From seasonal menus to beautiful interior, we love a restaurant that plays to all of our senses. In an age where social media is queen, we know there are plenty of folks who want to visit Instagrammable restaurants. Some leave a restaurant with interior-design inspiration. If you fall in one of these categories and love a good food and cocktails, we have two lists for you to pin.
We can count on CurEater Angela Hansberger to create specific lists like her CurEat list of Instagrammable restaurants. Sometimes we want to eat at a restaurant that serves incredible food and gives us the opportunity to snap a cool photo. If you plan to travel to Atlanta, pin Angela’s “Places That Will Make Your Instagram Pretty” CurEat list. Tiny Lou’s at Hotel Clairmont and Watchman’s Seafood and Spirits are some of the Instagrammable restaurants that she recommends. We can guarantee that these places are not just a pretty spaces. If Angela likes them, we’ll like them.
Sometimes we walk into a restaurant only to discover that the interior is just as breathtaking as the food. You’ll find restaurants like Hello, Sailor, Brewery Bhavana and Picnic on CurEater and writer Jenn Rice’s“Restaurants With Major Interior Design Goals”. We can verify that Hello, Sailor and Brewery Bhavana’s interiors will inspire you to remodel your home. The food will also leave you coming back for more.
Now that we’ve shown you how to find Instagrammable restaurants via CurEat, can you think of some that you’ve visited. If so, create your own CurEat lists and share them with us and your friends.
The heat in New Orleans in the summer is not a joke. Seeing that Raleigh, NC has its fair share of piping-hot days, we know all of the great bars and restaurants with good patios and refreshing menus. We are headed to the Big Easy in July and found ourselves asking, “Where do we beat the heat in New Orleans?” So we tapped into our CurEaters’ to see what they had on their New Orleans lists for us to bookmark for the trip.
When you want to cool down in a sweet courtyard with a cold cocktail to beat the heat in New Orleans, Cane & Table is it. We found this gem on CurEater Amy Langrehr’s “New Orleans” CurEat list and immediately bookmarked it. After taking a look at the menu, we know that we’ll 100 percent order the Coconut Marinated Cucumber Salad, Little Gem Salad, Coctel de Mariscos, and basically the entire small plates menu.
We don’t always crave sandwiches when it’s hot out but we can’t resist the urge to try Cochon Butcher, especially since it’s on 14 CurEaters’ New Orleans lists. We would order the Moroccan Spiced Lamb or the Cold Roast Beef and add on a cocktail.
There are many reasons why we want to try Chef Kelly Fields’ Willa Jean. For one, it’s on CurEater Lisa Donovan’s New Orleans CurEat list. They also serve up frosé. We couldn’t think of a better beverage to beat the heat in New Orleans. You can choose dishes made with fresh, local ingredients from their breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menu. Kelly Fields is a stellar chef and person, so we would eat anything that she puts on our plates.
Thanks to CurEater Keith Rhodes and 8 other CurEaters for the Compère Lapin recommendation. Chef Nina Compton received the James Beard Foundation Best Chef: South 2018, so we definitely bookmarked Compère Lapin. For brunch, we would go for the Bottom-less Brunch Punch/Dealer’s Choice, chilled shrimp, and goat bolognese. After looking at the menu, we know we can’t go wrong with the playful dishes that are inspired by Caribbean folktales.
Being from North Carolina, we’re serious about barbecue — real serious. We may be a little partial to NC ‘cue, but we know that the taste varies from state to state. Now that summer holidays are upon us it’s time to indulge in the American classic, whether you go a barbecue restaurant or serve it up in your backyard. To guide you to the ‘cue this summer, follow our 7 barbecue CurEaters.
Known as the barbecue heiress, CurEater Amy Mills is the daughter of barbecue legend Mike Mills. Amy co-authored the James Beard Award-nominated Peace, Love, and Barbecue with her dad and owns OnCue Consulting. She is known as the go-to girl for all things barbecue, and it’s obvious why. If you find yourself in St. Louis this summer, it’s imperative that you check out her and her dad’s 17th Street BBQ. Amy also has CurEat lists that highlight more than just BBQ. We’ve always wanted to know where a barbecue maven eats when she isn’t slinging ‘cue.
If Amy Mills is the barbecue heiress, then pitmaster and CurEater Sam Jones is the barbecue heir in North Carolina. He is the king of whole hog ‘cue in eastern NC and a 3rd generation pitmaster. Just in case you were unsure, eastern NC BBQ is vinegar based. (The rival between western NC and eastern NC barbecue is another story.) Sam’s grandfather opened Skylight Inn BBQ in 1947 in Ayden, NC where he smoked whole hogs over wood. Sam took over Skylight Inn and opened a second restaurant, Sam Jones BBQ in Winterville, NC. You can bet your bottom dollar that Sam’s CurEat lists are filled with some great barbecue classics!
