Make A Reservation

The Carolina Inn Blog

Welcome to Your Carolina Inn. We wanted to give you a place to share your favorite Carolina Inn memory or experience in Chapel Hill. Read, post, share and become part of the community.


Subscribe to RSS Feed
July 06, 2014 | 11:13 AM

National Fried Chicken Day in Chapel Hill, NC

Today is National Fried Chicken Day! Celebrate by preparing Chef James Clark Simple Fried Chicken Recipe. It’s finger-lickin’ good…


  • 2 3lb Chickens Cut Into 8 Pieces
  • 2 Tbs. Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbs. Onion Powder
  • 2 Tbs. Paprika
  • 1 Tbs. Dried Sage
  • 1 Tbs. Cumin
  • 3 Tbs. Crystal Hot Sauce
  • ½ C. Buttermilk
  • AP Flour
  • Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
  • Peanut Oil


  1. Combine all dry spices together.
  2. Add the hot sauce and buttermilk, then pour mixture over the chicken. Mix until coated well. 
  3. Place chicken back into the refrigerator and let sit for at least 1 hour.
  4. Add flour in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and place mixture into a paper bag.
  5. Add chicken four pieces at a time and shake bag.
  6. Once chicken is completely coasted with flour, place it on a cookie sheet.
  7. Let chicken sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. 
  8. While the chicken rests, heat oil to 360°.
  9. Coat chicken one more time in the flour before placing it in the oil.
  10. Fry in two batches until golden brown.

Bon Appétit!

July 04, 2014 | 10:02 AM

Fire in the Triangle

Checkout the deliciouse dishes prepared by Executive Chef James Clark, Pastry Chef Sara Thomas and Chef Bill Hartley during the Fire in the Triangle Competition this past Tuesday.

Cheerwine Braised Heritage Farms Slab Bacon


Toasted Nut Buttuer Torte


Seared Scallop

June 18, 2014 | 04:10 PM

Chilled Asparagus Salad in the Best Chapel Hill Restaurant

Kickoff the summer season with a tasty, healthy salad. Executive Chef James Clark, of Carolina Crossroads Restaurant, makes this delightful chilled asparagus salad with baby frisée, spring onions, quail eggs, garden-fresh herbs and homemade "jar dressing." Each bite brings out a different combination of ingredients. So, get to your local farmers’ market and handpick local produce to create this delicious and satisfying salad. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any summer supper.


  • 12 Jumbo Asparagus
  • 2 Heads Baby Frisee
  • 12 Spring Onions
  • 4 Tbs. Sugar
  • 1 C. Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. Pickling Spice
  • 2 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 4 Quail Eggs
  • 2 Qt. & 2 C. Water
  • 3 Tbs. Salt
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste


  1. Put 2 qts. of water on the stove and add the 3 tbs. of salt and bring to a simmer. In a separate pot, add the sugar, vinegar, thyme and pickling spice and bring to a simmer. 
  2. While both pots are heating both up, trim Asparagus and peel way the woodsy skin which is about mid may down the stalk, rinse, and set aside.
  3. Next, take the Ramps and trim and discard the root. Then separate the bulbs from the green leaves and rinse. Keep separate and set aside. 
  4. Once your salted water is simmering (have an ice bath ready), drop in the Ramp bulbs. Poach for 2 minutes.
  5. Pull out of the water allow to drain and place them in a small no reactive bowl and pour the vinegar pickling liquid over the Ramp bulbs. Immediately cover and place into the refrigerator. This can be done several days in advance.
  6. Next simmer Asparagus for 2 minutes. Pull out and submerge in ice bath. Do not oversoak. Once cooled place asparagus on a towel to dry.
  7. Repeat this process with the Ramp leaves and set aside. You will be adding the leaves to the dressing. 
  8. Trim the dark green off the Frisee down to where it turns light green to white, cut the root end, then wash and dry. 
  9. To cook the eggs, heat olive oil in a small nonstick pan. Once hot, gently crack the quail egg and allow to cook until the egg white has cooked through. Serve sunnyside up.

Jar Dressing

  • 1 Tbs. Tarragon ~ Sliced
  • 1 Tbs. Basil ~ Sliced
  • 1 Tbs. Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 1 Shallot ~ Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic ~ Minced
  • 2 Scallions ~ Grilled & Minced
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbs. Capers ~ Chopped
  • ½ Red Pepper ~ Diced Small
  • ¼ C. Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 ¼ C. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste

Place everything in a pint size jar, and shake vigorously. Dressing lasts up to a week in the refrigerator.

Bon Appétit!

June 18, 2014 | 09:38 AM

North Carolina Moonshine Tasting in Chapel Hill

This past Saturday, 6/14th we held our first-ever moonshine tasting. Well received by the Chapel Hill, N.C. community, 65 attendees rallied on the Front Porch of The Carolina Inn. The day was ideal for this sold out event. The weather was absolutely perfect – gentle breeze, lots of shade, and stunning Carolina blue skies.

With bluegrass music playing in the background, you could hear the sounds of mason jars (filled with moonshine of course) clinking as guests made their toasts. Made available to the attendees included a variety of moonshine. TOPO Organic Carolina Moonshine, Troy & Sons Moonshine, Broadslab Legacy Shine, Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon, Howling Moon Moonshine and Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine were all available for sampling.

Also served was Crossroads’ delicious culinary delights paired perfectly with the North Carolinian moonshine that was offered. Guests enjoyed Southern favorites such as Seared Pork Belly, BBQ Beef Short Rib on a Biscuit, and Braised Pork Cheeks just to name a few.

Our celebrity guest, Moonshiner Wayne, from the Discovery Channel’s TV Show “Moonshiners” was on-site meeting his fans, and answering their questions. Also known as “Hill Billy,” Wayne brought his very own still and an oversized backdrop of his still located in the backwoods of North Carolina. Guests had big smiles as they posed for pictures in front of it with the Moonshiner. Even the Chapel Hill Fire Department made a surprise visit to the tasting as they, too, wanted their picture taken with Wayne.

Here’s to another fun and unique event held in downtown Chapel Hill at The Carolina Inn.


June 05, 2014 | 11:33 AM

It's National Martini Day in Chapel Hill, NC

Refreshing cocktail anyone? Try the Mojitotini when you come to Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar at The Carolina Inn. Not planning a Chapel Hill, NC getaway anytime soon, then make this citrusy beverage yourself. 

  • 2 oz. Bacardi Limon
  • 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1/2 oz. Roses Lime Juice
  • 1 Lime Wedge ~ Squeezed and Added to Shaker
  • 3-4 Springs Fresh Mint ~ Torn and Added to Shaker
  • Fresh Mint ~ Garnish

Add all the above ingredients into a shaker. Shake vigoursly and pour martini into a chilled glass. Garnish with fresh mint.



May 28, 2014 | 01:58 PM

Moonshine Tasting in Chapel Hill, NC

Intrigued by moonshine? Join us on Saturday, June 14th from 5 PM until 7 PM for our first ever moonshine tasting. Sample a variety of North Carolina made moonshine while endulging on our culinary delights. Moonshiner Wayne Nix (a.k.a. "Hill Billy") will be our featured guest at the event. One of his very own stills will be on display for you to view.

Call for reservations at 919.918.2735. Seating is Limited.

View Menu

April 01, 2014 | 06:47 AM

"Liquid Pleasure" Live Music in Chapel Hill, NC

Now serving “Liquid Pleasure” at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar. Named after a local Chapel Hill, NC band, Liquid Pleasure has been performing up and down the east coast for more than two decades. Their music is just as enjoyable as our cocktail.

Enjoy fresh air relaxing on our Front Porch while you savor Crossroads’ drinks and scrumptious cuisine. Don't forget to order a round of "Liquid Pleasure." 

Not in Chapel Hill to enjoy the ambiance at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar? Here's our recipe. We look forward to seeing you the next time you're in town.

  • 1 oz. Absolut Citron
  • 1 oz. Stoli Raspberry
  • 1/2 oz. Chambord
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Splash of Sparkling Wine
  • Seasonal Berries for Garnish

Shake! Pour! Enjoy...Cheers!


March 27, 2014 | 03:22 PM

Seared Tuna Burger, Lemon Horseradish Sauce on Whole Wheat Bun in Chapel Hill, NC

Quick, easy, delicious and healthy! It doesn't get any better than enjoying Executive Clark's flavorful Seared Tuna Burger with Lemon Horseradish Sauce. Come into Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and enjoy Chef's tuna burger at lunch, or prepare this dish in the comfort of your home.

Tuna Burger Ingredients

  • ½# Fresh High Grade Tuna
  • 3 Scallions ~ Minced
  • 2 Shallots ~ Minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic ~ Minced
  • 3 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste


  • Make sure your tuna is free of skin, bloodline & scales. 
  • Slice the tuna in strips so that it will fit into the meat grinder. 
  • Using a meat grinder attachment grind your tuna meat using the medium size dye. Hint be sure you chill the grinder attachments in the cooler ahead of time.
  • Once the tuna is completely ground, add the remaining ingredients, and form into 6 oz. patties.
  • Cook until medium rare which is about 1 1/2 minute on each side. Serve on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato and lemon horseradish sauce.

Lemon Horseradish Sauce Ingredients 

  • ¼ C. Fresh Squeeze Lemon Juice and Zest
  • 3 Tbs. Fresh or Prepared Horseradish
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 C. Olive Oil Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste


  • In a glass or stainless steel bowl whip together the first four ingredients untilmixed well.
  • Slowly add the olive oil into the mix until a mayonnaise consistency is formed.
  • Once combined, season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!


