Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chapel Hill...Crooks Corner...Il Palio

I'm so perturbed with my new phone...the photos won't send...I'm taking that thing back tomorrow.

Anyway...Hank and I headed up to Chapel Hill for the weekend to get a few things in order for Legare's upcoming move to his own apartment. No more roommates...he found himself in a "three's company" situation this year and the honeymoon was over after about a week. As Hank told him, "Son...the only way a man can live with a woman is if he really REALLY loves her." I chose to ignore the clear implication that he thinks that ALL women would be hard to live with and that I'm SO lucky because he loves me. (OK...I am...hard to live with AND lucky that he loves me.) But I digress...

Friday night we ate at Crook's Corner. Lesser critics (unlike myself) have said...

"Crook's continues to live up to its national reputation as a temple of Southern cuisine."
— Raleigh News & Observer

"Sacred ground for Southern foodies."— The New York Times

I, Belle, concur! You'd be able to see fabulous photos if the stupid camera phone would upload.

It was casual...VERY. We ate out on the patio. Hank had the most gorgeous summer bean salad and shrimp and grits. Crooks claims to have come up with the original shrimp and grits idea. I don't know about that, but it WAS tasty. Legare had blueberry soup and the shrimp and grits. I had the best caesar salad ever and the tomato tart. I think I like my tomato tart better but theirs was very good. For dessert, we had the homemade sorbet, homemade peach pie (lard and vodka crust), and homemade banana pudding with meringue.

Saturday night...well...Saturday night was STELLAR! We ate at Il Palio Ristorante in the Siena Hotel. When the meal was over, I told the sommelier to bring out the chef so that I could give him a hug. AND HE DID! And I did (give him a hug)! Hank and Legare had the Best Dish in North Carolina Tasting Menu with the wine pairings. The majority (85%) of the ingredients and ALL of the wines were from the state of North Carolina. Here was their menu...

summer bean & Goat Lady ‘Old Liberty’ salad, spring onion, Sicilian oregano
and extra virgin olive oil
Riesling, Chathem Hill 2006, Yadkin Valley, North Carolina

five local onion and Ayrshire Farm rosemary soup, Chapel Hill Creamery
‘Hickory Grove’ and house-made focaccia croutons
Carolina Brewing Company, Summer Ale

Pope Farms lamb and Elodie Farms chevre stuffed ravioli,
asparagus tips and morels
Cabernet Franc, Restless Soul, Old North State, North Carolina

roasted Cane Creek pork loin involtini, Elodie Farms ‘Market Cheese’,
spinach, red and green cabbage, house-smoked Cane Creek bacon,
and apple cider balsamic reduction
Bordeaux blend, Category 5, RayLen Vineyard,
Yadkin Valley, North Carolina

“mixed summer berries” raspberry crisp, blackberry caviar and strawberry gelato
Childress Vineyards Starbound Blueberry Dessert Wine

I had the heirloom tomato and fresh mozzarella salad, homemade ravioli with lobster, veal marsala, and a chocolate expresso pudding. I'm not so much a wine drinker, although I did enjoy a little taste of a dessert wine that was offered. I'm going back on the diet tomorrow morning.

Run as fast as you can to Il Palio...Fit Crooks Corner in when you can.


  1. Good gravy me! I can't believe I've missed so many of your posts!! Where does the time go?! Anyway...I'm happy to say I'm caught up now and have enjoyed myself very much.

    So glad you're having some fun on your stacation!


  2. Blueberry soup really? I'm guessing it was a cold soup? Either way I would love to try it

  3. Oh what a foodie weekend. I have eaten at both of those places and really enjoyed it. I am so glad to have discovered your blog! It brings a little NC down to me in Charleston!

  4. Thanks for the tip on the restaurants. Il Palio Ristorante sounds wonderful!! We don't live too far from there, so we will have to make a road trip over and check it out. I have eaten at Crook's Corner. I know your son is excited about his own apartment in the fall. Love & blessings from NC!

  5. It all sounds amazing! I must admit that I had to giggle at your husband's comment ~ I'm sure my husband would agree.


  6. Oh my, now I am hungry and it is 9:30 in the morning!! I love Chapel Hill, and I am so glad you had such a great time!!

  7. Lard and Vodka Crust sounds like it should be the title of something. I am thinking a cookbook! Mmmmmmm!

  8. Glad you had a good time - maybe you can hit the Flea Market on your next visit?

    Those menus sound yummy, or is it the way you describe them? I'll have to think on that - glad you had a good time -

    Happy Monday -

  9. All of that sounds delicious! I've always wanted to try a tomoato tart! That sounds like a great summer treat!

  10. What a fabulous menu. Everything sounds like perfection. I love your choices, veal marsala is one of my favorites. And tomato and mozzarella salad just screams summer to me. I know Legare will be glad to have his own apartment this fall, roomates can be great, but they can also be a royal pain! Thanks for stopping by, and yes, that was the very chocolate shop that I sent your goodies from. And the coffee shop is home to the coffe sampler I sent! Kathy

  11. Thanks for successfully making me HUNGRY :-)

  12. and you didn't take ME?~

    Oh my gosh, i'm full just reading this post~


Please makes me HAPPY!