Restaurant Week is Back

The Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership’s Restaurant Week is almost here! The new restaurant weekannual event is running this year from Monday, February 22 through Sunday, February 28. The event is to highlight the restaurants as well as our beloved downtown and its fantastic aesthetic and diverse nightlife. Each location will offer specials intended to entice you to try their wares as well as that of their colleagues.

The list of restaurants in the downtown Winston-Salem area is out and available for your perusing. You can see the full details of the event here. To highlight just a few of the establishments and a sample of their specials to whet your whistle:

DiLisio’s Italian Restaurant$30 Special – 1 shared Appetizer, 2 Baked Dishes, 1 Shared Canoli.

Willow’s Bistro & Bar:
$20 Special – 
1st Course: cup of soup or salad
2nd Course: Grilled Scottish Salmon: over wild mushroom risotto, asparagus coins, shaved manchego.
3rd Course: Makers Mark creme brulee with fresh berries

$30 Special –
1st Course: roasted veggies or grilled romaine
2nd Course: Grilled 8oz. Cafe Steak: over gouda mac n cheese, grilled asparagus, & fried onion rings
3rd Course: Sous Vide Banana Pudding

King’s Crab Shack & Oyster Bar:
$20 Special – Full Bucket – Dreamy Steamy Bucket: steamed mix of spiced up snow crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters

$30 Special – Bucket for Two – Dreamy Steamy Bucket: steamed mix of spiced up snow crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters

$30 Per Person –
Choice of Starters:
Soup du Jour
Little Gem Artisan Lettuce Salad: with roasted tomato, English cucumber, house made crouton & aged red wine vinaigrette

Choice of Entree:
House Made Pasta of the day(eg. Ravioli, Lasagna, Manicotti)
Pan Seared NC Mountain Trout: with starch, vegetable & sauce
Grass Fed Bistro Steak Lyonnaise: with pommes frites, dressed artisan lettuce & Meridian steak sauce

Choice of Housse Made Dessert:
Bread Pudding: with caramel & creme chantilly
Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
Dark Chocolate Torte with ganache & creme chantilly

Mellow Mushroom:
$20 Dinner for Two –
Choice of 2 lil’ salads (tossed or caesar)
1 medium 1-topping pizza to share
1 brownie sundae to share

$30 Dinner for Two –
Choice of Hummus or Bruschetta appetizer to share
1 large specialty pizza to share
1 brownie sundae to share

Mission Pizza:
$20 Special –
1 pizza of your choice, green salad, and daily dessert

$30 Special –
2 pizzas of your choice OR 1 pizza of your choice and 1 plate of your choice, and dessert

Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar:
Classic Spring House: $20 –
Choice of seasonal soup or HOUSE salad
The Colonel 2.0.16: crispy buttermilk fried chicken atop corn waffle with brown sugar smoked apple infused maple drizzle
Warm Bread Pudding
**please no substitutions

Winter’s Bounty: $30 –
Shrimp and Crab Beignets with Red Beet and Horseradish Remoulade
Choice of seasonal soup or HOUSE salad
Fred Flintstone’s Pork Shank: Savannah inspired red rice with lemon, parsley and dijon bread crumbs and HOUSE pepper jelly
**please no substitutions

Camino Bakery:
$20 Special –
Bag of Krankies whole coffee beans and a loaf of bread of your choice

$30 Special –
Bag of Krankies whole coffee beans, loaf of bread of your choice, and a bottle of Honoro Vera Garnacha

There are plenty more wonderful restaurants participating. Again, see the full list on the DWSP website.

A few disclaimers that are very important here:

*Restaurant Week Specials are dine-in only so, no take outs.
*Restaurant Specials are subject to change and that’s a possibilty. The prices exclude tax and tip. Take care of those who take care of you.
*If you’ve a food allergy, questions about ingredients or any other special restrictions, please check with individual restaurants.
*Restaurant Week Specials are subject to availability; they may, and often do, run out of the Special.
*Please check with restaurants prior to dining if you have questions about the Specials; don’t call the DWSP about it, they’re not in control of that info.
*If they run out of the Special, the restaurant is not obligated to provided a replacement dish.
*Coupons are not accepted in conjunction with these specials. Check with restaurants for coupon policies.

If there is an error on this page, the official restaurant special at the Restaurant is correct; I’m but a guide through the awesome food land and I have been known to almost make a mistake a time or two.

The important thing here? Go enjoy delicious food and support local establishments. You never know who you may see out there!


The Willow’s Wine Dinner Part II

When we last left off, we had imbibed three good wines and some delicious oysters, goat cheese truffles and tilefish with lamb belly at Chef Travis Myers‘ wine dinner at Willow’s Bistro. This time we’ll start off from the second course and on through to dessert. Let’s do it.

Second Course: Crispy Skin

Harmony Ridge Farms Duck Confit Leg with Chef John Bobby‘s (Rooster’s: A Noble Grille) andouille & gnocchi hash, Shore Farm Organic‘s bok choy, more of Fair Share Farms delicious mircogreens, an apricot & cherry mostarda with Lusty Monk Mustard. This was paired with Hartford ‘Russian River’ Pinot Noir.

In the past, I’ve not been a fan of duck. I don’t like dark meat fowl as a general rule. WillowsDinner4However, I have found over the last bit, that I like duck confit (which means it’s cooked in its own fat), perhaps because of the fat. The closer to the bone the meat, the darker it is. This was a very meaty piece of bird and didn’t hold too much of the dark flavor that I don’t like. Again, a good thing. The mostarda with the Lusty Monk Mustard was a great ‘sauce’ to go with the gamy bird. I did wish there was more of the bok choy, but, again, the secret weapon of the dish was the inclusion of the microgreens. It’s amazing how much difference that itty-bitty plant can make. There’s a strong yet subtle (if that’s possible) flavor that rushes out from the microgreens. Overall, one of my favorite dishes of the night. Definitely, my favorite wine of the evening. I’ve always been a white and sweet wine kind of guy but both Stephanie and I agree that we’re becoming real fans of Pinot Noir. This one, was jammy and we really liked that.There was definite fruit flavor here and it went perfectly with the duck. I kind of wish it had been the wine for the main course.