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)


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!

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!

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!

December 14, 2012 | 03:18 PM

Candied Bacon at The Carolina Inn ~ Chapel Hill, NC

This is an amazing recipe...It's sweet! It's savory! It's delicious! If you think everyone loves bacon, you haven't seen them jump into a plate of candied bacon.

1 C. Brown Sugar
1 C. White Sugar
2 T. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1# Thick Slice Bacon

1. Preheat your oven for 350°. 
2. Combine both sugars and black pepper on a large plate. Add bacon and coat well.
3. Place bacon on a nonstick cookie sheet or Silpat and cook in the oven for 12 – 18 minutes rotating the cookie sheet every 5 minutes.
4. When the bacon is brown and caramelized pull out of oven.
5. Place cool bacon on a wire rack. Bacon will become crispy. 
6. Cut into pieces and serve immediately. Candied Bacon can be enjoyed until the next day.

Serves 6

Bon Appétit!

December 14, 2012 | 12:39 PM

Build Your Own Gingerbread House ~ Tips from Executive Pastry Chef Sara Thomas

Executive Chef James Clark and his talented culinary crew has been busy literally making and baking Christmas memories and holiday cheer daily. In fact, Executive Pastry Chef Sara Thomas and her team will make about 2,000 Christmas cookies of all shapes, sizes and designs this month, including 500 for our Christmas Day brunch. Sara says to save room for sugar cookies loaded with sprinkles and chocolate stripes.

Sara is really excited to help judge our 10th Annual Gingerbread Village Competition and offers five of her own gingerbread house tips:

1. Have a theme and it does not have to be just Christmas. It could be local landmark or a place that is celebrating a big anniversary, or perhaps a current event. If you want it to be Christmas, then maybe the 12 days of Christmas, Santa’s Workshop, etc.

2. Icing is key as it needs to be right. This could take a little trial and error but follow the recipe below. The trick is to make sure it is not too firm because it will be too hard to pipe. But if it is too loose it will not stand up and make a mess.

3. It is also important to have a solid gingerbread recipe. Now this is not like a gingerbread that you would eat on Christmas morning; it is a little more dense so it can stand up. Follow recipe below. 4. Make sure you have all the tools you need ready so that you are not looking for the ruler when you need it. Gingerbread houses are like building a regular house; all your measurements need to be consistent and precise.

5. Last let your imagination run wild and have fun!

Gingerbread House Dough
Yield: 1 14in. X 12in. House with Roof
Shortening –  1 ½ cups
Sugar –   1 ½ cups
Eggs –   3 each
Molasses –  1 cups
AP Flour –  6 ¾ cups
Ginger –  1 ½ T
Cinnamon –  1 ½tsp
Baking Soda –  1 ½tsp
Salt –   1 ½tsp

1. In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, cream together the shortening and sugar
2. Add the eggs slowly
3. Add the molasses
4. Then add all the dry ingredients
5. Chill the dough for about 1 hour
6. Roll out the dough to your desired pieces
7. Bake @ 300’F for about 15 to 20 minutes

Royal Icing
Eggs whites –  12oz
Powdered sugar – 4#
Cream of tartar – 1T
1. In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment
2. Add the powdered sugar and cream of tartar
3. Slowly add the egg whites until you get the constantly
4. You might need to add more egg whites if the batter is to thick or you might need to add more powdered sugar if the batter is to runny.

Happy Holidays!

November 16, 2012 | 02:05 PM

Sweet Potato Bisque with Vanilla Bourbon Chantilly Recipe

Enjoy Chef’s Sweet Potato Bisque with Vanilla Bourbon Chantilly recipe! This rich and creamy bisque will warm you and your guests up this holiday season.

4 Large Sweet Potatoes ~ Peeled & Diced
½ Sweet Onion ~ Diced
1 Carrot ~ Peeled & Diced
2 Cloves Garlic ~ Chopped
1 C. White Wine
2 C. Vegetable Stock
3 C. Heavy Cream
2 T. Olive Oil
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
2 T. Bourbon
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1. In a heavy bottom soup pot, sweat the carrots, onions and garlic.  Once soft, add the sweet potatoes and cook for 4 – 5 minutes.
2. Deglaze pot with white wine.
3. Once the white wine has reduced by half add the stock and two cups of the heavy cream. Cook at a slow simmer until sweet potatoes are very soft. 
4. Take the remaining cup of heavy cream and whip it until thick and soft. Add the bourbon and vanilla and whip until a little thicker but not stiff. 
5. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, season the soup with salt and pepper and then purée in a blender until smooth. 
6. Serve immediately with a small dollop of bourbon vanilla cream. Bisque can be made ahead of time and served later.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

September 28, 2012 | 01:11 PM

Tailgating with Pimento Cheese at The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC

What will you serve during your next Tailgating event? Executive Chef James Clark has the answer, Pimento Cheese! This delicious recipe is simple to prepare and is the perfect tailgating food. Serve pimento cheese on burgers, pizza or simply on a cracker. This all-star recipe is packed with flavor and will surely be a touchdown during your next get-together or tailgating event.

2 Sweet Onions ~ Rough Chopped
2 Cans Diced Pimentos
3 lbs. Cream Cheese
5 C. Mayonnaise
5 lbs. Extra Sharp Cheddar ~ Grated
3 Logs of Goat Cheese
5 lbs. Gruyere Cheese ~ Grated
½ C. Crystal Hot Sauce
Salt to Taste

1. Drain ½ the liquid from pimentos onto the onions. Transfer the onions to a blender and liquefy.
2. In a heavy duty mixer add the cream cheese and whip until soft. Scrape the sides of the mixer with a rubber spatula a few times.
3. Add the mayonnaise, onion mixture, hot sauce and goat cheese. Continue to whip until blended well and sides are scraped.
4. Turn off mixer and add ½ of the grated cheese.
5. Turn mixer onto medium speed and add the goat cheese mix. Add the last ½ of grated cheese and mix until blended well and smooth. Do not over blend or the mixture will break down the cheese.
6. Add salt to taste.

Enjoy Executive Chef James Clark’s Recipe Thyme video below.

Makes 3 lbs. of Pimento Cheese

Bon Appétit!

September 24, 2012 | 08:38 AM

Crispy Oysters on the Half Shell

The fall season is the time of year to enjoy fresh oysters. Executive Chef James Clark teaches you how to create one of his favorite dishes, Crispy Oysters. These flavorful breaded and fried oysters are served with country ham and leak reduction topped with an artichoke relish. These delicious oysters are irresistible, so be sure to make plenty for sharing and definitely seconds for all.

Country Ham Leek Reduction
½ C. Country Ham ~ Diced
½ C. Leeks ~ Diced
1 tsp. Garlic
1 T. Olive oil
Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste
1 C. Heavy Cream
Oyster Liquor
2 T. Pernod 

16 Shucked Oysters ~ Save the Liquor and Bottom Shells
1 C. AP Flour
1 C. Fine Corn Meal
2 Tbs. Old Bay Seasoning
Sunchoke Relish
Enough Peanut Oil to fry Oysters at 365°

1. Mix dry ingredients together. Toss in oysters and coat well. 
2. Place each oyster in the hot oil and fry  about 30 seconds, until crisp.
3. Place a small spoonful of the reduction on the shell.
4. Top each shell with a crispy oyster strait from the oil.
5. Finish with a dab of Sunchoke relish!

Enjoy Executive Chef James Clark’s Recipe Thyme video below.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

August 08, 2012 | 08:50 AM

How to Can Mid-Summer Pickled Cucumbers

Its summertime, and what better time to learn how to can homemade pickles than now. Executive Chef James Clark will show you how easy it is to prepare pickled cucumbers from the garden that will last you many months to come. Harvest your cucumber crop today and start canning!

4lb Small/Medium Pickling Cucumbers ~ Firm not soft, even from end-to-end and not too fat
¾ C. Sugar
½ C. Pickling Salt
2 C. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 C. Distilled White Vinegar
4 C. Water 
For Each Jar
¾ Tbs. Dill Seed
¾ Tbs. Fennel Seed
2 Sprigs of Dill
½ a Chili Pepper of Choice ~ Optional

1. Bring your canning pot to a slight simmer and place jars, lids and sealing bands in the water to sterilize.

2. In a separate non-reactive pot, add salt, sugar, vinegars and water and bring to a slow simmer. Make sure all salt and sugar are dissolved. 

3. While everything is heating up, slice cucumbers about ¼” thick.

4. Once your jars have sterilized, carefully remove them from the pot onto a clean towel. While jars are hot, add dill and fennel seed and then add 2lbs of cucumbers. Add dill and chili pepper and continue to fill with cucumbers making sure you pack everything in tightly. 

5. Once all jars are filled, ladle the hot pickling liquid in each jar leaving a ¼” open on the top.
6. After pickling liquid has been added, wipe clean the top of each jar with a hot clean towel and carefully assemble the sealing tops and bands.

7. Now it is time to seal. Place each jar into your canning pot. The jar must have at least ½” of water over the top of the jar. Allow to slowly poach for 18 minutes. Once done, pull jars from the water and allow them to sit and cool on a dry towel on the counter. Do not put jars in ice or the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. The lid should not have a bubble that bounces up and down. If the lid is sunk in you’ve completed the canning process!

