These cover-worthy meals will have you begging for more
By Jessica Stringer | Photography by Beth Mann
It’s the color of each dish that first captures your attention at Hawthorne & Wood, chef Brandon Sharp’s East 54 restaurant. But behind each artful composition is complex flavor to back up the beauty. Take the ivory king salmon – it’s cured with potato vodka and citrus-coriander salt. The horseradish, mustard seed, caviar and dill that accompany it add depth and reflect an Eastern European flavor profile, a part of the globally inspired menu. It’s style with substance.
Carrboro’s Napoli Cafe & Neapolitan Pizza keeps it local, whether it’s the organic basil to top their pies, local dairy for the gelato or pints of Vecino Brewing Co. beer. But they also follow a strict set of pizza guidelines from Italy – a wood-fired oven, Caputo 00 flour and DOP San Marzano tomatoes, to name just a few. It’s a perfect marriage of Naples and Carrboro that results in crispy crust and mouthwatering combinations from fior di latte mozzarella and butternut squash to prosciutto di parma and baby arugula.
Bread and Chocolate
Jaime Sanchez and Miranda Sanchez have been busy – they’ve been baking and, at the same time, amassing thousands of used books. All for good reason – when their bookstore and Spanish-style chocolatería, Epilogue, opens later this fall on East Franklin Street, Jaime hopes to see his customers “enjoying a little piece of my Mexico that I grew up with.” Expect everything from churros and tricolored shortbread called polvorónes to intricate buñuelos dusted with powdered sugar. Come for the paperbacks, stay for the pastries.
A Taste of Persia
Manuchehr Haghshenas learned everything he needed to know about Persian cooking from his Iranian-born grandmother. He now carries on principles of the cuisine – fresh ingredients, hot and cold elements and a reliance on turmeric, saffron and cumin – at Rumi Persian Cafe in Blue Dogwood Public Market. Manuchehr’s take on fesenjan, a traditional Iranian dish, features organic chicken and a sweet-and-sour balance from pomegranate and ground walnuts. Some say it’s meant for special occasions, but we could enjoy it any day of the week.
Catch of the Day
Hearts were broken when La Place shut its doors in Hillsborough this spring, but downtown diners found reason to cheer when the same team opened up James Pharmacy. Now executive chef Ben Braxton doles out cure-all cocktails and $1 oysters during happy hour at the seafood-focused eatery. Don’t miss the lunchtime poke bowls – some feature fish, others chicken – packed high with crunchy vegetables. This is coastal cuisine that will keep the summertime vibes going long into the fall.
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