Thursday, September 13, 2018

Vita Vite Wine Bar + Southern Art Gallery - North Hills - Now Open!

Vita Vite, Raleigh’s wine bar and Southern art gallery, has launched its second location in Midtown Raleigh. Nestled in North Hills, Vita Vite Midtown welcomes guests to a comfortable atmosphere complemented by wine, craft beers, small plates, southern art and local goods for purchase.

“Raleigh has come to know Vita Vite for its inviting, relaxed environment, perfect for enjoying a glass of wine with friends,” said Lindsay Rice, founder and owner of Vita Vite. “We’re thrilled to expand and share this experience with North Hills.”

Vita Vite Midtown features a menu of internationally curated wines along with craft beers on tap, small bites and locally sourced desserts. Guests can purchase art from southern artists as well as goods from specialty artisans and vendors. The 6,000-square foot space blends a modern, edgy ambience with a sophisticated charm, showcasing artful Moroccan tiles and found materials from a 150-year-old Virginian church. Marked by a 360-degree bar, the second-story mezzanine affords vistas of Midtown Park through a retractable glass wall.

Personally, I love what Lindsay has brought to both downtown Raleigh and now North Hills. From one Virginia girl to another, I personally know she offers a warm, elegant carefully cureated venue that's simply beautiful, with plenty of seating for relaxing with friends and enjoying a great glass of wine. Drop in soon and you will likely see Lindsay welcoming guests and sharing great travel and wine knowledge. If you haven't been yet, be sure to drop by the next time you are in North Hills and welcome her to North Raleigh!

Vita Vite Midtown: 200 Park at North Hills Street, Suite 130, Raleigh, NC
Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday: Noon-10pm, Friday-Saturday: Noon-Midnight, 
Sunday: 1-7pm

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

WINE + DINE | Fabulous wine dinners + tastings at so•ca and bu•ku in Cameron Village, Raleigh and Wake Forest

The bu•ku Restaurant Group has been recognized for its thoughtful global wine program at bu•ku in downtown Raleigh, and now also at so•ca in Cameron Village and at the new bu•ku in Wake Forest. Led by Wine Director Troy Revell, who received his Level 2 Court of Master Sommeliers Certification in 2013 and his level 3 Wine Certification from Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) in 2017, along with co-owners Sean Degnan and Tony Hopkins, the bu•ku restaurant group places as much importance on what’s in your glass as what’s on your plate.

“Offering thoughtful wine lists and pairings that are both accessible and adventurous, is extremely important to us, but none of this would matter if we didn’t have well-trained wine professionals on our team,” explained Degnan. “As a restaurant group, we’ve made wine training a priority, and offer it to every single member of our 120-person staff. We’re extremely proud that all of our Executive Chefs have now passed their Level 1 with the Court of Master Sommeliers as well as 11 more on our team, including 3 sous chefs, not to mention our Wine Director, who has received both his Level 2 CMS Certified Sommelier Certification and WSET’s Level 3 Wine Certification.”

This year, Revell expanded bu•ku’s wine selection in Raleigh from 40 to 128 bottles ($36-$150), with 19 additional offerings by the glass (from $8-$14), and 9 dessert wines ($6-$16). The bu•ku list reflects its global cuisine, featuring a wide selection from around the world including some unexpected options. “Divided into familiar and adventurous, our goal with this list is to be both educational and approachable, interesting and fun,” explained Revell.

I purchased this bottle to take home! SO good!
so•ca, which recently celebrated its 1st anniversary, features over 60 wines by the bottle, with a strong emphasis on wines from South America, including Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay, and includes ‘global’ classics as well, from Europe and the United States. 13 of the 19 wines-bythe-glass are from South America. “This may be the most diverse and progressive selection of South American wines in the Triangle,” said Revell, “the ideal complement to Chef Rodriguez’s vibrant Latin cuisine.”

To celebrate so•ca’s Wine Spectator award, Chef Rodriguez and Wine Director Troy Revell have collaborated to offer complimentary wine tastings (3-4 wines) in the bar every Tuesday from 5 to 7pm. The tastings, which will occur weekly, are aimed to provide guests an opportunity to experience wines from Central or South America, alongside small tastings from the restaurant’s Latin-inspired kitchen. Following, guests are invited to dine and enjoy half-price bottles.

  • Next wine dinner will be on September 27 with a winemaker
    from Ricardo Santos
  • ½-priced  wine bottles every Tuesday
  • Get more info on so•ca complimentary wine tastings in the bar from 5-7pm on Facebook
  • They offer Friday Night Flights every week, where they feature 3 wines from a particular winery, which rotates monthly.

I was thrilled to be invited to an amazing dinner and wine pairing at so•ca last week in Cameron Village and I wanted to share about it to let people know about the delicious food and wine that is being artfully served right here in Raleigh. The dinner last week featured Susana Balbo Winery, from the Lujan de Cuyo region of Argentina, with Chef Eli Rodriguez and Wine Director, Troy Revell. This five course substantial dinner was full of amazing flavors and creative ingredients! Sampling a range of wine from Argentina with each course was educational for me and we were encouraged to ask questions and learn more as we go. It was fun to be seated with others that appreciate unique wine and food and I enjoyed meeting several Raleigh foodies!