Allow the jars to sit in your pantry for at least 3 weeks before enjoying your pickles!

Makes 4 Quart Jars or 8 Pint Jars

June 06, 2012 | 03:54 PM

Chambord Glazed Scallops with Frisée and Fingerlings

Watch Chef Peter Brodsky prepare a summertime seafood delight; a perfect dish for the everyday cook. This quick and simple recipe includes fresh seared scallops, frisée, fingerling potatoes and is dressed with a flavorful Chambord glaze. Accompany this delicious entrée with a Riesling or Chambord cocktail.

10-12 oz. Diver Scallops
2 oz. Thick Cut Bacon ~ Cut into Small Strips
2 oz. Chambord
1 oz. Unsalted Butter
8 oz. Fingerling Potatoes
2 Heads Frisée
½ c. Olive & Canola Oil Blend
¼ c. Raspberry or Sherry Vinegar
10-15 Raspberries
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

1. Split fingerling potatoes lengthwise, and toss with a small amount of oil, salt, and pepper. Roast potatoes at 350° F for approximately 25 minutes or until tender. 

2. Clean and dry frisée, remove the root, and separate leaves into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside until you are ready to assemble salad. 

3. Render the bacon in ½ c. blended oil until crispy. Pour hot bacon and most of the fat over frisée. Add warm potatoes and raspberry vinegar to frisée and toss to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Place salad on plates.

4. Reheat pan with remaining bacon fat and oil. Once the pan is very hot, briefly sear the scallops on both sides, and place scallops on salad. Deglaze pan with Chambord and add butter. Remove pan from heat, and spoon Chambord Glaze over seared scallops. Garnish with Raspberries.

Serves 2

Bon Appétit!

May 02, 2012 | 05:04 PM

Tar Heel Tea

Quench your thirst with our signature drink the Tar Heel Tea created by longtime bartender of Carolina Crossroads Bar, Phillip Ivey. This southern beverage is made with fresh juicy lemons, mint sprigs, bourbon and is topped off with a secret ingredient. Watch this short video to learn how to make this refreshing drink, and discover what Phillip's secret ingredient is.

1/4 tsp. Sugar
4-5 Large Sprigs of Mint ~ Torn
3 Fresh Lemon Wedges

1. Muddle sugar, mint, lemon wedges in a rocks glass.
2. Fill rocks glass with ice.
3. Add one shot of bourbon of choice.
4. Fill glass with sweet tea made with black tea such as Earl Grey or English Breakfast.
5. Pour into a shaker, shake vigourously and serve.


April 16, 2012 | 01:38 PM

Grilled Asparagus with Arugula and Prosciutto Recipe

Nothing beats the flavor of fresh grilled asparagus on a bed of arugula, and the addition of prosciutto and Locatelli cheese makes this dish out of this world. Who knew gourmet cooking could be this simple? 

Grilled Asparagus with Arugula and Prosciutto Recipe


20 Asparagus Spears ~ Snapped at the Bottom
2 c. Arugula
4 Prosciutto ~ Thinly Sliced
4 T. Locatelli Cheese
4 Eggs
Aged Sherry Vinegar
1 T. Za’atar Spice
6 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and grill until just tender.
2. Divide onto four separate plates and then add arugula, prosciutto and locatelli cheese
3. Drizzle salad with desired sherry vinegar.
4. Cook four sunny side up eggs and place on top of salad.
5. Mix Za’atar spice and remaining olive oil together and drizzle on top of egg.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

April 12, 2012 | 02:30 PM

Parsnip Potato Soup

Parsnips play the starring role in this hearty soup recipe. When shopping for parsnips, look for ones small to medium-sized, and should be blemish-free and firm. Enjoy this hearty meal packed with seasonal ingredients, fresh herbs and a touch of heat; the aroma will immediately sweep you off your feet!

Parsnip Potato Soup Recipe

1 c. White Onion ~ Medium Dice
2 Pieces Apple Smoked Bacon ~ Medium Dice
3 c. White Potatoes ~ Peeled and Chopped Rough
2 c. Parsnips ~ Peeled and Chopped Rough
1 Gallon Chicken stock
3 Bay Leaves
1 T. Roasted Garlic
½ c. Heavy cream
2 tsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves
Tabasco to Taste
Cider Vinegar to Taste
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste

1. Sauté bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is almost crispy.
2. Add onions and sauté 3-4 minutes.
3. Add potato and parsnips, salt and pepper and sauté 2-3 minutes.
4. Add chicken stock, bay leaves, roasted garlic, and cream. Cook until potato and parsnips are cooked through.
5. Add Tabasco, vinegar and thyme.
6. Purée in a blender until smooth.
7. Season with salt and pepper.

April 12, 2012 | 10:29 AM

Grilled Sumac Scented Grapefruit and Frisée Salad

Enjoy using ingredients you've never utilized before until now! The use of fresh local ingredients only enhances the enjoyment and flavor of this delightful spring dish!

1 Grapefruit ~ Cut into Segments
1 T. Sumac Powder
4 c. Frisée Greens ~ Chopped Rough
4 T. Feta Cheese ~ Crumbled
4 T. Toasted Pistachios
1 Icicle Radish ~ Sliced This
4 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T. Moscatel Vinegar
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper ~ To Taste

1. Simply mix all the ingredients together and divide into four separate plates.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

April 11, 2012 | 08:17 PM

Orange-Chipotle Glazed Pork Belly, Jicama Salad & Candied Kumquats

Have you ever wondered what the best way is to braise a pork belly? Let Executive Chef Jimmy Reale show you the way! The medley of seasonings will sing to your palette bite-after-bite. What are you waiting for? Get to your local farmer's market and start cooking - there's a tasty meal in your future!

Braised Pork Belly
3 lb. Pork Belly
1 T. Coriander
1 T. Mustard Seed
1 tsp. Fennel Seed
5 Garlic Cloves
2 Bay Leaves
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
Veal Stock
Chicken Stock

1. Toast seeds and crack them in a food processor.
2. Lightly season pork with salt and pepper and rub them with the toasted seed mix.
3. Refrigerate overnight.
4. Grill pork so it becomes slightly crisp and place in a braising pan with garlic, bay leaves, and then cover with chicken and veal stock.
5. Cover pan with foil and cook at 275° for 4 hours.
6. When pork has completed cooking, remove foil and place in refrigerator to completely cool.
7. Remove pork and cut into 2” by 2” squares.
Orange Chipotle Glaze
8 c. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1 Chipotle Pepper plus 1T. Adobe Sauce
1 T. Honey

1. Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and reduce by 75% then pour through a fine mesh strainer.
2. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Jicama Salad
1 Medium Jicama, peeled and julienned
1 Red Pepper ~ Sliced Thin
1 Green pepper ~ Sliced Thin
3 T. Cilantro ~ Washed and Finely Chopped
2 tsp. Ground Cumin
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper ~ To Taste
Orange Vinaigrette ~ To Taste

Candied Kumquat
2 c. Fresh Kumquats ~ Sliced Thin and Remove Seeds
4 c. Sugar
2 c. Water

1. In a sauce pot, place water and sugar over low-medium heat.
2. Stir until sugar has dissolved then add kumquats.
3. Simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and cool completely.

1. Sear pork bellies on both sides in a sauté pan.
2. Add 1 cup of orange-chipotle sauce.
3. Place in a 325° oven and glaze bellies every few minutes until cooked through.
4. Place some Jicama salad in middle of plate.
5. Place pork belly on top of salad and pour some glaze over it.
6. Top with candied kumquat.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

April 03, 2012 | 08:47 AM

Za’atar Seared Scallops with Tabbouleh

Liven your palette this spring with a succulent seafood dish! Executive Chef Jimmy Reale channels his Lebanese heritage to create a mouthwatering Za’atar Seared Scallops with Tabbouleh. The citrusy flavored Za’atar spice burst with robust flavors seasoning the Scallops and complementing the fresh ingredients in the Tabbouleh.

Enjoy Executive Chef Jimmy Reale's instructional video below.

1 c. Cooked Bulgur Wheat
½ c. Parsley ~ Washed and Chopped
¼ c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ c. Cucumbers ~ Seeded and Diced Small
½ c. Tomatoes ~ Diced Small
2 T. Fresh Mint ~ Chopped
2 Green Onion Sprigs ~ Sliced Thin
3 T. Fresh Lemon Juice
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper ~ To Taste

1 T. Oil
4 U-10 Scallops
2 T. Za’atar Spice
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper ~ To Taste

1. Place ¾ cup of uncooked bulgur wheat in a bowl and add 2 cups of very hot water. Let bulgur wheat soak for 45 minutes or until soft. Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove any excess water.
2. For tabbouleh, mix all ingredients together in bowl and taste for proper seasonings. My preference is to add a lot of lemon juice.
3. Place 1 T. of oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. When oil is hot, place scallops in pan and cook for around two to three minutes. Flip scallops and cook to desired temperature. Remove from heat and sprinkle with za’atar spice.
4. Place tabbouleh on four plates, top with scallops and add more za’atar spice.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

February 29, 2012 | 03:52 PM

Marinated Rabbit Loin with Fregola Sarda Salad

Rabbit…the other white meat. Executive Chef Jimmy Reale shows us how simple it is to prepare a succulent Rabbit Loin dish. The Rabbit is immersed in a Shallot, Citrus, Olive Oil marinade, and then cooked to perfection. It’s placed on top a Fregola Salad mixed with Fresh Spinach, chopped Herbs, and a creamy Madeira Butter Sauce. As an entrée or appetizer, the marinated Rabbit Loin recipe is a unique dish sure to satiate any food lovers’ appetite!