Palate Cleanser: Moss Farms Granny Smith & Calvados Sorbet

WillowsDinner5Made with Cloister Honey‘s wildflower honey, Sea Love Sea Salt and an apple crisp garnish. This was a perfect palate cleanser. Cool, flavorful, sweet and that little sliver of crisp apple was surprisingly apple-y. I didn’t expect that to have as much flavor as thin it was, but it was great. It did its job, cleansed the palate, gave a sweet break from the savory and wine and prepared us for the main course. No alcohol was included in this course, and rightly so.

Main Course: Carolina Bison 3-hour Braised Short Ribs

The large block of tender bison was accented with a cauliflower puree and wilted Dino kale, roasted parsnips, Let It Grow Produce‘s persimmon preserves, Fair Share Farms microgreens, Sea Love Sea Salt and a savory, natural jus. This is paired with a Ferrari-Carano ‘Trésor’ Red.

The kale with this dish was unusual for me. I find kale to be somewhat offensive, usually, but with the savoriness of the jus and the cauliflower puree, it was more there for flavorful texture than anything else, at least to me. The toasted parsnips are like crunchy WillowsDinner6curly-cues. The bison fell apart as I cut it to take a bite. Its temperature was perfect. Once again, the secret weapon was the microgreens. I know you’re tired of hearing me go on about the microgreens but they are truly an amazing supercharge to the savory dishes we’ve encountered tonight. While we did like the ‘Trésor’ Red, it didn’t have the same depth of flavor as the Hartford Pinot Noir. I mentioned this, but I would have rather had that with this, but the Ferrari-Carano wasn’t a bad choice. It did bring the bison to the forefront and set its profile off. Great dish, Chef.

Dessert Course: Sticky Toffee Cake

Red molasses ice cream, Willow’s candied pecan soil, date gastrique, orange zest, vanilla & date sablès and a pickled Bradford Watermelon rind. It was paired with Gloria Ferrer‘s ‘Va de Vi.’

WillowsDinner7The watermelon rind was chewy and tart. I do think it was at odds with the overall dessert, but it didn’t offend the idea, at all. The red molasses ice cream was hard to keep on the “cookie” top as both slid from the “soil” base and the ice cream was starting to melt. I think the ice cream was the star of this dish, though. So, melting or not; sliding or not, the ice cream was fantastic. The ‘Va de Vi’ is a bubbly blend of the Pinot Noir grape and chardonnay with just a hint of moscato. It went well with the sweeter fruits in the dessert.

We have been privileged to have been involved with so many tastings lately. I don’t report on them to say, ‘hey look what we did’ as much as I am trying to  bring awareness to the beautiful and exquisitely flavored dishes that the chefs in our town are creating. Those chefs taking their visions and creating masterpieces of gastronomical proportions are the ones that stand out; the ones I highlight. As Chuck King, from American Premium Beverage said during this event: “this gives the chef’s a chance to show off,” and I think he’s absolutely correct.

These are called wine dinners but it’s more about the food, in my eyes (and mouth). I will say that Chuck did a great job in picking the right vino accompaniment, though. But, the real star is the food. I believe my two favorite dishes were the fish course (because of the lamb belly) and the duck confit. The duck may move ahead slightly just because of the Pinot Noir. Much thanks to Chef Will Kingery and Chef Myers for being the gracious hosts they are. Much thanks, too, to the talented kitchen staff, the bartenders, the dish washers and the awesome servers that were always there to make sure that our waters were filled, our silverware was always replaced and when minute errors happen, they were the ones to make things right (there was only one little snafu that’s not even worth mentioning, it was that minute). Willow’s is a class act and this was their way of showing off. So, I say show off!!

Willow’s Bistro is located at 300 South Liberty Street, Suite 125 in Downtown Winston-Salem. Keep an eye on their Facebook page, Chef Myers and Chef Will’s Twitter and/or Instagram pages and you’ll know when the next pairing dinner will be.

A Krispy Kreme Barista? You Better Believe It

Think that only that coffee company from Seattle and the local café are the only places that have “baristas” to guide your craft coffee needs to new heights? That may be the way that it has always been but the times, they are a-changin’ and that change is being spearheaded by a local original, Krispy Kreme.

What? Krispy Kreme has coffee? Surprise! Krispy Kreme has always had coffee. Since 1937, when the company started in Old Salem, they’ve had coffee to go with those doughnuts. It’s just never been the focus, at least not from the customers’ point of view. Krispy 12642774_1016210518439851_9082411962573681754_nKreme is hoping to change that perception and change it in a big way; unlike anything this area knows of its favorite yeast-based, hometown treat and shops.

There are several Krispy Kreme locations in the Triad, NC area but there’s only one in the region that has baristas and that shop is in Clemmons, NC. In fact, according to Kelley O’Brien (Interactive Media), it’s the only place, at all, company- (and world) wide, other than the Philippines and Korea that has baristas. These baristas are trained how to make the coffee drinks and how to pair them with the various styles of doughnuts and other treats that Krispy Kreme offers. It was at this Clemmons location that I, along with several other food bloggers and media representatives enjoyed a sampling and tasting of the new coffee offerings, along with a pairing of the roasted liquid deliciousness and doughy delights the company has to offer.

