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MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2011

CONTACT: Tim Parrish, foodservice marketing specialist
NCDA&CS Marketing Division
(919) 707-3137 or

Finalists announced for Best Dish in North Carolina
regional restaurant competition

RALEIGH –Twenty-six restaurants have been named finalists in the Best Dish in North Carolina restaurant contest. This year, the competition, sponsored by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Our State magazine, is divided into two regions, and restaurants will be judged based on fine or casual dining atmosphere.

The finalists for this year’s competition in the eastern piedmont/coastal region in the casual dining category are: Mez Contemporary Mexican Restaurant, Durham; Circa 81, Morehead City; Market, Raleigh; Tribeca Tavern, Raleigh; Kornerstone Bistro, Wilmington; and Yancey House Restaurant, Yanceyville. Fine dining finalists are Il Palio at The Siena Hotel, Chapel Hill; 1895 Grille, Pinehurst; Elliott’s on Linden, Pinehurst; McCormicks and Schmicks Seafood Restaurant, Raleigh; Zely and Ritz, Raleigh; Marc’s on Market, Wilmington; Deluxe, Wilmington; and Circa 1922, Wilmington.

The finalists for this year’s competition in the western piedmont/mountain region in the casual dining category are: Off the Square, Albemarle; Bistro 42, Asheboro; Café Azalea, Asheville; and Kitchen Roselli, East Bend. Fine dining finalists are Crippen’s Country Inn and Restaurant, Blowing Rock; Table at Crestwood, Boone; The Gallery Restaurant at the Ballantyne Resort, Charlotte; Savannah Red, Charlotte; Mimosa Grill, Charlotte; Zebra Restaurant, Charlotte; Knife & Fork, Spruce Pine; and Simplicity at the Mast Farm Inn, Valle Crucis. (See list in table format below.)

Each region will be judged separately, and winners will be selected in casual and fine dining. The judges will remain anonymous until they have completed their scoring process, at which time they will reveal their identity to the chefs.

“I encourage everyone to support state food producers, growers and restaurants by visiting these restaurants and experiencing the best local recipes in North Carolina for themselves,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Taste the difference North Carolina products bring to the table.”

The Best Dish in NC is a statewide contest that recognizes and rewards the efforts of restaurants and chefs who use N.C. products regularly in their menus, and it increases the awareness of the quality of local foods, restaurants and chefs.

The 26 finalists were chosen based on their proposed menus and marketing plans for promoting them.
Finalists are required to feature the dish or combination of courses in their restaurant for at least a four-week period in May through September. Judges will visit each finalist to sample the entries and judge each restaurant on its use of North Carolina products, creativity, presentation, taste and promotion. First, second and third place winners will be announced in November.

Visit for contest information.


Eastern Piedmont/Coastal

Casual Dining

Mez Contemporary Mexican Restaurant Durham
Circa 81 Morehead City
Market Raleigh
Tribeca Tavern Raleigh
Kornerstone Bistro Wilmington
Yancey House Restaurant Yanceyville

Fine Dining

Il Palio at The Siena Hotel Chapel Hill
1895 Grille Pinehurst
Elliott’s on Linden Pinehurst
McCormicks & Schmicks Seafood Restaurant Raleigh
Zely and Ritz Raleigh
Marc’s on Market Wilmington
Deluxe Wilmington
Circa 1922 Wilmington

Western Piedmont/Mountain region

Casual Dining

Off the Square Albemarle
Bistro 42 Asheboro
Café Azalea Asheville
Kitchen Roselli East Bend

Fine Dining

Crippen’s Country Inn and Restaurant Blowing Rock
Table at Crestwood Boone
The Gallery Restaurant at the Ballantyne Resort Charlotte
Mimosa Grill Charlotte
Savannah Red Charlotte
Zebra Restaurant Charlotte
Knife & Fork Spruce Pine
Simplicity at the Mast Farm Inn Valle Crucis



NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3005; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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