Enjoy Executive Chef Jimmy Reale's instructional video below.

2 tsp. Oil
2 c. *Fregola Sarda
1 T. Shallot ~ Peeled and Diced Fine
1 T. Parsley ~ Chopped Fine
1 Orange ~ Zest
1 Garlic Clove ~ Minced
2 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Rabbit Loins
2 Applewood Smoked Bacon Pieces ~ Sliced Thin
½ c. Tomatoes ~ Diced Medium
1 c. Spinach ~ Chopped Rough
¾ c. Madeira Wine
2 T. Butter
2 tsp. Chopped Herbs Mixture ~ Parsley, Oregano and Rosemary
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

1. Cook Fregola like you would pasta in boiling salted water. It takes longer to cook than regular pasta, approximately 15 minutes. Stir occasionally and taste for tenderness. When fregola is cooked, strain and place in ice water to stop cooking process. Then strain and keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
2. Remove any silverskin from rabbit loins being careful not to remove too much meat. Marinate rabbit with shallot, parsley, orange zest, garlic and olive oil. Preferably, marinate rabbit the day before cooking.
3. Heat a sauté pan to medium high heat.
4. Salt and pepper rabbit and sear on all sides until rabbit is cooked through.
5. Remove rabbit from pan and let rest; add bacon to hot pan and render fat.
6. After bacon is rendered, add Fregola, tomatoes and spinach.
7. Cook until all ingredients are hot.
8. Remove pan from burner and add Madeira wine.
9. Place pan back on burner; be careful of flames if using a gas burner.
10. Add butter, herbs and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
11. Slice rabbit loins on the bias into four pieces.
12. Serve in small bowl and enjoy!
Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

*Fregola Sarda is a type of pasta from Sardinia, similar to Israeli couscous. Fregola comes in varying sizes, and typically consists of semolina dough rolled into balls 2-3 mm in diameter, toasted in an oven. Fregola Sarda can be found in most specialty food stores.

February 10, 2012 | 06:40 AM

Medjool Dates Stuffed with Spanish Blue Cheese and Lentil Salad Recipe

Don't you think it's time to add an exciting new recipe to repertoire? Executive Chef Jimmy Reale's Medjool Dates stuffed with Spanish Blue Cheese and Lentil Salad is a refreshing change to your everyday first course. The variety of ingredients used provide a medley of flavors that will engage your palette like no other salad before!

Enjoy Executive Chef Jimmy Reale's instructional video below.

Medjool Dates Stuffed with Spanish Blue Cheese, Wrapped in Prosciutto with Balsamic Syrup

12 Medjool Dates ~ Sliced in Half and Remove Pit
4 oz. Spanish Blue Cheese
12 Slices of Prosciutto
3 c. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Syrup
1. In a medium-saucepan, over medium heat, add balsamic vinegar.
2. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
3. Simmer until liquid reduces by 3/4, approximately 30 minutes or until syrup-like consistency.
4. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Lentil Salad
1 c. Red Crimson lentils
2 c. Water
½ c. Arugula
¼ c. Green Onion ~ Thinly Sliced
¼ c. Red Peppers ~ Diced Small
¼ c. Yellow Peppers ~ Diced Small
2 T. Basil Oil
To Taste Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

1. Cook lentils until just tender approximately 10-12 minutes.
2. Strain and cool.
3. Place lentils in bowl and toss with all remaining ingredients.

Basil Oil
1 c. Basil leaves ~ Tightly Packed
½ c. Parsley ~ Chopped and Washed
2 c. Olive Oil

1. Place all ingredients in blender and purée uree for 5 minutes.
2. Pour through a fine mesh strainer.
3. Keep refrigerated.

Pomegranate Balsamic Syrup
2 c. Balsamic Vinegar
¾ c. Pomegranate Juice
¼ c. Sugar

1. Place all ingredients in pot and simmer until reduced by 80%.
2. Place in refrigerator to cool.

Bon Appétit!

December 07, 2011 | 03:25 PM

Spiked Pumpkin Milkshake & Peppermint Patty Hot Chocolate Recipes

This year break out of your culinary holiday rut and branch out with these decadent seasonal beverages! Try out our holiday drink recipes:

Spiked Pumpkin Milkshake Recipe

1/3 c. Pumpkin ~ Fresh or Canned
¼ – ½ c. Milk
1/4 tsp. Vanilla
½ tsp. Cinnamon
1/16 tsp. Cloves ~ Use a pinch or an 1/8 tsp. measuring spoon and fill it half way.
1/16 tsp. Nutmeg
3 Tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
2 c. Vanilla Ice Cream
2 oz. Premium Dark Spiced Rum
1 oz. Crushed Candied Pecans

1. It doesn’t get any easier than this. Pour a ¼ c. of milk and the remaining ingredients in a blender and purée.
2. Slowly add more milk as needed.

Peppermint Patty Hot Chocolate Recipe

Hot Chocolate Ingredients
1/3 c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¾ c.  White Sugar
1 Pinch of Salt
1/3 c. Boiling Water
3 ½ c. Milk
¾ tsp. Vanilla Extract
½ c. Half-and-Half Cream

1. Combine the cocoa, sugar and salt in a saucepan.
2. Add the boiling water.
3. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir.
4. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to scorch the mixture.
5. Stir in 3 ½ c. of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla.
6. Divide hot chocolate between 4 mugs.
7. Add cream.

Pepperming Patty Hot Chocolate Ingredients
1 oz. Peppermint Schnapps
½ oz. Vanilla Vodka
1 tsp. Créme de Menthe
10 oz. Hot Chocolate
Approximately1 oz. Whipped Cream
Shaved Chocolate

1. Pour Vanilla Vodka and Crème de Menthe into a glass mug.
2. Fill mug with hot chocolate and top with whipped cream.
3. Garnish with chocolate shavings.


November 22, 2011 | 11:43 AM

Cranberry and White Chocolate Bread Pudding Recipe

Looking for a last minute dessert to wow your guests this Thanksgiving? Executive Chef Jimmy Reale of Carolina Crossroads Restaurant has a simple recipe for a sweet finish to your holiday meal. Prepare Chef’s Cranberry and White Chocolate Bread Pudding this season; it will certainly be added to the list of traditional favorite’s year-after-year!

½ c. Dried Cranberries ~ Reconstitute in warm water then discard water
½ c. White Chocolate Chips
8 Eggs
1 ½ c. Granulated Sugar
½ qt. Heavy Cream
1 tsp. Cinnamon Ground
1 tsp. Nutmeg ~ Whole or Ground
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
4 c. Day Old Croissants ~ Cubed

1. Place dried cranberries and white chocolate chips in food processor. Pulse 4-5 times enough to break into pieces.
2. In a large bowl cream together eggs and sugar.
3. Incorporate the cranberry and white chocolate mix with the remaining ingredients.
4. Let mixture sit 30-45 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed.
5. Place into greased muffin pans and cook at 325 degrees until set, approximately 30-40 minutes.

Bon Appétit!

November 01, 2011 | 08:13 PM

House-Made Lamb Sausage & Sweet Potato Hash Recipe

Have you always wanted to prepare a lamb dish, but didn’t know how? Executive Chef Jimmy Reale from The Carolina Inn walks you through each step to prepare this flavorful appetizer in no time.

Lamb Sausage
1 lb Ground Lamb
2 Tbsp. Minced Onions
1 Tbsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
2 tsp. Allspice
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp. Fennel Seed
1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Fresh Egg
To Taste Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

1. Place ground lamb in mixing bowl.
2. Incorporate remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Set in refrigerator overnight to develop flavors.

Sweet Potato Hash
½ c. Diced Red Onions
½ c. Red and Green Peppers
1 ½ c. Sweet Potatoes, Peeled, Diced and Blanched
1 Tbsp. Butter
4 Small Pita Bread or English Muffin

Pink Peppercorn Maple Syrup
1 c. Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp. Pink Peppercorns

1. Warm syrup and peppercorns in pan just before ladling the syrup on the dish.

Bacon Jam
½ c. Red Onion ~ Diced
½ lb. Smoked Bacon
½ c. Brown Sugar

1. Chop bacon into small pieces.
2. Render bacon until crispy then remove from pan.
3. Sauté onions in bacon fat until caramelized.
4. Add brown sugar and bacon.
5. Bring to a low simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and refrigerate until cold.

1. In a hot sauté pan brown a ½ cup of lamb sausage.
2. Add onions, peppers and sweet potatoes. Continue to cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add butter and season with salt and freshly ground pepper as desired
4. Place sausage hash on plate.
5. Ladle desired amount of maple syrup over hash.
6. Place warm pita bread on top of hash and spoon a tablespoon of bacon jam on top.
7. Fry an egg sunny side up and place on top of pita.

Serves 6-8

Bon Appétit!

September 28, 2011 | 08:40 PM

Fried Green Tomato Salad Recipe

Fried Green Tomato Salad, Carolina Crossroads style! Watch as Executive Chef Jimmy Reale shows you step-by-step how to create this flavorful salad -an excellent accompaniment to any lunch or dinner.