Two of the baristas in this shop, Ulanda and Demarcus, came from the big coffee company that is located in the Pacific Northwest and are showing their talents off at Krispy Kreme. This isn’t just plain coffee, either, it’s cappuccino, lattes, mocha, Americano, espresso drinks and so on. It’s like other cafés, except, this café has awesome Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Krispy Kreme understands that to compete with the big boys of coffeedom, they have to bring in some big boys of their own. In this case, they brought in S&D Coffee and Tea out of Concord to roast, condition and supply them with their coffee products. S&D Coffee and Tea are the largest custom roaster in the country, so they know coffee. Sustainability and 12645224_1016211241773112_3385366472348831281_nfair trade are becoming a more and more prominent concern with a wide breadth of commodities. When asked about sustainability, Toby Foreman (Director of Manufacturing for S&D) said that this is part of the ever-evolving focus of the environmental awareness of the company. According to S&D’s website, the company is working very hard eliminating unnecessary waste of energy, water and resources, establishing sustainable supply chains and engaging in the innovation and development of long-range solutions. Another representative (Glen, although I didn’t get his last name) also said that they are working with many growers in various harvesting locations to ensure better fair trade practices.

The head of Global Marketing, Amy Harp, explained that the reason this store was chosen as the “sandbox” or testing grounds. Simply put, it was already being built. And, since the location is merely minutes away from the Krispy Kreme worldwide, corporate headquarters, it’s easy to keep tabs on the progress, trends and circumstances as they happen. It was a matter of halting the plan, adjusting the layout, implementing the changes and voila, a new vision realized. This is the laboratory for what Krispy Kreme sees as the future of their business; not just the coffee but the store model.

So, next time you’re wanting a treat of a different flavor, with coffee that is beyond plain and ordinary, or if you’re looking for that big coffee shop experience with a delicious treat that is unlike any other, you should check out Krispy Kreme, not only in Clemmons but coming soon to your own local shop. The Clemmons shop is located at 2442 Lewisville-Clemmons Rd.

Beautiful BBQ, Bourbon and Bluegrass

by Timothy G. Beeman II

Friday night, October 23, 2015, Old Salem’s Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (known as MESDA) celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary, the completion of a six-year renovation, and the opening of two new self-guided galleries. To commemorate this, they put on a party that included BBQ, bourbon and bluegrass. The event, held in the Horton Meadow, just below, and even under the bridge and walkway of the wooden bridge that crosses Old Salem Road from the Visitor Center to the museum entrance, boasted a showcase of fourteen master distillers from sixteen distilleries, as well as two of the areas’ popular breweries. While all of the distilleries brought some good products, some really stood above the rest of the field.


(photo © Susan Jones)

Both versions of the Limoncello (regular and jalapeno-infused) from Seventy-Eight ºC Spirits (Raleigh) were not only good, but the spicier-flavored of the two was a true standout; not hot but flavorful. From Asheville Distilling Company (Asheville), the Blonde Whiskey is one of my favorites, overall. It was smooth and full-flavored. Trey Herring’s Carolina Bourbon (Charleston, SC) had a more robust and earthy, yet still pleasant flavor and aroma. You certainly can’t forget local up-and-comers, Sutler’s Spirits from Winston-Salem. Distiller Tim Nolan was on hand to promote the brand.

The highlight of the tasting table, however, was the Krupnikas, a Lithuanian style honey liqueur from The Brothers Vilgalys Spirits (Durham). The sweet of the honey ends with a spiced flourish. Beyond the tasting table was a special Reserve from an NC distillery that I’ll not mention by name because the booze was in a hidden stash under the table. I was lucky enough to try it and it was possibly some of the most smooth tasting whiskey I’ve ever tried. The rep told me to wait until the tasting cup was empty and smell it. The aroma of tobacco swelled as the cup dried. Minutes later that aroma was even stronger. When this special reserve gets released, I’ll certainly purchase some of that.

Area celebrity bartender, Lele Nguyen, was the “guru-in-the-know” for the evening, dispensing the goodies at the tasting table and she was very detailed with the descriptions of all the various liquors, no matter the style. The true superstar of the “bourbon” part of the event was the resident mixologist and co-owner of The Tavern in Old Salem, North Carolina’s oldest tavern, Jordan Keiper. Keiper designed a bar program for this event that highlights the new generation of Southern craft distillers, creating a variety of signature cocktails featuring the four spirits that made the early South “wet:” bourbon, rum, gin, and moonshine, especially moonshine. There’s a push to show North Carolina’s distillers are more than just moonshine; so much more.

This event was also more than booze. There was Eastern style North Carolina barbecue and fried chicken from the Barbecue Lodge in Raleigh. Eastern style is my preference in the “Carolina barbecue” realm. I don’t mind Lexington style, but I prefer the strong vinegar taste over the ketchup heavy, if I have my choice. A white barbecue slaw that tastes like the “red” stuff we have here and hush puppies. The fried chicken was absolutely delicious. Just the right amount of seasoning and the inside was juicy and perfect. In fact, I had two breasts. I liked it that much. And let’s not forget to mention the banana pudding. That, too, was delicious.

In addition to the liquors and delicious food, both Gibbs Hundred Brewing Company and Hoots Beer Company had two brews each available. Gibbs Hundred had The Guilty Party ESB and Blind Man’s Holiday GPA (Greensboro Pale Ale). They were both quite tasty with the ESB (one of my favorite styles of beer) being my favorite of those two. Hoots had their Oktoberfest and a wheat on tap. Stephanie had the wheat and I, the Oktoberfest. Hoots is always solid and this was no exception. These beers made fine companions to the rest of the festivities. I feel the same is to be said of the breweries. The theme of the event, a celebration of southern arts, was represented well by the brewing artists at these two breweries.

