HOME > Chowhound > Southeast >


Terra Vita in Chapel Hill... Who is going?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My DH and I bought tickets the second we saw the list of participating restaurants. I've posted in the past about what a disappointment Taste of Durham has turned out to be. I'm glad to see a food festival in the area that focuses on local farm-to-table fare. Hoping it will be a big success, and that it becomes an annual event.

    1. I was excited by the website, and went to get tickets only to find that we can't bring Lulu along. Kind of odd to have a daytime event like this and ban kids. I wrote to them assuring them that she promised to stay away from the beer and wine, but I have a feeling they'll stick to their rules. Too bad!

      1 Reply
      1. re: LulusMom

        I got a very nice and reasonable response back; they wish they could allow kids, but since the price includes free tastes of alcohol, there would be no way to keep people who look a bit closer to 21 than Lulu does from having tastes. They plan to have a family friendly event next year. I look forward to that one, and I do appreciate their really kind and thoughtful response.

      2. I've thought about going, but I've got a lot of outward cash flow this month and next and so this will be tough to pull off for me. I hope they don't sell out before I can make up my mind.

        1 Reply
        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

          Looks like a great event. I'd love to go. Hope you can swing it.

        2. This is going to be a fantastic event, I can't wait! More along the lines of Farm to Fork than anything else in the area.

          1. We went. The wines were TERRIFIC and the weather was perfect. The food was really uneven. Fearrington House, which is not my favorite restaurant by a long shot, had some interesting bites out, and J Betski's had a nice pirogi. Watts St. Grocery had a tasty succotash on goat cheese custard. Neal's Deli had some house-made sausages and a beef tongue hash that were really good. But much of the food was forgettable or worse. Saxapahaw General Store was the biggest dissappointment. They had a biscuit with beef shortribs that was dry, heavy, and awful. And Zely & Ritz had sweet potato gnocci that were dense, flavorless and inedible. I enjoyed the event overall because it was such a beautiful day, the wine was wonderful, and there was some good food to be had, but many of the food vendors really need to take it up a notch. Some of them didn't seem to think about what kids of food would taste good after sitting outdoors on a table for 15 minutes. One place, for example, had a sort of savory bread pudding with mushrooms, smothered in a cream sauce, that I'm sure would have been fine served hot, but it was disgusting cold. This was the first year for this event, and I hope it will grow next year, and that the participating restaurants will take what they learned this year and step up their game in the future. The undeniable winner for the day: French Broad Chocolate Lounge from Asheville, with a wide assortment of house-made truffles and chocolates. Those chocolates alone were practically worth the $65 admission price.

            General Store Cafe
            39 West St, Pittsboro, NC 27312

            Zely & Ritz
            301 Glenwood Ave Ste 100, Raleigh, NC 27603

            J Betski's
            10 W Franklin St, Raleigh, NC 27604

            Neal's Deli
            100 E Main St Ste C, Carrboro, NC 27510

            Fearrington House Restaurant
            2000 Fearrington Village, Pittsboro, NC 27312

            French Broad Chocolate Lounge
            Asheville, Asheville, NC

            6 Replies
            1. re: durhamois

              The Chocolates were outrageous. A couple other highlights include il Palio's sweet potato ravioli with pork ragu and Chef and the Farmer's unique take on a stuffed grape leaf, in this case substituting collard green leaves and stuffing them with sausage. Although there were some misses, the overall quality of food and drink was high and the event was sized and set up perfectly.

              1. re: veganhater

                It was a pretty good event. My favorites were already mentioned. The beer selection was meager. They had lots of wine, but no local beer, which was too bad. There was a beer fest in Wilmington, so that may have drawn off some breweries. I was excited about Nana's dish, it was a smoked boar shoulder on a brioche, but it was tasted like roast beef and was really hard to eat. Beautiful day, though.

                1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                  Speaking as a brewery owner, I couldn't justify the expenses of attending the event. Perhaps some more established breweries could (or their distributors), but I'd venture to say that the paucity in attendance was due in large part to the cost of participating.

                  1. re: peetoteeto

                    Your beer was displayed and available at Il Palio's table. I enjoyed the basil and went to Fearington afterwards for a growler of sweet potato. It's a lot more cost effective when an account buys your beer and pours it for free.

                    1. re: veganhater

                      Cool! Thanks! I knew that Chef Adam was using our sweet potato beer in his dish, but I had no idea he was pouring samples. That sort of rocks!

              2. re: durhamois

                Spot-on review, Durhamois...personally I liked the Watts Grocery item best of the food I tasted.

                Watts Grocery
                1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705

              3. This event was exactly what I love about this area. A mix of an academic, serious approach to celebrating food created using local, sustainable practices along with great snacks and bevvies and plenty of bluegrass to wash it all down. Lots of opportunities for learning, lots of opportunities for supporting local charities through the silent auction, and lots of great things to eat and drink. We need more events like this in the area. TerraVITA and its brothers and sisters in the foodie event world make us educated, discerning foodies! Anyone on this board up to the task? Get on it!

                1. Tickets for the 2011 event are now on sale. Will be held September 24. I'm moving back to NC (Charlotte area), so I'll be there!


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mikeh

                    When you move there check out Sunflour bakery and Cuisine Malaya, particularly their laksa.

                    Cuisine Malaya
                    1411 Elizabeth Ave, Charlotte, NC 28204

                  2. 2012 chef/restaurant lineup has been released for this year's event (November 1-3, 2012).


                    Frankly, it looks like a lot of top talent is sitting this one out:

                    2012 Participants:

                    Herons Restaurant
                    Harvest Moon Grille
                    Chapel Hill Creamery
                    Il Palio
                    New Belgium Brewery
                    French Broad Chocolates
                    Carrboro Coffee Co.
                    Sour Grapes
                    On The Square
                    Market Restaurant
                    Knife & Fork
                    Hillsborough Cheese
                    Joe Van Gogh
                    Oakleaf Restaurant
                    Rose’s Meat Mkt. & Sweet Sh.
                    18 Seaboard
                    Authentique Vin
                    Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen
                    De Maison Selections
                    Acme Food & Beverage
                    Little Hen Restaurant
                    SIP... A Wine Store

                    and more...

                    So I guess the Farm to Fork Picnic has become the area's premier tasting event, which is too bad given the pricing controversy we witnessed...

                    To compare, this tasting is costing $55 - more on par with this type of event than Farm to Fork.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: mikeh

                      I appreciate that they're offering a "no alcohol" option at a lower price. Does anyone know if there are reduced under 18 or under 13 prices? I couldn't find that information on the website.

                      1. re: rockycat

                        If they can offer a "no alcohol" option, what was all that fuss from Farm to Fork Picnic about how it was against regulations or something?

                        1. re: mikeh

                          ISTR it was in regards to sponsorship coming from a NC government department. Still never made sense to me...

                      2. re: mikeh

                        I think this is a good line up of restaurants I want to try that are still a bit under the radar like Market, Oakleaf, Mandolin, etc. I would like to try Herons as well. We're going to go to the 2012 edition with another couple. Looks like a lot of fun.