Numerical order is overrated, or so it seems with Shane Ingram, the chef and owner of Durham's Four Square Restaurant (2701 Chapel Hill Road, Durham, www.foursquarerestaurant.com). Last week Ingram opened One Restaurant (100 Meadowmont Circle, Chapel Hill, www.one-restaurant.com) championing the phrase "one place for food and wine."
According to Daniel Sartain, general manager at the new restaurant, One will adhere to Four Square's high standards in a less formal setting. Four Square, in the 1908 Bartlett Mangum House, features quiet fine dining served on white linens, while One resembles a lively and chic European bistro. The centerpiece of the new space is an integrated kitchen and dining area where, Sartain says, 20 guests can "virtually sit in the kitchen" and watch Ingram cook alongside Jefé Lubiano and Michael Finehirsh. For those at the restaurant's bar without a front-row seat, the chefs' doings in the kitchen can be viewed on a range of in-house televisions.
Sartain says that guests can expect "aggressive" prices on wines and entrées. Compared to Four Square, where all of the main dishes cost between $25 and $30, the most expensive item at One rings in at $24. It's a grilled beef ribeye served with heirloom tomato and black bean panzanella, and a green olive reduction. For something on the less wallet-stressing side of the menu, look for the $14 Irish corned beef and fava bean pizza.
Across town at the Midtown Market plaza, a second kitchen-centered restaurant—this one aptly named Kitchen (764 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, www.kitchenchapelhill.com)—recently took root. Chef Dick Barrows hopes the name brings to mind the casual feel of eating in a cook's kitchen. But the small restaurant that has taken shape in the former home of Ba-Da Wings is no informal affair. The space is intimate and dimly lit, and boasts a menu that includes duck confit ($12 or $18 depending on the portion), seared salmon ($17) and four styles of mussels (all $12). Though not your everyday cookhouse, Kitchen has a laid-back, pleasant feel. It's open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner.
Tickets are on sale now for the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival (www.beerandbourbon.com) on Aug. 6 and 7 at Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park (8003 Regency Parkway, Cary). The event is the fifth stop on the festival's East Coast tour. The menu features 60 varieties of beers, 40 types of bourbon and 10 styles of barbecue. Tickets to the event allow unlimited access to tastes of beer and bourbon; barbecue costs extra, except at the Friday Night Pig Pickin'. At 3 p.m. on Saturday, catch up on a bit of bourbon history with Nikki Smith of Maker's Mark Distillery or see who's up for the title of Ms. Bar-B-Q-Babe or the Triangle's Best Beer Belly.
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