Pitmistress and CurEater Alex retired from architecture to open ZZQ* Texas Craft Barbeque in Richmond, VA with her husband Chris Graf. ZZQ* blends together the flavors of Central Texas and the influences of Central Virginia. If you missed our blog post about Alex in April, you can head over to read more about her. You can also follow this pitmistress on CurEat to see where she enjoys BBQ in Austin, TX!
Co-founder of Southern Smoke BBQ and CurEater Matt Register smokes pork the old-fashioned way, slow and over oak wood. Matt co-founded Southern Smoke BBQ with his wife Jessica in Garland, NC, which is also in eastern NC. (We’re noticing a trend, here!) Matt and Jessica also make two barbecue sauces that are highly sought after in NC. Follow Matt on CurEat and check out his BBQ Peeps list to see some of his favorites.
Barbecue man and CurEater Wyatt Dickson was on the law school track until he stumbled upon the world of whole hog BBQ. In 2016 he opened Picnic, a whole hog barbecue joint, with chef Ben Adams and heritage pig farmer Ryan Butler. Southern Living called Wyatt’s whole hog barbecue the “next generation ‘cue”. We’re pretty lucky to live in driving distance to Picnic. We highly recommend you check out Wyatt’s NC Barbecue Musts CurEat list.
In out highlight post about F Griffin Bufkin back in February, we learned that Griffin spreads the Southern food/BBQ gospel. He opened Southern Soul BBQ with pitmaster Harrison Sapp on St.Simons Island, GA about a decade ago. Griffin may not be the pitmaster, but he does know a thing or two about barbecue and Southern food. If you want to taste the soul of Georgia, Griffin’s CurEat lists will guide you to the best places.
In Raleigh, NC, it feels like we skipped over spring and steam rolled right into summer. That being said, you’ll find us drinking fresh, craft cocktails on breezy patios or in cool (cold) bars. This spring/summer whether you’re in the mood to go out and socialize with a big group or pick up some beer for your backyard barbecue, we know exactly where and what you should be getting.
Located inside the Ritz Carlton hotel in downtown Charlotte, The Punch Room is the perfect place to grab craft cocktails made by CurEater and master mixologist, Bob Peters. He is a Charlotte native and winner of the 2015 Global Bartender of the Year for the Ritz Carlton, is the head mixologist at the Punch Room. Thanks to Bob, the charlotte beverage scene is on the up and up, and all we can say is that you don’t want to miss out.
What to get?
Roman Punch: Brandy, Dark Rum, Lemon, Raspberry Syrup, a Splash of Port and Prosecco.
If you’re throwing a porch party or a hosting barbecue this season in Raleigh or Asheville, NC, might we suggest picking up some beverages from CurEater Johnny Belflower’s Tasty Beverage Co. Tasty Beverage Co. has locations in Raleigh and Asheville and is dedicated completely to beer. The best part? You can place an order online for pickup or delivery. Game changer.
What to get?
Jam Band Berry Ale: It’s a fruit wheat beer with blueberry, red raspberry and tart cherry flavors.
If you’re the type that loves to make your own cocktail, we have the ingredient that will crush your cocktail game. CurEater Craig Rudewicz’s Crude Bitters, a North Carolina-based cocktail bitters company creates handcrafted bitters and syrups that are just the thing to take your craft cocktails to the next level. The Crude Bitters website features a recipe section, and we’ve found the perfect spring, craft cocktail recipe and we’re passing it on so you can turn those
What to make?
Ol’ Rita: with Tequila, Lime Juice, Orange Juice, Cointreau, Crude Bitter, Marriage bitters and one drop of “Tiki” bitters
CurEaterPhoebe Lawless’ The Lakewood Restaurant is the place to go on the weekends for crisp, craft cocktails. You can enjoy a house cocktail at the bar or grab a table on the rooftop for bites and drinks. One of the coolest parts? The Lakewood is in a historic building that was home to Durham, NC’s Davis Baking Co. for more than 60 years! Our personal favorite is the tin ceiling!
“We got into the Southern food game early, when people were realizing it was a vibrant and important cuisine.”
