Wednesday's Dine-Around Options

Get ready to savor some of the best dining in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough! All NATJA Conference attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy a meal from one of the local restaurants listed below during Wednesday's Dine-Around. Click here to download a print-friendly version of the list.


 Acme Food & Beverage Company has been serving damn good Southern American cuisine, signature cocktails, fine wines, and craft beers in the heart of historic downtown Carrboro. Chef/Owner Kevin Callaghan draws inspiration from the seasonal rhythms and flavors of his childhood and uses fresh local ingredients to create Southern American dishes in a fine dining setting.

Chef Bio: In 1998, Kevin Callaghan launched Acme Food & Beverage Co. in Carrboro. Since that time, Acme has been featured in Bon Appetit, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, The New York Times, Esquire, The Local Palate and many other newspapers and magazines. Kevin is one of the South’s leading advocates of sustainable food and local farms. Most recently, Kevin has been named by Lululemon as one of their 29 American artists and taste ‘makers’ for 2016 and serves as the Executive Chef for the Wanderlust Festivals across North America. The father of two awesome young women, Kevin lives in Carrboro.

Conference attendees will be able to order off the full menu.
Please visit Acme’s website to review their Dinner Menu!
Alcohol will be available but is not included.

Restaurant Awards/ Press/ Accolades:
Acme has been featured in Esquire, Bon Appetit, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, The New York Times, and many other national and local publications.

Carolina Brewery

Since 1995, Carolina Brewery has been brewing the best and freshest beer in this great state. They have been awarded over 100 medals on the local, national and international stages for our brewing excellence. Their devotion to freshness also extends into the kitchen. All of the soups, sauces and dressings are made from scratch daily and they take pride in using local vendors such as Lily Den Farms, Pittsboro Bread Shop and Boxxcar Hand Made Cheese. The Carolina Brewery has been around for 22 years and they plan to be here 20 more delivering outstanding service to every guest every time.

Pre-Fix Menu Description

Choose one option from each course that is paired with an Award Winning Beer!

Starter: Paired with Sky Blue Golden Ale. Bronze Medal Winner at 2012 Great American Beer Festival

  • House Salad - mixed greens, craisins, sunflower seeds, cucumbers, tomatoes
  • Beer Cheese Soup - sharp cheddar cheese, Sky Blue Golden Ale topped with scallions, basil oil and beer reduction
  • Brussels Sprouts - caramelized Brussels sprouts with fried egg

Entrée: Paired with Copperline Amber Ale. Gold Medal Winner at 2002 World Beer Championships

  • Local Burger - two smash style burgers from Lily Den farms, Pittsboro bread shop bun, Boxxcar local cheese, garlic aioli, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion
  • Burrito Bowl - blackened chicken, beans, rice, lettuce, pico, chipotle salsa, sour cream, cotija and pepper jack cheese
  • BBQ Pork Plate - bbq pork, Copperline bbq sauce, hush puppies, garden slaw, honey butter

Dessert: Paired with Oatmeal Porter. Bronze Medal Winner at 2013 Great American Beer Festival

  • Skillet Cookie - fresh made to order chocolate chip cookie and ice cream
  • Brownie - chocolate fudge brownie served with ice cream


Restaurant Awards/ Press/ Accolades:
Our award winning, handcrafted beers have gained national recognition with medals from the nation’s premier beer competitions like the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and World Beer Championships. Recent GABF medals include Bronze Medals for their Oatmeal Porter and Sky Blue Golden Ale in 2013 and 2012, respectively, and a Gold Medal in 2006 for their Flagship IPA.


CholaNad Restaurant and Bar

CholaNad is a Contemporary South Indian Concept with a focus on south Indian Coastal food culture. The name CholaNad is derived from the great Chola Empire of Tamils. Cholas were one of the prime seafaring and colonizing empires of the classical world from 320 BC-1279 AD. Cholas presented their culture and of course the food to the countries they traded with and ruled. Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Singapore, Srilankan food and culture is heavily influenced by the Tamil cuisine. Thus, our customers will be experiencing a culinary travel through entire Spice Isles region.

