Just like Vogue’s September issue, the Triangle’s food scene is bursting at the seams with buzzworthy news, albeit our must-haves skew more cookies than couture. These ten spots are coming in hot for fall.
Coronato [Opened Aug. 2]
101 Two Hills Road, #140, Carrboro,
Dine with a group to take full advantage of chef Teddy Diggs’s Roman-style pizzeria. Start with snacks such as braised lamb meatballs and supplì (cheese-stuffed rice balls) before moving on to pies such as the charred-broccoli-topped Il Verde and the Funghi, which combines roasted mushrooms with funky Taleggio. Ask for a mezzanine-level seat for views of the kitchen and dough room (yes, it’s a thing).
Farmhouse Café [Opening Sep. 16]
320 Vintage Point Lane, Wendell
In mid-September, Patrick Cowden and Daniel Whittaker, co-owners of Pharmacy Café in Raleigh, will open Farmhouse Café in Wendell Falls. The menu focuses on seasonal small plates and smørrebrød—Scandinavian-inspired open-faced sandwiches (think smoked salmon with roasted-tomato-and-pea relish). Wash it all down with kombucha and prosecco on tap.
Jolie [Opened Aug. 23]
620 North Person Street, Raleigh
Even if you didn’t nab a reservation, you can still try Scott Crawford’s stylish French bistro by arriving early and snagging a bar seat. Plus, the late afternoon light is magnifique, and it’s a treat watching Crawford and chef de cuisine Madison Tessener working in lockstep. (The rooftop is a good option once it gets cooler.) Standouts include a killer French onion soup with an Instagram-ready cheese pull, trout almondine in a luxurious lemon-brown-butter sauce, and the lavender pot de crème.
Kingfisher [Opened Jul. 31]
321 East Chapel Hill Street, Durham
Every nook at Sean Umstead and Michelle Vanderwalker’s sexy subterranean cocktail den is a photo op waiting to happen; no wonder Vert + Vogue shot its fall look book here. Settle in at the gorgeous ceramic-tiled bar or in one of the reservable semi-private booths. Sip on Umstead’s latest, the Yucatan Spritz, a fruity, floral number that mingles Fino sherry, sparkling wine, and habanero-infused Aperol, crafted with local peppers bred sans spice. Snack on chef Joel Schroeter’s charcuterie and pickle plates or the grilled cheese.
kō•än [Opening Sep. 30]
2800 Renaissance Park Place, Cary
Chef Drew Smith takes the helm at kō•än, a Southeast Asian restaurant from the bu•ku and so•ca team opening in late September in Cary. The menu is designed for sharing, so bring a crew and sup on small plates like twice-fried cauliflower, duck bao, and lobster gyoza, and then dig into the hot-pot-inspired Thai red curry brimming with lobster, cod, and shrimp.
Locals Oyster Bar [Dinner service opened Jul. 31]
500 East Davie Street, Raleigh
Book ahead for date night or walk in for a solo bar seat at Transfer Co. Food Hall’s N.C.-seafood-centric spot. The dinner service is where chef Eric Montagne’s creativity really shines. Don’t miss the seafood charcuterie (the tuna prosciutto is crazy good) or dishes showcasing his no-waste philosophy, such as ricotta gnocchi with Bolognese bolstered with rich, savory tuna bloodline.
M Pocha [Opened early August]
101 East Chapel Hill Street, Durham
Chef Michael Lee’s latest hit zeros in on Korean-gone-global-inspired small plates that pair exceptionally well with drinks (read: your Friday night game plan). Early favorites such as the Malaysian-style fried rice and the homey kimchi stew are sure bets, but we can’t wait to try Jjampong Tsukemen, Lee’s take on a well-known Korean seafood noodle soup that pairs thick ramen with spicy dipping broth.
Poole’side Pies [Opening TBA]
428 South McDowell Street, Raleigh
In case you missed it, all-star chef Ashley Christensen is opening a Neapolitan-inspired pizza joint set in a swim-club-themed space. Anticipation has been mounting with images teasing us on social media, from a shot of the custom Marra Forni brick pizza oven being air-lifted through the skylight to a walk-up window menu from Hopscotch, which included a five-cheese pie with chili garlic crunch oil. Any day now, right?
Spanglish [Opened mid-July]
104 City Hall Plaza, #101, Durham
Spanglish brings its signature Puerto Rican flair to the Bull City with a vibrant, fast-casual eatery ideal for a quick lunch or laidback dinner. The Cuban sandwich is on point (there’s also a vegan version with jackfruit), as are the made-to-order empanadas. Don’t miss mofongo, a traditional Puerto Rican dish of fried, mashed green plantains, here served bowl-style with proteins such as slow-roasted pork or shrimp in tomato-pepper sauce.
Union Special [Opened Aug. 10]
2409 Crabtree Boulevard, #102, Raleigh
Pastry chef Andrew Ullom steps into the spotlight with a bakery in the revamped Gateway Plaza. The cheery space has ample communal seating plus windows offering a peek into the kitchen. Ullom excels at croissants, but don’t sleep on the tahini-and-sour-cherry cookie. This weekend, he’ll roll out brunch, followed closely by breakfast and lunch. Highlights include hash-brown-and-egg-sandwiches, whole wheat waffles, and vegan-friendly grit cakes with coconut-milk-creamed spinach.
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