Oval Park Grille, Tonic moving forward
Update on Oval Park Grille, Tonic: The plans are still in motion to open a new neighborhood restaurant called Oval Park Grille in the old Broad Street Café space on Broad Street and to open a bar and wine shop called Tonic next door.
The restaurant and bar are the vision of Greg de Marchi, the former bar manager at the Durham French bistro Vin Rouge, and of Todd Whitney, the former chef de cuisine at Vin Rouge.
De Marchi said in an interview Thursday that construction has started on the two spaces, and they’re expected to open up the new venues in March or April.
“We’re looking forward to getting it open as much as everybody else is,” he said.
Food truck rodeo: The first food truck rodeo of 2014 will be held downtown at Durham Central Park on Jan. 26.
The rodeo will include a wide array of mobile food vendors, live music, and sales of beer by the Durham-based brewery Fullsteam.
Cooking with Watts Grocery’s Tornquist: Chef Amy Tornquist, the owner of the Durham eateries Watts Grocery and Hummingbird Bakery, is planning to host a series of cooking classes this spring focused on Southern gourmet fare.
The Feb. 26 class costs $50, and is called “perfect pairings for wine and cheese,” and the March 5 class is $35 and focuses on easy cheese-making.
The classes have size limits. They will be held at the location of Tornquist’s catering operation, Sage & Swift, at 2505 Whilden Drive, in Durham. They’ll run from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
In other news, Tornquist is teaming up with the Hope Valley Bottle Shop to host a “Rustic French Wine Dinner” at Watts Grocery. It will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 28. The cost is $45 per person, not including tax and tip, for a five-course dinner including wine and dessert. The first course will be house-smoked duck breast and will be followed by N.C. bouillabaisse, sea-island pea cassoulet, an arugula salad, and apple cranberry tarte tatin.
Guglhupf wins award: Durham’s Guglhupf Bakery, Café & Restaurant announced that its smoked hog head cheese, which is a cold cut, was selected as a winner at the fourth annual “Good Food Awards!” at a San Francisco ceremony.
The winning entry was created by Guglhupf’s in-house charcutier James Naqui. Smoked hog head cheese is a cold cut prepared from the head and hock meat of a hog and is braised and seasoned. Guglhupf was one of 130 winners selected from 1,450 entries.
The restaurant will be serving the smoked hog head cheese on its menu during Triangle Restaurant Week, which starts Monday, on a charcuterie plate alongside house-made bierwurst and teewurst.
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