Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dinner at Oval Park Grille in Durham

Sunday evening we headed to Durham for dinner at Oval Park Grille. Located next door to Watts Grocery, on Broad Street, Oval Park Grille features outdoor seating as you enter the restaurant. Friendly staff are waiting to greet you as you get seated.

At OPG, they source as much as they can from local partners, hence the hashtag #LocalAsHeck! The menu changes often, depending on what is in season. Some of the standout local ingredients in our dinner included amazing goat cheese from Elodie Farms, Johnston County Ham and Carolina Mountain Trout.

First off for drinks we tried a beer on tap called the Tricycle Radler by Parallel 49 Brewing Company. I'm a pretty big fan of beers with hops, such as IPA or Pale Ales, but I have to say the Radler style is new to me and I will be exploring more of these this summer. They are ideal for this time of year because they are super light and fresh with a hint of sweet. With a refreshing grapefruit taste, this beer would probably appeal to many who are not into heavier craft beer flavors or are just looking for something light, crisp and refreshing to drink.

We started with two salad dishes, the Beet and Johnston County country ham salad and the Kohlrabi and Turnip salad.  The Johnston County ham had amazing flavor and combined with the beets (white and candy stripe) and Elodie goat cheese, this was my favorite. SO good. The second salad was the kohlrabi and turnip salad with henchman cheese, marcona almonds, garlic, anchovy, lemon, cured egg yolks, which was also full of flavor and good texture.

I definitely recommend for appetizers trying the chicken wings. Loved the Haynes' spicy, and medium, jerk flavored ones. Fantastic. I'm not a huge fan of oysters, clams and scallops but we tried the Fried Oyster and Kale salad and it was really good! The oysters are lightly battered and fried and very fresh. The kale is grilled and crispy and served with Pecorino Toscano, peanuts, chili, lime, and caramelized shallot. I might try grilling kale at home, it was really good.

Our two mains were the Clams and the Trout. Both dishes absolutely amazing. We had a glass of Foggy Ridge Cider from Virginia that was refreshing and crisp and nicely paired with our mains. The Sneads Ferry clams and seaweed broth was delicious. The Carolina Mountain trout and roasted golden cauliflower was perfectly cooked and I couldn't get enough of the capers and raisins.

The flavors for Oval Park Grille's dishes were nice combinations of different flavors new to me and really well done. Chef Todd made time to stop by and introduce himself and we enjoyed talking to him about the dishes. The staff are excited about the menus and the drink options and were very knowledgeable and attentive.We truly appreciated being guests and really enjoyed the dishes we ate. I also appreciate that the restaurant has a casual, neighborly atmosphere but the food is carefully presented with lots of attention to detail.

This week happens to be Triangle Restaurant Week in the Triangle so put Oval Park Grille on your list of places to try out this week. Their menu for Triangle Restaurant Week features some of these dishes. You will not regret the trip.

beet and Johnston County country ham salad

Relaxed bar atmosphere
Outdoor seating at the front of the restaurant

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