CurEater Jason Alley, of Comfort, Flora, and Saison in Richmond, Virginia proves that restaurants are more than a delicious meal (though he has that covered, too). His first restaurant, Comfort, uses reinvented southern classics, putting Richmond on the map as a culinary destination. After years of serving acclaimed classics and drinks (like their Dolly Parton themed drink menu), Alley decided to give back. As of March of 2018, Alley and his team started donating all profits from Comfort to FeedMore a Virginia food security charity.
“After being an active part of the Richmond Community for the last 15 years, we have decided that now it is time that we give back in a more permanent and meaningful way.” he wrote on Facebook, “We will donate our all of our net profits from the restaurant to fight food insecurity in and around Richmond.”
After the success of Comfort, Alley opened Pasture, a southern small plate restaurant with an emphasis on local ingredients. Like Comfort, Pasture earned accolades and gained a loyal following. For his next venture, Flora, Alley looked a little further south. The Oaxacan-inspired cuisine from chef Sergio Gomez features classics like shark tacos alongside bar food, which comes in handy if you’re catching a show — Flora is also a music venue. Chef Alley will soon add to his empire with a gastropub-arcade called Bingo in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition neighborhood.
For more from Jason Alley, follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Also worth reading: Jason’s moving essay about sobriety in an industry that can make it tough. To find out how Alley navigates Richmond’s burgeoning culinary wonderland, follow him on CurEat.
Lone Star BBQ in the Old Dominion? Alex Graf of Richmond’s ZZQ says absolutely! While not as famous as the headline grabbing ‘cue style of the Carolinas and Tennessee, Virginia has a style of pulled pork all its own–a style that was beloved by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. But Graf, a Virginia native, and her husband, native Texan, Chris Fultz saw room in Richmond for something different, something tasty: Beef Brisket.
Graf (the pitmistress) and Fultz (the pitmaster) got their start through a series of pop-ups in Richmond around 2015. One of their pop-up customers, Lars, gave ZZQ the name “meat church”, which is a pretty accurate description. In addition to brisket ZZQ offers spare ribs, pork shoulder, and sausage along with sides like jalapeno mac and cheese, blackstrap molasses collards, and Texas caviar (they also serve smoked seitan for the carnivorously agnostic). Based on the early success of their weekly BBQs, Richmond locals’ appetites were ready for a daily supply.
In March of 2018 they got their wish when ZZQ opened in a gorgeous space in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood. Graf was part of the architecture team that designed ZZQ, as she worked with Fultz & Singh Architects until she retired from the firm in December 2017. (Fun fact: Graf also designed Brittanny Anderson’s kitchen at Brenner Pass.) To compliment their classic meat and sides, they offer a full array of drinks, including an outstanding cocktail program by Derek Salerno (try the ZZQooler: Sotol, Green Chartreuse, Cucumber, and Pineapple Gomme). They have a rotating selection of desserts (be on the lookout for the Graf’s Rhubarb crumble). In true Texas style, they even have some pretty killer beltbuckles.
If you’re in Richmond see what all the fuss is about at ZZQ. See what they’ve been smoking on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. To find out which restaurants light Alex Graf’s coals, follow her on CurEat.
“I live for cheese, homemade tortillas, bourbon, exploring exotic locales, chasing sunsets, anything sparkling, drinking coffee on sun-drenched porches, and collecting hot sauce from all over the world.”
CurEater Jenn Rice is a writer, traveler, foodie, and all-around expert. Originally a beauty publicist, Rice’s career evolved into freelance journalism. She started covering everything from weddings to wellness, nail polish tips and gorgeous trips. But, what interests us most about this polymath is her expertise in food and drink.
A native North Carolinian, Rice now lives in and writes from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She also travels for a good story, with stops in Raleigh, New York, Europe and Salt Lake City in between. She now covers the culinary arts and travel for publications like Food & Wine, Vogue, GQ, Extra Crispy, and Domino. A glance at some of her stories tells you she has a particular fondness for her native Southern fare. To get you started we’re particularly fans of this ode to Kentucky’s favorite soft drink, Ale-8-One. We really like this story about Matt Register’s unconventional source material at Southern Smoke BBQ. This story about why Rice thinks a certain North Carolina chain can go toe-to-toe with the NYC and LA-based burger juggernauts is a classic.
If you want to see more of what Rice has been working on ( you definitely do) follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. To see her past work check out her website. And, of course, follow her here on CurEat.
The accolades are well earned. Carrie and her team mix each batch of Callie’s Biscuits by hand–no mixers. It’s a classic technique, one that Morey’s mother, Callie White, passed down. Callie’s Biscuits were first made famous through White’s celebrated Charleston catering business. Morey combined her passion for business with her inherited recipe and brought the biscuits to hungry fans from coast to coast–all while raising a family of her own.
