CULINARY BITES highlights Orange County’s award winning restaurants and chefs and the delightful culinary experience they bring to this place. Did you know that Bon Appetit magazine dubbed Chapel Hill “America’s Foodiest Small Town”? Check back often for recipes, samplers, chef bios, restaurant history & reviews.
Featuring Giorgios Hospitality Group
Nominated outstanding Restaurateur by the James Beard Foundation, Giorgios Bakatsias learned to cook at the foot of his mother's stove in the quiet village of Karista, Greece. His family immigrated to the U.S. from Greece when he was 12 landing in Durham, NC where his parents owned a small diner and the family lived above. Giorgios went on to obtain a global culinary education, learning in the kitchens of Paris, New York, and the Mediterranean. At age 23, he already developed restaurant properties and conceived of dozens more. Today, Giorgios Hospitality Group manages 13 restaurants in North Carolina of which 4 are located here in Chapel Hill.
City Kitchen American Brasserie Chapel Hill serves American fare like the CK Burger (below), grilled cheese, and turkey clubs but also Prince Edward Island Steamed Mussels and St Louis Fried Ribs for appetizers. For a main course, how about Grilled Faroe Island Salmon or Lemon Linquine. City Kitchen (CK) is family friendly with a kids menu offering all the favorites. And to top that, City Kitchen has a vast Sushi menu during dinner hours. CK's full bar is a gathering place for locals meeting after work for a cocktail or beer, they also have an extensive wine list.
CK is located at University Place, 201 S. Estes Dr. | Open Mon-Thu 11AM to 10PM, Fri-Sat 11AM to 10:30PM and Sun 10:30AM to 9PM | (919) 928-8200
Being from Greece, you can imagine Giorgios has a Greek restaurant, right? He does, and lucky for us, it is located adjacent to our Visitor Center on Franklin Street. Kipos Greek Taverna is an elegant & festive dining room that serves authentic Greek cuisine along with in house homemade Greek pastries created by none other than Giorgios's sister, Olga. We highly recommend the Walnut Baklava and the Manouri Cheesecake (graham cracker and sweetened manouri cheese, fresh fruit and honey).
Kipos Greek Taverna is a reflection of Giorgios' childhood focusing on robust village foods like Psarotaverna (whole fish, lemon oil, spinach rice pilaf and vegetables), Yiouvarelakia (rice meatballs, tomato avgolemono) and Paidakia (charcoal grilled lamb chops, oregano, potatoes and seasonal vegetables).
Kipos (which means garden in Greek) is located at 431 W. Franklin Street | Open for Lunch Tue-Sat 11:30AM to 2:30PM; Dinner Tue-Thu 5PM to 9:30PM, Fri-Sat 5PM to 10:30PM & Sun 5PM to 9PM; Brunch Sun 10:30AM to 2:30PM | (919) 425-0760
Bin Fifty-Four Steak & Cellar (Bin 54) located in the Glen Lennox neighborhood of Chapel Hill is recognized as a Top 100 Steakhouse in America by OpenTable. Bin Fifty-Four's menu is headed by Executive Chef Kevin Draper. Kevin is a local North Carolinian but developed his passion for regional and locally sourced ingredients while sailing around the Caribbean. Bin Fifty-Four uses sashimi grade fish and certified Black Angus beef. Bin Fifty-Four steaks are seasoned with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, slow grilled over a hickory wood fire, rested for a quarter of the actual cooking time and finished with brown butter. Check out their menu - so many amazing options to choose.
For an intimate dining experience, Bin Fifty-Four offers their wine cellar for private dining. The cellar is filled with an impressive wine collection and guests can view chefs preparing cuisine on open wood fire grills.
And last but not least Village Burgers. Yes, Giorgios Bakatsias also has a burger joint! On the menu: The Village Burger (of course), The Little Village Burger, The Double Village, Farmer's Choice Burger, The Big Bird, Cali Burger, and a house made Lentil Burger. Oh and they have hoagies too!
Village Burgers is also located in University Place, 201 S. Estes Drive | Open Mon - 10 AM to 8PM | (919) 240-4008