If there was anything that I can say that was less than optimal was that the bluegrass band, Carolina Tradition Bluegrass Band was set up right beside the tasting station. They were a fine band, indeed, but the music was loud under that bridge and it was hard to hear what Lele was saying about the various libations. Again, it wasn’t the band, it was the positioning. However, if that was the worst part, that just goes to show how good this event was.

To Jordan Keiper, to MESDA, to Old Salem, many kudos for putting on such a spectacular event. Keiper himself said that he’s hoping that this will put Winston-Salem, North Carolina on the map. Not only the Southern map, no. The American distillers map. Not necessarily for the distilleries themselves, although those certainly don’t hurt, but for the city as a distillers’ event location. I can’t wait for the “second annual” version of the event. It has the potential to get support and attendance numbers of a wine festival and this town knows wine festivals. This was a bold undertaking on everyone’s part, but the event was a rousing success and was a complete sell out. Great news for the city, the museum, the distillers and the attendees. An honor to attend, indeed.

Twin City Hive to get New Address and New Business Model

by Timothy G Beeman II

Joey Burdette and Terry Miller, co-owners of Twin City Hive have announced that they are moving the popular coffee house to a new location. But, won’t this create a chink in the canonical armor of TCH? Absolutely not! This will make everything better.

First of all, the location, while moving, is only moving about twenty steps away. They’re moving to the back of the breezeway in the location that they’re currently occupying. So, in essence, they’re not changing locations, at all. What will change, however, is the overall scope of how the business will be operating. 11aTCH

Joey and Terry walked us through the new, larger space and gave a tour of ideas and vision. The old location, once the location of McCormick & Smith attorneys, has several separated spaces including conference rooms/meeting spaces and a kitchenette. The proposed layout will retain the front conference room that can be reserved/rented for business meetings, gatherings, etc. The next conference area will have the frosted glass and framing fixtures removed and seating and tables will provide a comfy lounge area around a proposed fireplace. The largest room, however, is in the front (or back?) and will contain more seating and tables.

Beyond this there will be a new entrance/exit that leads to South Marshall Street where there will be additional parking striped off along the street. Between the street and the building will be a patio that will provide more seating and accommodation. Currently, there is a solid door that is more of a necessary escape hatch that leads to the pine needles that serve as landscaping for the outside of the building. The ugly green awning has been removed as well.

This is, after all, a coffee shop. So, there will be, of course, coffee. New (to them) fixtures and such will be put in the barista and service area and a pass-through door to the kitchen where the plan, according to Terry, could be to eventually serve quiches, salads and the like. That’s not solid yet and there was also discussions of possible contracting of prepared goods to sell from local establishments. There was also a mention of a license to sell beer and wine.

One of the many unique qualities about Twin City Hive is the fact that they don’t use the same ordinary roasters that so many of the other coffee shops around town use; not that there’s anything wrong with those. Twin City Hive, however, use seven different roasters from across North Carolina. That in itself is remarkable. But wait! There’s more.  TCH is partnering with Sarah Chapman of Vida Pour Tea in Greensboro on a gourmet line of teas that will be branded by TCH. Sarah will sell the teas by the glass in her shop, but the only “bulk”/retail sales of the teas will be at TCH. Drinkers will be able to buy it by the glass/cup at the Hive, as well. The blends will be themed around Winston-Salem and its history. The flagship tea will be called “Tobacco Heritage” and when we sampled it you could really taste the notes of tobacco although I don’t believe any was actually used. There will be several other blends as well, including a local take on the traditional English Breakfast tea and a minty tea. Nothing run-of-the-mill for these teas.

Terry said that one of the challenges that they face, even in the current space is that you have warring factions of sort. You have those who may be meeting friends that want to catch up and have a good time, chatting it up. On the other side you have the students, the studies, the workers that need a little less of the loud and more of the quiet ambiance. This location can promote and accommodate both of those demographics. Plus, add the patio for the warmer, dryer months, you’ve got a great place to be productive and have great coffee or tea.

A major distinction that has been bestowed on Twin City Hive is the fact that they have been chosen to participate in the Yelp! event called Coast-To-Coast: Coming Together Because We Mean Business. Only one hundred businesses across North America were selected to attend and TCH is one of those hundred. According to Yelp!’s official release: “November 4–5, Yelp is bringing together the people behind 100 top-rated businesses across North America for a historic event taking place at Yelp’s San Francisco headquarters.” This is quite the accomplishment and accolade; a recognition by their peers.

One last thing is that the partners have recently sold their Segway business to a local competitor. Revolution Gliding Tours was a main component in the initial idea of Twin City Hive. The coffee business has pretty much taken precedence and this move and revised vision is proof of that. TCH will still be a stop on the tour and possibly a facilitator of the tours themselves.

The target date of the whole change over is the first week of November. Joey will be in San Francisco right before that so it will be a challenge to make that deadline but these guys can do it. The changes all sound very exciting and needed. Everything old is new again certainly fitting here. What you knew about Twin City Hive is going to be reborn with all new attitudes, all new digs and an all new name. It will be called the Twin City Hive Coffee Lounge. It will be a lounge, for sure. It will be great for those who are fans of what Twin City Hive is now and great for those looking for a coffee lounge that they didn’t know existed. This is your place. This is our place. This is Twin City Hive Coffee Lounge.

You can find more about all the happenings at Twin City Hive by visiting their website. Twin City Hive is located at 301 Brookstown Avenue, Winston-Salem.