3 Green Tomatoes ~ Sliced ½" Thick
1½ c. Buttermilk
1 c. Flour
1 c. Corn Meal
4 c. Oil
1 c. Arugula
1 ear Smoked Corn or Corn Cut Off the Cob and Lightly Sautéed
¼ c. Toasted Pecans
3 oz. Local Farmers Cheese or Feta Cheese
1 Lemon
To Taste Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

Chipotle Buttermilk Dressing
1 Tbs.  Chipotle ~ Puree
1 c. Buttermilk
1 Tbs. Champagne Vinegar
½ c. Sour Cream

1. Place shucked corn on outside grill and smoke using your favorite wood chips.
2. Cool. Cut corn off the cob and set aside.
3. In a heavy duty sauté pan or cast iron pan, heat oil over medium heat to 350 degrees.
4. Place tomatoes in buttermilk then dredge in flour and cornmeal.
5. Fry tomatoes in small batches. Do not overcrowd the pan.
6. Fry tomatoes until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
7. Remove tomatoes from oil and season with salt and pepper.
8. To make salad, place arugula, smoked corn, pecans, cheese and approximately three tablespoons of the chipotle dressing in a mixing bowl.
9. Season with salt and pepper and toss; lightly coat the salad with dressing.
10. Place four fried green tomatoes on a plate. Top with salad and fresh lemon zest.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

September 06, 2011 | 02:04 PM

Summer Watermelon Salad Recipe from The Carolina Inn

Executive Chef Jimmy from The Carolina Inn is delighted to share with you his flavorful Watermelon Salad recipe which includes fresh local ingredients purchased from the Carrboro Farmer's Market such as Red Watermelons, Frisée and Jalapeños.

2 c.  Seedless Watermelon ~ Diced Medium
1 c.  Frisée
12  Pickled Cucumber Slices (See Recipe Below)
1 tsp.  Jalapeño Peppers ~ Diced Small
1  Red Radish ~ Sliced Thin
3 Tbs.  Citrus Vanilla Vinaigrette (See recipe Below)
4 oz.  Ashe County Juusto Cheese or Halloumi Cut Into 4-1oz Portions
Watermelon Gelée Cut into triangles (See Recipe Below)
To Taste Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

Pickled Cucumbers
1 Cucumber Sliced
1 c. Sugar
1 c. Water
1 c. Champagne Vinegar
1 c. White Wine
2 tsp. salt

1. Place all ingredients in small pot except cucumbers.
2. Bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally.
3. Place sliced cucumbers in heat resistant container.
4. Pour hot liquid over cucumbers, cover and place in refrigerator.
5. Wait 2 hours before removing cover. Serve cold.

Citrus Vanilla Vinaigrette
1 Juiced Orange
1 Juiced Lime
1 Juiced Lemon
½ Vanilla Bean ~ Scrape Seeds
½ tsp. Chopped Garlic
1 tsp. Chopped Shallots
2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Tbs. Honey
½ c. Corn Oil
To Taste Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

1. Place all ingredients in bowl except oil.
2. While whisking ingredients together, slowly drizzle oil until emulsified.
3. Taste for proper seasonings.

Watermelon Gelée
1 Quarts Pureed Watermelon
1 oz. Gelatin Powder
1/2 c. Cold Water

1. Heat watermelon liquid.
2. Dissolve gelatin in cold water.
3. When watermelon becomes hot add gelatin.
4. Quickly pour evenly on tray and cool.
5. Cut into squares, then triangles.

Plating the Watermelon Salad
1. In mixing bowl place watermelon, greens, jalapeño and radish.
2. Pour in dressing, season with salt and pepper then gently toss.
3. Lay watermelon gelée and pickled cucumbers on plate.
4. Add watermelon salad to plate.
5. Pan fry Juusto cheese on both sides to warm and add to top of salad.

Serves 4

Bon Appétit!

June 27, 2011 | 11:00 AM

The Carolina Inn Serves Up Summer

On Friday night, I had the good fortune of being invited to The Carolina Inn for a preview of Carolina CrossRoads' summer menu.

Our group of 10 – which included the inn's new Director of Sales and Marketing Jack Schmidt and Moreton Neal, co-founder of La Residence – did not leave hungry.

Chef Jimmy Reale presented to us an amuse bouche and petite plates of four appetizers, three entrees and a dessert sampler that featured four creations by pastry chef Suzanne Menius.

Chapel Hill Magazine

April 01, 2011 | 11:57 AM

Enjoy a Gourmet Getaway with a Chapel Hill Dining Package from The Carolina Inn

The Carolina Crossroads Restaurant & Bar has received numerous awards, including a AAA Four Diamond Award, Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, and Forbes Four-Star Service Award as well as recognition by the James Beard Foundation of New York. Executive Chef Jimmy Reale offers prix fixe menus complemented by the perfect wine pairing. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this Chapel Hill restaurant features contemporary menus of classic Southern cuisine. The seasonal menus emphasize local organic and sustainable ingredients from Chapel Hill and the surrounding area.

Enjoy fine dining at this restaurant in Chapel Hill with the Gourmet Getaway vacation package offered by The Carolina Inn. This vacation package includes a well-appointed guestroom as well as a $100 food and beverage gift card to use at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant & Bar. Rates start at $210 and the special package is based on availability.

January 17, 2011 | 10:06 AM

Enjoy a Romantic Valentine's Day Dinner at Carolina Crossroads

Carolina Crossroads is the perfect place for a romantic evening. Enjoy an unforgettable meal with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day in our AAA Four Diamond and Forbes Four-Star restaurant. Our four-course menu is sure to excite your palettes and warm your hearts.

First Course
Crossroads Mixed Organic Field Lettuces, Choice of Dressings  

Organic Baby Spinach, Zinfandel Poached Pears, Maytag Blue Cheese, Spiced Walnuts, Grilled Red Onions, Red Wine Vinaigrette

Red & Yellow Beet Salad, Arugula, Truffled Goat Cheese,
Toasted Macadamia Nuts, Orange Vanilla Vinaigrette

Second Course
White Bean & Chorizo Soup, Locatelli Cheese, Marinated Artichoke & Toasted Pistachio Salad

Butternut Squash Soup, Crumbled Gingerbread & Cinnamon Crème Friache

Shrimp & Grits, Pan Seared Prawns, Old Mill of Guilford Stone Ground Yellow Grits, Benton’s Country Ham, Crispy Collards, Roasted Pepper Velouté  

Lamb Bolognese, Semolina Gnocchi, Pesto, Arugula, Shaved Ricotta Salata

Middle Eastern Black-eyed Pea Cakes, Hillsborough Feta Cheese, Pickled Beets, Lentils & Rice,
Green Beans & Cinnamon Tomato Sauce, Spiced Yogurt 

Oven Roasted NC Catfish, Shrimp Jambalaya Carolina Gold Rice, Batter Crisp Onion  

Sumac Grilled Organic Salmon, Cauliflower Purée, Crawfish, Fennel & Mint Salad, Moroccan Couscous, Heirloom Tomato Chutney  

Slow Cooked Chatham County Heirloom Chicken, Maries Tomato Sauce, Giacomo’s Italian Sausage & Blue Hominy Ragout, Wild Mushrooms, Kale

Espresso Rubbed Angus Beef Tenderloin, Potato Purée, Carrots, Asparagus, Green Beans, Toasted Chestnuts, Veal Demi-Glace

Slow Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco, Whipped Sweet Potatoes, Collard Greens, Fried Brussels Sprouts, Bourbon Brown Sugar Apples

Chocolate Pâté, Amarena Cherries& Vanilla Sauce

Cinnamon Raspberry Streusel Cake, Brown Sugar Sour Cream Ice Cream & Raspberry Sauce

Trio of Sorbets with Seasonal Berries and Shortbread Cookies

Flourless Chocolate Hearts with Chambord “Spiked” Berries and Chocolate Sauce

Although not necessary, reservations are strongly recommended by clicking on the OpenTable link, or call us directly at 919.918.2777.

January 17, 2011 | 09:20 AM

Carolina Crossroads Participates in Triangle Restaurant Week

Carolina Crossroads Restaurant is participating in Triangle Restaurant Week, a weeklong celebration of culinary excellence. Please join us during January 24 – 30 for an exquisite 3-course dinner.

First Course
Ditalini Pasta, Venison Sausage, Fava Beans, Roasted Red Peppers, Pumpkin Seeds, Pecorino Romano Cheese & Garlic Basil Broth

White Bean & Chorizo Soup, Locatelli Cheese, Marinated Artichoke & Toasted Pistachio Salad

Second Course
Grilled Organic Salmon, Cauliflower Purée, Crawfish, Fennel & Mint Salad, Moroccan Couscous, Heirloom Tomato Chutney

Middle Eastern Black-eyed Pea Cake, Hillsborough Feta Cheese, Pickled Beets, Lentils & Rice, Green Beans & Cinnamon Tomato Sauce, Spiced Yogurt

Chocolate Waffle, Peppermint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream & Chocolate Sauce

Trio of House Made Sorbets with Seasonal Berries & Shortbread Cookies

Although not necessary, reservations are strongly recommended by clicking on the OpenTable link, or call us directly at 919.918.2777.

January 14, 2011 | 12:10 PM

Carolina Crossroads Debuts Winter Menu

Executive Chef Jimmy Reale and Carolina Crossroads debuts it's winter menu.

Come inside and warm up with a hearty meal at Carolina Crossroads. Our new winter menu has a variety of meals to suit all palettes. Executive Chef Jimmy creates menu items that explode with flavor such as his most recent creation, the Espresso Rubbed Angus Beef Tenderloin.

Click here to view our winter menus.

