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.
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.
“We keep it real. We stay with the wood and stay with our hearts and the craft of smoking.”
St. Simons Island is a barrier island along the coast of Georgia. About halfway between Savannah and Jacksonville, it is in a great locale known for good eating from red rice to she-crabs, and now thanks to F. Griffin Bufkin classic, soulful barbeque. Bufkin is a third generation islander and a true polymath having worked as photographer, designer, and club operator before settling in to the low and slow life of a barbeque man.
Along with Co-owner Harrison Sapp, Griffin Bufkin opened Southern Soul Barbeque in 2007. Acclaim followed, including an appearance on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Just when the rest of the country was starting to notice what was smoking on St. Simons, Southern Soul suffered a serious fire. But, they rebuilt and were quickly back in the saddle. They also got back in the habit of picking up awards like Southern Living’s 2017 award for The South’s Best BBQ. Their menu has garnered acclaim for its blend of traditional soul food sides and classic, wood smoked pork, brisket, sausage, and poultry. They also have created a line of retail products including rubs, sauces, and a particularly epic bologna.
Bufkin isn’t just a student of BBQ. He also cares deeply about the cultural of soul food from coastal Georgia and beyond. He’s active in the Southern Foodways Alliance, and Southern Soul’s website provides a list of supplier, organizations, and other restaurants that share SFA’s philosophy. Bufkin’s Instagram is another great source–he frequently posts dynamic images of chefs, restaurants, and meals from his region and beyond.
For more of F. Griffin Bufkin favorites follow him on CurEat.
If it seems like Ashley Boyd is at home in the kitchen of Charlotte’s 300 East, it’s because she is. Her mother founded the restaurant, and Chef Boyd started working there at age 13. Her love for pastries came after she graduated from art school while working at a Brazilian steakhouse in Chicago. After living and cooking in Detroit, Atlanta and San Francisco, she moved back to Charlotte. In addition to her role at 300 East, Boyd joined Heritage in 2015 to put her unique spin on their desserts.
If you follow Boyd on Instagram you will see the influence of that fine art degree. She creates some of the most visuallydeliciousdesserts you’ll ever see. But they don’t just look good, they taste good too. Good enough, in fact, that Boyd was part of a team invited to prepare a dinner to honor Charlotte at the James Beard House. Boyd’s desserts are visually stunning combinations of the familiar and new. For example, Food & Wine recently highlighted her tres leches cake made with classic Southern ingredients like pawpaw and buttermilk.
“When an item is grown locally and sustainably, fresh-picked and served within a few hours or days of being harvested, the flavor, color, texture, vibrancy, freshness and nutrient content are all at their peak.”
Tom Gray gets it. He knows that a great meal isn’t complete without a great drink(or two). If you can source that meal and those drinks close to home, he believes they’re even better. If you want to cook with local, Florida produce, you will use a lot of seafood and citrus. The flavors of Northern Florida influence Gray’s cuisine. Think traditional Southern fare with a blend of Caribbean flavors. Gray also makes an occasional nod to the West Coast, seeing that he worked in California early in his career. Gray wanted to bring a fun, locally-focused restaurant to his hometown and opened Moxie in 2013.
Creating a locally-focused menu requires an expansive knowledge of seasonality, agriculture, and region. For example, Jacksonville’s sandy soil makes some traditional farming practices a challenge. So in the fall, Gray leans heavily on greens and shallow root veggies. “The biggest difference between us and other restaurants in Jacksonville is that we deliver local cuisine,” says Gray. “My advice for any season, any year, is to ‘support local’ and ‘ask questions.’ If you are interested in having a variety of cool, unique places to shop or eat, you have to make a decision to support them,” he told Void.
If you want to put Gray’s knowledge to work, follow him on Twitter or Facebook. If you want to explore Chef Gray’s Jacksonville or find some incredible tips for West Coast dining find him here on CurEat.