Pre-Fix Menu Description

  • Mango Lime Ginger Mohito
  • Draft beer
  • Glass of wine


  • Tandoori wings

Middle Course:

  • Spring Dosa Cuts (Spiced Veg stuffed Crispy Crepe)


  • Chicken Chilli Roast with Parotta bread
  • Brussel sprouts Tikka Masala or Chicken Tikka Masala with Naan/Garlic Naan Bread


  • White Rice


  • Gulab jamun


Restaurant Awards/ Press/ Accolades:

  • Best of Chapel Hill – 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Best of Triangle – 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • News and Observer Best of Class South Indian – 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Opentable/Yelp/Trip Advisor/Google/Zomatto – 4.5 stars all 5 years

Crook’s Corner

Find here "sumptuous southern comfort food" wrote Nic Brown in G&G magazine. From the award-winning author and Chef Bill Smith, locals dig when May seasonal favorites like Honeysuckle Sorbet, NC Soft Shell Crabs join classics like Shrimp & Grits (founding Bill Neal's recipe lives on here) and new inventions, Mexico-meets-the South things (like fried tortillas & crab) and quirky things, like Red Hot Sorbet, and heirloom recipe variations, like Atlantic Beach Pie. A gathering place for creative folk, Crook's in recent years launched the only restaurant-seated book prize in the US.

Chef Bio: Continually interpreting found heirloom recipes, Bill Smith’s inventions have their way of becoming iconic dishes, first served at the Chapel Hill, NC, restaurant Crook's Corner-take, for example, the best Banana Pudding—ever. A foremost chef-expert in Southern foodways, he has served now for years on the board for the Southern Foodways Alliance. Also notable, his grounded commentary on Mexican immigrants featured in CNN’s Eatocracy, academic journals and recently, hopefully more, mainstream media. His most recent book is the best selling in its series: Savor the South: Crabs & Oysters. he's at work on Seasoned in the South: Volume II.

Pre-Fix Menu Description

WELCOME DRINK: Choice of frozen mint julep with home-made fresh mint sorbet and Rebel Yell Bourbon or the Chapel Hill.

FOUR SHARABLES FOR EACH TABLE: Freshly fried Tortilla's w Crab & Artichoke Dip; A plate of classic fried jalapeño Hush Puppies and tart tomato-horseradish cocktail sauce; Shrimp Calas; A Classic Party Plate-w/our Pimento Cheese and Hot Pepper Jelly and Vegetable.

CHOICE OF MAIN DISH: Suggesting to try some of the favorites: Shrimp & Grits; Green Tabasco Chicken; Something Seasonal: (hoping for Soft Shell Crabs - but this is weather-dependent). Or, can order from menu.

SOUTHERN SIDES FOR THE TABLE: Collards & Black Pepper Cornbread.

CHOICE OF DESSERT FROM THE MENU: Suggesting table order a variety as Crook's desserts are worth the calories!: Atlantic Beach Pie (lemon-lime w/Saltine Cracker Crust), Mt. Airy Chocolate Souffle Cake; Ice Cream or Seasonal Sorbet (many years Honeysuckle Sorbet is here in mid-may, but this is weather dependent).

BEVERAGES INCLUDED: Nonalcoholic drinks (our Sweet Tea is awesome) and house wine (great selection) or local beer on tap. All else should be up to the guests.


Restaurant Awards/ Press/ Accolades:
Bill Smith stands out as the only James Beard Foundation “AMERICA'S CLASSIC RESTAURANT” chef ever to have been named a final-five finalist for JBA BEST CHEF IN THE SOUTHEAST—and twice. The James Beard Foundation named Crook’s Corner an “America’s Classics” meaning by their definition that Crook’s has “timeless appeal, beloved for quality of food that reflects the character of their community.” Bill and Crook's were also noticed by CHEF'S COLLABORATIVE, a Southeastern finalist, for an award given to chefs who are leaders in incorporating local foods into their menus. Crook's & Chef Bill Smith have long worked with farmers and also homestead gardeners and foraged himself for ingredients that gather season by season on the Crook’s Corner menu. CROOK's is named BEST SOUTHERN in places too numerous to mention.

Crossroads Chapel Hill

Crossroads crafts a dining experience unique to Chapel Hill. Share a meal or cocktail with friends and family in the historic setting of The Carolina Inn. With its distinctly Southern soul and North Carolina Spirit, this award-winning restaurant & bar infuses your experience with energy, great food and a comforting sense of place.

Chef Bio: With 15 years of fine dining experience, Chef Brandon Sharp joins us from Calistoga, CA where he served as VP of Culinary for Solage Hotels and Resorts. He oversaw the culinary direction of Solage Calistoga as well as their free standing restaurants and food and beverage concepts for new developments. While there he received his first
Michelin Star.

Chef Sharp was born and raised in Greensboro, NC. He is a graduate of UNC-CH and attended The Culinary Institute of America. In his free time, this two-time Ironman competitor is training for his next race or spending time with his family.

