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New restaurants and happenings

Vote for Durham in Food & Wine's contest



Restaurateur Charlie Deal will be opening a new restaurant in downtown Durham in early 2008. Dos Perros will be a restaurant, taqueria and bar featuring classic Mexican cuisine, such as authentic moles, seafood, slow-roasted meats, aguas frescas and handmade margaritas. It will be in Rogers Alley, a trio of historic buildings currently undergoing a transformation by Greenfire Development at the intersection of City Hall plaza, North Mangum and East Parrish streets. Named after his two loveable mutts, Dos Perros will be a departure from Deal's other restaurant, the Asian bistro Jujube in Chapel Hill. Deal and his wife, Diana, have been inspired by the growing interest in revitalizing downtown Durham. The restaurant will serve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, and will have a full bar and outdoor seating. The owners are intent on buying locally farmed and raised products, recycling (including rainwater, vegetable oils, and produce scraps for compost), and many other eco-friendly considerations.

Food & Wine magazine is running a yearlong series celebrating amazing food found across America, and Durham is on the ballot as one of five small cities where people most love to eat. Readers are being asked to pick the very best one, and you can cast your vote on the magazine's Web site, With nearly three dozen nationally and regionally reviewed restaurants ranging from Locopops, a gourmet paleta joint, to Nana's Restaurant, it's no surprise the Bull City is making its mark on the culinary map.

Giorgios Bakatsias is at it again—his company, Giorgios Hospitality Group, is going to direct the Café at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University beginning Tuesday, July 10. The café was previously run by Amy Tornquist of Swift & Sage catering, who focused her menu on fresh, local ingredients. The new operators will adhere to a similar philosophy. They've developed a menu of soups, salads and sandwiches, including vegetarian dishes. Desserts will include fresh-baked cookies, homemade ice cream, fruit dishes and cupcakes. The café will be open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays for aperitifs and dinner; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays for brunch. It will be closed Mondays. On Thursday nights, Bakatsias says he plans to invite guest chefs from his six other restaurants, and afar, to offer a special menu. There is also the possibility of a "tea time" starting up afternoons at the café.

Ever wonder just what was in that almond chicken salad at Weathervane? The Chapel Hill café and its parent store, A Southern Season (, are featured in this summer's edition of Taste of the South magazine—along with many recipes. Fans of the store's food bar can find the secrets for Beaufort shrimp salad, fried green tomatoes with cheddar-cheese eggs and lemon cupcakes among the many offerings.

"It's the Harrods of the South," Page Skelton, the founder of Chapel Hill-based Cackalacky Classic Condiment Company, tells the magazine.

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