Durham’s twin city is having a boom of its own, and local chefs are leading the charge. Scott Crawford recently left the Umstead Hotel & Spa in nearby Cary to launch Standard Foods (entrées $20–$28) in downtown’s up-and-coming Person Street District. On the menu: seasonal Southern dishes like pork cheeks with onion jam and corn-bread pudding.
An attached grocery sells ingredients that Crawford himself uses, plus produce and charcuterie from local farms. Up next for him is the casual American spot Nash Tavern, in Nash Square.
James Beard Award winner Ashley Christensen has expanded her empire (Poole’s, Beasley’s Chicken & Honey, Joule Coffee & Table) with Death & Taxes (entrées $12–$38). Tufted leather banquettes and chandelier lighting set the stage for wood-fired dishes like marrow bones with fried capers and pickled shallots.