Pre-Fix Menu Description

First Course:

  • Spring Vegetable and White Bean Ribollita
  • Rum-Cured Smoked Salmon with Delta Asparagus, Pumpernickel and Sauce Gribiche


  • Grilled Red Snapper with Calasparra Rice, Sweet Peas, Cracked Almonds and Orange-Saffron Soubise
  • Smoked Beef Shortribs with Cheddar Grits, Honey Vinegar Collard Greens and Red Eye Jus


  • Mexican Spice Chocolate Cake with Tequila and Lime
  • Pistachio Blackberry Raspberry Torte with Raspberry Mirror Glaze and Blackberry Sauce

Restaurant Awards/ Press/ Accolades:

  • 2016 AAA 4 Diamond Award
  • 2016 Forbes 4 Star Award
  • 2016 Wine Spectator Award

KIPOS Greek Taverna

Restaurant Description: A vibrant and lively atmosphere with dishes made to honor the cooking of Giorgio Bakatsias' mother. Recipes passed down and recreated from the memory of the heart come alive on the wood fire grill and in deep pans fragrant with oregano, basil, and lemon. Fresh baked bread and desserts enveloped in citrus and spice begin and end the night with wholesome flavors and quality ingredients. Dancing and live music provide entertainment on weekend nights that awaken the spirit and the senses!

Chef Bio: Giorgios learned to cook at the foot of his mother’s stove in the village of Karista, Greece. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 12. His parents’ small diner was his first introduction to Durham, NC and the American lifestyle. He obtained a global culinary education in the kitchens of Paris, New York, and the Mediterranean. Giorgios is not only one of NC’s top restaurateurs and restaurant design consultants, but also a source of boundless energy, an unmistakable laugh, and eternal optimism. Giorgios believes his story proves, “if you embrace life, it yields untold experiences and love.”

Pre-Fix Menu Description

Family Style menu with choice of glass wine

First Course:

  • Spanakopita- spinach and feta pie with in house made phyllo
  • Shrimp Saganaki- shrimp in tomato wine essence
  • Octopus- grilled on the woodfire
  • Keftedes- ground beef meatballs over tzatziki
  • Kalamata Olives- imported
  • Horiatiki- tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, peppers, feta cheese, capers

Second Course:

  • Salmon-over spanakoryzo
  • Trout- over gigantes
  • Lamb- rotisserie
  • Moussaka- ground beef, eggplant, potatoes, béchamel sauce
  • Pastitsio- ground beef, pasta, béchamel sauce
  • Baked Eggplant- eggplant baked with peppers and onions
  • Spanakoryzo- spinach and rice pilaf
  • Gigantes- giant beans in a tomato sauce
  • Lemon Potatoes- with oregano and bay leaves

Third Course:

  • Baklava- phyllo dough layers with citrus syrup and walnuts
  • Ravani- semolina cake with citrus syrup

Restaurant Awards/ Press/ Accolades:

  • INDY Week Best New Restaurant 2013
  • INDY Week Best Greek Restaurant 2015


Lantern is a marriage of Asian flavors and North Carolina ingredients sourced mainly from local farms and fisheries. It has been named one of "America's Top 50 Restaurants" and "best farm-to-table restaurants" by Gourmet Magazine, as one of "America's 50 Most Amazing Wine Experiences" by Food & Wine and as "Restaurant of the Year" in 2009 by The News & Observer.

Chef Bio: Andrea Reusing is the executive chef of The Durham Hotel in Durham, North Carolina and the chef/owner of Lantern in Chapel Hill. The recipient of the James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Southeast” in 2011, Reusing collaborates with small farms and producers across North Carolina and advocates for food policy change.

In 2011, Reusing published her cookbook, Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes. An absorbing journey through a year in her home kitchen cooking for family and friends, the New York Times named the book one of the most notable cookbooks of the year.

Pre-Fix Menu Description


  • Garlic and black pepper soft shell crab - roasted chiles, lemongrass
  • Catbriar Farm asparagus - miso, crispy Edward's country ham, slow-cooked farm egg
  • Vietnamese-style NC crab and local pork spring rolls - fresh mint, lettuce, chile-lime sauce
  • Shooting Point oysters - NC trout roe, yuzu, crème fraiche


  • Tea and spice smoked Poulet Rouge Chicken- Yang chow pork and shrimp fried rice, local braising greens, housemade XO
  • Steamed NC fish – Seared ginger, scallions, fermented black beans, green chiles, steamed baby bok choy, jasmine rice
  • Wok-seared rice noodles - shiitake and oyster mushrooms, black mushrooms, broccoli rabe, garlic, chile oil
  • Lemongrass-grilled local pork chop - fried farm egg, spicy green papaya salad, roasted peanuts, steamed jasmine rice


  • Hot chocolate cake – toasted coconut ice cream
  • Warm brown butter cake – fresh strawberries, pink peppercorn ice cream
  • Seasonal sorbet
  • The first course is a selection of seasonal appetizers served "family style," with all dishes served in quantities to be shared among the table so that your group can experience many different flavors. Each guest will select their own entree and dessert.

