent auction that boasts an array of exciting items. A Toast to the Triangle benefits Tammy Lynn Memorial Foundation. Through February 19, all tickets are $14 off. A pair of tickets can be purchased for just $107, receiving the group ticket discount in addition to the Valentine’s Day promotion. Use using the coupon code VAL16. Get all the details here.
SEEDS announced this week that their Fork Less Traveled, a chef dinner series that pairs Durham chefs with local farms and beverage purveyors, will kick off this season on March 13 and will feature Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint. The series is one way they support Durham garden-based programming.
The 4th Annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience will be held on April 10, but tickets have already gone on sale. Looks like tickets will be available through DPAC again this year and you can visit the DPAC ticket center to avoid service charges.
Food bank corner
Durham Magazine and Chapel Hill Magazine will sponsor the third annual TASTE: A Celebration of Food & Drink, happening from April 21 to 23, 2016. The event will feature more than 30 top local chefs and establishments in Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Raleigh. A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to the Durham Branch of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Get all the details and updates as well as purchase tickets (they have an early bird price of $85 now!) here.
Sean Lennard covers food news on his blog, Triangle Food Blog.