November 05, 2010 | 04:39 PM

The Carolina Inn's 8th Annual Gingerbread House Competition

The Carolina Inn welcomes all talents to enter in our 2010 Gingerbread House Competition!

Download Entry Form

The competition is open to everyone, professionals and amateurs alike, except employees of The Carolina Inn and their immediate family and/or household members. The contest includes a separate adult and youth category. Entries are accepted from individuals or groups of up to 5 members.

Deadline for entry forms is Friday, December 3, 2010
Via Fax: 919-918-2795
Via Email:
Via Mail: 211 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 Re: 12 Days of Christmas, Attn: Heidi Werner
Drop Off: Drop off your form at the front desk of the hotel at any time. Clearly mark envelope, Attn: Heidi Werner.

• To be eligible for the competition, a signed and completed entry form must be received by fax or mail prior to 5PM Friday, December 3, 2010. Entries that are not pre-registered will not be accepted. 
• Only one entry per entry form is permitted.  
• The 2010 Gingerbread House Competition Entry Form must be signed by the individual entering the competition. If the individual is younger than age eighteen by the date of the competition, a signature from a parent or legal guardian is required along with the minor’s signature.
• Entry numbers will be assigned upon receipt of completed entry forms, and competitors will receive a letter or email with entry number confirming their entry into the 2010 competition. 
• Team entries are allowed under the following guidelines:
o Complete one entry form for the team that only includes the team captain’s contact information. In the case of school groups or girls or boys scout troops entering the competition, the classroom teacher or troop supervisor should be listed as the team captain and provide his or her contact information.
o A separate typed list of each team members’ first and last names, along with ages, should be included with the team’s entry form.
o A signature from a parent or legal guardian will be required for each team member under eighteen years of age.
o In the event a Team Entry places in the competition, the team captain will be the recipient of any prizes. Distribution or splitting of any prize will be left to the team captain to determine. 
o A Team should consist of two to five individuals working on a single entry. No more than five individuals are allowed to work on a single entry.

Note:  Due to limited display space, we can only accept 20 entries 10 Adult and 10 Youth by order received. Only one entry is allowed per household.

In the event you are no longer able to compete in our Gingerbread House Competition, please call our Twelve Days of Christmas concierge at 919.918.2755.

Adult (15 and older)  
Youth (15 and under)

Note: Teen and Child competitors may be supervised while baking, for safety precautions, by a parent or guardian. However, all gingerbread house construction, design and decoration must be done by the individual(s) entering the competition.

Competitors are not limited to the structure of a house. We welcome and encourage competitors to uniquely design their entry for this years’ competition, as long as the entry is in keeping with the competition Rules & Procedures.

Entries will be judged by the general public and our Pastry Chef. The entry with the highest number of points in its category will be the winner. Entries will be judged on each of the following criteria on a scale of 1-5: Overall Appearance, Originality & Creativity, Difficulty, Precision, and Consistency of Theme (theme should be competitor’s own and consistent throughout entry). Winners will be announced on Monday, December 20, 2010 and will be posted on our website.


  • Entries must not exceed 1.5 feet in height, 1.5 feet in width, or 1.5 feet in depth, including the board used as a base. We suggest using ½” or ¾” plywood as a base for your entry.
  • Write your name, entry number, address, and phone number on the underside of your base.
  • Entries must be made primarily of gingerbread and entirely of edible products (except for the base). Candies must be unwrapped. Edible materials are not limited to sweets.
  • No artificial display materials, such as styrofoam or interior lighting, are to be used in the construction of the house.


  • Entries accepted Friday, December 10, from 9:00 am 12:00pm. Entries that are not pre-registered will not be accepted.
  • Please check-in with our front-desk agents the day of delivery and they will direct you to one of our ballrooms where we will store all our entries by category and in order of entry number.
  • The competitor’s name, entry number, address, and phone number must be labeled underneath the base.

Note: We reserve the right to refuse any entries deemed inappropriate for display at the hotel.


  • Entries will remain on display in The Carolina Inn lobby starting Saturday, December 11 through Monday, December 27, 2010.
  • Entries may be picked up Tuesday, December 28th from 9:00 am to 12:00pm.
  • Entries will be discarded on Wednesday, December 29th. No exceptions.

Category Place Prize
ADULT-First Place: $100 South Point Mall Gift Certificate and "Dinner for Four" at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant.
ADULT-Second Place: $50 South Point Mall Gift Certificate and “Dinner for Two” at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant.
YOUTH-First Place: $100 South Point Mall Gift Certificate and "Brunch for Four" at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant.
YOUTH Second Place: $50 South Point Mall Gift Certificate and “Brunch for Two” at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant.

How to Enter
Deadline for entry forms has been extended to Friday, December 3, 2010
Via Fax: 919-918-2795 Attn Heidi Werner
Via E-mail:
Via Mail: 211 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill, NC, 27516 (Re: 12 Days of Christmas, Attn: Heidi Werner) 
Or, you may drop forms off at the front desk of the hotel at any time. Clearly mark envelope “Attn: Heidi Werner”

Note: Due to limited display space, we can only accept 20 entries (10 Adult and 10 Youth), by order received.

Group or Business Name: (If applicable)  
Competitor’s  or Group Captain’s Name:  
Street Address:
City, State and Zip:

Daytime Phone:  
Evening Phone: 
E-mail Address: 
Preferred method of contact: 
Category for Entry: (Check one)   Adult   Youth                             
Type of Entry: (Check one)   Individual   Group
Type of Entry:  (Check one)   Professional   Amateur

I understand that to be eligible for the contest, I must complete and return this entry form by December 3, 2010 and be accepted into the contest by The Carolina Inn. In addition, I must deliver my completed entry Friday, December 10, 2010, between 9:00am and 12:00pm with competitor name, category, address and phone number on the base on I have read all requirements and understand that my entry must be completely edible and primarily made of gingerbread. I understand that my entry will be on display at The Carolina Inn from December 11 – December 28, 2010 and relinquish all responsibility from The Carolina Inn for any damage to my gingerbread house caused by public display. Winners of the competition will be announced Monday, December 20, 2010 and posted at as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Signature of Applicant:_____________________________________Date: __________________
If the applicant is younger than the age of eighteen (18) by the date of the competition, please complete the section below.

I affirm that the applicant listed above is ______ years of age and will independently design, construct and decorate the entry to be submitted.

Applicant’s date of birth (required for Applicants under the age of 18):_______________
Signature of Parent or Guardian:___________________Date: ________________

*NOTE: Group entries should only include the group captain’s information. A secondary list of each group members’ name and signature should be included along with date of birth and signature from a parent or legal guardian if under 18 years old.

October 31, 2010 | 12:45 PM

Southern Style Red Bean Soup with Shrimp, Chorizo and Crystal Hot Crema

Autumn brings beautiful seasonal color changes, falling leaves and an abundance of new food items to be used in your fall cuisine. Chef Jimmy Reale from Carolina Crossroads Restaurant shares his recipe for Southern Style Red Bean Soup with Shrimp, Chorizo Sausage and Crystal Hot Crema, a hearty and flavorful soup sure to be a crowd-pleaser this season.

Southern Style Red Bean Soup with Hot Crema


1lb       Dried red beans-soaked in water and refrigerated overnight
¼ c      Oil
5 oz     Chorizo sausage, small dice
2 T       Garlic, fine chop
½ c      Onions small dice   
½ c      Yellow peppers small dice
¼ c      Green peppers small dice
¼ c      Carrots small dice
½ c      Celery small dice
1 T       Thyme, chopped
1 T       Chili powder
1 T       Cumin ground
2 c       Can chopped tomatoes with juice   
2 qts    Chicken broth
Cider vinegar to taste
½ lb      Small shrimp, peeled and deveined
Crystal Hot Crema (Recipe follows)

Crystal Hot Crema
½ c      Sour Cream
1 T       Lime juice, fresh squeezed
Crystal Hot Sauce, to taste

1. Place oil in a pot over medium heat
2. When oil is hot add chorizo sausage and begin to render fat
3. Add garlic, onions, peppers, carrots, celery, thyme, chili powder and cumin
4. Season with salt and pepper then sauté for 5 minutes
5. Add red beans after you have discarded the water
6. Add tomatoes and chicken broth and stir well
7. Bring soup to a simmer and continue to cook until beans are finished
8. Add shrimp just before serving and cook until shrimp is cooked through
9. Skim any fat off of soup and discard
10. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary
11. Add cider vinegar
12. Use a hand blender and pulse soup a few times just to give it some body
13. Add more chicken broth if necessary

Place soup in a bowl and drizzle with crystal hot crema

Come into Carolina Crossroads today and enjoy Chef Jimmy's fall menu. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

July 26, 2010 | 10:43 AM

Summer Watermelon Recipes from Chef Jimmy Reale

Summer brings an abundance of fresh local fruits and vegetables including a childhood favorite - watermelon. Chef Jimmy Reale, from the Carolina Inn's Crossroads Restaurant, shares his recipe for Watermelon and Feta Salad, a delicious light summer dish that brings watermelon back for adults.

Watermelon and Feta Salad
Serves 4


2 cups             Baby Arugula
1 oz                Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cups             Seedless Watermelon, Diced Small
4 oz                Crumbled Feta Cheese (Hillsborough Cheese Company is my favorite)
To  Taste         Thin Sliced Red Onion
2 oz                Fig Balsamic Syrup (see below)
1 Tbsp             Fresh Mint –Julienne

Method: Fig Balsamic Syrup
12 oz               Dark Balsamic Vinegar
3 oz                 Dried Figs

1)      For fig syrup, reduce dark balsamic vinegar and figs by ¾ over low heat.
2)      Strain and let cool.


