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.