Welcome to Local Dish Winston-Salem.

This blog is paired with a Facebook Group where people can post pictures and talk about food and beverages they have had at local W-S restaurants and bars. Pictures from the group will be added here so it can be used as a great resource for local places for everyone to enjoy.

You won't find the negative points here; we focus on the good, the great, and the best.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

West End Cafe: Fajita Fish Tacos

I am a big fan of fish tacos, and it seems like every restaurant puts its own twist on it. I found the fish tacos on the appetizer menu at West End Cafe. The menu describes them as " slaw, crispy jalapeno, and two sauces. The description doesn't do these fish tacos justice. They are simply amazing. Fresh grilled white fish topped with diced tomatoes, onions, crunchy cabbage, a spicy cilantro red sauce, a creamy sour cream sauce, and topped with lightly battered jalapenos. The textures are so diverse but compliment each other with every bite. The spicy sauce hgives it a little kick but is quickly cooled by the cream sauce. The fish is tender and full of flavor while the cabbage gives it crunch. It was enough for a meal and more. These babies are loaded and highly recommended. I may be spoiled for all others now.

Skippys: Hot Dog and Fries

Miss Mel and Doug frankly relish Skippy's hot dogs. I prefer the Chicago dog (left) and Miss Mel likes hers all the way (right).
-Contributed by Doug G.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Roasted Veggie Pizza at First Street Draught House

I can't believe that I haven't posted about First Street Draught House until now. I say this because First Street is down the street from my house and I drop by a couple of times a week. It is convenient and the food is good. O likes the selection of beers. We shared this pizza the other day for lunch. It was a great choice. You should drop by and try one yourself.

Mozelle's: Chicken, Portabella and Spinach Pasta

After reading the description of Mozelle's lunch special on my Facebook feed, I knew that is where I would be having lunch. Great garlic flavor, mild cream sauce, fresh tomatoes, tender chicken and giant slices of portabello mushrooms made this a wonderful dish.

If you would like to get Mozelle's specials on your own Facebook feed, you can "like" them. I would love them, but Facebook won't let me have that kind of relationship.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dinner and Dioli's Trattoria...again

Dinner at Dioli's for the 4th time last Saturday, I'm working my way through the menu! I took 3 Dioli's noobs this time. The resturant was busy in trattoria style. We sat in the back room for the first time and the 3 story high ceilings into the Steven's Center with ornate moldings and columns lends itself to the Italian style. The waiter was informative and made suggestions in the wine as well as menu items.

Heather wanted the pesto tagliatelle (pasta is house made), but also wanted to try the meatballs. The waiter suggested not to add them to the tagliatelle, but how about a side of meatballs? Brilliant.

Scott followed suite with the Spaghetti and Meatballs (meatballs and marinara also house made).

Kelly had the Spaghetti Carbonara (diced pancetta, eggs, garlic, parsley and parmesan cheese-its on my list for next time...).

I was about to order my favorite item, the stuffed pork loin, but made a game time decision switch to the Seafood Risotto and I am glad I did (and I have a new pic to post!).

Desserts were shared, a Raspberry Torte, which has been posted on before, and the Tiramisu which I have been wanting to get since my first visit. Both really good. Dinner was followed by a movie at A/perture, Solitary Man with Michael Douglas, unexpectedly brilliant.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Town Bistro: Quiche Brunch Special

We were back at New Town Bistro for brunch last Sunday. Joe had to get the sweet potato pancakes again. He was very pleased with his meal, once again. There wasn't a lot of conversation until he finished, they are THAT good.

I ordered the special quiche of the day that was filled with cheese, artichoke hearts, basil, and sundried tomatoes. The quiche was very light and fluffy and had great flavors from its components. The breakfast potatoes are delicious, the sweet potato biscuit was devine and the fresh fruit was a light compliment to the reast of the meal with sweet cantelope, pineapple and green grapes.