The Last of the Luv Luv with Much Love

-Timothy G. Beeman II

On Saturday, Stephanie and myself were invited to accompany friends of ours to the Annual Luv Luv Festival, the brainchild of Tim Grandinetti, the co-owner/head chef of Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar. The Luv Luv Festival is a culinary showcase of chefs from all over with great live music. We hadn’t, unfortunately, ever attended the Luv Luv Festival but we had wanted to. This was our first time ever and let’s just say we loved it. Let’s make clear, too that it’s not the last ever festival but the last day of this year’s festival.


The Beer Dads and Their Pilots


The Menu

First of all, we have to start with the company we kept during this festival. Paul & Susan Jones along with Jon & Celeste Lowder were our tablemates and we’re no strangers to each other. In fact, Paul, Jon and I do a podcast called The Beer Dads which is part of The Less Desirables Podcast Network. So we hang out, talk about being dads and drink, you guessed it, beer every week. Our wives have become good friends so we had a very, very fun table. Also, former local DJ personality and Master of Ceremonies of the event, Bob Campbell (who also happens to be the voice over talent for The Beer Dads) sat with us as did our guest of honor, the wife of this evening’s guest chef (Tim Recher), Alicia Recher. We were guests of the Lowders and can’t thank them enough for having us. Good wine, liquor and beer as “the beer dad” ladies had more than a few glasses of white wine and the guys a mixture of cocktails and beer. I believe Paul and Jon preferred the Sisters of the Moon IPA from Mother Earth Brewing while I had one of those and then switched to the Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge. But, as much as we like to think that it is sometimes, the alcohol wasn’t the star attraction of the night. It was the food.

Starting off the whole night was a plate of hummus with pita triangles alongside of tomatoes straight from the garden of Chef Grandinetti. This was followed by a large plate of oysters and cocktail shrimp from Rappahannock Oyster Company. The oysters 11891148_10153437332285490_984877909746256410_nwere raw and delicious. Also served with them were some hot peppers with a sweet glaze of hoisin and sesame seeds. Jon and a few of the ladies mentioned they thought they were hot. I ate several of them and got nothing more than great flavor. I found them to be very mild and almost no heat. Perhaps one of us got lucky, you decide.

Course 1

Course #1 Chicken & Dumplings

The first course “Chicken & Dumplings” was quail, black summer truffle mousse, gnocchi, chive velouté and herb biscuit. This was a fantastic course. The “chicken” seemed to be a combo of quail and other meats that were served sausage style and while I’m generally not one for quail, not only did I eat all of this, I picked it up and ate the bones like they were a chicken leg. Of course, I was nibbling, but it was so good and the velouté sauce was like gravy and light enough to not overpower but perfect for accentuation. It was easy to sop up the extra velouté sauce with the biscuit and the gnocchi were tender. Let’s say that my plate (with the exception of the bones of the quail) had nothing left on it. It was clean. Wonderful course.

Course 2

Course #2 English Pea Soup with Sea Bass

Course #2 was “Chilled English Pea Soup and Seared Sea Bass.” Described as coriander, Fresno chili, warm mushroom-shallot-pea salad, Arbequine olive oil, fennel pollen. When you cut into the fish, it fell apart being a wonderful flaky morsel of flavor. Seasoning wasn’t anything to mask the fish, you got full “sea bass” (or Patagonian Tooth Fish) flavor and that’s a good thing. The peas under the fish were quite fresh and even had Susan Jones, who doesn’t eat peas cleaning her plate of them. As simple as it is, the cress on top, really set a freshness that I can’t explain in words to the entire plate. The pea soup had the distinctive coriander and chili flavor as it was a tad savory and I loved it. It was topped with the fennel pollen. I had to drink it like a shot because there really was no way to get a spoon in there. But, I think that was the point. I had no problem shooting that soup. Delicious.

Course 3

Course #3 Beet Salad

Course #3 was “Roasted Baby Heirloom Beet Salad.” Belgium endive, frisée (another kind of endive, which along with Belgium endive can be called chicory here in the US, at least from my research), upland cress, pickle apple, curried cashews, beet vinaigrette, aerated coriander yogurt. I’ll have to be honest, was my least favorite course, but when you don’t like beets, or many other like-vegetables (I’m adapting as I get older), then that’s understandable; at least in my mind. I did enjoy the pickled apple and curried cashews. I did eat all the leaves but left some of the endives and most of the beets. Again, the cashews and pickled apple were good.

Course 4

Course #4 Back Yard BBQ

Course #4 was, to me, the pièce de résistance. It was “Back Yard Steak.” Coffee rubbed bison. Vidalia onion ash inlay. Sous vide smoked brisket & potato croquette. Seasonal vegetables, sweet corn puree, bbq jus lie and smoked black garlic.This cut of bison meat was so tender and juicy that a regular table knife could cut right through it with no problem. It was medium rare and the outsides were perfectly charred and seasoned with the coffee rub. The baby carrot and corn was a nice addition as was the jus lie (pronounced zhoo lee-AY) and vidalia onion inlay. That coffee rub and the meat itself was such a flood of flavor that I ate it with my eyes closed most of the time, enjoying each individual bite. Generally, I’ll tear through food like I’m being graded on it but I took my time and every single chew was documented by my brain. Let’s just say that it was so good that not only did I eat all of mine, I also had the bonus of half of Stephanie’s. She loved it as well, but was filling up. This was a definite 5 on a 5 scale.

Course 5

Course #5 S’Mores

Course #5 was the dessert course which was “S’mores.” Dark chocolate crémeux, molasses spice graham cracker cookie, toasted marshmallows, salted caramel gelato, toasted caramel. Stephanie got her second wind enough to eat this. I thought the crémeux was the absolute best thing about it. It was like eating a very soft, but still firm, piece of fudge. The tiny toasted marshmallow squares were a nice accompaniment for the crémeux. The gelato was a bit melted away by the time I got to it but what I got of it was delicious. I love caramel, so this was a nice finish.

