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November 18, 2013 | 02:50 PM

Fundraiser in Chapel Hill for Typhoon Haiyan Victims - Thursday, November 21st

The Philippines is on the road to recovery after Typhoon Haiyan hit the country's islands recently, but there's a tremendous need for humanitarian aid. In support of relief efforts, this Thursday, November 21st The Carolina Inn will donate 10% of sales generated at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar directly to the American Red Cross.

We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner so pick your favorite mealtime at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar and help support the American Red Cross.

If you are unable to join us on Thursday, you may make a donation to support the typhoon victims through our E-Store.

We thank you for your support!

The Carolina Inn

November 13, 2013 | 07:50 AM

Santa’s Secret Martini at Carolina Crossroads Bar in Chapel Hill

Phillip Ivey longtime bartender at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar created a holiday cocktail dubbed Santa’s Secret Martini to be enjoyed by all. Tis the season to enjoy great cuisine and tasty cocktails!

Santa’s Secret Martini

  • 1 oz. Domanie de Canton
  • 1 oz. Stoli Vanilla
  • ½ oz. Kahlua
  • ½ oz. Bailey’s
  • Splash of Cinnamon Schnapps ~ Just a Splash!
  • 1 oz. cream


  • Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.
  • Pour into a martini glass rimmed in colored sugar and cinnamon.
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick.


November 05, 2013 | 02:28 PM

Holiday Dessert Recipes from Our Chapel Hill Kitchen to Yours

It’s that time of year to begin planning your holiday menus. Carolina Crossroads Restaurant's highly skilled Executive Pastry Chef Sara Thomas has shared one of her exceptional dessert recipes for Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cake. This tasty layered cake is moist and airy with great textures and seasonal flavors. Add a scoop of Roasted Potato Ice Cream and garnish with Butterscotch Sauce. From our kitchen to yours, this simple dessert recipe will leave your guests asking for more.

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cake

  • 6 oz. Melted Brown Butter  
  • 1 ½ C. Sugar  
  • 2/3 C. Brown Sugar  
  • 2 Eggs  
  • 1/3 C. Buttermilk
  • 1 ½ C. Sweet Potato Puree
  • 9 oz. AP Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Ginger
  • ¼ tsp. Cloves
  • ¾ tsp. Salt 


  • Place butter in a pan on medium heat and cook it until it starts to brown – a medium dark color. Place in a container until cool.
  • In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, cream together sugar, brown sugar, and eggs.
  • Add the buttermilk and sweet potato puree. Then add all the dry ingredients.
  • Add the brown butter until all ingredients have been incorporated.
  • Pour mixture in two 10” cake pans.
  • Bake at 350° for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until done.
  • Completely cool cake. For best results refrigerate to cake overnight.
  • Slice the cake into 3 slices.
  • Place a layer of cake on a plate and add a thin layer of icing on top.
  • Add another layer of cake and add a thin layer or icing; repeat one more time.
  • Refrigerate cake for approximately 2 hours.
  • Cut cake into 12 – 16 slices.
  • Add Toffee Sauce on plate.
  • Place slice of cake on the plate, and add a scoop of Roasted Sweet Potato Ice Cream.

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Icing

  • 12 oz. Brown Butter  
  • 24 oz. Cream Cheese  
  • 1 tsp. Maldon Salt ~ Can Substitue with Kosher Salt 
  • 1 C. Brown Sugar 
  • 10 oz. Powdered Sugar  
  • 1 T. Vanilla Extract  
  • 1 C. Pecans ~ Toasted & Chopped


  • Place butter in a pan on medium heat and cook it until it starts to brown – a medium dark color. Place in a container until cool.
  • In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and salt until creamy.
  • Add the brown butter and mix until completely incorporated.
  • Add the brown sugar, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
  • Finally, add the chopped pecans.

Butterscotch Sauce

  • 6 oz. Brown Butter
  • 3 ¾ C. Sugar
  • 2 ½ C. Corn Syrup
  • 2 ½ C. Heavy Cream
  • 1 ¾ tsp. Salt


  • Place butter in a pan on medium heat and cook it until it starts to brown – a medium dark color. Place in a container until cool.
  • Add the sugar and corn syrup; bring to a boil.
  • Add the salt and heavy cream; bring to a boil again.
  • Refrigerate.
  • Store in the refrigerator. Butterscotch Sauce will last for about one month.

