A group of partners who own several Cafe Caturra wine bars from Virginia to South Carolina have closed the Cameron Village location. They plan to open Tazza Kitchen, a concept that they’re billing as “Baja meets the Mediterranean coast,” in late January or early February in that space.
The partners are giving the dining room a complete makeover, with an open kitchen and large double wood-burning brick ovens as the focal point. A lot of research - quite enjoyable, from the sound of it - went into the discovery that those ovens could be a common link between two cuisines not generally considered together.
“We traveled extensively in Italy and in northern Baja, where they cook a lot over wood fires,” says Jeff Grant, one of the partners who also own the original Tazza Kitchen in Virginia.
On the menu, the results of their travels translate to an offering ranging from prosciutto-stuffed chicken to brick oven crab cakes with pequin chile slaw. The restaurant’s portmanteau name hints at its specialties: tacos on hand-stretched flour tortillas, and wood-fired pizzas with topping options ranging from classic margherita to spicy sausage and black pepper honey.
The new restaurant’s design includes an enclosed sidewalk patio and an 18-seat bar whose refreshments will include craft cocktails, a selection of regional draft beers, and a wine list that should provide ample solace for anyone who misses Cafe Caturra. (The Cary location remains open.)
Tazza Kitchen ( tazzakitchen.com) will initially serve dinner only, with Saturday and Sunday brunch slated to go online a few weeks after opening.
Greg Cox is the N&O’s longtime restaurant critic. He also reports restaurant news. Tune in to hear his radio show on WPTF at 11 a.m. Saturdays. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.