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Greg Cox gives 3 stars to Vivo in North Raleigh

Go HERE to read Greg's review.

And go HERE to read Greg's review last week: FOUR stars to Bleu Olive Bistro in Durham.

And HERE is a link to Greg's Cheap Eats, a monthly round up of tasty bargains.

A couple interesting wine dinners in Raleigh next week

Here are a couple interesting wine dinners in Raleigh on Monday:

  • Raleigh's Sitti restaurant is hosting a four-course traditional Lebanese family dinner with wine pairings at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
    Chateau Musar winery co-owner Mark Hochar will be at the dinner. Chateau Musar is a family-owned winery just over the mountains from Beirut in the Bekaa Valley. The dinner costs $75 per person. For a reservation, call 919-239-4070.
    The restaurant is at 137 S. Wilmington St. Information: sitti-raleigh.com
    .
  • Also on Monday night, Raleigh's Poole's dinner is offering a five-course dinner featuring wines from the Matteo Correggia winery in Italy.
    Sara Palma, the winery's export manager, will be on hand at the dinner, which starts at 7 p.m. Matteo Correggia is a family-owned winery in Italy's Roero hills and known for its Nebbiolo, Barbera and Arneis wines. The wines will be available for retail purchase during the event.
    For reservations, call 919-832-4477. The restaurant is at 426 S McDowell St. Information: poolesdowntowndiner.com.

Vinny's Italian Grill & Pizzeria keeps it all in the family in Chapel Hill

This is a post by N&O restaurant critic Greg Cox:

The space in Eastgate Shopping Center that was for many years home to Sal's Pizzeria (and more recently Carmine's) is back in the family. Josephine Finazzo, daughter of Sal's owner Leonardo Tornetta, opened Vinny's Italian Grill & Pizzeria (1800 E. Franklin St.; 919-942-6989; vinnysitaliangrille.net) late last month with her husband Carlo.

The restaurant is the latest location of a Virginia-based chain founded by Finazzo's cousin, Vinny Vitale. The family also operate the Triangle area's other Vinny's location in Hillsborough.

Carlo Finazzo has roots of his own in the local Italian restaurant landscape. His brother, Joe, owned the now-shuttered Carini in Cary.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Vinny's is a family-friendly place. Or that the specialties are New York style pizzas, subs and classic Italian-American pasta dishes - some made, according to the website, from "old family recipes."

Vinny's is open for lunch and dinner daily.

Send restaurant news to Greg at ggcox@bellsouth.net. Be sure to tune in to Greg's radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF.

Restaurant News: DeMarco's opens in North Raleigh

This is a post by N&O restaurant critic Greg Cox:

DeMarco's (3607 Falls River Ave.; 919-720-4482; demarcosnc.com) opened last week in the Shoppes at Bedford, in the space recently vacated by Anthony's Touch of Italy.

The new owners, a trio of young partners from Greensboro, have given the space a makeover with a more casual feel primarily aimed at families in the surrounding Bedford community.

"Anthony's food was good," says Clay Adams, one of the partners. "But it was the sort of place where people ate once a month. We want to make it into a neighborhood gathering place, where they can come in once a week or more."

To that end, the owners removed the white tablecloths and added a 120-inch projection screen TV. They're offering an affordable menu to match, with most entrees and pasta dishes in the $10-15 range.

Additional enticements will include everything from regularly scheduled food and entertainment specials (including Pizza Night, Eighties Night, and a Kids-Eat-Free Night featuring a cotton candy machine) to a dog-friendly patio.

DeMarco's is currently serving dinner only, Tuesday-Sunday. Plans are in the works to expand hours to include Mondays ("that big screen is crying out for Monday Night Football," according to Adams) and weekend lunch.

Send restaurant news to Greg at ggcox@bellsouth.net. Be sure to tune in to Greg's radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF.

Greg Cox gives 3 stars to Travinia in Morrisville

Go HERE to read Greg's review.

Greg Cox gives 2 1/2 stars to Mia Francesca in North Hills

Go HERE to read Greg's review.

Meet the winemaker behind Tenuta Sant'Antonio wines

Italian winemaker Armando Castagnedi is coming to Durham next week for a wine dinner and tasting.

Castagnedi and his three brothers produce wines at the family's well-regarded Tenuta Sant'Antonio's winery in northern Italy.

You can meet Castagnedi at a Oct. 11 dinner at L'Uva. The four-course meal with wine pairings costs $60 per person. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. with a reception featuring assorted cured meats and cheeses and glasses of Scaia Bianco, 2010.

The other courses and wine pairings include:

  • White bean, pancetta and salt cod bruschetta paired with Scaia Rosso, 2010.
  • Gorgonzola gnocchi with roasted cauliflower paired with Monti Garbi "Valpolicella Superiore" Ripasso, 2009.
  • Filet of pork with prosciutto, arugula, roasted winter squash and fig sauce paired with Selezione "Antonio Castagnedi" Amarone, 2008)
  • Almond and pear tart paired with Colori d'Autunno Passito, 2000)

For a reservation, call 919-688-8181.

The winemaker also will be leading a wine tasting from noon-3 p.m. Oct. 13 at Durham's Wine Authorities.
 

Greg Cox gives 2 1/2 stars to new Ruckus in Morrisville

The owners of the Ruckus Pizza and Pasta restaurants opened a third location in Morrisville and added sushi to the menu. Greg gives his assessment HERE.

Greg Cox gives 3 stars to Paisan's Italian in Cary

Go HERE to read his review.

Greg Cox gives 3 1/2 stars to Enrigo in Cary

Go HERE to read his review of this new Italian place in Waverly Place.

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