Our server, Jack, was Johnny-on-the-spot with the coffee and water refills and made sure that we had everything that we needed. Joe mentioned that he was impressed that Jack never touched his straw with the "community" water pitcher and he liked that a lot. The food was fast and delicious, definitely worth the trip. If New Town Bistro is one of those restaurants that you may not think about off the top of your head when choosing a restaurant, I suggest putting it in your phone, or on your fridge, or signing up for their VIP Club and they will remind you!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bernardin's Fine Dining

This weekend the beau and I dined at Bernardin's. This was our first visit and we were not disappointed. Per usual, the boyfriend opted for the dish with the most seafood per square inch. He was very pleased with his selection and politely cleaned his plate. That bounty below was filled with clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, and salmon. There was also some pasta hidden in there somewhere.

I was feeling a bit fishy myself and chose the Diver Sea Scallops with English Pea Risotto. Yes, it was lovely as well. The risotto was a cheesy pile of goodness and the scallops were cooked oh, so perfectly. The folks at Bernardin's also know how to prepare their veggies. That asparagus was well seasoned and crisp.

You should go sometime.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dioli's Trattoria: Asparagus Appetizer and Manicotti

In my humble opinion, Winston-Salem has been in desperate need for a good Italian restaurant and at last the folks behind Dioli’s have answered the call. I have been meaning to try them for a while and finally found the time and the perfect opportunity to pair dinner with a screening of the Italian film “I Am Love” playing at A/perture. The grilled asparagus appetizer was wrapped in perfectly crisp pancetta and drizzled with a red pepper pesto.
We all went with traditional pasta dishes and I had the Manicotti. They brought two of our dishes out first and it was a major act of will power to stop from digging in because it smelled so good. Tasted good as well--rich and cheesy. Definitely not a heart healthy dish, but a great treat. Also had bites of some fresh tagliatelle pesto and the pasta special which had tagliatelle with a Diablo sauce and clams. The sauces on both were very good as was the fresh pasta. Was particularly impressed with the Diablo sauce, which was actually spicy as it should be, rather than what I like to refer to as “North Carolina spicy” (i.e. not spicy at all).

-Contributed by Tari H.

Sweet Potatoes: Spaghetti with a Drawl and Catfish NOLA

It was one of those Saturdays where all I had eaten by 4pm was a cup of yogurt and some granola. Needless to say, I was pretty hungry for an early dinner. We knew that Sweet Potatoes (on Trade Street)opened at 5pm and we took advantage of getting there early to get a seat right away.

Danielle, our server, greeted us, described the soup of the day and brought us our beverages right away. Since I had eaten so little today, everything on the menu looked good. I always get the Catfish NOLA (which stands for New Orleans, LA) because it is light and delicious. However, I feel like the blog should make me try new things, photograph and describe new things...but not tonight, I got the catfish. It was delicious as usual, lightly breaded, cooked perfectly, just the right amount of creole sauce for flavor, without taking away from the flavor of the flaky fish. My appetite was satisfied without being uncomfortable. I needed to save a little bit of room...but I'll get to that in the next post.

Joe was more adventurous with his dinner choice. He tried the Spaghetti with a Drawl, a bowl of spaghetti tossed in a creamy creole sauce with smoked sausage and country ham topped with fried chicken tenders. They creatively add a whimsical wall of crispy spaghetti for additional flair. The dish was absolutely sensational. The creamy creole sauce was creamy and full of flavor from the fresh vegetables. The sausage had a smoked flavor and added additional texture and flavor. Chicken was cripy from the cornmeal breading but tender inside. A sweet potato muffin made a tasty garnish. (I love a tasty garnish.)

We have always had good service at Sweet Potatoes and tonight was no exception. Even though Danielle's entire section filled up during our visit, we were well taken care of for the duration of our meal. The couple at the next table gave us a strange look as we took pictures of our food, but we are pretty used to that after ten years of doing it.