On four separate plates place arugula that has been lightly tossed in olive oil. Portion the watermelon, feta, red onion and mint on all plates. Drizzle with fig syrup right before serving and enjoy this wonderful summer appetizer. Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

 *For more delicious ways to enjoy watermelon, visit The Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and try Chef Reale's Summer Watermelon, Grilled Halloumi Cheese, Arugula, Picked Cottle Farm Cucumbers, Jalapeno Peppers, and Radishes with a Citrus Vanilla Vinaigrette.


July 02, 2010 | 04:26 PM

Hot New July Specials at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant & Bar

Looking for a great way to beat the heat this July? Check out our new menu specials at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant & Bar. Each day brings a different summertime special:

Mondays- Chef's Summer Tasting Menu: Buy One, Get One Free.
Choose a Three, Four or Five Course Menu

Sip & Slide Tuesdays- Three House Made Sliders & a Draft Beer for $10

No Whining Wednesdays- Half Priced Wines by the Glass

Thursdays on Tap- $3 Drafts All Day

Fridays on the Front Porch- Live Bluegrass Music, Cool Drinks & a Summer Picnic Menu. Starts at 5:00pm

Saturdays- Double Reward Points for our Culinary Rewards Members. Join Today!

Bloody Good Sundays- Half Priced Bloody Marys & Small Plates

*Don't miss our July specials running all month long:

Locals Rule- Show us your driver's license with your Chapel Hill/Carrboro address and we'll take 10% off your dinner bill in July

Dinner at Dusk- Three Course Menu for $39 available Tuesday through Sunday for diners seated before 6:00pm

Click here for a printable calendar. Keep one on your fridge, in your office or in your car so you always know what's happening at Carolina Crossroads!

May 03, 2010 | 08:52 AM

Best Dish of North Carolina Contest

The Carolina Crossroads Restaurant has been chosen as a fine dining finalist in the 2010 Best Dish in NC Contest. The contest, held annually by the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, aims to determine who serves the best food in the state using ingredients that are grown or produced in North Carolina. Click here to read more about the contest and other participating restaurants.

Executive Chef Jimmy Reale and his culinary team will be showcasing the following dishes during the month of May as part of the contest:

Appetizer - Grilled Local Asparagus, Arugula, Prosciutto di Parma, Hillsborough Cheese Company Ricotta, Crispy Latta Farm Poached Egg, Aged Sherry Vinegar, Za’atar Oil

Salad – Organic Arugula Salad, Red & Golden Beets, Hillsborough Cheese Company Feta, Toasted Hazelnuts, Blood Orange Vanilla Vinaigrette

Entrée– Roasted Chatham County Poulet Rouge, NC Fingerling Sweet Potatoes, Local Asparagus, Caramelized Cippolini Onions, Zucchini, Roasted Chicken Jus

Our featured dishes showcase local produce and North Carolina products from Latta’s Egg Ranch, Hillsborough Cheese Company, Red Farms, Sonny’s Pride Scott Farms and local area farmers markets.

A team of mystery judges will be sampling our featured dishes and a contest winner will be announced later this summer. Stop by our restaurant to try these featured dishes and earn double points toward our new Culinary Rewards Program.

Check back on our blog to see photos of our featured dishes, recipes and chef tips on making the most of local produce.

April 27, 2010 | 09:20 AM

Carolina Crossroads Culinary Rewards Program

As a guest of the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar, you have experienced our graceful dining atmosphere, enjoyed our impeccable service and savored our unparalleled menu. As a way of saying thanks for being our valued customer, we have created a new loyalty program that rewards you just for dining with us.

With our Culinary Rewards Program, you'll earn points every time you dine at the Carolina Crossoads, so you can enjoy more great food and good times on us. As a member, you'll earn one point for every dollar you spend at the restaurant and bar. Once you have accumulated 300 points, we'll give you a $20 Carolina Crossroads gift card that can be redeemed any time at our restaurant - it's that easy! Additionally, rewards members will receive special invitations to Members Only events and offers, as well as preferred reservations on high demand dates.

Enrollment in the program is simple - and free! Enroll now or register in person during your next meal with us. And just for signing up, you'll receive 25 bonus points to get started.



March 30, 2010 | 08:34 AM

Chef Reale Celebrates Earth Day at Briar Chapel

On Sunday, April 18th Briar Chapel will host a Celebrity Chef Charity Event featuring several Triangle Chefs demonstrating their favorite recipes using locally and healthfully grown foods in each of their model homes.

Executive Chef Jimmy Reale will participate as a Celebrity Chef for this event. Check out this interview where he talks about his job as a chef, using fresh local ingredients, and his participation in Briar Chapel's Earth Day event.

January 11, 2010 | 06:41 PM

Warm Birthday Memories

On December 5, 2009, my family came to the Carolina Inn for a birthday luncheon for my mother Helen who was 78 years young that day. Ten of her children and grandchildren gathered from Oregon, New York and Florida to celebrate with her. It was cold and rainy outside, but inside the Inn was warm and all aglow, beautifully decorated for Christmas. We all loved the whimsical "Twelve Days of Christmas" display complete with two live turtle doves. We enjoyed a delicous lunch served in the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant. Thanks for helping to make my mom's birthday such a fun and memorable one!

November 18, 2009 | 04:48 PM

Composting Chefs at Crossroads Restaurant

As part of The Carolina Inn's commitment to the environment, our kitchen & banquet staff started a composting program this November. During the first 20 days of the program, 7,080 pounds of organic waste was composted.  That is equivalent to the weight of a large SUV! 


The Orange County Solid Waste Department provides a complimentary waste pick-up service to local businesses.  The Carolina Inn was approved for the program after a two-week intensive screening.  This screening involved several interviews with our kitchen staff members to insure their strong commitment and adherence to the composting program.  For more information about The Carolina Inn's green initiatives please visit our Destination Earth Page

The Carolina Crossroads Restaurant is dedicated to following principles of sustainability.  Check out the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant's Fall Menus, including our upcoming Thanksgiving Brunch Menu on our Dining Page.  Executive Chef Jimmy Reale incorporates local ingredients from Chapel Hill and North Carolina in his seasonal dishes.

November 02, 2009 | 04:55 PM

Thanks Carolina Inn team!

We traveled to North Carolina for a wedding in Durham and stayed one night at Chapel Hill's Carolina Inn. We had a wonderful time! The staff was very friendly and the Inn was charming with a historic feel. We arrived on Friday afternoon just in time for Fridays On the Front Porch. We loved sitting outside listening to the live bluegrass band while our 2-year-old son ran around and danced to the music. We then enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Crossroads Bar. Even though the bar was crowded with a special event, the staff was friendly and the service was very prompt. The next day was a football game day, and the Inn had a tailgate party with more live music and an appearance from the UNC Cheerleaders to get everyone into the Tar Heels spirit. We're not UNC alumni, but our stay at The Carolina Inn made us wish we were!

-Isaac Gerstenzang, Corporate Director of eCommerce, Destination Hotels & Resorts

September 15, 2009 | 02:32 PM

Prize-Worthy Evening at The Carolina Crossroads Restaurant

Roxann Larotonda from Raleigh was the lucky winner of a Gift Certificate for Dinner for Two at the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant after submitting her secret for the Signature Secret page featured in NC Signature Magazine by Our State Magazine.  She shares her experience of what it's like to be a winner. 

I can count on one hand the number of times I've won anything in my lifetime - and nothing more exciting than the centerpiece at a luncheon I had attended.  But winning a meal at Crossroads Restaurant at The Carolina Inn for my Signature Secret submission was the best, by far. 

My husband and I planned our trip to Chapel Hill during an especially hectic time in our lives.  Our daughter was getting married in a month, and a family member was seriously ill. Each day, our emotions ranged from being happy to feeling sad, and dinner at Crossroads Restaurant was the respite we needed. 

The Carolina Inn is located in the heart of the University of North Carolina campus, and, because it was mid-October, the streets bustled with students.  We strolled into the historic Carolina Inn and stopped to admire several antique furnishings before heading to the bar.  We sat in comfortable leather chairs as we sipped our drinks in the glow of the fireplace.  If not for our dinner reservations, we would have stayed in that cozy room for a while longer.  We then proceeded to Crossroads, a charming restaurant with pristine white tablecloths and blue-and-white-fabric-covered cushions on the chairs.

Executive Chef Jimmy Reale changes the menu at Crossroads seasonally.  We made our choices from an autumn menu that included items like butternut squash risotto, broccoli rabe, and sweet potato spoon bread.

We began with the she-crab soup and, while my husband enjoyed a mixed green salad, I couldn't resist trying the port wine poached pear with arugula, spiced walnuts, goat cheese, and cranberry vinaigrette.  With our after-dinner coffee, we shared a tiramisu, served in a crystal goblet that enhanced the surprising lightness of the dessert.  Everything was delicious.

We had made our reservations for an evening during the week and were rewarded with a quiet, relaxing dinner in a cozy yet elegant atmosphere.  The food was top-notch, and the service impeccable.  We left Chapel Hill that Tuesday night, relaxed and ready for what tomorrow might bring our way. 

Thank you, North Carolina Signature, for this memorable break from reality. 

