As I have said before, this area is truly blessed with wonderful farms and restaurants which capitalize on this. A few weeks ago we tried another great example of the ‘farm-to-fork’ restaurants, Panciuto in Hillsborough. Hillsborough is about 15 miles north of Chapel Hill and has a charming downtown area with several shops and restaurants; Panciuto is located right in the center of town.
The dining room is elegant yet cozy. The exposed brick wall reminds you that you are in the heart of the historic district. The lighting is soft and dimmed with candles on each table. The elegant white table clothes are contrast with plush dark red upholstered chairs which play off the red brick wall.
As we pursued the menu, we were each given a small glass of Prosecco. We decided to start with a bottle of Sangiovese from their small wine list which features wines produced by small family owned Italian wineries. The dinner menu changes daily and features items sourced locally from various farms. G and I opted to share two appetizers and an entrée course.
Both appetizers were an excellent combination of flavors and textures. The first appetizer was fried rabbit paired with watermelon and pickled watermelon rind. The sourness of the pickled rind contrasted the sweetness of the watermelon. The refreshing fruit of these two components juxtaposed the crunch and meatiness of the rabbit. The second appetizer was pork belly served with a seasonal slaw and white bean mixtures. The rich, mouthfeel of the fatty pork belly was contrast by the crispness and slightly vinegary slaw. Both dishes were thoughtfully created and wonderfully prepared! For our entrée we shared the orecchiette pasta dish with sausage and greens. While this seems like such a simple dish, it was beautifully executed. The homemade orecchiette pasta was light and airy. The sausage and greens were perfectly sautéed to maintain the vibrant flavors of the greens. A lovely dish! Finally, we shared the blueberry crumble for dessert. Again, this was a perfect expression of the joy of summer blueberries.
The service was gracious and helpful without being pretentious. Overall, it was an absolutely lovely meal with very thoughtfully prepared dishes that highlighted the seasonal, local produce and experiment with flavors and textures. Panciuto is truly a wonderful experience and a great option to celebrate a special occasion!
110 South Churton Street