Chelsee's: Mocha Chocolate Cake

OK, so the REAL reason that I got the catfish at Sweet Potatoes is because I wanted somthing light enought to save room for dessert! Chelsee's Coffee Shop is right next door and that means CAKE. Tonight I had my choice between Cookies and Cream, Hummingbird Cake (a cake made with pineapple, bananas, pecans, and cinnamon), Caramel Cake and Mocha Chocolate Cake.  It was a difficult choice but...I'm down with MCC, (yeah, you know me).
I think that the Mocha Chocolate Cake and I would be matched with one another if we were registered on Match.com or e-Harmony...for dessert. It has the characteristics that I look for in a dessert: comforting, sweet, nothing artificial, & chocolate and coffee. The icing on this cake absolutely melts in your mouth. It is the sweet kiss on your tongue after the hug of the chocolatey cake. This cake just might make you believe in love at first bite.

*A cup of Chelsee's coffee makes an excellent wingman.

Ted's Kickin Chicken: Upper Basket

Lunch at Ted's Kickin' Chicken on South Main St. Upper (Breast and wing), basket of seasoned fries and coleslaw. {Note: Photographer purposely did not include pictures of the aftermath that later ensued.]
-Contributed by Jeff S.

6th & Vine: Chicken Skewers and Panini

From the Small Plate Menu:
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Skewers $8.99
Chicken skewers with roasted red curry coconut dipping sauce.

Smoked Turkey Panini $8.99

Sliced smoked turkey served with applewood-smoked
bacon, havarti and a pesto aioli; on grilled sourdough
panini bread.
-Contributed by Courtney T.

Sakura: Sushi

Sakura is a great Japanese restaurant and sushi bar. We always get a side of house vegetables and have favorite rolls that we usually order, but occasionally we branch out for something new. Pictured is an avacado roll, california roll, and a calamari roll. The sushi is always delicious and the price point is great for the amount and fresh quality of the food.

Our friends ordered the Love Boat for Two, which is a variety of sushi that changes daily. It is the chef's choice of the freshest sushi that they have in the restaurant.

Our server remembered our ususal order, even though we had not been there in a couple of months. That is impressive.

Sakura also has a great patio when the weather cooperates. There is a lot more than sushi on the menu, and one day we will try it, but it is hard to get away from the sushi.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Swaim's Grocery and Burke Street Pizza

Went to Swaim's Grocery last weekend with O, my brother C and his girl L. I even brought along Leroy since Swaim's is dog friendly. We had such a good time drinking beers and trying to play darts. It is a really relaxed atmosphere. A neighborhood joint with a cast of regulars that welcomed us newcomers. Since they don't serve food there they allowed us to order food and have it delivered. They even had a few menus tucked away behind their phone. We chose Burke Street Pizza and were not disappointed. The entire pizza was devoured.

Lite Fare at 6th and Vine

O and I were in the mood for a light dinner a couple of weeks ago, so we headed to 6th and Vine for some salads. We started with the Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta. We ate most of it before I remembered to take a picture.Next we ordered salads. I had the arugula salad with goat cheese medallions. It is fabulous every time I order it. O tried the bib lettuce salad with poached pears and pecans. He said it was great!

We were there on a Wednesday night and were reminded that they offer a movie outside on Wednesdays. We didn't stay that night, but we'll be back soon.....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Diamondback Grill: Salmon, PoBoy and BLgT

Last night Joe and I met our friend, Smitty, at Diamondback Grill to check out their new menu. Diamondback Grill is almost two restaurants in one, with a more casual bar area with several tables and TVs showing the local news or sporting event. The other side is more classic dining that gives you the feel of a more upscale restaurant. Both sides have the same menu, you just choose your dining experience.

Known for their wonderful Seafood dishes, Diamondback has many to choose from on their new menu. Smitty chose the Grilled Salmon, but made a couple of substitutions to meet his personal taste. Our waitress, Julie, was happy to assist him with possibilities and thier combined creation was a Grilled Norwegian Salmon served over grits, steamed spinich, grilled scallop & shallot thyme jam. There was a bit of jealousy from my side of the table. It looked amazing and Smitty confirmed and he cleaned his plate.