Chef Tim Recher, of the Army/Navy Country Club in DC, really brought a wonderful menu and Chef Tim Grandinetti and his team both in the kitchen and the outside wait staff were fantastic support, making this event a true 5 star dinner treat to anyone who was privileged enough to be there. Spring House is always a class act and this was no different. Many thanks to Chef Grandinetti for hosting. Spring House can be found at 450 North Spring Street in downtown Winston-Salem. They’re on the web at

The New Local 27101 Opens for LunchF

I had the opportunity to eat lunch with one of my very good friends today and when discussing where we were going to meet, I suggested that we go to the new Greg Carlyle vehicle, Local 27101, the former Millennium Artisan Restaurant.

The idea behind Local 27101 is that the food is locally sourced (no, not from the 27101 zip code, necessarily) so that it’s fresh. It’s supposed to be fast and reasonably priced. Greg said, “the people downtown are looking for a fast, $5 burger,” and this exactly that. The menu has many things from the aforementioned burgers (make it a double for just $2 more), po boys, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, salads (Cobb, Caesar, add a protien, etc) and so on. Sides include crinkle cut fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings. You can add on to your burger with avocado, an over-easy egg, bacon, or caramelized onions.


The Local Burger w/ Onion Rings

The Local Burger is a quarter pounder with lettuce, tomato, “local sauce,” which isn’t quite 1000 Island but is beyond mayonnaise, and muenster cheese. Another nice touch is the top bun is branded with the logo from Local 27101. I had one with an extra patty, hold the lettuce. The homegrown tomato along with the local sauce made the bread a little soggy as the tomato was really ripe, but it didn’t detract from the burger. You want the burger to be juicy without being wet, save the tomato, it wasn’t wet, it was cooked just right. I think the only thing it was missing was a few dill chips on it.I also had the onion rings with it, which if you know me, you know I don’t like onions, but oddly enough, I can eat onion rings, when they’re good. There’s a good batter on the rings and weren’t overly greasy which is all too common with onion rings from many places. My pal had his a single without the tomato but with lettuce along with crinkle fries. The fries looked to be topped with herbs that are grown in the windows around the restaurant (so there are some things that are local to 27101). The flavors, to me, were exactly what I was looking for good meat, great cheese the sauce was tangy. Again, I could have done without some of the moist bun from the tomatoes but that’s okay, the flavor was worth it.

The restaurant itself is a lot of brown and natural wood with each window adorned with herbs to be used in the restaurant. The slat work accentuates the bar area. A very large menu is stuck to the wall and the chalkboard was being decorated as we walked in. They have beer, wine and are formulating a drink menu. How the whole thing works is: you walk in, stop by the counter where the bar is, order your food, get a buzzer, scope your seat and wait for the buzzer. When it buzzes you go to the counter and pick up your silver tray. The bump in the road for me is when you want a refill you have to either jump in front of people at the order counter to get the order taker to refill it or alert someone else to do it, or you have to wait until someone notices you’re there and waiting. We did wait for a bit, but not too long. Another thing is that they serve the burger with the bun already on the burger. I know it’s an aesthetic thing but the presentation would be better if the top bun was off to the side. We often eat with our eyes and it would make the burger even more attractive; but that’s no deal killer  They have a few kinks in the system to work out but I think that Greg finally has something on his hands that will be a boon for him, for the downtown lunch crowd and the downtown foodies and their searches for a good and affordable burger.

For now, they’re open only for lunch but sometime in September, probably after Labor Day, they will also be open during the evening, keeping the current (and presumably constantly modified) lunch menu as well as some dinner options. Greg also said to expect a “true blue plate special.”  You can get your own $5 fast burger at Local 27101 which is located at 310 W 4th Street in downtown Winston-Salem. Their website and Facebook pages show the menu to get your ready to experience the good food. It’s good, it’s fast, it’s easy, it’s Local 27101.

Washington Perk & Provision Company Becomes Sponsor of Tart & Tangy Triad

Tart & Tangy Triad are proud to announce that Washington Perk & Provision Company have become the newest sponsor of the popular food podcast.


Washington Perk & Provision Company

The Johnstons brought their unique little neighborhood grocery and deli to the Washington Park area (228 West Acadia Avenue) in 2010, to great success and have now filled that need in downtown Winston-Salem at 301 W 4th Street.  This area is what we like to call “Our Little Block of Awesome” because there are a lot of great merchants and services in this little narrow passageway.  Washington Perk is also part of the Second Sundays on Fourth festival that happens on the second Sunday from May through October with Tim on Tart & Tangy Triad’s sister show, The Less Desirables (yes the same Tim from this food blog).

They have food, canned goods, household goods, meat, dairy, organic stuffs, Wolfie’s Custard, a coffee shop that serves Larry’s Beans from a local roaster, biscuits in the morning and a sandwich shop and deli.  They have daily lunch specials during the week. What specials?  These specials:

  • Mon: Meatball Subs
  • Tue: 2 for $2.22 Hot Dogs
  • Wed: Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich
  • Thu: Breaded Chicken Sandwich (which rivals a certain “we did it first” chain) OR Meatloaf Sandwich
  • Fri: Philly Steak

Tart & Tangy Triad is excited that they’ve come on board and look forward to a long relationship.  Stop in and have some sandwiches or coffee and show them you’re glad they’re in your neighborhood.

DiLisio(s): A Play on the Delicous

Wow, so it’s been a while since we have written on this blog.  That’s shameful, to say the least, being as we taut ourselves as foodies, food bloggers and food podcasters.  Well, we DO do a lot of food podcasting.  At least in that, we have done well.



