Summer stirs a wanderlust in many of us, especially foodies, who are always looking to whet our appetite with something extraordinary that will forever remind us of an unforgettable getaway.
But it's refreshing to return from a summer vacation and realize that I can challenge my craving for new eating adventures right here at home, because something delicious is always popping up in the Triangle.
This summer, several fledgling restaurants are spreading their wings. Invoking their flair for American gourmet, father-and-son team Rob and Ross Moll opened R&R Grill (137 E. Franklin St., 240-4411, www.rnrgrill.com) two weeks ago in Chapel Hill. The Molls (previous owners of Sharky's in Ocean Isle) gutted and expanded the former Goldie's spot, located at the back of the Bank of America building, and gave the space a snazzy face-lift. The menu is the focus, with contemporary American fare and house-made desserts. Ross Moll recommends starting with the homemade crab cakes or Asian-inspired tiger shrimp appetizer. To satisfy your carnivorous cravings, R&R grinds its own burgers, cooks them to your liking and sandwiches them between a homemade bun from Durham's Guglhupf bakery.
A more progressive approach to dining settles up the street in University Square with the opening of Butternut Squash (133-E W. Franklin St., 929-8199, www.butternutsquashrestaurant.com). The all-vegetarian restaurant—a welcome addition to the Triangle's scant selection of such fare—supports a revolutionary philosophy in healthy eating that includes specialties focused on organic eggs and produce. Innovative recipes for tofu, tempeh and seitan grace the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Raleigh's Glenwood South has always had a saucy reputation. And now Sauced Pizza (410 Glenwood Ave., Suite 350, 803-0670, www.saucedpizza.com) is officially open in the space formerly occupied by Enoteca Vin. Sauced features New York-style pizza by the slice, appetizers, calzones, hoagies and salads from lunch through late night. Beer and wine are served until 1:30 a.m., with a side of rockin' music.
Sometimes, when we're around our hometown, all we really crave is a bit of comfort food. The Eno River Farmers' Market in Hillsborough (Public Market House, East Margaret Lane, www.enoriverfarmersmarket.com) hosts a pancake breakfast Saturday, Aug. 8, from 8 a.m. to noon. Fill up on pancakes made from local, organic eggs, milk, blueberries and flour before perusing the market to stock up your own kitchen. The market also recently changed its hours; it is now open Saturday 8 a.m. to noon and Tuesday 4 to 6 p.m.
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