Welcome to Friday Night Bites, your weekly roundup of local food and drink news and events. Have a tip for us? Email food@indyweek.com.

Chef Scott Crawford Announces Second Restaurant
Chef Scott Crawford announced plans to open his second restaurant, Jolie, a French bistro named after his daughter. The restaurant is slated to open this fall and will be located next door to his first restaurant, Crawford and Son, in Raleigh.

Chef Teddy Diggs Announces His First Solo Restaurant
Teddy Diggs, who served as the executive chef at Il Palio for five years, is striking out on his own with a Roman-style pizzeria called Coronato, slated to open early 2019, probably in Chapel Hill. Can’t wait that long for your fix of the cracker-thin pies? Check out Diggs’s pizza pop-up on July 14 (see Events, below).

Prime Barbecue’s Christopher Prieto to Appear on Food Network’s Chopped Grill Masters
Champion pitmaster Christopher Prieto, who is opening Prime Barbecue this fall, is set to appear on Chopped Grill Masters, airing on July 31 on Food Network. Prieto will compete against other chefs from around the country, each representing their region’s barbecue style and vying for the $50,000 grand prize.

Basan in Durham to Close June 30

Basan Bull City Sushi, in the American Tobacco Campus, announced that it will close after its final service on June 30, citing a lack of foot traffic and inability to consistently draw crowds on nights when events were not being held at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Dustin Slemp, creative director of Eschelon Experiences, which owns Basan, says via email, “For three years we proudly served the freshest sushi, ramen, and Japanese cuisine from a menu crafted by the late Toshio Sakamaki, our original head chef at Basan. His mantra was simple: ‘We can make people happy if we make good food.’ So that’s what we did.”

Nana’s Final Dinner Service Will Be June 30
The landmark Durham fine-dining restaurant, helmed by chef Scott Howell, will close its doors following the final night of service on June 30. According to its website, reservations are fully booked.

Ninth Street Bakery Launches Pop-Up Dinner Series and Tap Takeover
Ninth Street Bakery has launched a new pop-up dinner series called Little Rocket Man, running Wednesday through Sunday this summer. This week’s menu will feature specials like Korean fried chicken thighs in a sweet-spicy gochujang glaze and a vegan poke bowl made with roasted, caramelized beets. In July, Little Rocket Man will welcome HopFly Brewing for a tap takeover on Fridays and Saturdays, pouring favorites like Summer Crush, a hazy IPA. For more information, follow them on Instagram.


Tuesdays Are $1 Oysters Night at Counting House This Summer
Counting House, the restaurant located inside Durham’s 21C Hotel, will offer $1 oysters every Tuesday from 5:00–11:00 p.m. through August. The selection will rotate, but current varieties include Beausoleils and Savage Blondes from Prince Edward Island and Pamlico Sounds and Hurricanes from North Carolina.
“We want to encourage people to come back every week to try a completely different selection of oysters,” says executive chef Thomas Card. “Like wine, oysters taste different depending on their origin. The levels of salinity and flavors vary by location. For example, some oysters taste buttery, while others are more meaty, earthy, or nutty.”

Coronato and Botanist and Barrel Team Up for Pizza and Cider Pop-Up
Chef Teddy Diggs will give diners a sneak peek at the Roman-style pizzas he plans to serve at Coronato, opening early next year. Diggs has teamed up with Deric McGuffey, who was formerly Diggs’s pastry chef at Il Palio and is currently a partner in cidery Botanist and Barrel. The pizza and cider pop-up will be held at Botanist and Barrel’s farm, Cedar Grove Blueberry Farm, so you’d be wise to build in time to pick blueberries before settling in for pizza and cider starting at 5:30 p.m. Ticket information will be shared via social media.

Tickets on Sale for Matsuri, Dashi’s Next Seasonal Omakase Dinner
Japanese ramen shop and izakaya Dashi has announced their next themed-omakase dinner, Matsuri, named after the thousands of annual Japanese festivals. The five-course tasting menu will be inspired by Japanese street food and feature interpretations of favorite summer festival dishes. Featured ingredients include summer staples such as corn, squid, and shrimp. For more information or to make a reservation, click here.

If you ever notice our Facebook interactions spiking around lunchtime on deadline day, it’s because we’re getting distracted while checking Ninth Street Bakery’s daily specials. If you hear a little cry of despair ringing faintly through downtown Durham, it’s because they don’t have the avocado toast. It’s two huge slices of the bakery’s artisan country loaf, piled with avocado mashed almost to guacamole texture and—here’s the crazy part—topped with copious amounts of candied almonds coated in a cinnamon-heavy-masala spice blend. I don’t think that’s even a thing. Upon seeing it for the first time, we gasped, “Why is this avocado covered in cinnamon?!” But since tasting it, we wonder why anything avocado is not. We didn’t think we’d ever get over Ninth Street getting rid of the falafel, but now, all is forgiven—at least when the avocado toast is on the menu.—Brian Howe, Managing Arts and Culture Editor