A handful of restaurants in the Triangle have a jump on the new year, beginning or announcing plans for new ventures before corks pop on the 31st and a new decade rolls in.
Already in the works is Blue (327 W. Davie St., 834-5707, www.bluerestaurant.net), an Italian restaurant in Raleigh's Depot district that opened earlier this month with owner and head chef Maurizio Privilegi at the helm.
For the past 15 years, Privilegi worked in the kitchen at downtown's Caffe Luna. Now in his own spot, he plans to draw inspiration from his family's recipes. "The menu basically consists of fresh cuisine from my mother, who was one of the best cooks in the world," Privilegi says.
For lunch, expect such pasta as Angel Hair Monaco ($7.95) and entrées including chicken parmigiana served with pasta ($9.25) alongside a handful of small salads and panini. At dinner, look for an extended menu of pasta dishes, and swap sandwiches for larger mains such as a grilled Black Angus rib eye ($16.95) and broiled loin of lamb served with roasted potatoes ($19.95).
Look for the first week of January to bring the opening of Streets Deli & Market (N.C. 54 at U.S. 15-501, www.streetsdeli.com, 537-8414) in Chapel Hill's East 54 development. Streets owner Greg Christon, who was born and raised in New York and spent 15 years in New Jersey, says that the restaurant will offer a "big city-style" kosher deli and fresh market. Many foods, including the deli's salads, soups, and corned beef, will be made in-house, while others, like smoked fishes and bialys, will be shipped in from Chicago, Philadelphia and New York. Streets will be open 7 a.m. –8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m.–3 p.m. on Sundays, which will feature $1 mimosas.
The bright minibus that has housed Liberación Juice Station (www.facebook.com/liberacionjuicestation) over the past year will take up a new trade this spring—grilled cheese sandwiches—says the former owner of the bus, Zulayka Santiago.
The bus was recently purchased by ACRe (Action for Community in Raleigh), a nonprofit social-justice organization that plans to repurpose the mobile eatery as the Young People's Power Bus. With the help of Santiago and other members of the Magnificent Advisory Council, including individuals from SEEDS, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and NC HEAT (Heroes Emerging Among Teens), among others, the bus will be run by low-income teens in Raleigh and Durham.
Santiago, who has previous experience in the nonprofit sector, believes that the bus will provide the youths with the opportunity to learn a number of skills, such as managing a business and understanding sustainable and green techniques, such as composting.
ACRe is working to raise funds between now and February, with hopes that the bus can hit the streets by March. If it keeps its current paint job, it won't be hard to miss.
Know about a fun food happening in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at firstname.lastname@example.org.