Greetings from Carrboro,
I was intrigued. For the second day in a row, he’d set up a yard sale of sorts in the small, fenced front yard. The usual bric-a-brac. A used-that-morning toaster oven. Two wooden, hand-painted captain’s chairs. He was a large man by any standard and lounged on the front porch calling out to people walking by. It was more like a comedy routine; he certainly didn’t expect to sell anything. That’s why he was so surprised when I walked across the street and asked if he took American Express.
He sauntered down to the gate and explained that any talk of money required lengthy negotiations. So he invited me to have coffee with him on the porch to discuss. To him, it was glaringly obvious that I wasn’t from New Orleans. As he’d spent his entire life there. In that house. And, well, the man had stories. The brightly colored house had been his mother’s before she died. As had been the voluminous, equally colorful flowered dress that he was currently wearing. For some reason, he’d taken to wearing his mother’s dresses after her death and come to the unshakable conclusion that it was just too hot and humid in New Orleans to ever wear pants. Period.
In a nutshell, that’s why I love New Orleans. It’s special. For lots of reasons. Bright spots of joy abound. And then there is the peculiar logic of the Crescent City that doesn’t extend much past the city limits. It’s like a hothouse where the most beautiful exotic flowers grow. And we can all thank god for that. The music, the food, the culture. It’s unlike anything else in the world. And Mardi Gras is all of that. On steroids. With, perhaps, a teensy-weensy soupçon of bourbon. So, really, how can I resist? I love the food of New Orleans and, well, Acme is a southern restaurant. It would be a shame if we didn’t, you know, laissez les bon temps rouler.
So for the next couple of weeks, we are going to channel our inner Paul Prudhomme and bring New Orleans to Carrboro. Well, the food at least. And, of course, we’re going to have an oh-so-festive party to celebrate actual Mardi Gras next Tuesday – make that Fat Tuesday – March 5th. Beads? Check. Sazeracs? Check. A fantasy Big Easy menu? Double check. And if you’re wondering, stylish moo moos are always welcome. As is American Express.
There are still a few seats left for our Winemaker Dinner with Laura Díaz Muñoz of Ehler’s Estate in St. Helena in beautiful Napa Valley. Truly great California wine coupled with great Acme food. Now, that’s a match made in heaven. Tickets for the dinner are $80. Reservations are required and can only be made by calling the restaurant (919 929 2263) and are taken on a first come, first served basis. Menu is below. I’d be wildly surprised if it’s even possible to have a better Wednesday. Miss it at your own peril.
This week @ Acme: Pecan-crusted fried chicken with Tasso ham gravy. Sazeracs. Shrimp po’boy sliders. Smoked eggplant jambalaya. Milk Punch. Grilled bone-in ribeyes with Herbsaint butter. Smoked duck boudin. Red beans and rice. Housemade andouille. Acme Gumbo. Classic hurricanes. Cornmeal-crusted oysters with celery root remoulade. King cake. Cajun beef short ribs with maque choux. Creamed winter greens. Mahi-mahi with dirty rice. Barrel-aged negronis. Smothered catfish with crawfish étouffée. Holy trinity cornbread with Tabasco butter. If you’re not hungry now, check your pulse.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme
Reservations: 919 929 2263 or online
The Acme Wine Dinner
with Laura Díaz Muñoz of Ehlers Estate
Wednesday, March 6th
6:30 in the evening
Spring asparagus soup
goat cheese, cornbread crisps, NC truffle
2018 Ehlers Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Cast-iron skillet duck
leeks, fennel, Beth’s carrots
2015 Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc
Overnight smoked Carolina lamb
maque choux, shoestring potatoes, mop sauce
2015 Ehlers Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Seared filet mignon
wild mushrooms, creamed Brussels sprouts
2016 Ehlers Estate “Portrait” Bordeaux blend