Tag Archive for cary

Tweat-Up at An

Steamed dumplings

Steamed dumplings

When An’s (2800 Renaissance Park Place, Cary) promotional team invited me to a blogger night to sample some cocktails and appetizers, I was thrilled. An’s beautifully presented dishes, photographs of which are always on rotation at the RDU baggage claim screens, have tempted me for years, but I had not managed to visit the restaurant before. So the opportunity to try their fare for free (I see you, obligatory disclaimer!) was a chance I couldn’t pass up.

And I wasn't the only one.

And I wasn’t the only one.

Members of the Triangle food media (including representatives from Taste Carolina, Cary Magazine, and Visit Raleigh in the above photo) gathered in An’s attractive bar, and a driftwood-inspired presentation set the mood for a relaxing reception and light selection of appetizers.


My favorite was perhaps the most conventional choice, but it was done in a manner that made it feel new to me.


Those giant osso bucco wings are rolled in crushed cashews and served with a tamarind dressing and a delightful mango slaw. The combination of tangy tamarind with the sauce’s sweet heat and the nuts’ crunch bathed my mouth in contentedness. I am only slightly ashamed of using such flowery language for that food description—it was that good.

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Triangle Foodie Happenings

The exciting events for Triangle-based foodies are piling up yet again! Honestly, I’m not sure they ever stop piling — we seem to support an awful lot of delishness for a relatively small metro area. I think that means all us eaters deserve a round of applause … or of digestives. Ouzo, anyone?

I’ve cherry-picked a few upcoming dinners and tastings for this week among the press releases I’ve come across. Here they are in order of soonest to latest:

AndreaMoore-44Tonight at 6:30 pm, Antonia‘s in Hillsborough is hosting a five-course, family style, Italian meal including wine pairings and the very special entertainment of opera singer Andrea Edith Moore. Ms. Moore, a featured soprano with the North Carolina Opera, will perform select arias throughout the dinner. She “currently serves on the voice faculty at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has performed with companies including the Hamburg Kammeroper, Central City Opera, Aspen Music Festival and the North Carolina Opera. Her most recent roles are Micaela in Carmen and the Governess in Turn of the Screw. Among many honors, Moore has received the distinguished Yale School of Music alumni award twice.”

6/21 at 12 pm is a family-style lunch celebrating rose wine at Raleigh’s Zely & Ritz. For $20, you can try all these refreshing summertime sips:

Domaine Les Aphillantes Cotes Du Rhone, France
Marc Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire Valley, France
Elio Perrone Bigaro, Piedmont, Italy
Tegernseerhof Zweigelt Rose, Krems, Austria
Markowitsch Pinot Noir Rose, Carnuntum, Austria

RSVP at 919-828-0018.

On 6/20 at 6 pm, Chef Steven Devereaux Greene of An is putting on a pop-up dinner at the King’s Daughters Inn bed and breakfast in Durham. It’s 5 courses, and the menu is $100 without pairings and $125 with. Chef Greene “is known for his unique take on modern Asian-inspired foods, using local vegetables as well as the freshest seafood and meats, and will be bringing this artistry to his meal.” The courses sound absolutely divine:

Course 1: Chef cocktails and Canapés

Course 2: Hamachi Tartare–Yuzu, Cucumber, Coriander, Barley, Aged White Soy

 Course 3: Sea Scallops–Tapioca, Asian Pear Salad, Ginger Puree, Thai Coconut 

Course 4: Border Springs Lamb–Marbled Potatoes, Preserved Lemon, 7-Spiced Honey

Course 5: Goat Cheese Cheesecake–Pickled Strawberries, Szechuan Dust, Moscoto Sherbet

For reservations, click here.

Bull City Burger and Brew is hosting Paul Saginaw, co-founder of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses at 6/22 at 8 pm on the patio in Durham. As BCBB writes,

Zingerman’s is an inspiration to Bull City Burger and Brewery….We are thrilled to have Paul visit and talk about his business and developing a business within a community….Zingerman’s Delicatessen was founded in 1982…Today they have over 500 employees with a family of 15 unique businesses all related to food, community, service training, and more.

