The Whole Fried Fish varies according to the day's catch. but arrives fresh and moist beneath a crisp crosshatched skin, presented upright on the platter as if still swimming. Alongside the fish, an epicurean shoreline is bestrewn with cornmeal crepes, hot honey, mixed greens and grilled lemon halves to assemble your own tacos.

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…

Thai curries at Sticky Rice are true to form, loaded with bright fresh vegetables, bamboo shoots and the protein of your choice (veggies and tofu, chicken, beef or jumbo shrimp) in a tropically fragrant coconut broth. The Green Curry pictured here is served with shrimp.

Sticky Rice

Sticky Rice opened in Wake Forest in November 2016. Its menu features Laotian dishes as well as Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. When Sticky Rice opened in Wake Forest last November, all I could think of at first were reasons not to review it. For one thing, the menu is pan-Asian, an eclectic grab bag running…

All meats are cooked in a gas-fired smoker over pecan wood and served with pickles and white bread at Bare Bones in downtown Raleigh.

Bare Bones

Bare Bones’ chef has a few signature tricks when it comes to barbecue By Greg Cox Originally published 5/10/17. RALEIGH Over the past decade or so, Eschelon Experiences has earned a reputation as one of the area’s most prolific and diverse restaurant groups, with properties covering the spectrum from Mura (Japanese) to The Oxford (British…

The Wagyu Short Rib is served alongside cornbread pudding, melted onion and hickory sauce at Crawford & Son in Raleigh.

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…

The classic Italian at Lucky’s Delicatessen is made up of salami, mortadella, ham and provolone.

Lucky’s Delicatessen

Lucky’s Delicatessen helps fill downtown Durham breakfast-and-lunch void By Greg Cox Review originally published 12/15/2016 When Lucky’s Deli opened in June, it brought a welcome new breakfast-and-lunch option to the evening-heavy lineup of restaurants in downtown Durham. Just a few weeks later, Cafe Lucarne did the same for downtown Raleigh with its opening in City Market. Both…

Mothers & Sons owner and chef Josh DeCarolis makes homemade tonnarelli at the Durham restaurant on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2016. DeCarolis makes all the pasta by hand daily on the large family style dining table at the back of the restaurant before service.

Mothers & Sons Trattoria

Yield to temptation at Mothers & Sons in Durham By Greg Cox Review originally published 10/27/2016 Mothers & Sons Trattoria is Josh DeCarolis’ first restaurant, but the 33-year-old chef had more going for him on opening day than many veteran restaurateurs. For starters, it doesn’t hurt that his partner is James Beard semifinalist Matt Kelly,…

Barb's Margherita, a regular on the Pie Pushers' menu, come's from co-owner Mike Hacker's mother's recipe.

Food truck review: Pie Pushers

Pie Pushers’ ‘Durham style’ crust is a winner By Greg Cox Review originally published 5/13/2016 Last month, Pie Pushers celebrated its fifth anniversary. That’s an enviable milestone in any business, but especially so on the local food truck circuit, where many vendors haven’t yet been on the road long enough to need new tires. As…