Monday, June 27, 2016

New Summer Menu at Washington Duke Inn's Fairvew Dining Room

Summer is officially here and the Washington Duke Inn's Fairview Dining Room has recently introduced their new Summer dinner menu. The menu generally rotates seasonally, and I got a sneak peek taste of some of the new dinner menu dishes being prepared by Executive Chef Jason Cunningham and Chef de Cuisine Murray Healy. Everything was beautifully presented and tasted amazing. The new dinner menu is chock full of summer flavors, highlighting the best of fresh summer produce such as peaches and silver queen corn, as well as sourcing ingredients such as cheese, seafood and meats from local area farms and merchants.

Along with the dinner menu, the Fairview Dining Room is featuring new wine selections from Spain, France, California, and Argentina that are suggested for pairing with specific dinner and dessert dishes.

Below I've highlighted a few of my favorite dishes from our sneak peek dinner.

chilled peach consommé: grilled chili rubbed peaches, smoked peach tartare, crème fraîche, fresno pepper (gluten free)

Marinated Strawberries and Figs: baby spinach, watercress, east branch ginger pea tendrils, speck americano, marcona almonds, local chèvre, fig verjus dressing (gluten free)

Seared diver scallop, herb polenta, charred corn salsa, sauteed baby carrots, sunflower shoots, arugula & tarragon gel, outer banks sea salt & yuzu foam (gluten free)

Bourbon glazed beeler farm pork, pork confit, baked sea island red peas, heritage bacon lardons, sautéed pole beans, pepsi hock jus (gluten free). In the background roasted lamb rack, sun dried tomoato, artichoke, asparagus & farro medio saute, charred leeks, fava bean puree, blistered tomatoes, sweet cherry relish, red wine lamb jus

Desert sampling: peach tart tatin with brown butter ice cream, candied pecans, and bourbon balsamic, and mascarpone panna cotta with kahlúa jelly, hazelnut sponge, toasted hazelnuts, coffee anglaise and cornmeal pound cake with blueberry compote, candied silver queen corn, buttermilk ice cream

The summer menu features ingredients from the following local farms and merchants:

Guglhupf Bakery, Durham, East Branch Ginger, Pittsboro, Eastern Carolina Organics, Durham, Brookhaven Farms, Colfax, Joyce Farms, Winston-Salem, Woodfruit, Durham, Sunny Creek Farms, Tryon Prodigal Farm, Rougemont, Heritage Farms, Goldsboro, Locals Seafood, Raleigh, Border Springs Farm, Patrick Spring, Latta Farms, Hillsborough, Goodnight Brothers, Boone, Lyon Farms, Creedmoor.

Dinner: Monday through Sunday 5:30 – 10 pm
Location: Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, 3001 Cameron Boulevard, Durham, NC 27705

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Cameron Village Spotlight: Antiques Emporium

Tucked away in Cameron Village on the third floor is a hidden treasure trove called Antiques Emporium.  Antiques Emporium has been collecting and selling a variety of antiques and imports for thirty years and includes expert sterling silver, china, art and fine jewelry dealers, and one of the biggest costume jewelry collections in the Southeast. Approximately 30 vendors make up the Emporium, each with their individual offerings such as linens, home furnishings, books, glassware and more. The vendors may be working or possibly away on a trip overseas, seeking out more authentic, worldly, one of a kind collection pieces. If you are looking for sterling silver, home furnishings, fine art, tapestries, linens, porcelain, you will find it here. It's an eclectic mix with everything from a $25,000 silver tea set to a $25 antique pin or bracelet, it's fun to come in from the summer heat and look around for your own unique treasure.

One of the jewelry experts, Lee Dempsey of R.L. Dempsey Co., has been at the Antiques Emporium for nearly 20 years and has helped many young couples find a stunning vintage and affordable wedding or engagement ring.

Antiques and vintage style home furnishings is very popular right now and you can find authentic pieces to furnish your home at the Emporium that are right in line with what many interior designers and home decor magazines are featuring in their own designs.

Whether you have company in town or you are looking for unique decor for your home or shopping for a special gift, the Antiques Emporium in Cameron Village can be a fun destination for all ages. Go on your own treasure hunt to find something that speaks to you and has more than likely come from generations ahead of us and has it's own story, to finding a place in your own home to be enjoyed for years to come.

HOURS: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Sunday: Closed
LOCATION: 2060 Clark Avenue, Third Floor

I'm excited to partner with Cameron Village over the next few months to feature some of the great merchants in the Village and highlight some 2016 Spring/Summer Trends and great "hidden gems". I love shopping local and it's been an amazing opportunity to get to know these merchants, their stories and their passion for what they do.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Introducing Cafe Helios' New Tapas Style Dinner Menu

Today, June 20th, the evening of Summer Solstice, Café Helios premieres their new dinner menu. The new tapas style menu is a beautifully curated selection of small plates, just perfect for summer dining with friends. When going out to dinner and drinks with friends I generally prefer small plates that can be shared among a group of us. Café Helios' new dinner menu includes a variety of dishes with some amazing flavors. The focus is on local fresh ingredients with plenty of flavor. The food is Mediterranean-style southern Europe influenced with dishes like grilled octopus and vegetarian gnocchi.

A couple standout dishes that we got a sneak peek of last week included the grilled octopus (and I generally don't eat octopus!) and the lamb lollipops. Well seasoned and absolutely delicious. There is a nice variety of plates available ranging from a fabulous Helios greek salad to a tuna tartar served over guacamole, or a delicious vegetarian gnocchi or lamb bolognese. Another favorite was the Mediterranean platter of olives, hummus and baba ghanoush and/or stuffed grape leaves. It's easy to order a variety of items to share and the prices are good. The outdoor patio seating is relaxing and on a beautiful summer night, it's almost like a little European escape in the midst of the Glenwood South rush. (Hidden gem: the quiet secluded seating nestled in the back).

Shervin Tahssili is the owner and he along with his wife Azita are passionate and excited about their new dinner menu and are eager to make sure you are enjoying your dining experience and have everything you need. I look forward to many trips back this summer to escape.

Dinner Hours: Tapas Style dinner menu Mon-Sat 6pm-10pm.
Location: 413 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh

Open air inside dining

New Tapas Dinner Menu

Vegetarian Gnocchi

Grilled Octopus

Lamb Lollipops

Mediterranean Platter

Helios Salad

Thursday, June 16, 2016

11 Great Shops in Raleigh for Sizzling Summer Style via Offline

I recently partnered with Offline to share some info about several great retail shops in downtown Raleigh for adding some style and making a statement with your home, apartment or patio decor. I've linked to the post on Offline here! Enjoy and get shopping!

Top 11 Shops in DTR for Summer Style

It's summertime and the livin' is easy! Summer is made for hosting-whether it's a backyard cookout, a girls' night or book club, you're going to want your pad and your patio ready to impress. Lucky for you, downtown Raleigh is overflowing with stylish stores!