Archive for the ‘restaurant review’ Category

This past weekend we celebrated a good friend’s birthday. I won’t say how old he is turning here on the internet. Let’s just say it was a milestone birthday.  For our present to him, we brought him a birthday cake from the Mad Hatter Bakery in Durham, NC.   I know what you are thinking; “Why didn’t you bake a cake for him?”.  The answer is very simple; I don’t bake.  Baking Lenny a cake would not have been a present for him; it would have been a trip to the ER.

Anyway, I was so glad when his sister told me that Lenny was a fan of chocolate cake.  Chocolate on chocolate cake is the only kind of sweet that I CANNOT resist. So I bought Lenny something that made my mouth drool just reading about it.  Death by Chocolate.  It consisted of three layers of devil’s food cake, with chocolate custard in between finished off with a coating of chocolate ganache.   It was the best cake I ever had in my whole entire life.  Lenny and everyone else who tasted the cake agreed. It was like eating a piece of chocolate cloud. I don’t know how they got something that looked so rich to taste so light.  It probably involves way more fat than I should be aware of.

I took a picture to show how pretty the decoration looked, but the cake was eaten so quickly there wasn’t time to take a picture of the cake once it was cut.  It probably isn’t fair to show you something that you can’t taste or smell.  All I can say is if you live in the area around Mad Hatter, you must go there and try their cakes. 

Death by Chocolate from the Mad Hatter

Happy Birthday Len!


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 I am all for the “eat local” trend if it means I get to eat chocolates!

The other night, the hubby and I went out for dinner in downtown Hillsborough at the Gulf Rim Cafe.  On the way up Churton Street to the restaurant, we passed a new store front right next to the cafe…Matthew’s Chocolates!

Hubby took one look at me and said “Yes, we will stop on the way out.”  I love him so.

After our great dinner at the Gulf Rim, (I had a mahi mahi burrito and hubby had the crawfish pie, both excellent), we stopped in to check the place out.  The woman behind the counter explained the different pieces to us.  We picked two of Matthew’s signature candies and one that had a hazlenut filling.  The signature candies were painted yellow, blue and orange.  They were filled with real coconut and a whole almond.  We enjoyed them with a Cabernet Sauvignon we got from Chapel Hill Wine Co.  Yum.

Matthew’s logo


If you live in the area, you should definately make a point to take trip into downtown Hillsborough, NC.  The restaurants there are all local and they are great.  Even better you can support the local economy with great chocolate!



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Well, ten years ago on this very night, a young biology student collided with a strapping physics major during dollar pitcher night in Bloomsburg, PA……   

So, to celebrate our ten years together, the hubby and I went out to dinner at Pancuito in downtown historic Hillsborough.  It is a great little restaurant, only seating 50 people. Tonight must have been a  weird slow night for them because we were one of the few people in the place.  I guess Thursday night isn’t a huge dining out night in our little town of Hillsborough, because Pancuito is certainly not empty because of the food!

When you first sit down, they bring you a tiny glass of prosecco to put you in the right frame of mind.   They make all of their own pasta and bread at Pancuito, and if it isn’t in season locally, it isn’t on the menu. Green Gourmet..  I love it!

To start:

Beef Tenderloin carpaccio with roasted sweet potatoes in truffle cream vinaigrette

Grilled bruschetta with goat cheese spread, proscuitto, fried egg, golden chanterelles and pea shoots.  (YUM!)

Second Course:

Black spaghetti with sauteed shrimp, calamari, sopressata  and arugula in saffron-tomato butter

Grilled trout “alla porchetta” with wilted mizuna greens and gnocchi in lemon-egg cream (Amazing gnocchi!)

Third Course:

Pumpkin ricotta cheesecake with graham cracker cookie, cardamom maple syrup and maple leaf crisp  (This was so good, it was beyond words; autumn on a plate)


We had a bottle of really wonderful Niedermayer Pinot Nero from Italy.

My favorites were the bruschetta, the gnocchi, and the cheesecake.  Mmmmmmmm.

If you live within 20 miles of Pancuito, you MUST go there. It is wonderful and the staff is so nice.  Someone came in to sit at the bar and they really wanted ravioli.  No ravioli on the menu, but what came out?  A butternut squash ravioli that was made special in the kitchen . That is service.  Our waiter could have rushed us out so that he could close up and go home, but he let us take our time and enjoy our special night out.

So there is my raving review.  Pancuito has special wine dinners throughout the year, one of these days we are going to get to one before they sell out.  Check it out if  you can, they have a special email list if you are interested!

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