14 March, 2009
Watts Grocery and Listen to Your Elders ReviewsComments : 2 Posted in : Dining in Durham - NC, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez
1116 Broad Street
Watts Hillandale area, Durham
Watts Grocery is a lovely restaurant (no, not a grocery) that offers, brunch, lunch, dinner, and late night until at least midnight. With so few places offering food at the witching hour, I’ve come to quite appreciate this place. It has upscale American food with a Southern bent and ingredients from nearby farms.
The restaurant is painted in a mix of baby blue, olive, and primary blue. Deeply orange lamps add pizzazz but a relaxed feel is maintained. The bar holds nearly as many seats as the restaurant proper and the front section of it contains picture boxes as its surface. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that the memorabilia inside is actually the owner’s pictures and notes. I’m always a sucker for that sort of thing.
We shared an appetizer, Zuke’s Terrine, and a side of fries. The terrine was fantastic, though I couldn’t quite guess what vegetables it contained. From the title, I think assuming a fair bit of squash is reasonable. It was very creamy and full of flavor. The homemade crackers for scooping it were excellent as was the sprinkled watercress, providing a nice counterpoint to the terrine mush. It was served with artichoke chow chow, which was mellow and tongue tickling, but the artichoke did not have much of a presence. The fries were also done well, squishy yet crunchy at the edges and dipped in balsamic ketchup. I’m not a fan of ketchup anyhow, but the balsamic did not stand out in my bite.
As I can rarely say no to dessert, I had the rum pound cake. Alone, it would have been too dry but combined well with ice cream. The accompanying rum-soaked pineapples were delightful, of course.
Watts Grocery has a great drink list available and I will enjoy making my way through it with repeat visits. I tried Listen to Your Elders on this trip, which is made with Hendrick’s gin, elderflower syrup, and prosecco. The gin has a tart presence but is overpowered by the sweetness of the elderflower syrup. The prosecco serves but as a vessel for the other two ingredients. Drinkable, yes, but it could be much better.