Friday, April 17, 2015

| D I N E | Driftwood Southern Kitchen

Hey Raleigh, have you been to Driftwood Southern Kitchen yet? Well you should! In case you have not, Driftwood is located in Lafayette Village, off Falls of Neuse in North Raleigh. Driftwood offers southern cuisine at its finest, a fully stocked bar, seating at the open kitchen, big tables, semi-private spaces AND outdoor seating. The menu rotates with seasonal new dishes while maintaining some of their favorite/best-sellers. Small plates are nice options for sharing and the mains come in small or regular size portions.

Stop in for a drink and a snack at the bar or make plans for a large group lunch or dinner celebration. Some of my favorite small plates include the Fried Green Tomatoes, House Pimiento Cheese and the Wings! The pulled pork shoulder main is absolutely delicious. Rosemary Tater Tots with crushed garlic or Mac and Cheese make for a nice side. I haven't explored the desserts yet, but I'm sure they're pretty amazing.

I particularly like the way they present their food. Even a cup of coffee is a treat to order! Atmosphere is friendly and feels like some of the places you would find in downtown Raleigh. Location is nice, especially with good weather on the horizon. You can eat lunch or dinner and then wander around with lots of great little shops and boutiques around Lafayette Village.

If you enjoy Southern cuisine and a rustic, farmhouse atmosphere, Driftwood is the place. There are daily drink specials for every day of the week! So, what are you waiting for? ;-)

Driftwood Dining room and Bar


Bloody Mary!

Fried Green Tomatoes

To die for Hush Puppies

Seating at the bar

NC Beer and Wings

Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Rosemary Tater Tots

Arugula Salad (SO good!)

Pork Shoulder and a side of Mac and Cheese

Everyday Drink Specials!
Driftwood at Lafayette Village

Thursday, March 19, 2015

| EXPLORE | Art in Bloom this weekend at the NC Art Museum

Starting today through Sunday (3/19-3/22) the NC Art Museum presents ART IN BLOOM, the NCMA’s inaugural festival of art and flowers. 45 stunning floral masterpieces created by world-class floral designers from all around North Carolina and a few other states designed and created their masterpieces based on inspiration from select artwork from the permanent collection in the West Building. This event is a ticketed exhibit and is a first for NCMA. The proceeds from this festival go directly to funding the museum's ongoing programming.

The festival also includes many additional events such as master classes, floral demonstrations, and presentations by the floral designer for the Royal Family, internationally renowned floral artists, and local florist owners and lecturers. Family events, wine tastings and trunk shows are also part of the line up. (click here to see the museum's more detailed list of events)

I was thrilled to get to tour the museum yesterday while the artists were busy putting together their works of art, allowing for a "behind the scenes" sneak peek. I loved seeing the permanent collection pieces transformed with the partnering of these unique floral interpretations. Make sure to walk around the museum for plenty of eye-catching outdoor floral beauty. Catch the Bonsai Trees in the garden.  Drink a Joe Van Gogh Violet-Vanilla Bean Latte at Iris SIP.  Enjoy this kickstart to Spring in Raleigh.

I hope that you can find time to get to the exhibit this weekend because, like the flowers, it is only available to enjoy for a very limited time before the blooms fade away....

Tickets to Art in Bloom are $10 for NCMA members and $15 for nonmembers (free admission for children 6 and under). All related events (lectures, demonstrations, family activities) require separate tickets. During the four days of Art in Bloom, tickets will be required for admission to the permanent collection in the Museum's West Building. East Building and the Museum Park will remain open and free to visitors.

Stop in to IRIS SIP and get a special ART IN BLOOM latte:
Violet-Vanilla Bean Latte (with sprinkles!)

Museum Store Trunk Shows

Thursday, March 12, 2015

| SHOP | New Moon & Lola Boutique Opens in Cameron Village

Exciting retail news for Raleigh this week! Moon & Lola has just opened their newest store in Cameron Village! Located at 2014 Cameron Street. This beautiful store is fresh and fun and fits nicely into the Cameron Village boutique shops.  Moon and Lola also has store locations on Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh and Apex. I'm thrilled to have another M&L shop to visit, especially if you frequent the Cameron Village area for retail shopping already.  M&L offers stunning and unique jewelry as well as all kinds of fun note cards, decor and accessories. Ideal store for gift shopping!
A Sneak Preview Cocktail Party kicked off the Grand Opening and the store is now open with regular hours. Visit soon and keep shopping local, Raleigh!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NC Theatre: Billy Elliot featuring NC Star Talent!

Last night was opening night in Raleigh for the NC Theatre's production of Billy Elliot at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The show runs through this Sunday, February 15th and you can get tickets now from the NC Theatre website. The Raleigh cast includes some outstanding North Carolina star power. Ira David Wood III and Ira David Wood IV are cast as Billy's father and older brother. They both do an excellent job in conveying the anger and frustration of this historically tumultuous and violent time in the Northern England coal fields in the 1980's.  Margaret Thatcher was opposed to the National Union of Mineworkers and was determined to shut down the unions. The strike lasted a year, with the unions ultimately broken down and the industry virtually dismantled.

In the midst of all this, Billy Elliot (played by Sam Faulkner), the youngest child of his family, accidentally stumbles on ballet and dance and discovers he has a true rare talent as a dancer. Trying to pursue his newly discovered passion is almost impossible as it conflicts with his responsibility to his family in the middle of very trying times in his family and community as a whole. He tries to keep his new found passion a secret but in the end, his true desire to follow his dreams wins out.

The show deals with serious themes, but they manage to interject several funny and heartfelt moments, especially from Ira David Wood III. I brought my 15 year old daughter who is passionate herself about dance and theater. She loved the show as well. However, I would not recommend bringing kids much younger than her due to strong adult language used often.

Another NC talent, the young Sam Faulkner does an amazingly great job as Billy Elliot. Sam is from Charlotte and is truly a rising star.  He is engaging to watch and several of the dance numbers are magical. The group numbers are fantastic. The changing of sets on stage is creative and well done. All the cast members do a great job in their performances, including the dance instructor, Mrs Wilkinson, played by Janet Dickinson, mixing serious moments, with lighthearted fun.

I appreciated the opportunity to get to see this show, especially to take my daughter along with me. Thank you to NC Theatre and to Leigh Hines and her new #OutAboutNC community. North Carolina has so much to offer and you can share and follow along by using the hashtag #OutAboutNC on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Get out and support your local performing arts and see this show packed with North Carolina star talent! It's a great idea for Valentine's Day!

Below I've included some amazing pictures from last night's show taken by Curtis Brown Photography.


Ira David Wood III and Sam Faulkner

Sam Faulkner and the ballet girls

Sam Faulkner and Maximilien Baud
Janet Dickinson and Sam Faulkner

Sam Faulkner and Maximilien Baud

Sam Faulkner