Many restaurants in the area focus on locally sourced ingredients which is a blessing of living in an area with farms so close by; Piedmont in Durham is just one of these restaurants. A few weeks ago, we found ourselves with a free day (it was too hot to go to the beach!) so we had dinner with a friend of mine from high school who now lives in Durham (small world!). The open dining area has a great ambiance with dark woods and muted neutral accents and walls. It is a large and spacious so the tables are nicely spaced and it isn’t too loud.
Really delicious food does not always need to be accompanied by high prices and a pretentious atmosphere. Sometimes, you just want a wonderful, gourmet meal in a relaxed, casual atmosphere; Watt’s Grocery provides exactly that! The space is casual and simple with loft style exposed piping and pastel colored walls. We arrived for our 7:30pm reservation and the room was bustling with energy. The front portion of the restaurant is bar seating and the rest of the space is long with a bar occupying the right wall and seating down the middle and the left. The back of the restaurant is more seating but seemed to be where the tables could be more easily rearranged for larger parties.
For the past couple of summer we have been ordering wonderful pasture raised, premium chickens from Pete and Jen’s Backyard Birds. A few weeks ago we took one out of the freezer to roast. I love roasted chicken but don’t have a recipe which has always worked well for me. This time I decided to try the Roast Chicken with Lemons recipe from Marcella Hazan which is supposed to be very good and reliable. This is a very simple recipe which was very attractive. It doesn’t require any fat, basting, stuffing or special condiments. The recipe just calls for salt, pepper and lemons. The result is one of the most delicious and moist roast chickens ever!! You would never imagine that such a simple recipe could result in such a perfect roast chicken. I only wish we had taken a picture before devouring the chicken. I know I have found my go-to roast chicken recipe!
This past weekend we visited our good friends who live in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. The area is a bustling with many wonderful restaurants to try. We were lucky to be treated to dinner at Restaurant Nora which is just around the corner from our friends’ place. Restaurant Nora seems to be an institution in DC as it has been open since 1979. Chef and owner Nora Pouillon is a supporter of local organic food. In 1999, Restaurant Nora became the nation’s first certified organic restaurant which means that 95% of all food served originates from certified organic sources. The restaurant is situated in a converted grocery store which is divided up into several smaller seating areas. The four of us arrived about 5 minutes late for our 7:45pm reservation and we were taken outside to a side entrance to the Gallery Room. The room was decorated in a rustic manner with cozy quilts hung on the walls.