Food & Drink

A welcome menu at a Cary café

Can't decide where to eat in and around Cary? Your decision just got harder.

In downtown Cary, Gayla Bonke has opened Chatham Street Café & Catering (140 E. Chatham St.; 380-1193; www.chathamstreetcafe.com) in the quaint building that formerly housed Cindy's House Café. Bonke actually bought the restaurant a year ago but kept the old name as she redecorated and gradually put her own signature on the menu while keeping old favorites. The result is a diverse offering that ranges from shrimp bisque to fried ravioli to bourbon pecan chicken to shrimp and grits, with gluten-free options noted on the menu a welcome touch. In addition to gourmet sandwiches and salads, the lunch menu offers a selection of light entrees highlighted by tostadas, quesadillas and other Southwestern dishes that reflect the chef's culinary education and experience in Arizona. Chatham Street Café serves lunch Tuesday-Friday, dinner Thursday-Saturday, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.

Also in Cary (OK, the Postal Service says it's Raleigh, but the rest of us think of it as Cary), Party in a Pita (2893 Jones Franklin Road; 851-4998; www.partyinapita.com) has begun its celebration of Lebanese fare in a modest counter service eatery in Swift Creek Shopping Center. The specialty is the restaurant's namesake flatbread, which is available with a variety of meat and vegetarian fillings, from gyros and kebabs (beef, lamb, chicken or kofta) to falafel. "Roasted eggplant is very popular," says Leann Ishak, who owns the restaurant with her brother-in-law, Lebanese native Samir Yehya. Kebab and gyro platters are also available, with a handful of optional sides ranging from hummus to grape leaves to Lebanese potato salad. You're invited to join the party Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In Morrisville, partners Frank Campisano and Tom Mongero have applied their considerable experience working in New York and New Jersey delis to Morrisville Deli (3524 Davis Drive, in Morrisville Market; 380-3767).

Homesick New Yorkers will find relief in an extensive selection of sandwiches ranging from the Midtown (a corned beef and pastrami Reuben) to the Velvet Guido (a variation on, what else, an Italian hero). The partners, both of whom have lived in the Triangle for a number of years, pay tribute to their new home with the likes of the Tar Heel (roast beef, brie, coleslaw and Russian dressing on marble rye).

"We make all our own deli salads," Mongero proudly notes. "Our deli meats are Boar's Head, and our bagels are from New York."

Morrisville Deli is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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