Yield 12 Cups

Roasted Sweet Potato Ice Cream 

  • 12 oz. Roasted Sweet Potato
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. Ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg Smidgen Cloves
  • 8 ¾ oz. Sugar     
  • 17 ½ oz. Heavy Cream
  • 17 ½ oz. Milk
  • 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 3 ½ oz. Corn Syrup
  • 1 tsp. Maldon Salt ~ Can Substitute with Kosher Salt
  • 7½ oz. Egg Yolks


  • In a saucepan, heat up the sweet potato, all the spices and sugar. Mix everything together.
  • Add the heavy cream, milk, vanilla bean, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Temper the egg yolks with the hot mixture.
  • Combine the cream mixture and egg yolks completely.
  • Place in an ice bath until cool.
  • Place mixture in a container and refrigerate overnight.
  • Pull that vanilla bean out.
  • Spin mixture in an ice cream machine.

 Yields 2 Quarts


August 15, 2013 | 02:57 PM

Praline Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding like you’ve never had before. This delicious recipe is a dessert to serve after any meal any time of year. Sara’s praline bread pudding is made with homemade southern pralines and topped with a sweet caramel sauce. Each bite will melt in your mouth with smooth and tasty flavors.

Southern Pralines

3 ¼ C. Pecans 
2 ¼ C. Sugar
2 ¼ oz. Butter
¾ C. Buttermilk
Splash Corn Syrup
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Baking Soda
Splash Vanilla Extract
1. Combine everything together in a large sauce pot, and cook on medium heat.
2. Stir occasionally to ensure mixture does not burn.
3. Cook until mixture thickens or until it reaches 230° F – 235° F.
4. Remove pot from hear, and stir until the mixture cools down slightly about 5 minutes.
5. Scoop pralines onto a lined sheet pan.

Yields 2 lbs. 5 oz. 110 pieces of Pralines

Praline Bread Pudding

2 C. ½ & ½
2 C. Heavy Cream
8 oz. Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean ~ Sliced
8 oz. Yolks
30 Croissants ~ Rough Chopped
1 lb. 4 oz. Pralines ~ Broken into Pieces
3 Bananas

1. In a sauce pot, bring together the ½ & ½ , heavy cream, vanilla bean and sugar to a boil.
2. Temper yolks with hot cream, and combine mixtures together.
3. Pour hot mixture over croissants and pralines.
4. Let mixture stand for a few minutes to allow the croissants soak in the hot mixture.
5. Place the croissant mixture into your desired pan/dish/mold.
6. Place dishes into a water bath and bake at 300 °F for about 45 minutes or until done.

Yields 17 Tins (6 oz. in each)


July 12, 2013 | 10:52 AM

The Carolina Inn Unveils Historically Significant Hotel Renovation in Chapel Hill

Built on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1924, The Carolina Inn’s original concept was “to provide for the special wants and comforts of the University alumni...and University visitors.” Almost a century later, the award-winning property delivers on that mission more than ever.

The AAA Four Diamond Carolina Inn features 185 charming and well-appointed guestrooms including 7 luxury suites and 14,000 sq. feet of unique meeting and event spaces, with an additional 15,000 square feet of outdoor venues.

Historic Chapel Hill Inn

The Carolina Inn has undergone seven major renovations in its storied 89-year history, and each has left its own distinct stamp on the beloved hotel, but in many ways this 4.5-year renovation is the most comprehensive and most exciting. Along with completely remodeling the guestrooms and extensively renovating the function rooms and public areas, much of the Inn’s infrastructure has also been updated.  

 Carolina Inn Renovation

“Aesthetically the renovation has achieved a remarkable balance between the historical elements of the Colonial Revival style, dating to 1924, and contemporary style in fresh paint colors and vibrant, luxurious fabrics,” said Dr. Kenneth Zogry, historian of The Carolina Inn since 1998 and author of The University’s Living Room: A History of The Carolina Inn. “Many of the Inn’s treasured antiques and works of art are featured in new settings that celebrate both the past and the present.”

Hotel renovation Historic Carolina Inn

Added General Manager Jack Schmidt, “The result is that The Carolina Inn is ready to provide everything for the comfort of the 21st century guest, in a unique atmosphere that reflects the rich history of both the hotel and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the nation’s great public universities.”

 Chapel Hill Inn

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Carolina Inn recently won a “Best Practices” Award from the National Trust’s Historic Hotels of America Program for its extensive new historical displays, an integral part of the recently completed renovation.

 UNC Hotel

The displays relating to UNC history are the most extensive anywhere on campus. In the public areas these include some 90 student-drawn cartoons from The Daily Tar Heel over the past 70 years, lining the walls of the newly renovated Carolina Crossroads Bar. Throughout the guestroom corridors and lounges are nearly 700 images and brief biographies of noted UNC alumni, faculty, and landmarks.

The attention to detail in the newly renovated Carolina Inn makes it not just a hotel, but truly a destination for travelers, UNC alumni, weddings, meetings and corporate events. 