Below are some photos and details of each course, I hope you will be inspired to have a look at what so•ca is doing as well as bu•ku in downtown Raleigh and their newest location in Wake Forest!

Seated with great people at dinner!

Wine Director - Troy Revell

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho | Marinated tuna, yuca cracker, cured lemon, apricot salsa
PAIRED WITH: Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes '16 + Crios de Susana Balbo Rose '17 - ARGENTINA

SECOND COURSE - (my personal favorite!)
Torched Chilean Salmon | plum chutney, sweet potato puree, snap peas,
charred greens, cherry gastrique
PAIRED WITH: Vaglio 'Temple' Malbec '16 + Susana Balbo 'Signature' Malbec '15 -

Duck Roulade | smoked parsnip puree, roasted baby carrots, aji panca-blackberry compote, black rice
PAIRED WITH: Vaglio 'Chango" Malbec Blend '16 + Ben Marco 'Expresivo' Malbec Blend '15 - Tupungato and Uco Valley, MENDOZA, ARGENTINA

Grilled Flank Steak | arugula chimichurri, confit pearl onion, trumpet mushroom, shaved radish,
 black fruit demi-glace, asparagus
PAIRED WITH: Susana Balbo 'Signature' Cabernet '14 + Susana Balbo 'Brioso' Cabernet Blend '13 - MENDOZA, ARGENTINA (my personal favorite wines!)

Duality | Lemon cake, citrus jam, white chocolate, yuzu ice cream, chocolate cake,
cannoli shell, marscarpone, ganache
PAIRED WITH: Susana Balbo Late Harvest Torrontes '12 + Susana Balbo Late Harvest Malbec '16- MENDOZA, ARGENTINA

: 2130 Clark Ave, Raleigh, NC
HOURS: M-Th 4-10pm, Fri 4-11pm, Sat 11-11pm, Su 10-10pm
Brunch: 11-2pm Saturday / 10-2pm Sunday


Caribbean + Central and South American
inspired food + drink
Get more info:

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

MUSIC: Opening Night of Disney's Newsies at NC Theatre!

Last night was opening night for NC Theatre's presentation of Disney's NEWSIES.

I really enjoy musicals and I had been looking forward to seeing NEWSIES, but I will confess I had not seen the show before, I had not seen the movie or heard any of the music. When we got to our seats and the show was being introduced, they asked how many young, tweens, teens were in the audience. There was a huge cheer from the crowd. Then the show was dedicated by the President of NC Theatre to all the young people in the audience. I was excited to see how this show set back almost 120 years ago, could connect so strongly with the younger audience of today.

Newsies is set back in 1899 when young people spoke out for their human rights, a theme that is ever so present in our world today with so many young people all over the world, showing courage and conviction while speaking out and demanding fairness and change in today's world. I hope lots of young North Carolinian's are able to come see Newsies during their show this week. I asked my 16 year old to tell me why it meant so much to see this show and here are her thoughts in her own words...

When I first heard of Newsies, it was from my cousin who was obsessed with the 1992 movie version starring Christian Bale. It wasn’t until, in my high school chorus class, we began to learn “Seize the Day” for our spring concert, that I started to realize how great this show was. I immediately, being the teenager that I am, searched Newsies into Netflix and found the broadway version of Disney’s Newsies. I fell in love with it instantly. I started listening to the soundtrack on repeat and watched the original movie and I was totally captured by this show. 

When I heard Newsies was coming to Raleigh, I freaked out. I told my mom that I had to get tickets to this show, that it was one of the best shows I had ever seen. 

When I got to see this show on opening night I was completely blown away. Everything exceeded my expectations and it was hands down the best show I have seen on a stage. All the singing and dancing was unbelievably great and they all sounded so professional and controlled. I dance in high school and I love good choreography and dancing and this show did not let me down. The dancing was so good and made me want to get out of my seat and dance along. 

I also really loved how they dedicated the show to young people because in the show they were all kids standing up for themselves and even though that happened in the 1890’s it is still a lesson we can learn in 2018. I would recommend this show to anyone of any age because it is a show that has a little bit of everything, it’s funny, sad, romantic, and sometimes dark. They cover so many themes that I think we can still learn from today while also keeping the show uplifting and funny. 

Make sure to come see this amazing show, you will not be disappointed. -S.Lynn

Eddie Olmo as Race and Jason Gotay as Jack and the cast of Disney's NEWSIES. Photo by Curtis Brown Photography.

Steve Raymond as Crutchie, Jason Gotay as Jack and the cast of Disney's NEWSIES. Photo by Curtis Brown Photography.

Shannon O'Boyle as Katherine and the cast of Disney's NEWSIES. Photo by Curtis Brown Photography.

Get tickets

Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
2 East South Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2018: 7:30PM
Wednesday, Jul 25, 2018: 7:30PM
Thursday, Jul 26, 2018: 7:30PM
Friday, Jul 27, 2018: 7:30PM
Saturday, Jul 28, 2018: 2:00PM
Saturday, Jul 28, 2018: 7:30PM
Sunday, Jul 29, 2018: 2:00PM
Sunday, Jul 29, 2018: 7:30PM

Act I: Approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes, Act II: Approximately 55 minutes, with 15 minute Intermission

Thank you NC Theatre for reaching out to us at RaleighWhatsUp and allowing us to come see the opening show last night!