The owners of the Bear Rock Cafe franchise in Raleigh's Creekside Crossing shopping center have taken their establishment local, giving up the chain name and the dictated-from-elsewhere menu. The result is 7C's Cafe (404-171 Six Forks Road, Raleigh, 807-0122, www.7cscafe.com), named for the three owners, each of whom has a name that starts with the third letter of the alphabet, plus the shopping center and the fact that it's a corner café. But, managing partner Scott Catalano says, "the beauty of the name is that it can mean whatever each person wants it to." Seven seas? Seven continents? They all work.
The new 7C's menu has three sections: first, a typical offering of traditional sandwiches, such as the Reuben. Then, the owners found sandwiches that are famous in different regions of the country, such as a New Orleans muffaletta (ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone, mozzarella on a fresh boule), a Philly cheesesteak and a New England-style cod sandwich. Since many customers who live here hail from somewhere else, Catalano and his partners hope the regional favorites will become local stars.
Third, the menu travels beyond America's borders to feature a globally tweaked burger or chicken sandwich. The Indian version is seasoned with curry powder, topped with grilled onions, red peppers and coconut mayo. The French version is seasoned with garlic, topped with ham, Swiss and cheddar cheeses and Dijon mustard cream sauce. The Caribbean is seasoned with jerk spices, and so on.
They bake their own bread on-site every day. And, Catalano adds, the ever-evolving menu is attuned to customer feedback. "If enough people say, 'Why don't you have [a particular sandwich], then we can have it," he said. They'll even name it after you.
There's a nice variety of wine-themed events happening this month.
Panzanella (101 E. Weaver St., Carrboro, 929-6626, www.panzanella.com) hosts its annual North Carolina wine dinner July 20. This year, the evening's selections hail from the Haw River Valley, which is the state's newest American viticultural area, here in the Piedmont. (It follows the Haw through Alamance, Guilford, Orange, Rockingham, Chatham and Caswell counties.) Cost is $45 per person, and reservations are required.
BrandyWine Cellars (6905 Fayetteville Road, Durham, 405-3838, www.brandywinecellars.com) will host a wine and cupcake pairing event at 6:30 p.m. July 30. "[U]ntil you experience a cupcake with a perfectly paired wine, do not pass judgment," owner Brandy Finn writes in her newsletter. "You might find your new little heaven." Cost is $15 per person, and advance registration is requested.
In addition to those events, XIOS Authentic Greek Cuisine (800 W. Williams St., Apex, 363-5288, www.xioscafe.com) will offer a Greek wine tasting July 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. Cost is $20 per person, and the event features five wines plus appetizers. Also, Chapel Hill Wine Co. (2809 Homestead Road, 968-1884, www.chapelhillwinecompany.com) revisits the age-old California versus France debate in a free tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. July 17.