Eater’s Best in the Carolinas 2023: New Restaurant, Bar, Night Out
Eater, a digital media brand dedicated to the world of food and dining, has recently unveiled its yearly compilation celebrating excellence nationwide. Several spots in Boston have earned a place on the list, spanning categories from restaurants and bars to chefs and bartenders.
Best New Carolinas Restaurant: Ajja
One standout featured in Eater’s awards is Ajja, which claims the title of the Carolinas’ best new restaurant of the year. Located at 209 Bickett Blvd., Raleigh, this establishment was highlighted by the website for having an “inventive, light, and transporting menu.” On their menu, one will find whole fried trout, schug hot sauce with the lamb croquette, or a fistful of herbs in the kuku sabzi, a Persian frittata, among other items.
Best North Carolina Restaurant of the Year: Bombolo
Another noteworthy addition to their list is Bombolo, which opened its doors at 764 MLK Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill. Eater points out that Bombolo stands out for its “eclectic” menu concept that is “rooted in Italy,” and “grounded in pasta.” They say that diners can order an earthy beef heart tartare, share crispy fried chicken with biscuits, or sample the massive bo ssam with fresh oysters.
Best New North Carolina Barbecue: Mike D’s Smokehouse
According to Eater, Michael De Los Santos, a lifelong barbecue enthusiast, refined his “pitmaster skills” over the years while developing an award-winning line of barbecue sauces and dry rubs. Following the opening of a small retail shop on Driver Street in East Durham, the next step was the opening of his own restaurant, Mike D’s Smokehouse, located at 455 S. Driver Street, Durham. Eater says that wood-smoked pulled pork, barbecue chicken, and fork-tender brisket have attracted crowds since the restaurant opened its doors earlier this year. Additionally, the website said that the sides are equally appealing as the meat, with the beans standing out for their “subtle smoky sweetness.”
Check out Eater’s detailed analysis of their selections here.