With its long-awaited expansion next month, Raleigh’s North Carolina Museum of Art will unveil twenty-nine Rodin sculptures as well as works by Ellsworth Kelly and Roxy Paine. If the weather’s nice, explore the wooded trails of the surrounding art park. Another Saturday must is a stop at the Carrboro Farmers Market. Hint: Farmer’s cheese from Chapel Hill Creamery pairs perfectly with Farmer’s Daughter scones and Little Flying Cows honey. Later, catch what’s-next bands at live-music mecca Local 506, or watch the Tar Heels or Blue Devils play at March Madness mecca Hi5 sports bar.
At Chapel Hill’s Lantern, Andrea Reusing alchemizes lovingly sourced local ingredients into symphonic Asian plates such as house-made red curry and tofu stew and tea-and-spice-smoked chicken with yang chow pork. In Durham, brightly hued Watts Grocery showcases chef Amy Tornquist’s highly personal locavore takes on staples; think soul-warming shrimp-and-grits cake or molasses barbecued pork ribs over broccoli rabe. The Umstead’s on-site restaurant, Herons (919-447-4200), has charmed local foodies—no mean feat—with a confident, intelligent menu by new executive chef Scott Crawford. You’ll dream about vanilla-poached lobster with parsnip puree and buttered tangerine long after you’ve returned home.
Photograph by Bill Russ, courtesy of NC Tourism