The event is limited to 30 people, and for $16.50, you can build your own burger, get dirty fries, and an alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage of your choice in addition to listening to Paul speak. Reserve a spot here.

On 6/26, Donatos Pizza, an Ohio-based chain, are opening a new restaurant at Seaboard Station in Raleigh. Donatos’s “golden crispy thin crust is legendary and when paired with the finest freshest toppings, the result is a pizza taste that you just can’t find anywhere else!” Donatos’s signature is the Edge-to-Edge pizza, meaning the toppings cover every inch of every slice. The menu is here, and Donatos offers delivery and limited in-house dining.

6/26 at 7 pm is the Elizabeth Spencer Wine Dinner, also at Zely & Ritz. The menu and wines are as follows:

Starter-Reception: Wine: Elizabeth Spencer Sauvignon Blanc, Mendocino, CA 2012

1st Course: NC Mussels Steamed with Honeysuckle, Dried Pineapple and White Wine. Wines: Elizabeth Spencer Chenin Blanc, Mendocino, CA 2011

2nd Course: Tuna Tartar with Raw Chiogga Beets, Fresh Strawberries, Lemon Thyme  and Sweet Strawberry Vinegar. Wine: Elizabeth Spencer Grenache Rose, Mendocino, CA 2012

3rd Course: Duck Confit with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Braised Chinese Cabbage and Blueberry Sauce. Wine: Elizabeth Spencer Syrah, Sonoma Coast, CA 2011

4th Course: Ribeye of Beef with Creamy Risotto and Elderberry Sauce. Wine: Elizabeth Spencer Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA 2009

5th Course: Chocolate  Truffles. Larry’s Beans Coffees & Teatulia Teas

mystery beer dinner

For a third 6/26 option, try the Mystery Beer Dinner at the Washington Duke Inn at 6 pm. I’m just going to let the flyer speak for itself. Click it for all the details.


Is that enough for one week? Probably not, because I’m sure plenty of Triangle foodie fun in missing from this list. Enjoy, wherever your stomachs take you!

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Maximillian’s Grill

Maximillian’s Grill
8314 Chapel Hill Road

Maximillians 08

Maximillian’s Grill, not to be confused with Maximillian’s Pizza Kitchen next door though I’m going out on a limb and saying they’re related, appeared this year on Greg Cox’s annual list of top 20 Triangle restaurants. It always flies under my radar; I keep forgetting people have recommended it, but the placement on Cox’s list stuck it firmly in mind this time.

The menu is manic, reaching into Asian, Mexican, Southern, and Nouveau American cuisines, sometimes all in the same dish. Spiciness in many forms is its main unifier. Usually the spice is conveyed through sauces with names like hellfire, demon, and voodoo. As a lover of all things fiery and kitsch, that is not a problem for me. Our waitress deserves bonus points for remembering the details of 2 appetizer specials, 6 entrée specials, and 2 dessert specials. This is not a restaurant that dreams small.

Maximillians 02

With that sort of menu, I expected a bolder atmosphere, but Maximillian’s sticks with a cigar room and steakhouse feel. It’s pretty dark (standard apologies for the photos), and walnut wood paneled the walls. It’s also rather cold early evening, likely due to the floor-length windows and stone-tiled floor. But the place warmed up well enough when more people came in. By 7 pm, it was hopping. Contemporary pop played from hidden speakers.

The wine list underwhelmed, mainly because the cheapest glasses are $10. The cocktails are similarly priced, so I chose one of those instead, the Blood and Sand.

Maximillians 01

It took an imaginative route toward a manhattan’s flavors by combining salty caramel vodka, Dewar’s scotch, vermouth, an orange twist, and a maraschino cherry. Pretty in the glass, and I was surprised by how the caramel’s sweetness imparted bourbon characteristics to the Scotch, thus invoking my impression of it as a roundabout manhattan. The caramel note lingered pleasantly.

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