Posts Tagged ‘Revolution Restaurant’

High honor for Durham’s dining scene

January 8, 2011

So this morning I’m reading the New York Times’ feature “Where to Travel in 2011,” which is online now and will be in print in the travel section on Jan. 9 and I’m zipping through the entries, places like Koh Samui, Thailand; Loreto, Mexico; Park City, Utah; and then I get to No. 35: Durham, N.C. Excellent choice, y’all, and not just because it’s my hometown.

For those of you not registered with the Times’ website, here’s what writer Ingrid K. Williams had to say about us in the piece titled “A downtown turnaround means food worth a trip.”

“A decade ago, downtown Durham was a place best avoided after sundown. But as revitalization has transformed abandoned tobacco factories and former textile mills into bustling mixed-use properties, the city has been injected with much-needed life. In the heart of downtown, a crop of standout restaurants and cafes has recently sprouted around West Main Street, where low rents have allowed chefs and other entrepreneurs to pursue an ethos that skews local, seasonal and delicious.

Visit Scratch at 111 Orange St.

The farmers’ market favorite Scratch Bakery has a brand-new storefront for its seasonal homemade pies that include chestnut cream pie and buttermilk sweet potato pie. At the cafe-cum-grocery Parker and Otis, the menu features sandwiches made with freshly baked bread from nearby Rue Cler and locally roasted java from Durham’s Counter Culture Coffee. And at the sophisticated Revolution Restaurant, squash tamales, mascarpone gnocchi, and tuna with wasabi caviar rotate through the seasonal menu.”

Thanks for that, Ingrid, and to the Times’ editors for including us in this list that will bring more visitors to sample our many wonderful offerings, food and otherwise. Congrats to those who got shout-outs, and of course there are dozens more businesses who deserve them as well.

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NC chefs tell all, with recipes

October 5, 2009

200910_04_book Ann ProsperoChefs are like rock stars and athletes. They switch from place to place, working their way up the food-service pyramid. A writer pal of mine, Ann Prospero, has interviewed the best chefs in my area of North Carolina in her “Chefs of the Triangle: Their Lives, Recipes, and Restaurants.” We learn how they moved up, over, and around to become forces in food. We’re even treated to a few recipes from each.

Ann, by the way, is a wise author — for her book signings, she brings along chefs, and they bring along samples. The reading I went to, at Regulator Bookshop, featured Durham restaurateurs Jim Anile from Revolution, not yet a year old but buzz-worthy, and Shane Ingram, whose celebrated Four Square Restaurant turns an impressive 10 years old this month. It was great to hear them talk about their work and even better to sample their wares — fig gazpacho from Shane (the recipe is in the book) and, from Jim, butterbean hummus crustini with marinated octopus. Yum!

Author Ann Prospero

Durham author Ann Prospero

While I realize most of my readers live far from my home state, you should know that we have some mighty fine restaurants here in Durham and environs. In 2008, Bon Appetit magazine rightly named us “America’s Foodiest Small Town,” although they were talking about two towns, Durham and Chapel Hill, but whatever. We’ll take it.

Chefs Jim Anile and Shane Ingram co-hosted the book reading

Chefs Jim Anile, left, and Shane Ingram spoke and served food at the reading

As Ann points out, it was the late chef Bill Neal of Crook’s Corner who really got the dough rolling by mentoring and inspiring others, who in turn did the same thing for their colleagues in the kitchen. Crook’s is still going strong under chef and cookbook writer Bill Smith, a culinary force in his own right. Lucky us!