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Pancuito

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Pancuito remains one of the better restaurants in the Triangle. I always get the feeling they get short shrift from being located in Hillsborough, but I find it worth the drive.

Tonight we had:

Beef carpaccio, with polenta fries and greens.
Salad with fig vinigrette, fried goat cheese, figs, and prosciutto
Meat and Three: Pork shoulder with creamed corn, green beans with basil, heirloom tomatoes, and cornbread
Duck sausage with farfalle, wilted greens, and a light sauce
Chocolate Chess pie

We had wine and iced tea and cocktails and espresso.

This is real chess pie, accept no imitations. Was neck and neck with my grandmother's chess pie.

All of it was "oh god oh god" good. The chef remains the best creative force to hit Orange county in a restaurant since Bill Neal. Authentic southern done high class with a twist.

Most of what we ate was local. The grass-fed beef was from a local farm, so was the duck. Most of the produce was as well. Most of what we ate was produced sustainably by farmers we are familiar with, if not know.

The creamed corn was very nearly corn puddin'. The green beans had just the right small amount of crunch to them, and the tomatoes were real tomatoes with flavor.

Service was casual and well done. My martini was made exactly the way I asked, the wine was fine, refills on water and tea were frequent without being intrusive.

Pancuito definitely belongs on anyone's regular restaurant rotation.

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  1. How much was the entire meal?

    1. Interesting - we haven't been in a long time, but at the time we did go the menu was mainly Italian-based. Now it sounds like they are doing some sort of American Southern/Italian fusion.

      1. Panciuto is my second-favorite Italian restaurant (Trattoria Lucca in Charleston being #1). I just may have to fly out from the SF Bay Area in a few weeks to have it again. I've always loved his hyperlocal sensibilities. Panciuto + Allen&Son sounds like a good crosscountry daytrip to me!

        -----
        Panciuto
        110 S Churton St, Hillsborough, NC 27278

        1. In re: other replies.

          Pancuito has always been a fusion kind of place, I guess. But it's an actual fusion, not just 2 things from different cultures on your plate. I'll always remember the duck leg confit served on grits with red-eye gravy.

          Pancuito is in the same general price range of Jujube, Lantern, and places like that, but a bit cheaper than Bonne Soiree or Fearrington.

          1. Sounds great, but I have to say...a self-respecting "authentic Southern" restaurant would never, ever serve crunchy green beans. That's just not the way it's done down heah!

            :)

            1. I know this is an older thread, but it seemed better to add a new comment!

              I recently had the chance to try Panciuto after hearing wonderful reports from friends in Hillsborough and on CH. The meal was even better than the reviews indicated!

              Service was excellent without being stuffy, the setting felt special and festive without excess formality. The menu, which changes frequently, had a good range of options which were thoughtfully composed. I honestly could have been happy with anything on the menu - it was very hard to choose.

              The table shared a meat and cheese platter which was lovely, delicious and enough for everyone (6) to try a little of each item. Nicely balanced textures and flavors. A bread basket was passed and refilled. Both varieties were very good, one had almost a fine cake texture with a bit of rosemary.

              I had a wonderful creamy turnip soup garnished with two plump, hot and juicy fried oysters.
              My entree was beef, perfectly presented at a medium rare and so tender a knife was not needed. The dish was served with several arancini, luscious and cheesy. There were other components to the dish (which I'm a bit hazy on at the moment) resulting in a dish where every bite was interesting and balanced.

              I passed on dessert, the meal had left me perfectly satiated. Every aspect of the meal was well executed and wonderful.

              This is really one of the best dining options in the area. The only thing that could have made it better would be to have it closer to home so I could go more frequently!