So the focus of this post is a quaint little family-owned Italian nook called DiLisio’s Italian Restaurant.  It is located at 301 Brookstown Ave. Suite 100 in Winston-Salem.  That space is right across the breezeway from Twin City Hive (which is home to the new Haute Chocolate and Revolution Gliding Tours and the new coffee shop), in fact they did a combined grand opening just recently.  That location probably sounds familiar to most Winston-Salemites – at least those familiar with downtown – as the space where the much-beloved Mary’s Of Course Cafe was located.  Probably more comments than not are “I’ve not been here since it was Mary’s.”  Even more recent was the ill-fated Screaming Rooster and before Mary’s it was Penny University, a coffee shop.  This location has some culinary history.

With DiLisio’s the culinary awesomeness continues.

In showing our laziness in the writing area we’ll give the disclaimer that this is not our first time eating here.  Nor is it our second, or third, or… we get it! We’ve been slack (but we did talk about it on Tart & Tangy Triad podcast).  But, let’s push that out of the way, let’s get to the business at hand.


Tony and Maria DiLisio

DiLisio’s is the baby (they have two daughters, this is a dream baby) of Antonio DiLisio, or as we call him, TONY, and his beautiful wife, Maria.  They have surrounded themselves with a serving corps that makes the experience more like you’re at a neighbor’s house than a restaurant.  Jade and Dannie, just two of the corps, are the ones we’ve gotten to know more than others and they make you feel not only welcome, but truly “at home.”  They knowledgeably answer questions, not only about the food, but the wine list, desserts, vision of the DiLisios and even silly questions that Tim throws at them.  Maria sometimes waits on tables and does some of bussing work, much of the less glamorous work, but where she truly shines is in being the front-of-house.  Her wonderful smile sets the patrons in the mood of a welcoming home-away-from-home.  Can you tell that we really enjoy the team? Tony pats Tim on the belly every time he’s in and calls him Pavarotti (yes, just like THAT Pavarotti) and Tim picks him up and spins him around like a toy.  They love each other.

Now, to the “meat” of the situation – after all this is a food blog.

The menu reads with the staples that you expect from an Italian restaurant.  Basically, there isn’t anything on the menu that gets fancy. Nothing jumps from the menu with fireworks and revelry.  It’s Italian fare that is mostly typical.  That being said, what do you need your Italian food to do?  You need it to taste like it’s supposed to and you need it to be delicious. Italian food hasn’t really changed much in generations after generations and decades, centuries and millennia of Italian families sitting at a table and breaking bread together with miles of wonderful pastas and sauces, oils, cheeses and other Italian fabulousness.  So why change it now? Why reinvent the wheel? This isn’t gastrochemistry or the trendy, new-fangled Nouveau Southern that so many restaurants tend to try to create out of thin air.  You don’t need that with Italian food. You need Italian food done right.

What you do get at DiLisio’s is food that is made with passion.  Tony has a hard time letting anyone else cook for him. He puts his heart and soul in every dish that a fork may touch.  Flavors provide the explosion; taste buds dancing.  Even spaghetti, that can be plain, is never plain once it has been given the Tony treatment.  And the DiLisios are actually Italian, as in FROM Italy, so they know Italian flavor.  Ok, we know, you can’t taste words, so let’s talk about specifics of the menu.

We mentioned the lack of pizazz on the menu (at least on paper), but what this menu is, is extensive.  Appetizers including calamari, caprese salad, bruschetta, fried mozzarella, fried ravioli and an antipasto plate just to name a few items; the menu is more capacious than that.  Tim likes to test a restaurant’s meddle by how they do calamari.  The first trip, we tried it and we knew we found a good eatery. It was golden squid magic and tasty.

The salad menu is home to eight salads and yes, that does include the house, chef and Caesar staples (along with the fried or grilled chicken over them) that you’d expect. But, add the spinach and salmon and the grilled seafood salads and that’s a pretty good selection of green stuff.  Their dressing choices are good, too: balsamic vinaigrette, honey mustard, Italian (of course), Thousand Island, and then some; don’t forget oil and vinegar if that’s your thing.  Their pasta, baked or entree, and specialty dishes all have house or Caesar sides. If salads are your thing, while the others around you are eating the heartier stuff then you’ll have plenty of options.

As we mentioned, it’s Italian as you’d expect: spaghetti with house sauce, spaghetti with meatballs or sausage, penne in a variety of styles and toppings, and several ravioli options including lobster. Also, there are baked dishes, such as: chicken or veal parmigiana, eggplant parmigiana, manicotti, stuffed shells, ziti, baked spaghetti, and gnocchi sorrento. We’re not just breezing through these, you should definitely try them, Tim strongly suggests the veal parm. Yummy!

Perhaps the best section of the menu, though, is the chicken, veal, and seafood section.  You get to choose your favorite protein such as chicken, veal, shrimp, salmon, mussels, clams, or lobster tail, then choose your style and Tony works his magic. Those styles include marsala, pizzaiola, marinara or its wicked brother Fra Diavolo (Tim’s favorite), cacciatore, a chardonay sauce, scampi, picatta, or toscano.  Tim says this is the gem of the menu. You can get side items such as sautéed spinach, sautéed broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, side meatballs, and side sausage.  Those can go with any dish.