Hotel renovation Chapel Hill meeting venue


May 22, 2013 | 07:37 PM

Soft Shell Crabs with Corn Maque Choux

Crab is truly an amazing “candy” of the ocean. When crabs molt and their shells soften, you will taste the true flavor and sweetness they offer. Whether breaded, grilled or fried, they are sure to melt in your mouth. This is a great dish to serve with a Sparkling Rosé or a Crisp Light Riesling.

Soft Shell Crabs
4 Prime (Industry term for Small Size) Live Soft Shells
4 Tbs. AP Flour
4 Tbs. Fine Cornmeal
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
Blended Olive Oil  

Maque Choux
1 ½ C. Corn off the Cobb and Corn Milk Scraped off the Cobb
½ Red Bell Pepper ~ Diced
½ Green Bell Pepper ~ Diced
½ Vidalia Onion ~ Diced
Grape Tomatoes ~ Quartered
Bacon ~ 2 Strips
Pinch of Smoked Paprika
Pinch of Dry Mustard
Pinch of Coriander
1 ½ C. Cream
½ Lemon
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste

½ C. Dukes Mayonnaise
1 Dill Pickle Spear ~ Diced
2 Tbs. Parsley ~ Chopped
2 Tbs. Tarragon ~ Chopped
1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
Hot Sauce ~ Couple of Dashes
Lemon ~ Just a Squeeze
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste


  • This can be done 1 day in advance, and can be refrigerated up to a week; some discoloration may occur.
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator.

Soft Shell Crabs

  • Clean soft shells by cutting off the face, removing the gills and the under flap. Set aside.
  • Mix flour and cornmeal together and season with the salt and pepper. Set aside. 

Maque Choux

  • Maque Choux can be made and left to sit warm crabs are sautéed.
  • Add olive oil and bacon to the pan, and slowly brown.
  • Add onions and peppers and allow them to cook until soft. 
  • Add corn and tomatoes and cook them for an additional minute. 
  • Once all ingredients are cooked, add cream and spices. Allow to simmer for 3 – 4 minutes or until the cream is thick and coating the corn.
  • Right before serving, squeeze lemon juice and stir it in well.

Soft Shell Crab Dish

  • Heat a heavy bottom sauté pan and heat. 
  • Toss crabs into the flour cornmeal mix and lightly dust. 
  • Add olive oil to a the heated sauté pan.
  • Add crabs and began to cook. Once the edges turn red about 1 ½ minutes, turn them over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from pan.
  • Serve crabs over corn maque choux and garnish with parsley and tarragon remoulade.

Serves 2

Bon Appétit!

May 20, 2013 | 12:13 PM

Give our Historic College Town a Try for your Next North Carolina Meeting

Although budgets continue to be closely monitored and with minimum flexibility, it’s imperative to think of ideas and unique selling points to assist with closing the deal. While highlighting the wonderful features your property offers, it’s important to sell the location, too.

Chapel Hill, NC’s historic Carolina Inn resides on the oldest state-supported university in the United States – UNC Chapel Hill. Rooted in the traditions and charm of the south, Chapel Hill is home to rich history and exuberance of life with culture, arts and recreational activities. This university town is part of a rich food and wine scene with numerous cultural attractions featuring fine shopping boutiques, art museums and local dining establishments. Chapel Hill also serves as one of the corners to the highly respected Research Triangle Park (RTP) only a 15 drive from the Inn.

The Carolina Inn’s pricing is very competitive for the unique meeting experience provided. Attendees will feel enriched by their unique surroundings, and appreciate the Inn’s fully renovated guestrooms, meeting spaces, and public spaces. In addition, The Carolina Inn’s unmatched meetings expertise and impeccable service standards ensure a successful, stress-free event.

You are invited to stay in the iconic Chapel Hill, NC hotel and enjoy a unique blend of tradition and timeless quality.

March 24, 2013 | 04:32 PM

The Gourmez Features Carolina Crossroads Restaurant's Media Dinner

"Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to a complimentary media dinner at Carolina Crossroads in Chapel Hill. Carolina Crossroads is located inside the Carolina Inn, which has received 4 diamonds from AAA for the last 16 years. The restaurant has received 11 consecutive 4-star AAA ratings and 13 consecutive 4-star ratings from Forbes, which is quite an accomplishment. This night was a whirlwind tour of Chef James’s winter menu offerings. By whirlwind, I mean we had twelve dishes over seven courses, counting an amuse-bouche. Insanity!" - Becca Gomez Farrell

Read more about Becca's dining experience at our Chapel Hill restaurant

March 24, 2013 | 04:25 PM

Executive Chef James Clark Featured by The Local Palate

"If you find yourself wondering where to eat next time you’re in Chapel Hill, you should ask someone how to get to the Carolina Inn’s Crossroads Restaurant and Bar—for there you will find at least two of the most hauntingly satisfying dishes the Tar Heel town has to offer. Having attended a recent six-course tasting dinner, I have to keep telling my mouth that I cannot get into the car and drive from Durham to Chapel Hill to enjoy more of Chef James Clark’s innovations. I worry I might wake one night finding myself halfway there, my taste buds somehow having commandeered the rest of the my body. Lucky for me, I live but 20 minutes away." -Elizabeth Shestak

Read full blog post about our Chapel Hill chef by Elizabeth Shestak, TLP Correspondent.