Restaurant Awards/ Press/ Accolades:
See above in description

Mama Dips Kitchen

Whether you’re looking for great family-style dining, a take-out meal to share at home, a picnic basket to go, or sauces and spreads from the general store, Mama Dip’s is the place to find delicious country cooking. Since 1976, Mama Dip’s has been a Chapel Hill favorite, and Mama Dip’s two cookbooks have been praised by some of the most famous chefs and food writers in the world.

Chef Bio: In 1976, Mildred Council, aka Mama Dip opened Mama Dip's Restaurant. Her childhood nickname "Dip" was given to her by her siblings because she was the only kid in the family who could dip water from a barrel kept on their front porch. She was raised in Chatham County, NC by Ed and Effie Cotten where she learned to cook at the age of nine. Her delicious recipes, in the beginning, were made using her famous method she called dump cooking. Later on she became one of the bestselling cookbook author from UNC Press and the rest is history!

Pre-Fix Menu Description
Served Family Style


  • Fried Chicken
  • Chopped BBQ
  • Collard Greens
  • Cole Slaw
  • Blackeye Peas
  • Hushpuppies


  • Peach Cobbler
  • Banana Pudding

Restaurant Awards/ Press/ Accolades:
Southern Living Magazine, QVC, GQ Magazine, SBA Award for Outstanding Small Business, Long Leaf Pine Award NC Kentucky Colonel, Best Southern Cooking Spectator Magazine, Best Fried Chicken, USA Today.

Mama Dip has been featured on Good Morning America and on the Food Network’s Cooking Live. She also appeared on an episode of Rachael Ray's $40 a Day. Craig Claiborne, a food critic for the New York Times, has written about the restaurant as well.

Restaurant Provence

For almost 15 years, Provence has enjoyed welcoming guests to their well-loved establishment. Regarded as one of the finest French restaurants in the Triangle, Provence features the cuisine of the French Mediterranean emphasizing local and seasonal dishes. In 2012, the transition of ownership to Chef de Cuisine Baptist Knaven ensured that the long standing quality and reputation of Provence continues to thrive.

Chef Bio: Netherlands native, Chef Baptist Knaven spent his formative years studying and working in the south of France. “My passion became mastering the cuisines of France and the Mediterranean. I understood the important role local producers played in the quality of the cuisines, and wanted to create dishes that exemplified the relationship between farm and table.” Baptist came to the United States in 2003 opening his successful restaurant Café Zito, located on the North Carolina coast. Moving to the Triangle, he joined Restaurant Provence to work alongside former owner and creator Felix Roux, a French native of the Provence region.

Pre-Fix Menu Description
Les Premiers: Appetizers will be served with a glass of "Marquis de la Tour, vin mousseux brut"

  • Moules Provençale- Prince Edward Island mussels, steamed in white wine, tomatoes, olives, and garlic
  • Coquille St. Jacques- seared sea scallops, slow roasted pork belly, and mushroom Velouté Grilled Belgian Endive and Radicchio Salad- served with pear vinaigrette and orange suprêmes

Les Deuxièmes: served with a choice of "2013 Clos du Gaimont, Vouvray" or "2011 Michel Chapoutier, Petite Ruche, Crozes-Hermitage"

  • Truite Amandine– NC speckled trout topped with toasted almonds and sauce meunière. served with green asparagus, squash, and rice pilaf
  • Seared Carolina Mahi-Mahi- artichoke and cauliflower purées, steamed baby bok choy, andgarlic sautéed carrots topped with a red wine demi-glace
  • Confit de Canard- confit duck leg with celery root purée and roasted brussels sprouts and juniper berry demi-glace
  • Tournedos à la Sauce Poivre Vert- all-natural black angus grilled filet mignon, topped with green peppercorn demi-glace served with sautéed spinach, garlic whipped potatoes, broccolini, and roasted tomato
  • Risotto aux Légumes- mixed vegetable risotto finished with truffle oil and parmesan

Les Desserts: Dessert will be served with a glass of " Château D’Armajan, Sauternes"

  • Pain Perdu- caramelized bread pudding with crème anglaise
  • Dark Chocolate-Orange Torte- salted almond crust, gluten free


Tandem Restaurant is a ‘dream come true’ for Co-Owners Chef Younes Sabouh and GM Emma Dunbar. The core focus of Tandem is to offer great food in a warm relaxing environment – a place in the community where people come to relax, unwind and have fun. Seasonality and locality play a large part in all aspects of Tandem. The name Tandem reflects the closeness of their working and personal relationship. Tandem has been a life long dream for the couple, a dream that has come true in 2016, a dream that they want to share with everyone.

