Experiencing Great Restaurants and Delicious Libations

Archive for September, 2015

Counting House – Durham NC

In the 21c Museum Hotel, 111 N.Corcoran St. Durham NC

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Visited September 4-7, 2015

I am a big fan of the 21c Museum Hotels and their restaurants. This was my first visit to the Durham property, and the Counting House restaurant did not disappoint. As usual, the design integrates the hotel art gallery seamlessly into the bar and dining rooms. The food can also be considered works of art.

Revolution – Durham NC

107 West Main Street, Durham NC

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Visited Saturday September 5, 2015

Revolution was one of the trailblazing fine food restaurants in downtown Durham. It  has been joined by several others making downtown a great place to stay with many dinner choices.

What initially caught my eye walking by was the tapestry wall next to the bar, which turned out to be a beautiful mosaic tile installation. The large bar has a zig-zag configuration breaking up the line of seats. I was there labor day weekend, and discovered that most locals go to their atlantic beach cottages for the final summer weekend. This meant that I did not have to wait for a table and had the staffs undivided attention.

The drinks were created by a well trained bartender. The kitchen, although behind a wall, you could still see the preparation on 3 tv screens. Overhead cameras conveyed the cleanliness of the kitchen and precise prep knife work of the chefs – slicing, dicing, and chopping. This provided a virtual open kitchen experience.

The food was very good, the salmon was perfect. It was a memorable dinner. Next time I am in town I will definitely be back.

Revolution Website

Piedmont – Durham NC

Visited September 6, 2015 for Brunch.

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I walked past and noticed the Piedmont on my way to the Farmer’s Market, and was intrigued by the menu and the design of the restaurant. On Sunday morning I decided to see if they were open for brunch, which they were. Being a holiday weekend I found out that many go to the Atlantic Coast for the weekend, so I had no trouble getting in. The staff: friendly and fun, the food: fresh and delicious, the  space: well designed – It was a perfect Brunch experience. The only regret is that I never was able to make it back there for Dinner. The dinner menu looked very intriguing.

Their tag line on their website is “inspired food”…and I can say that I was inspired. From my Brunch experience, I highly recommend it!

Chirba Chirba Dumpling Food Truck – Durham NC

Located around the Durham-Raleigh area.

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Prior to my visit to Durham NC, I searched the internet for the best restaurants in the area. I was intrigued by several references to a dumpling food truck called “Chirba Chirba” and their “award winning” and “Best of Durham” dumplings. The Durham Convention and Visitor’s bureau website lists Chirba Chirba Dumplings as the 2015 Best Food Truck, and the TV show “My Family Recipe” made Chirba Chirba the subject of an episode.

With all of these glowing recommendations, I had to find this truck…and I did!  On Saturday morning I logged into the Chirba Chirba website and found out the truck would be at the Saturday farmer’s market at Durham Central Market. It was just a few blocks from my hotel, and I got there just before the market was over. I ordered the 6 piece Braised Beef Dumplings. They were small pillows of deliciousness (if that’s a word), and I ate every last one of them before I remembered to take a photo.

Not that this makes me any kind of dumpling expert, but I did live in China for four months and had my share of Dim Sum over there. I can say that this little yellow truck’s dumplings were among the best I have had on both sides of the international date line.

The next morning I saw that Chirba Chirba was again going to be at the Durham Central Market, so ventured over to order some more – and take a photo this time. What I saw was the biggest assembly of food trucks I had ever seen, and there was Chirba Chirba at the end of the row with the biggest line of any truck there by far. I opted not to wait inline, so you get no photo – but from the long line (and my experience the day before) you shouldn’t need a photo to tempt you to search for Chirba Chirba if you are anywhere near Durham. You will not be disappointed.