Friday Fun Food Facts – August 9, 2019

Triangle Restaurant News
Triangle restaurant news…that not everyone knows. Impress your co-workers at the water cooler.

Featured Restaurant News

  • Learned from NC Triangle Dining that a new Italian spot has opened in downtown Durham at 104 City Hall Plaza called Convivio Restaurant and Wine Bar. They are currently in soft-opening mode. Owned by executive chef Paolo Gavazza and sommelier Giuseppe Cagnoni, it is a traditional and authentic Italian restaurant featuring dry aged, locally sourced NC meats and fish and the very best wines found locally and worldwide. Gavazza is an alumnus of Alma, one of the most prestigious culinary schools in Italy and worked for a Michelin Star Restaurant in Rome. Cagnoni has 20 years of restaurant experience including owning restaurants in Miami and San Francisco. Get to know them here.

Wake County Restaurant News

  • This is it. Who is ready for the opening of Andrew Ullom’s Union Special Bread retail location in the redeveloped Gateway Plaza off Crabtree Boulevard? This is opening weekend! How good will it be? Let’s put it this way, his closing time isn’t a set hour. His closing time is “sold out.” In other words, they will be open as long as the goodness is around. In further words, get there EARLY! On Saturday, check-in around noon to see what is available for the 2 p.m. blow out. And Sunday morning, the madness begins at 8 a.m. until…well, you know, everything is gone! Bread, pastry, cookies, Counter Culture Coffee on the drip and Slingshot Coffee on the keg. Their Facebook page is likely the best way to keep up.
  • Got word this week that following the recent openings of O-Ku Sushi and Oak Steakhouse in downtown Raleigh, The Indigo Road Hospitality Group is excited to announce continued expansion in the Triangle with its Italian concept Colletta. It is expected to open in 2021 at Fenton in Cary and will be the second location with the original location north of Atlanta in Alpharetta, Georgia. Drawing influence largely from Northern Italy, Colletta Cary’s cuisine will put a twist on treasured classics while introducing modern culinary techniques with the changing seasons. Menu highlights will include housemade pastas, wood-fired pizzas, cheeses and other hand-crafted ingredients. It is the latest restaurant to call Fenton home, joining Ford Fry’s popular Tex-Mex concept Superica and Scott Crawford’s newest steakhouse Crawford Brothers. Get familiar with them here.
  • The summer pop-up fun continues through the summer where you can get a sneak preview of kō*än at their sister restaurant so*ca in Cameron Village! Follow them on Instagram here.

Durham, Orange & Chatham Restaurant News

  • In Chapel Hill, got word from the Burgeoningbaker (Twitter) that a concept called Hawkers, featuring Asian street fare, is coming to University Place. The owners were inspired by their travels to Asia and memories of growing up, craving the unapologetic flavors of true Asian food-dumplings with bounce, spicy curries, crisp pork belly, etc. When in Asia, they knew the best dishes were on the streets from hawker stalls, thus the name. This is the second North Carolina location and the first in the Triangle (other NC location is in Charlotte). Get familiar with the Orlando concept here.
  • And one final note from Chapel Hill, if you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own burger joint, we learned from Neal DePersia at National Restaurant Properties that Buns Burger and Fries, which has enjoyed over nine years of success on Columbia Street near the intersection with Franklin Street, is up for sale. Check out their website for details.
  • On a recent outing in Durham, noticed that a Tandoori Bites Indian Kitchen is moving into the Dickey’s BBQ spot in the New Hope Commons shopping center at 5311 New Hope Commons Drive. They also have a location in Wilmington. Sign is up and it looks like a lot is happening inside. I was told the are targeting the first week in September for an opening, so stay tuned. Check out their Facebook page here.

Closings

  • Spike’s Hot Chicken in Carrboro (also formerly the Meatball Shoppe) has closed. The new owner is redecorating and said it’s going to be a Thai restaurant soon. Thanks for the tip Julie!

