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New chefs at One (Chapel Hill)


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New chefs at One (Chapel Hill)

walras | Sep 29, 2013 02:46 PM

While I've eaten at a number of Michelin starred restaurants over the years, I confess I've never eaten at the French Laundry, or Alinea, or Per Se, or even (gasp!) El Bulli. But the two new chefs at One have worked at all those places. It shows.

Our meal yesterday was remarkable. The previous chef, whom I liked, seemed to get more and more "fussy" and over-complicated with his dishes, like his mentor at Four Square. The food had been good, sometimes even very good, but not on a consistent and thoughtful basis like Magnolia Grill, Nana's, or the like. What we had yesterday sets a standard that, for us, dominates Heron's, Nana's, Oakleaf, and certainly Fearrington House.

There were two amuse bouche -- the first a sort of of mocha cookie with a brie like cheese inside, the second a rolled chickpea (?) wafer around a radish of sorts.

The appetizer we shared was described as
"[squash falafel]
pinenut ∙ squash hummus ∙ crispy garlic" which involved small marble sized balls of really tasty falafel on a bed of a mild squash "hummus" with several other pipings of sauce, toasted pinenuts, all mounded with some greens.

The mains we had were seafood: mine was
"[diver scallops]
sour cream gnocchi ∙ brown butter ∙ broccoli ∙ currant ∙ caper" which was a half dozen of the best scallops I've ever had, perfectly crusted on one side, arranged in a curve as if taken off a skewer, with a decadent small gnocchi in between each scallop, with tiny broccoli florets that had been cooked in a broth I assume, all on a mild broccoli puree with a caper and current garnish. The fish, capers and currents recalled Sicily.

Partner had
"[east coast snapper]
hazelnuts cooked in garbanzo broth ∙ okra ∙ chorizo ∙ cooked egg aioli". The beautifully cooked -- roasted ( or sous vide?) fish was finished to give the top side a fine caramelized exterior to a moist interior. It was sitting on a bed of cooked hazelnuts (visually suggesting a Tuscan fish on a bed of beans) -- the chef came over and poured some chorizo infused broth, a sort of aioli, over it all.

Wine list is comprehensive, with a couple of sparkling wines, and a half-dozen each of white and red wines by the glass. We were too bedazzled to attempt dessert. With four glasses of wine, tax, and tip the bill was around $140.

I can't believe that Greg Cox hasn't written up this "new One". Someday we'll go into training to try the tasting menu.

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