Dining review: Paolo’s on 54 revamps longtime Italian restaurant, but keeps the classics

Chef Paul Zoccola renamed Morrisville restaurant Lubrano’s and has added a modern twist to the menu, in addition to keeping traditional Italian dishes. By Greg Cox Originally published 7/6/2017 MORRISVILLE For more than a decade after chef Paul Zoccola bought out founding partner Benny Lubrano, Zoccola was happy to continue operating the restaurant – Lubrano’s…

Dining review: At City Market Sushi, quality ingredients are stars of the show

City Market Sushi in downtown Raleigh features a menu that enthusiastically explores the potential of an evolving contemporary Japanese cuisine while remaining respectful of its traditional roots By Greg Cox Originally published 6/22/2017 The presentation that sits on the table before you might well be a display in an art gallery – a mixed-media composition,…

Dining review: Dig deep at Mekong, and you’ll find surprises among the Vietnamese classics

Mekong in Morrisville serves traditional Vietnamese fare but with some special additions. It’s hard to go wrong, whether you crave the comfort of the familiar or are looking to shake things up a bit. By Greg Cox Originally published 6/1/2017 MORRISVILLE  The first time you visit Mekong, you might get the impression that you’ve just…

Standard Foods

Standard Foods reopened in October 2016 in downtown Raleigh with new executive chef Eric Montagne. He has lost no time in establishing himself as a rising culinary star in his own right. Originally published 5/25/2017 If Raleigh’s No. 1 restaurant news story in 2015 was the highly anticipated, much-delayed opening of Standard Foods, then last…

Food Truck Review: CockaDoodleMoo serves global journey of barbecue and sandwiches

CockaDoodleMoo, a food truck that hit the road in 2014, features flavorful sandwiches, smoked meat and addictive macaroni and cheese. By Greg Cox Originally published 5/10/2017. With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe: Once upon an evening early, while I pondered – hungry, surly, Prospects of a liquid meal of Trophy’s hoppy local brew – As…

Baan Thai

Baan Thai opened in Apex in 2015, the first restaurant for Kelly Chamnansuan. You’ll appreciate the fact that experience has taught her how to cater to a Western palate. By Greg Cox Originally published 4/6/2017 APEX Entering Baan Thai, you’re greeted by a smiling waiter and a compact, tidy dining room decorated in a style…

Crawford & Son

Dining review: Crawford and Son allows chef to showcase talents in cozy neighborhood restaurant Chef Scott Crawford opened Crawford and Son in downtown Raleigh in November 2016. Now that he’s got his own place, he can focus on highlighting his culinary skills on an evolving seasonal menu. By Greg Cox Originally published 3/30/17 RALEIGH  Tell…

Szechuan Taste

The restaurant, open since last August in Cary’s Wellington Park shopping center, is an inviting spot with a contemporary Asian decor. You will encounter a veritable glossary of enigmatic names for dishes. By Greg Cox Review originally published 3/12/2017 If you’re a frequent patron of authentic Chinese restaurants, you’ve no doubt come across dishes whose…