Chef Bio: Chef Younes has deep culinary roots from his mother and his childhood growing up in Morocco where he learned the traditional style of cooking using techniques like braising, cooking in clay, over fires. Following the bulk of his culinary training – throughout numerous regions in France – working under esteemed chefs, he was offered the role as the exclusive private chef for the Hermes Family, where he travelled the world and was exposed to a multitude of culinary scenes. This led him eventually to America and NC, where he worked for the high class establishments Washington Duke and Umstead Hotel.

Pre-Fix Menu Description

Choice of appetizer
  • Tuna carpaccio - heirloom tomatoes, charred octopus, green olives, pickled garlic
  • White gazpacho - green almonds, cucumber, honeysuckle
  • Heirloom tomato salad, Piedmont biofarm mixed greens, pancetta relish, goats milk parmesan ice-cream

Choice of Entree

  • Poached Olive Oil North Carolina Trout - rock crab ragu, sweetcorn, crispy okra, tomato clam broth
  • North Carolina Grass Fed Beef Brisket - smoked pepper jam, parsley root puree, sherry bbq


  • Moroccan spiced chocolate cremeux - pistachio sponge, saffron anglaise

Restaurant Awards/ Press/ Accolades:

  • 4 star review Greg Cox– News & Observer

Great Room at TOPO

The Great Room is the private event space of Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery, an iconic restaurant and the social crossroads of Chapel Hill since 1996. The Great Room offers a wide range of specialty event options including beer pairing dinners with our own micro-brewed beer or specialty cocktail menus with our own spirits distilled right down the street at TOPO Distillery. Located in the space once occupied by the legendary Carolina Theatre and boasting its original exposed brick walls, the Great Room brings modern microbrews and fresh local fare to historic Franklin Street.

Chef Bio: A native of upstate New York, Matt found he couldn’t stay out of the kitchen after what was supposed to be a short stint at a restaurant upon graduating from college. He has opened restaurants for Nancy Lopez and Arnold Palmer in The Villages of Florida and moved on to open and operate multiple Triangle eateries before joining the Great Room Team in the fall of 2010. Matt and his culinary staff work hard to tailor each menu around the individuality of the client, embracing the challenge of creating dishes and memories that last a lifetime.

Pre-Fix Menu Description

Cocktail Hour:
  • Piedmont Gin Salmon Gravlax on Bread & Butter Quick Pickle with Dill-Caper Crème
    • Paired with Gin Cucumber Lemonade
  • Carolina “Empanada”-Pulled Pork and Pimento Cheese baked in Puff Pastry with Bacon Red Pepper Aioli
    • Paired with Eight Oak Maple Fizz

Beer Pairing Three-Course Dinner & Dessert lead by a TOPO Brewer

First Course:

  • Chino’s Spring Salad-Arugula, Strawberries, Avocado, Oranges, Pecans and Golden Raisins with Local Goat Cheese and Red Wine-Shallot Vinaigrette
    • Paired with Blue Ridge Blueberry Wheat

Main Course:

  • Line Caught NC Yellowfin Tuna with Carolina Gold Rice and Sweet Potato Cake, Smoked Green Tomato-Onion Relish, Lyons Farm Pea Tendrils, Roasted Chile Buerre Blanc
    • Paired with a Kenan Lager


  • Local Harvest Blackberry Cremeux with Chocolate Coffee Gold Macaroons and Topo Vodka-Blackberry Gelee
    • Paired with Frank Graham Porter or Black Mountain Stout

Restaurant Awards/ Press/ Accolades:

  • Great Room at TOPO
    • Best Venue 2016, Chapel Hill Magazine
    • 2016 Wedding Spot Award Winner
    • 2013-2016 TerraVita East Meets West Chef Collaboration Dinner Host
  • Top of the Hill Restaurant
    • 2016 DTH Winner for Best Place on Franklin Street, Best "Most Chapel Hill" Hangout and Best Place to Impress a Date