Recently I turned to the last page in my yearly calendar—one of those August-to-August versions that signals the end of summer. Call me a dork, but I just got a new planner, and it's nice and practically empty. Whether, like me, you're looking for something to fill in those blank pages or you merely need something to look forward to as the last days of summer vacation slip past, don't fret. There are plenty of food events ahead in the Triangle.
Set aside time between 1 and 5 p.m. on Oct. 16 for TerraVITA (www.terravitaevent.com), a food and wine tasting on the green at Southern Village in Chapel Hill (Market Street, www.southernvillage.com). TerraVITA will showcase food and beverages by folks who are, in the words of the event's creator, Coleen Minton, "good stewards of the land." Expect pours of international and national biodynamic and organic wines, plus microbrews and organic coffees and teas. Local food will be served by Triangle fixtures including Neal's Deli of Carrboro, Watt's Grocery and Nana's of Durham, Elaine's on Franklin and Crook's Corner of Chapel Hill, and Zely & Ritz of Raleigh. Also look for eateries outside of the region, including Charlotte's Mimosa Grill, Asheville's Early Girl Eatery and Kinston's Chef & the Farmer. For a full list of participants, visit the event's website, where you can purchase advance tickets for $65 per person.
Further forward—into 2011—is the anticipated opening of Bull City Burger and Brewery (www.bullcityburgerandbrewery.com). Seth Gross, co-owner of Durham's Wine Authorities, says his new project will open in February at 107 E. Parrish St. in Durham, with a farm-to-fork concept. "First and foremost it's going to be about quality over quantity when it comes to food and beer," he says. Beef will come from grass-fed cows, and everything down to the mayonnaise, ketchup and pickles will be made in-house from scratch.
For Gross, the spot on Parrish Street is the realization of an idea he's been dreaming about for years: "I've wanted to do this ever since I stopped brewing professionally."
Gross brewed at Chicago's famed Goose Island Beer Company until 1996. When it came to naming his own beer venture, Gross did what many craft breweries, including Goose Island, have done, choosing Bull City to celebrate and honor the business' locale. It's a decision that he plans to carry over to his actual brews, too. Take the Parrish Street Pale Ale, for instance, which Gross says refers not only to the brewery's home base but to the street's past as a bustling African-American financial district. "I want to celebrate what Durham once was and honor that history with beer names," Gross explains. Follow the brewery's progress online at www.bullcityburgerandbrewery.com.
David's Dumplings and Noodle Bar (1900 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, 239-4536) recently opened under the direction of David Mao, formerly of Raleigh's Duck and Dumpling. It is open every day.