Seafood DiLisio (now)

We decided to take a few friends of ours, the Priests, owners of Krankie’s Airstream and Coffee Park, to the restaurant to introduce their mini-foodie (shout out to Marley Priest!) this weekend and even had a food allergy in the group (no cheese or butter) and Tony was able to work around that and come out sparkling. Also, one of the group members doesn’t really eat anything outside of the regular child fare (she’s eight); so chicken tenders and fries for her.  Mini-foodie had eggplant parmigiana while her dad had the Penne with sausage and fungi and her mom had the Penne al Pesto.  Stephanie had Clams Picatta and Tim had a special: Lobster a la Tony (see the picture to the right)!  It was lobster tails, clams, and mussels all cooked with a cherry tomato wine sauce.  The consensus among the group was this was an amazing meal.  The sauce with the special popped of the wine and seafood.  There was a good marriage of the flavors and Tim thought it was a clever inclusion for the night. So maybe you can step out of the box in Italian food.  Tony DiLisio can.

If we were going to pick anything negative it would be that the beer selection is mostly American and the import selection is Heineken and Peroni, which if Tim going to have Italian, he certainly wants a Peroni, but he thinks the selection could grow a bit. But, most don’t think beer with Italian, they think vino, and that they have a great selection.  Some have also complained that the interior is kind of plain, but a homestyle restaurant needs time to grow and  like a well-seasoned pan, it needs time to accumulate style and memories.  Trinkets and artwork don’t make a good restaurant, that will come.  Food and great people, make a good restaurant.  This is a good restaurant. Correction: This is a great restaurant!

When you’re in the mood for your next great Italian meal, or in the mood for something different from what you’re already used to, we highly recommend DiLisio’s Italian Restaurant.  Chopsticks:  4.25.

A Mission of Dreams, A Mission of Delicious Food

Peyton Smith was on The Less Desirables The Less Desirables July 17 and talked about his dream to move from only having a unique food truck to having a full blown pizzeria.  The food truck is Forno Moto and now the dream has come true: Mission Pizza Napoletana opened earlier this month.

Mission Pizza Meatballs


Peyton took a jump with the public and started a Kickstarter campaign in which he raised the monies necessary to tackle the objective back over the summer; around the time of his appearance on TLD. The oven burns around 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and makes a 10-12 inch pie in less than 90 seconds. Impressive!

Stephanie and I took the time to go check out the goodies they bake and give our review.

We split the EAC pizza which has tomatoes, Italian sausage (and lumps of it!), mozzarella cheese, garlic, pickled peppers, and oregano.  We opted to have the fried (sunny side up) egg put on as well.

We also ordered the meatballs, covered in red sauce with very fresh mozzarella and basil.  We figured it was an Italian staple, and when in Rome…

Mission Pizza EAC


The meatballs came and we dove right in.  The thing that usually gets one with meatballs in restaurants is that sometimes they have the tendency to have an airy, fresh out of the freezer quality to their taste.  Also, there is generally some canned characteristics in the sauces.  There was no danger of either of those things being cumbersome to the experience.  The meatballs were definitely not frozen, but made fresh at the restaurant and the sauce was also made in-house.  The finest of tomatoes, cooked at a high heat at the beginning to get the flavor and natural sugars to pop.  Add some garlic and basil then turn down the heat and allow no reduction and you get a sauce that is not too thin and not too thick. Did I mention the mozzarella? Draped across with the care of a meatball blanket that keeps it comfy in it’s stewed bed.  Add a sprinkle of basil to the top and you’ve yourself a darn fine dish.

The pizza arrived and looked fantastic.  The richness of the red sauce was a good cradle for the house-made sausage, mozzarella, peppers and spices.  We noticed, however, at around 2 pieces in, we didn’t have the egg; we noticed it right about the time Peyton came to check on us.  Ignoring our protests to making a complete new pizza, he set out to “make it right.”  We finished off the meatballs in the meantime.

The new, correct pie arrived and we dug in, as you do.  Note, Stephanie doesn’t like pickled peppers (and truly neither do I) so we only had them on one side of both pies.  They were quite spicy on the one without the egg and we wondered if the egg actually diffused some of the heat as they weren’t as prevalent on the second.  Also, if I had to say anything that wasn’t a raving “positive” about either pizza, I would say the egg kind of made the tips of the slices a bit soggy.  However, that did nothing to diminish the taste.

Peyton spent time fixing up this old building that was in dire need of a facelift.  There’s nothing overly fancy about the decor, but it’s comfortable and the counter area is a good place to watch the magic that happens in the kitchen.  The restaurant’s bar features all NC beers with the exception of the obligatory Morretti, an Italian staple.  Peyton did say that he’s attempting to work some other regional craft brews from New England and other places into the mix if he can get the distributors to get on board. Stephanie was glad there was an actual sweet red wine on the menu. The libations are more than acceptable and add true value to the fare.

Mission Pizza Bar

Counter Seating Area

Price wise, the Mission Pizza Napoletana is a slice of what other places may cost.  The most expensive plate on the menu is Cioppino which is spicy tomato broth with shrimp, clams, and triggerfish.  That being said, everything is very reasonably priced and plentiful.

Mission Pizza is located at 707 N Trade Street in Winston-Salem on a block with much positive growth over the years and the pizzeria will be the latest piece of the cultural expansion that is happening in the 700 block of the Arts District’s champion area. As of now, it is open Monday-Saturday 5pm-10pm but there may be plans to stay open later on the meatiest nights of the week: Thurs-Saturday as there is a street window in the bar area and Peyton mentioned in his TLD interview that he wanted to serve the late night bar crawlers.

There are plenty of boutique and indie pizzerias in this town or Italian eateries that may serve pizzas and I’ve tried many of them.  I will put it on the pizza pan right now, THIS is the best pizza in Winston-Salem.  It’s also the best meatballs that I’ve had, homemade quality, in fact.

In the realm of pizzerias, Mission Pizza Napoletana is definitely 5 Chopsticks.