Joe had the Shrimp PoBoy from their new Sandwich Menu.  It is had flash-fried shrimp, served on a sourdough panini with shredded lettuce and homemade remoulade. The bread for the sandwich was great for a Po Boy, lightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The shrimp was lightly breaded which brought out the flavor of the shrimp (more shrimp are hidden under the baguette in the photo). On the side, Joe chose the black bean salad that came with multi-colored corn chips.

I had the BLgT sandwich made with applewood bacon, organic mixed greems, fried green tomatoes and buttermilk mayonnaise on panini. Again, the bread for the sandwich it fantastic. (I would like to have these at home for my own summer tomato sandwiches.) The bacon was meaty and was properly cooked. The fried green tomatoes were double stacked and made the sandwich a real meal. The french fries were a nice indugence, but many were left behind so I could eat more of the sandwich.

Summer time means desserts made with fresh fruits and Diamondback did not disappoint with this wild blueberry and cherry cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream. The three of us shared the dessert which was incredible. The fresh fruit, and crumb topping were warm and inviting and the vanilla ice cream cooled the fruit slightly so that you could enjoy every bite.

Another thing that I learned about Diamondback Grill is that they participate in the Slow Food Piedmont Triad. From the SFPT Website:
"Diamondback’s menu offers a variety of cuisine showcasing local and organic produce from Minglewood Farm, fresh seafood, and all natural grass fed Beef. Everything here is made from scratch. From our regular menu to our seasonal specials, we offer tasty and inventive, yet healthy food."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dinner at Dioli's

I have been a little lackadaisical in posting my food adventures, so this may seem a little redundant. I almost skipped this post altogether and then thought that if I was perusing this blog and saw post after post lauding a particular restaurant, I would probably be more apt to try it. O and I headed with some friends to Dioli's a couple of weeks ago for the first time and enjoyed everything. Our server (Kip) was friendly and efficient, the wine was great and the food divine.

We started the evening with a bottle of wine while waiting at the bar for a table. Once we were seated, we ordered the calamari and the polenta with mushrooms. The table agreed that they were both fabulous.
We all then ordered some terrific entrees. My friend L and I each decided to order a risotto and then split them each so that we could enjoy both. We ordered the mushroom risotto and the seafood risotto. They were both terrific, but we both felt the seafood risotto was a notch above the mushroom.

The guys went with some different options. O chose the stuffed pork tenderloin and T opted for the swordfish. They both declared their dinners, "great!"

When we asked for some bread we received some very crispy, crunchy, thin bread sticks. Quite yummy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bib's Downtown: Turkey and a Pulled Pork Plate

I love that Bib's Downtown has such a diverse menu. Ribs, chicken, turkey, brisket in addition to the pulled pork that is beloved in this area. If you are a carnivore, this could easily be your paradise. If you are a vegetarian, you can leave here full and satisfied with a combination of their vegetarian side items.

I met KM for lunch today. She had never been to Bib's and had it on her list of places that she wanted to try. We arrived at 11:45 and our order was taken at the counter promptly.

I decided to get one of the "plates" which are served with your choice of meat, choice of red or white slaw, hush puppies, and Texas toast. I chose the Turkey Plate which was slices of extremely tender turkey breast brushed lightly with a mild barbecue sauce, the red slaw, and green beans.

KM went with the pulled pork plate with red slaw and macaroni and cheese. I must say, the mac and cheese was tempting and KM assured be that it was quite fabulous. I believe she enjoyed her first visit to Bib's and we will definitely keep it high on the list for lunchtime meeting spots.

Simplyummy: Simply Delicious

We are doing our best to go outside our culinary comfort zone and try new local places. We both had Monday off because the Fourth of July fell on a Sunday. It was a beautiful day and a patio was a nice idea. Joe had never been to Simplyummy at Reynolda Village so that was our lunch destination.