Food Trucks 

  • Got word from reader Stephen Head that there is a new food truck that has been sighted mostly in and around Chapel Hill called Mike’s Vegan Hotdogs. Most of the time you can find them at 102 Merrill Mill Road near the intersection with W. Franklin Street. Check out their Facebook page here.
  • Thanks to a note from Mark Ginsberg, I learned that the Knightdale Food Truck Thursdays is back up for the season. The event is held the third Thursday of the month from April through October at Knightdale Station Park for lunch AND dinner. Get all the details, truck schedule and more here.
  • And the remaining two dates for the 2019 edition of the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo are: Sunday Oct 6th – 12-6pm; and the make-up date on November 10th. All are held along Fayetteville Street. Get all the details here.

Events

  •  Here is an event we can get behind. On Saturday, August 10th the town of Morrisville will change its name to S’Morrisville as they honor and enjoy the delicious snacks made famous at campfires everywhere. This event takes place all over S’Morrisville with activities at four different sites. There will be music, games, t-shirts to win and, of course, lots of s’mores to enjoy. Get all the details on their Facebook event page here.
  • The Downtown Raleigh Alliance shared this week that the dates have been set for the Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week which will be held August 12-18. Go ahead and mark your calendars. Here is their website which will be updated with additional details and participating restaurants as we get closer to the date.
  • Underground Kitchen, the popular Richmond, Va.-based experiential dinner series, returns to Raleigh August 24 to debut its new food tour, “The New Americana.” Raleigh-based Lemar Farrington will be the featured chef for the evening. If you are not familiar with UGK, it is a one-night-only event, held at an undisclosed location (location is shared a few days before), featuring up-and-coming chefs and creative, multi-course dinners with wine pairings. The menu is kept secret until the night of. Oh, and it ALWAYS sells out, so act quickly. Get tickets here.
  • The third annual Savor the Triangle Food Festival produced by Mix 101.5 will again be held at the Kerr Scott building at the NC State Fairgrounds this year on Wednesday, September 18th from 6-9 p.m. Savor the Triangle Food Festival is a culinary event with the opportunity to sample many of the Triangle’s most delicious foods and drinks all in one place. Get all the details and early bird discounted tickets here.
  • It was recently announced that one of Chatham County’s largest food festivals, the 12th Annual Pittsboro Pepperfest, is returning to main street in downtown Pittsboro. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, September 22 from 3 – 6 p.m. So go ahead and mark your calendar to spend your afternoon in historic, downtown Pittsboro. Get all the details here.
  • This is it. Your last chance. I’ve been touting this amazing event that Colleen Minton dreamed up 10 years ago and now we are at the 10th and FINAL Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival in Chapel Hill October 16-19, 2019. Yep, you read that right. This is the grand finale. There will be no more. And heed my last (and final) warning – tickets will not last. If you’ve never been – GO! If you’ve been, don’t miss the last one. If you don’t know, it is a multi-day celebration that brings together top chefs, food artisans, sommeliers, baristas, brewers, educators, distillers, cookbook authors and industry luminaries from across the Southeast to celebrate culinary excellence and sustainability in food and drink. Get tickets and details here on all the events that week.
  • On Sunday, November 3rd, more than 30 of the Triangle’s finest restaurants will be paired with world-class wines at the third annual Sip + Savor – A Wine, Food and Music Experience.  Sip + Savor will showcase 30+ culinary all-stars, sommeliers, on-stage experience with live music, VIP lounge, and more. Get all the details and tickets here.

Food Bank Corner

  •  Looking for a way your office can make a direct difference in people’s lives? But time is limited? We’ve got the perfect answer for you – coordinate an office-wide Virtual Food Drive! Forget the hassle of a trip to the grocery store for your next food drive… “Shop” with the Food Bank through our Virtual Food Drive and maximize your donation times ten! For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide $10.00 worth of food or five meals. Over half a million people in the 34 counties we serve struggle with food insecurity. You can make a difference in your community by hosting a Virtual Food Drive for your friends, family members or coworkers. It is simple! Get all the details here.

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