Cypress on the Hill opened recently in downtown Chapel Hill, in the former Trail Shop space. The three principals—Alex Gallis, Trey Delamar and Jon McCallus—have extensive experience at restaurants in the Triangle and in the South. Beverage manager Daniel Sartain described their goal as casual fine dining with a strong Southern backbone, but with some global influences as well. Cypress on the Hill (308 W. Franklin St., 537-8817, www.cypressonthehill.com) serves dinner Monday through Saturday.
In Durham, the James Joyce Irish Pub (912 W. Main St., 683-3022, www.jamesjoyceirishpub.com) welcomed a new chef recently. Paul Curley is originally from Ennis, in County Clare, Ireland.
According to owner Fergus Bradley, Curley has worked around the world, as well as in leading kitchens in his home country. His new menu features West Clare fish cake under Irish rasher and vintage cheddar; Irish stew (slowly cooked lamb and vegetables thickened with spuds); beef and Guinness pie (braised beef, field mushrooms in porter gravy topped with crumbly pastry); and St. Brendan's fish bowl (smoked cod, mussels and clams in a creamy sauce under cheddar mash).
Amy Tornquist, chef-owner of Watts Grocery (1116 Broad St., Durham, 416-5040, www.wattsgrocery.com) will host Chapel Hill-based food writer Kelly Alexander to celebrate Alexander's new book, Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, The Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate (www.clementinepaddleford.com).
Born in 1898, Paddleford became a globe-trotting journalist in search of good food. From 1948 to 1960, she traveled more than 800,000 miles, and her weekly readership at the New York Herald Tribune topped 12 million during the 1950s and 1960s.
Tornquist will prepare four dishes from the book, including oyster stew with souffléd crackers, for the March 2 dinner, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Alexander, formerly a senior editor at Saveur and currently a food writer for Gourmet and The New York Times, will share stories about Paddleford and sign books. Cost is $60 per person, and reservations are required.
European Espresso & Wine Cafe (222 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, 521-5434, www.eurocafe222.com) has opened in the Glenwood South area of Raleigh. As its name indicates, it serves espresso drinks, wine by the glass or bottle, plus coffee, pastries, brioches, antipasto, breads and cheeses. Even caviar and foie gras. It opens at 6:30 a.m. weekdays, serves light lunch items, and stays open late on Friday and Saturday. The idea is to sit, relax, nibble and watch people as they walk on by ... just like they do in Europe.
Also in Raleigh, Poole's Diner (426 S. McDowell St., 832-4477, www.poolesdowntowndiner.com) will be open for Sunday brunch, from noon to 4 p.m., beginning March 1. Chef Ashley Christensen promises the evolving menu will offer classic brunch fare along with some of Poole's signature dishes.
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