Follow Carrie Morey on Instagram, or find Callie’s Biscuits on Facebook or Twitter. For more of Morey’s Lowcountry expertise check out her cookbook. Finally to find out what restaurants butter her biscuits, check her out on CurEat.
Also, because we love Callie’s, we are partnering with Carrie to give away a month’s worth of biscuits! Here’s how: Create a profile on the CurEat App and follow Carrie Morey. (She has great lists of where to eat and drink in Charleston and throughout the U.S.). Then comment “complete” on our biscuits post and you’re all set.
“(We’re) moving ‘full steam ahead,’ but we’re looking backwards to our agricultural traditions and our beer making traditions in the south.”
Sean Lilly Wilson is the owner and the self-styled Chief Executive Optimist at Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, NC. Fullsteam, under Wilson’s direction, brews foraged beers with ingredients they source from North Carolina farms. Wilson got his start in beer, by changing laws. After starting the movement to raise the ABV limits in North Carolina, Wilson decided to create a distinctly Southern beer. Fullsteam, “A Beer From The Beautiful South” was born.
Wilson’s beautiful beer has won plenty of awards. Wilson himself has been lauded, too, including three nominations by the James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional. While others celebrate his work, Wilson makes to celebrate the work of others, including his support of North Carolina’s beer month.
Fullsteam’s beers change with the seasons. When it’s hot, we like their Southern Basil. When the cold weather rolls through, we grab a First Frost. The brewery’s “plow to pint” philosophy means they have a strong connection to farmers and growers. The brewery also focuses on the community, cultivating close relationships with makers and artists.
For more on Fullsteam check out their website or find them on Facebook. For more from Wilson, follow him on Instagram or Twitter. Finally if you want to see where he grabs a pint and a bite to eat, follow him on CurEat.
It’s not a secret. We’re in love with pizza. If you follow us on social media, then you know we recently embarked on our inaugural “I Wish You Were Pizza” tour — inspired by CurEater Mattie Beason and Felicia Trujillo. While you may think we’re “pizza’d” out, we’re absolutely not. In fact, some of us eat pizza more than twice a week, which means we’ll definitely be eating a slice (actually slices) for National Pizza Day. If you want to follow suit, we found 6 lists to give you some inspiration.
CurEater Mattie Beason influenced the name of our pizza tour with his t-shirt and the name of his pizza list. To say Mattie really loves pizza is an understatement. If you are feeling really adventurous and you live in the Triangle, you can take your own pizza tour this week (maybe Valentine’s Day) with Mattie’s “I Wish You Were Pizza” list. And if you’re in Baltimore, you can check out Hersh’s Pizza.
CurEater Vivian Howard recently opened Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria in Wilmington, NC. (We’re already planning a road trip to the Big Time.) We were overjoyed when she created a list of pizzerias that inspired her. Vivian’s taste doesn’t lie, so we know that each place on her list definitely hits the pizza mark. From NYC to Phoenix, you’ll 100% find a spot to fall in love with pizza all over again.
CurEater Robert Alexander is the Master Baker at H&F Bread Co. in Atlanta, so we know his pizza list is top notch. For all you Atlanta natives and those traveling to ATL, you now have 4 solid pizzerias to choose from to celebrate the National Pizza Day today and everyday.
Bob Peters is a cocktail artisan and the Creative Director of Bar Operations of The Punch Room at The Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte, NC. When Bob Peters creates a cocktail, we know we are about to sip something that will change our lives. Literally. He knows how to make a solid cocktail. Seeing that we trust him to blow our minds with a creative cocktail, we trust he knows good pizza. He did create a list for his favorite pizzerias in Charlotte, after all.
Pizzeria Faulisi in Cary, NC was the first stop on our “I Wish You Were Pizza” tour. We hearted everything about it, especially the interior. When it comes to finding the best pizza in the U.S., you can 100% count on Amber Faulisi to know the right spots. She has places listed from New York, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Oregon. Thank you, Amber, for making all our pizza dreams come true on National Pizza Day.
CurEater Kevin Getzewich, Executive Chef at One Broad Street, gives you two pizzeria options in Charleston. Sometimes it’s better to have just a few options that you know for a fact will be amazing. We’ve wanted to try Luke’s Craft Pizza for a while now, and we plan on doing so when we are in Charleston for the Charleston Wine and Food Festival. We’re coming for ya, Luke!