Civic pride is a wonderful thing—unless it's taken a little too seriously. Perhaps you cast a few winning votes for Durham in Southern Living's tastiest city contest. The Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau certainly quadrupled the ingredients list of public dollars in their campaign to win that trifle.
If any part of you feels a little silly as you force a groan of delight upon nibbling a crisped Spanish white anchovy, Kitchen X is your ticket. Raising funds for Urban Ministries of Durham, Kitchen X is a four-course wine dinner ladled with a heavy sauce of gothic irony inspired by the Durham-based film Foodie. Eryk Pruitt, who made that film and was recently invited to show its trailer at the Cannes Film Festival, slings chow along with a murderer's row of Bull City chefs and culinary whiz kids. Outsiders gallery impresario Pam Gutlon will make sure you'll be laughing darkly as you chew. —Chris Vitiello