The best bars to find the perfect cocktails

These are some of the best places to drink craft cocktails. By Greg Cox Originally published 9/7/2017 We should have seen it coming. In hindsight, this Golden Age of cocktails that we’re enjoying was the inevitable next step in the modern resurgence of bar culture. First came wine bars, whose extensive by-the-glass offerings made exploring…

Dining review: Brewery Bhavana pushes the envelope, yet completely makes sense upon arrival

Brewery Bhavana, from the owners of Bida Manda, brings to Raleigh a dim sum restaurant, brewery, flower shop and bookstore. It is one of Bon Appetit’s 10 best new restaurants in the country. By Greg Cox Originally published 8/17/2017 RALEIGH When Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha opened Bida Manda five years ago, they didn’t just give…

Dining review: The District’s eclectic comfort food will have diners feeling like regulars

The District, in the former spot of The Borough in downtown Raleigh, has a menu that’s Asian-inspired with a Southern influence. By Greg Cox Originally published 7/27/2017 RALEIGH If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few years, you can’t have helped but notice that tater tots have become something of a…

Dining review: Alley Twenty Six’s restaurant addition creates balanced blend of food, cocktails

Alley Twenty Six in Durham expanded into the neighboring space to add a restaurant to his bar. Owner Shannon Healy and chef Carrie Schleiffer have created the perfect balance By Greg Cox Originally published 6/29/2017 DURHAM There’s no telling how many cocktails Shannon Healy has made over the past two decades. Healy, the longtime head…

Parkside

Parkside in downtown Raleigh takes over the formers Joe’s Place restaurant site and serves dishes inspired by pub and diner classics – occasionally giving them a contemporary spin. By Greg Cox Review originally published 2/16/2017 RALEIGH The neon RESTAURANT sign on the building at the corner of Dawson and Martin streets has been a downtown…

Virgil’s Original Taqueria

A creative approach at Virgil’s Original Taqueria By Greg Cox Review originally published 12/29/2016 Just inside the door, a – well, let’s call it a tapestry – of square artificial turf tiles spans the wall on the right. On the opposite wall, outlined in white on chalkboard-black, is the restaurant’s logo: a running chicken framed…

Whiskey Kitchen

Whiskey Kitchen turns out ambitiously inventive menu By Greg Cox Review originally published 12/01/2016 Stenciled on the front wall of the former garage that has been home to Whiskey Kitchen since the restaurant opened in August, in big block letters next to a glass-paneled garage door that now opens onto a patio, is the restaurant’s…

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,…