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Kirk's Traveling Kitchen News and Blog

Piedmont Restaurant in Durham


We were frequent visitors to Durham, North Carolina over the past year for a series of culinary challenges at The Cookery (http://durhamcookery.com). And while it's not uncommon for us to travel to the same city several times for multiple events, usually we sample everything the region has to offer from a culinary standpoint (ie. "hitting" all of the restaurants/markets, etc.). However, we encountered a first upon visiting Piedmont Restaurant in downtown Durham (http://www.piedmontrestaurant.com, a place me (and my crew) were happy to revisit time and again for some of the most original, delicious "New North Carolinian" food imaginable. Piedmont is a tiny space, but the service is outstanding and the wine/beverage program thoroughly original. I wish there were more places like it on our travels.

They do a wonderful job with native North Carolina oysters, here is one of my favorite oyster preparations:

Cornmeal Crusted Oysters with Bombay Dipping Sauce

Fresh Oysters, Shucked                      12 to 24ea.
Flour                                                   2 Cups
Cornmeal,  Fine                                  3/4  Cup
Cornstarch                                          1/4 Cup
Fine Salt                                              1 Tablespoon

Canola Oil                                           3 Cups

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot. Dredge oysters in mixture of flour, cornmeal, cornstarch & salt. Fry until bubbles subside, about 4 minutes. Drain on towel lined plate and serve with lemon and this sauce:

Bombay Dipping Sauce

Quantity Produced:  Makes 2 Cups

Ketchup                                                                       1 Cup
Kejap Manis (or 2 T. Soy Sauce + 2 T. Honey)          ¼ Cup
Red Wine Vinegar                                                       ¼ Cup
Dijon Mustard                                                             2 Tablespoons
Sriracha Hot Sauce, or Favorite Hot Sauce                  3 Tablespoons
Curry Powder                                                              1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon
Cumin                                                                         1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon
Fresh Lemon Juice                                                      3 Lemons
Yogurt, Whole Milk                                                    ¼ Cup + 1 Tablespoon
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper                           To Taste

Preparation Procedure-

Combine, mix thoroughly. Keeps 10 days.