Joe had the Humming Hippie, a wrap with roasted red pepper hummus, baby spinach, cucumber, tomato, red onion and shredded carrots. The wrap was fresh, light, and surprisingly filling.  For his side item, he chose the soup of the day (small upcharge) which was a chilled cucumber, avocado & dill soup. The flavor of the soup was quite delicious and had a nice spiciness to it.
I enjoyed the Village Gobbler, a in-house roasted turkey, havarti, tomato jam mayo, baby spinach and shredded carrots on toasted foccacia. I chose a side salad for my side (no upcharge) that was made of the vegetables my body craved. The in-house roasted turkey makes all the difference in this sandwich. It is truly like eating a sandwich on Thanksgiving day. I am also a fan of the foccacia that they use.
And then there were cookies...we had some friends who were bragging about the cookies at Simplyummy. They enjoyed them so much in fact, that even after eating a cookie at a grocery store two miles away, they remembered the deliciousness of the Simplyummy cookies, drove to Simplyummy, and consumed two additional cookies. We tried the chocolate chunk and the oatmeal cookie with butterscotch chips. Tasty cookie goodness and the size allowed half of each to make it home for a second treat.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dioli's Trattoria: Pasta on the Patio

Back at Dioli's, but this time we enjoyed dinner on the patio on a rare July evening where the weather was cool. 
The table shared two appetizers, the calamari that is lightly breaded and served with fresh marinara sauce and lemon. Definitely squeeze the fresh lemon on the calamari first, it gives it wonderful flavor. We also tried the Polenta Diamonds which are made with Taleggio cheese (an aromatic cheese, with a mild nutty, fruity flavor and has a consistency similar to brie) polenta that is topped with a melted mozerrela and mushroom ragu.

I easily could have ordered the pork tenderloin again because it was delicious on my last visit. However, I decided to try one of the pasta dishes. I knew that I liked the marinara, as it came with the calamari. I chose the classic spaghetti and meatballs. The pasta was wavy, which made the dish more whimsical. It held the sauce well and the meatballs had wonderful flavor.

Joe ordered the Mushroom risotto which was an impressive portion of tender risotto with fresh mushrooms in a flavorful sauce that was savory and creamy. This dish could easily be shared, if you wanted to save room for one of Dioli's delicious desserts.

Once again, the service was fantastic. Our water glasses stayed filled, the focaccia bread for the table was warm and delicious.

The owners of the restaurant are present and hands on, a wonderful personal touch for a locally owned restaurant.  Oh, and the patio is perfect for watching the buzz of Fourth Street.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sweet Potatoes: VooDoo Pork Sandwich

Lunch at Sweet Potatoes (Well Shut My Mouth) makes you feel like you are treating yourself to something special. Today my friend LM met me for lunch so that we could celebrate her new job so Sweet Potatoes was the perfect spot. Our server, James, was both animated and charming. He tempted us with his description of the soup of the day, but in the end we both chose the VooDoo Pork that was thinly sliced jerk-marinated pork with sweet potato a├»oli on a Kaiser roll. The pork is tender and is sweet as well as savory. LM chose the sweet potato fries as her side and I chose the fruit, a rainbow of color and flavor. I love when a restaurant puts as much thought into the side dish as they do the entree. Watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, and melon were the perfect summer compliment to the VooDoo pork.

Old Winston Social Club: Neighborhood Tested and Windsor Approved

The Old Winston Social Club opened in May and has become a popular hotspot with its rotating beer and wine selection. The staff is friendly, wants to learn your name, and will change the channel of one of their several TVs to your favorite show. The decor is comfortable, with tables, chairs and large leather couches. Darts are available on non-band nights (the boards are behind the stage) and two shuffleboard tables are available for those more skilled than I.

OWSC is a "member" club because they only sell alcholoic beverages, no food. There are several restaurants in the area and OWSC welcomes you to bring food into the bar.

OWSC is also a pet-friendly environment. Well-behaved dogs are welcome inside and a waterbowl is available. Our furry child, Windsor, perfers to people watch from the benches out front.