Papa Mojo‘s was a second runner up in the NC Best Dish competition this year. My wife was there tonight with a group for a business dinner. She had the grilled jumbo shrimp, red beans and rice, cornbread and pecan and chocolate tart. Like every other time we’ve eaten at Mel Melton’s place, she said it was delicious.
I got a chance to eat Melton’s entry in the Casual Dining category for Best Dish and its hard for me to imagine anything being better. The meal included Red Potato and Tasso Croquettes, Shrimp and Butterbean Chowder, Pan-fried Softshell Crab and Blueberry Pan Dowdie with Mapleview Vanilla Ice Cream.
The Yancey House Restaurant earned the casual dining title with its signature Crab Cakes, Bloody Mary Gazpacho, Chicken Paillard in Buerre Blanc sauce and Peach Trio of Peach Upside-down Cake, Peach Ice Cream and Peaches in Wine.
Tops in the fine dining category was Four Square Restaurant in Durham. Four Square featured a four-course meal by Chef Shane Ingram that consisted of Pope Farm Lamb Carpaccio, Flat River Nursery Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho Trio, Brinkley Farms Prosciutto-wrapped Trout and Maple View Farms Buttermilk Cupcakes with Blueberry Mousse.
Six judges dined anonymously at 19 restaurants to select the winners. Restaurants were judged on presentation, creativity, use of N.C. food products and marketing efforts.
This is the fourth year of the Best Dish competition which has increased awareness of the quality and diversity of products that are grown or raised in North Carolina.