March 06, 2013 | 09:29 AM

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Recipe

A guest who attended the Annual North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) "Taste of North Carolina" event requested Executive Chef James Clark’s Bacon Wrapped Turkey recipe on our Facebook wall. The request and recipe are noted below. Enjoy!

Please, please, please post Chef James's recipe for the bacon-wrapped turkey from the annual North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) "Taste of NC" event! Land sakes that was wonderful! Great staff, too! Thanks. :)

12 Slices of Cherry Wood Smoked Bacon
Half a Turkey
Cackalacky Sauce
Plastic Wrap
Meat Thermometer
Drip Pan

Prepare the Day Before

  • 12 Slices of Cherry Wood Smoked Bacon laid out long ways overlapping.
  • Cut turkey long ways and wrap bacon around turkey.
  • Shape in plastic wrap and keep even on both sides.
  • Sit overnight in the refrigerator.


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Unwrap turkey from plastic wrap and place on a rack with a drip pan underneath.
  • Roast turkey in the oven for 1 hour and take an internal temperature.
  • Once the internal temperature reaches 120°, pull the turkey out and baste it with Cackalacky sauce every 15 minutes or until the turkey reaches an internal temp of 160°.
  • Once it reaches 160° remove turnkey from over and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4-5

Bon Appétit!

February 28, 2013 | 03:15 PM

New Art Coming to Downtown Chapel Hill NC

Beginning in March, downtown Chapel Hill will come to life with site-specific art works by local artists featuring storefront art, interactive performances and an artist-conceived bus wrap!

Windows on Chapel Hill is a collaborative year-long project between the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and The Town of Chapel Hill's Public and Cultural Arts Office as part of the Downtown Art Program. Additionally, an art wrapped transit bus by Chapel Hill artist Mary Carter Taub entitled Mobile Mural will be traveling downtown routes for a year. Meet the artists and hear about these great collaborative arts initiatives on March 8th from 6 PM to 8 PM, and from 6 PM to 7 PM the Mobile Mural art bus will be parked along Franklin Street in front of The Courtyard.

January 23, 2013 | 10:57 AM

The Carolina Inn's 18th Annual Bridal Showcase Chapel Hill, NC

It’s your wedding day – and we all know there’s nothing more important than choosing the right vendors to help it go off without a hitch. Thankfully, The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase is here to help all of you brides. 

This uber-fabulous wedding event is happening right in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill, at the gorgeous historic hotel, The Carolina Inn on January 27, 2013 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The Showcase features some of the most creative and experienced wedding vendors in the North Carolina area. Just wait until you see the SPECTACULAR agenda for the day, which includes TWO dazzling fashion shows, a yummy cake sampling, music and the most exquisite wedding gowns from top couture designers!

The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase is more soirée than show. So, be sure to mark your calendar and purchase your tickets! Don’t forget to bring every bride and groom-to-be you know...this is going to be a fabulous event. Happy planning!

We look forward to seeing you at the 18th Annual Bridal Showcase.

January 17, 2013 | 09:48 AM

Seared Scallops Recipe

Executive Chef James Clark’s Seared Scallop recipe is elegant, simple to prepare and delicious! These tender scallops are well-balanced with sweet and nutty undertones and can be served as an appetizer or entrée. The scallops are finished with North Carolina trout caviar – what more could you ask for?

Pickled Radishes
2 Radishes
2 Tbs. Sugar
2 Tbs. Salt
¼ C. Red Wine Vinegar

  • Slice the radishes thin and place in a non reactive bowl.
  • Heat and dissolve the sugar, salt and vinegar and pour it over the radishes.
  • Place radishes into cooler for a day. They are now ready to be used.

¼ lb. Arugula
1 Shallot ~ Minced
1 Clove Garlic ~ Minced
3 oz. Crushed Pecans ~ Toasted
3 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbs. Honey
Zest of 1 Lemon
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste

  • Blanch and shock the arugula. Press out the remaining water.
  • Chop the arugula and add to a food processor.
  • Add all reaming ingredients and purée.


  • Choose high quality dry packed scallops that are 10-15 scallops a pound and keep them dry.
  • Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sear in a hot pan with olive oil.
  • Once the edges begin to brown, flip the scallops over and sear for approximately another minute. Don’t overcook the scallops.

Serves 2

Bon Appétit!


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