I recently had the pleasure of participating in a food walking tour with Culinary Adventures with Liz Biro in November of 2012. We started the tour at the foot of Market Street in front of the Cape Fear River. Liz began with some general history of our Port City, and gave background information on various buildings as we ventured to South Front Street for our first stop: The Fortunate Glass.
There, we sampled a Tamale with Sweet Corn Masa, Chicken and Mole Sauce paired with the wine Fess Parker Viognier, Santa Barbara, California. The second pairing was Duck Confit Empanadas with Peach Chutney & Cline Mourvedre, along with the wine Contra Costa County, California. Celeste Glass, co-owner of The Fortunate Glass, gave in-depth descriptions of the many tasty treats.
We headed north on Front Street to our next stop, Nick’s Diner, where we sampled Italian arancini (deep-fried cheesy rice balls) with Siracha aioli and a couple of the restaurant’s popular Black Iron Mac & Cheese skillets, one being the Athena with bacon and prime rib. A fun fact I learned about Nick’s is that their chefs are identical twins! Who knew?!
Across the street from Nick’s Diner is Chops Deli, where co-owner Brad Corpening treated us to two of the shop’s specialty sandwiches: The Malmo (ham and cheese spread, maple glazed chicken breast, tomato, red onion and savory mayonnaise on multigrain) and The Monaco (lemon pepper chicken breast, mozzarella, arugula, tomato, fresh basil and a tomato pesto sauce on three cheese semolina). Chop’s Deli recently opened a second location in Monkey Junction, and Brad informed us that this location is now expanding its hours to cover dinner time. It’s always great to hear that downtown entrepreneurs are doing well!
Liz led our group back down to Market Street for our fourth stop at Caprice Bistro. There, Chef Thierry Moity served a delicious beef bourguignon while his wife, Patricia, poured everyone a glass of beaujolais nouveau in honor of the wine’s annual release on the third Thursday of each November, which was the Thursday before our tour.
We ended the tour back on South Front Street at Aubriana’s, where Chef Alex Succop served a shrimp fra diavolo bruschetta. We were also served a cocktail named The Sinner & The Saint, consisting of Wild Turkey 81, St-Germain and soda water. I must admit never having dined at Aubriana’s, I was blown away by the beautiful interior of the restaurant.
This particular food walking tour rotates several restaurants. Some of those not included on this tour are Black Sea Grill, Hot Pink Cake Stand, Manna, Mixto, Phun Seafood Bar, Dixie Grill and Port City Java. Liz Biro does a fantastic job of creating a true culinary experience, allowing you to hear the stories and meet the people behind downtown Wilmington’s vibrant food and restaurant scene.
Also check out a video of this tour by Kristen Lubben!
By Ashley Hanners, WDI Operations Manager
Liz Biro, Contributor