Il Palio chef moving to Durham

Oct. 15, 2013 @ 01:31 PM

Straw Valley Café: The executive chef from Il Palio, the restaurant inside the Chapel Hill luxury hotel The Siena, is taking over the food operations of the Straw Valley Café in Durham, and plans to open a fine-dining restaurant at the historic property.

The café is in a cluster of contemporary-style buildings sandwiched between Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard and the New Hope Commons shopping center. Hidden from the view of the road behind the commercial building that houses the café are a courtyard and former artists' residence.

The residence, known as the Straw Valley Craft House, was built on land once used as a dairy farm. The home was used as both a studio and a shop, and artwork was displayed in the outdoor courtyard.

Scott Bednaz, an investor who worked to open the café, said chef Adam Rose is working with wine professional Fred Dexheimer, a master sommelier, to revamp the café and turn it into a juice bar that also serves alcoholic beverages.

Bednaz said they also plan to open a fine-dining restaurant and a wine lounge in part of the residential home just behind the café, and a beer garden.

“What we’re lacking now is quality food,” Bednaz said. “We’re really going to exceed expectations at that point.”

The café and kitchen will re-open under the new operational partnership Nov. 15, Bednaz said. The fine-dining restaurant will open Dec. 1.

Bednaz said the kitchen in the home is being renovated to pave the way for the opening. Renovations are planned for the café, including new countertops and equipment.

Attempts to reach Rose and Dexheimer were unsuccessful by deadline Tuesday.

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Baguettabout it to open brick-and-mortar spot: Baguettaboutit, the food truck that specializes in European-style sausage sandwiches, is opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant on Nov. 4 on South Miami Boulevard in Durham.

The operators chose the location near Brier Creek and the Research Triangle Park because they believe it will be a “fantastic lunch spot.” Previously, the space housed the Worth It Café.

They’re planning to have the same selections at the restaurant as they offer on the food truck, but they’re adding some healthier options, including several salads, as well as macaroni and cheese and dessert.

Even with the restaurant’s opening, the food truck is expected to remain on the road.

The new location is at 2945 S. Miami Blvd., Suite 122, Durham.

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Provence hosting Empty Bowls fundraiser: The French and Mediterranean food restaurant Provence will be hosting TABLE’s first annual Empty Bowls fundraiser Sunday in Carrboro.

In exchange for a $30 donation, guests will receive a locally crafted pottery bowl and a soup dinner with bread and dessert, as well as live entertainment.

TABLE is a nonprofit focused on providing emergency food aid for children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The group raises money and collects non-perishable food for children in-need.

Tickets for the fund-raiser may be bought online at http://www.tablenc.org/empty-bowls/, or the day of the event. Since space is limited, advance registration is suggested.

The fundraiser will run from 4 to 7 p.m. Provence is at 203 W. Weaver St. in Carrboro.

Have an item for The Buzz? Contact Laura Oleniacz at loleniacz@heraldsun.com, or at 919-419-6636.