Roxann Larotonda, Raleigh.  March/April Issue 2009.

August 26, 2009 | 09:31 AM

Perfect evening!

Last summer, our daughter was married in Chapel Hill. The rehearsal dinner and "wedding eve celebration" which followed were held in the beautiful Hill Ballroom. We could not have asked for a more magnificent evening.

The entire staff was efficient, accommodating and courteous; and working with Julie McCay, Social Catering Manager, was an absolute joy! The wedding guests who stayed at the Inn were extremely complimentary of the facility and all of the amenities and continue to comment on the delightful staff. Many of our guests traveled from Spain for the wedding festivities and for most it was their first trip to the United States. They loved their time in Chapel Hill and at the Inn and had rave reviews for the friendly, helpful staff who were great ambassadors for our community and country. We sincerely appreciate the true professionalism of Julie McCay and the entire staff as well as the many kindnesses they extended to all of us. We also had the opportunity this spring to host a dinner in the Piedmont Room honoring our son and his fiancee and her family. What a pleasure it was to work with Lauren Joyner, Restaurant Coordinator! As before, the staff at the Inn orchestrated everything to perfection, and we all had a marvelous evening.

August 10, 2009 | 07:30 AM

Ever wonder what a Chef cooks at home?

The Carolina Inn has been a Chapel Hill landmark for more than eight decades. Slightly newer to the scene is Jimmy Reale, who has been offering unique blends of progressive American cuisine for a little more than two years as its executive chef. Reale (pronounced Ree-al-ee) is a bit of a unique blend himself, with a combination of Lebanese and Italian heritage that made for good cuisine. "My mother was always making huge meals for our family, whether it was falafel and tabouli or spaghetti and meatballs, and we tasted a lot of different foods in our house," Reale says. "I think it really infl uenced how I like to experiment with flavors now."

Read more about Jimmy Reale in Chapel Hill Magazine's article by Zeke Smith in the July/August Issue.

August 06, 2009 | 04:08 PM

Got Sushi?

Crossroads Bar does! I am very excited to announce the debut of Sushi Wednesdays starting this August 19th from 5 to 9 PM. Celebrate the middle of the work week in our cozy bar and try out my new sushi creations with a southern flair. Let me know what you think of The Carolina Inn Roll with Southern Shrimp, Fried Green Tomatoes and Spicy Buttermilk Dipping Sauce and the Down South Wontons with Shredded Pork. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Click here to view our sushi menu. 

See you on Wednesday,
Chef Jimmy 

June 23, 2009 | 07:36 AM

Lovely Hotel!

We stayed for two nights while attending new student orientation at UNC - the room was perfect, staff friendly and helpful. The breakfast was wonderful - fresh fruit, yummy oatmeal, as well as eggs, breakfasts meats, etc. This has quickly become my favorite hotel. June 2009 TripAdvisor Review

June 05, 2009 | 09:55 AM

Dessert Recipe from the Garden

Seasonal fresh berries from the garden provide the perfect flavors for a summer dessert. I'd like to share one of my favorite summer recipes, a refreshingly cool and sweet dessert, which was recently featured in Summer 2009 Issue of the Triangle Gardener.

Coeur a la Crème with Chambord "Spiked" Berries

12 oz. cream cheese
¾ c. confectioner's sugar
4 oz. cottage cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
2/3 c. whipping cream - whip until stiff peaks

Cream cream cheese and sugar in mixer until smooth. Add cottage cheese and lemon zest. Fold in whipped cream until all ingredients are incorporated.

Line molds* with cheesecloth. Spoon mixture into molds and fold top of cheesecloth over mold. Let sit overnight. This will let any excess moisture drain out. Take out of mold and remove cheesecloth. Serve with berries.
Makes 4-6 servings. * Coeur a la crème molds can be found at reputable kitchen stores.

Chambord "Spiked" Berries

½ pt. strawberries
½ pt. blueberries
½ pt. blackberries
½ c. sugar
2Tbls. Chambord liqueur

Toss together all ingredients. Let sit 30 minutes. Serve over Coeur a la crème.

May 14, 2009 | 02:08 PM

Supporting Local Farmers

I've always felt strongly about the use of local organic and sustainable products and we're lucky to be surrounded by a wide variety of dedicated local farmers. I fully support buying local not just because it's the right thing to do but because it tastes better.

If anyone wants to experience the strong connection between Orange County's local cooks and farmers first hand, I strongly recommend attending Farm to Fork 2009 Picnic, coming up this June 14.

It will be Carolina Crossroads Restaurant's second time participating in this annual celebration. Some of the regions' best cooks, including our very own Chef de Cuisine, Jeremy Blankenship, and Sous Chef, Beth Littlejohn, and Piedmont farmers will be paired together to prepare a picnic-style feast sourced almost entirely from the partner's farm.

This all in support of growing new farms and farmers in North Carolina. We hope to see you there!

For more information on Farm to Fork Picnic visit

April 23, 2009 | 06:50 PM

50th Birthday

On July 25, 2008 ,I celebrated my 50th Birthday at the Carolina Inn with my family and a friend who moved to the area. I had not seen this friend for a few years. It was great getting back together with her and her daughters. What better place to spend it having dinner at your wonderful restaurant. It was also during my daughter's orientation weekend at UNC. We plan on visitng Carolina frequently and hope we will be able to secure reservations for our daughter's graduation from UNC in 2012.

April 23, 2009 | 11:15 AM

Delightful in every way

My wife and I brought our 4 young children for a mid-week getaway to Chapel Hill earlier this month. The staff, especially in the restaurant, could not have been more friendly or inviting. The breakfast buffet was fantastic and our dinner equally so. Thank you for making our visit a memorable one. TD

April 23, 2009 | 08:58 AM

See You At the Front Porch This Friday

80 degree weather is finally here and so is Fridays on the Front Porch!  The first event of the season is always the most fun - spring and warmer weather have arrived and everyone is eager to enjoy the outdoors and relax after a long work-week.  The crowd-pleasing and my favorite, Big Fat Gap will kick off our FOFP 2009 Season, With the end of school year come all the concerts, bbq's and moat parties at our neighboring fraternity houses, turning Columbia Street into a battle of the bands.  The energy is great and it is something I think all Chapel Hillers and visitors need to experience.  Hope to see you all there!

April 14, 2009 | 04:43 AM

Sunday Brunch

Sunday April 5,2009 at 11am brunch will long be remembered as the best food and service I've ever shared in my 64 years. My compliments to all who helped make that sunday a most memoriable one. Thank you!

March 24, 2009 | 09:58 AM

Fridays on the Front Porch

While in Chapel Hill on business, I was lucky enough to stay at the Inn and even luckier in that my college best friend had moved to the area. While we did not attend UNC, it was so much fun to have her (and her 4 year old son) come stay at the Inn with me one night and "re-live" our college days (a bit more grown-up) first with the festivities on the Inn's Front Porch and then along Franklin Street. Great memories I can't wait to return.

March 09, 2009 | 11:26 AM

A Fun Night at Crossroads Restaurant

The Carolina Crossroads Restaurant recently hosted a March Madness Beer Dinner, the first in an ongoing seasonal series, in collaboration with Carolina Brewery. Everyone had a great time and raved about the food and beer pairings. Kathy and Fletcher Newbern, prolific freelancers, joined us for the event and would like to share their memorable experience.

Read what Fletcher and Kathy have to say by clicking Read More.

"What a fun night.We've been to a ton of wine dinners, but never a beer dinner. What a surprise.

The food and beer were great, the pairings delightful, and our table guests a blast. And Executive Chef Jimmy Reale had it all right on target.His food is wonderful.

The Inn was also a treat - from the wine and cookies upon check in to the suite itself. We were so happy not to have to worry about driving home to Raleigh. I can't remember the last time I had so much beer."

"What a fab dinner - really teriffic. A smashing success we thought. We had a wonderful stay. The junior suite was perfect for post dinner crashing."

Don't miss our next dining event. To learn more about our events at the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant, visit our Event Calendar. For more information about our wonderful food, explore our menus.

Laurence Bezy,
Marketing Manager, The Carolina Inn

March 04, 2009 | 02:23 PM

Return Visit to The Inn - Sixty Years Later

Dear Mark, We wish to express to to you our genuine heartfelt thanks for your most gracious hospitality extended to us in the celebration of our 60th Wedding Anniversary on September 8th, 2008. The elegant and beautifully appointed King Suite, the great refreshment tray you sent by room service, the delicious dinner prepared by the Executive Chef and the book - The History of The Carolina Inn has made our celebration such a memorable occasion. Thank you for all the details you took care of. What a joy to meet you! You made so much of your time available to us, never hurried, you made us feel like royalty! All the staff made us feel so welcomed and so special. The return to The Carolina Inn for our 60th Anniversary was indeed a highlight of our 60 years together. We shall not soon forget the part you had in making it an Anniversary to remember and we are eternally grateful to you. Our Sincere Appreciation, John and Clara Privott Rocky Mount, NC

February 13, 2009 | 11:59 AM

The Cafeteria

I recall vividly that coming to Chapel Hill for a football game was not complete for this young boy without having breakfast or lunch at the Carolina Inn cafeteria. It amazed me how much food there was, and how grown-up it made me feel to walk down the line with my tray full of food and drink.

It appears you are using an older web browser! While using our site, you may encounter some trouble along the way. For PC users, we recommend upgrading to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox. For Mac users, we recommend the latest version of Safari or Firefox.