SOUTHEAST NC – Lots of movement is happening around the Port City when it comes to restaurants, food trucks, bars, and bottle shops, not to mention organizational and nonprofit food events and festivals. While Port City Daily already covers most of this news, “Small Bites” offers another way for readers to stay in the know.
READ MORE: Find the other culinary news of the week
The PCSB unveils newsworthy information, from small changes and modifications to local menus, to expansions of existing establishments, temporary closures and renovations, overtime or grand openings. , pop-up events and, of course, openings and closings.
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End of Days distributes ready-to-drink sippers
Last year, the Wilmington End of Days distillery brought out ready-to-drink canned drinks from its quonset hut on Castle Street. The owners announced earlier this year that they would also take over a 6,000 square foot warehouse around the corner specifically to boost distribution of ready-to-drink items at ABC stores across the state.
“We have a great team of people who have scaled these recipes to make sure they taste like a cocktail that was served behind our bar,” said co-owner Oliver Earney.
The warehouse is equipped with brite tanks that can produce 250-gallon batches of Hurricane End of Days (Port of Entry rum, passion fruit, citrus and cane sugar), a gin and tonic (created with Port of Entry and homemade EOD tonic syrup) and the Cargo Mule (Port of Entry vodka, ginger, lemongrass and citrus). The tanks cool and carbonate the products before canning and packaging.
“Our first canning of the mule will be next Tuesday, so we’re excited to sell them to the distillery,” Earney said.
They sent out their first orders of gin and tonics and Hurricanes for ABC distribution, starting with 150-gallon batches. Within a week, Earney said they were almost out of gin and tonics.
The product is sold in four packs in 8.5 ounce cans with 10% ABV. It sells for $24.95. Earney said customers can enjoy it in a can, pour over ice, or even make two cocktails out of it by adding sparkling water for a lower ABV.
The canned products are already rewarded with top accolades from the SIP Awards International Spirits Competition. The Hurricane received a double gold medal, the gin and tonic received a special mention with an innovation award and a silver medal, and the mule received a gold medal.
What’s new? Pizza, sammies, booze.
Wilmington epicureans revel in the new flavors now open in town. Saturday The half on the north side officially opened.
Formerly Detour Deli, the space was renovated by owners Dean Moore, Carl Cross and Andrew Dennison, who announced in February that they would be launching their first restaurant. They added a 12-seat indoor bar that oversees the sandwich-making action and outfitted the back patio with picnic tables and benches for outdoor dining.
READ MORE:Sandwiches take on new life on the Northside
A little over a dozen sandwiches are offered, of which about half are or can be prepared vegan. There is even a tribute to the predecessor with a Caprese.
“But I highly recommend the Mixto,” Cross said during Friday’s soft open. “It’s my favourite.”
Roast beef, ham, salami, fresh mozzarella, salad of olives, onions, tomatoes, and mixto sauce on $14 ciabatta taps. The sandwiches are served with a choice of homemade seasoned fries or cucumber, tomato and onion salad. Improvements are also available on side dishes such as potato, chickpea or beet salad.
The most popular vegan option, he said, is Take Out – a hat tip to Chinese takeaways in a sammie. Zesty mustard, roasted broccoli, green onion, peanut shake cucumber salad, kraut and Szechuan sauce on ciabatta are $10.50.
The owners also bring a nomadic brewing experience to The Half, which means they’ll be working with breweries to feature on tap. The first is a raw cider from the Burning Blush Brewery in Asheville. The three owners come from the industry, formerly of the Flying Machine Brewing Company, and also have a selection of canned beers and wines.
Apparently the Saturday and Sunday opening went so well that the owners announced on social media that they needed to restock.
“Holy smoke, Wilmington!” We knew you would show up, but the level of support we received this weekend was something to behold. So much support in fact, that we sold out all of our sandwiches! »
They will reopen on Wednesday.
June 5 Cugino Forno opened next to Hi-Wire Brewing in Suite A, Princess side. The 3,500 square foot restaurant is popular statewide; it opened in Greensboro in 2017 and has expanded to Durham, Winston-Salem and Clemmons. Three cousins from Turkey – Joseph Ozbey, Yilmaz Guver and Adam Adksoy – opened the restaurant after studying the art and craft of making Neapolitan pizzas in Italy.
Eight percent of the ingredients in a Cugino pizza are imported from Italy, including San Marzano tomatoes and Caputo flour. Buffalo mozzarella tops each 16-inch pie (except the marinara) and the pizzas are baked in 900-degree stone ovens, also imported from Naples. The crust comes with a signature char and a crispy yet soft chewy bite.
There are about 11 specialty pies, priced at $15.95 and up, a handful of salads ($8.95 and up), plus macaroons, cannolis, cakes and gelato ($2.95 and more). The restaurant also serves beer and wine.
Currently, Cugino Forno offers a personal 10-inch pizza and drink for $10.95 during lunch, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The pizzeria is open 7 days a week, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., except on weekends. Cugino stays open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Sunday.
Downtown at the corner of Market and Front Streets, Dram and draft brings new minds to Wilmington’s busiest corner. It’s the fourth bar Kevin Barrett and Drew Schenck have opened since 2016. Dram and Draft started in Raleigh before expanding to Greensboro and Durham. After opening in the Port City, they will also launch in Cary and Charlotte.
The menu specializes in balanced cocktails, priced at $10 and up. It will hold more than 300 bottles of whiskey as the collection grows, but will also feature offerings of all liquors, owner Barrett told Port City Daily ahead of Friday’s soft opening.
Dram and Draft opens Tuesday at 3 p.m. Read the full coverage here.
Slice of Life raises $20,000 for World Central Kitchen
Slice of Life owner Ray Worrell hosted a fundraising program in May, Pizza for a Purpose, to raise money for World Central Kitchen. He wrote a check for $20,073 last week to donate to the nonprofit humanitarian organization that travels to crisis zones — hurricanes, tornadoes, war zones — to make sure people in need are properly fed with a hot meal.
Chef Jose Andrés launched the nonprofit in 2010 after feeding displaced Haitian families devastated by an earthquake. In 2018, the WCK crew relocated to Wilmington in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Crews recently traveled to Ukraine and even survived a Russian missile strike in April, which left four injured.
Worrell’s wife Anastasia – who also runs fine-dining vegan restaurant The Green House – is from Moldova, bordered by Ukraine to the north. His mother lives in Transnistria, a Russian-occupied region that also borders Ukraine.
Essentially, the war is hitting closer to home for their family.
“It’s the first time we’ve done something like this,” Worrell said of Pizza for a Purpose. “I’m always reluctant to work with nonprofits that are large and not part of the community, but WCK does powerful work.”
Worrell sold 4,550 large pizzas in May and donated $5 from each sale.
He said he plans to continue Pizza with a Purpose a few times a year, likely focusing on a local organization after that.
“It might not be $5, but it will be something substantial,” he said.
Worrell is no stranger to charitable giving. He has served on the NourishNC board for six years and will become a member emeritus next year.
“I feel like you have to work on your own porch first, you know?” he said.
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