Yesterday’s opening of the market portion of Triangle Seafood completes the phased rollout of a restaurant and market that began several weeks ago in Durham’s Brightleaf Square.
The restaurant, which opened in early November, initially offered a menu skewed toward Italian pastas. The aim, according to general manager Joshua Sobel, was to win over patrons of Piazza Italia, whose space Triangle Seafood took over along with that of Chamas Brazilian Steakhouse.
After the first couple of weeks, the seafood offering began to grow until it now accounts, in Sobel’s estimate, for more than 90 percent of the core menu. On the appetizer list, that translates to the likes of jumbo lump crab cakes with lobster sauce, seafood fritto misto, and a pairing of North Carolina shrimp ceviche and fish du jour crudo. Nightly specials such as seared North Carolina grouper with saffron risotto supplement an entree offering that covers the spectrum from shrimp and grits to monkfish with potato gnocchi and mushroom ragu.
The bar is as ambitious as the kitchen, with libations including a well-chosen selection of draft and bottled beer, wine and cocktails such as the Fresh Catch (Tito’s vodka, simple syrup, strawberry-basil puree and fresh-squeezed lemonade) and the Sinker (Rose’s bourbon, chocolate bitters, maple syrup and smoked cherries).
The opening of the market adds a raw bar offering to the mix, along with a selection of fresh fish and shellfish to cook at home. Stocked with one eye on local waters and another on hard-to-find items, the inaugural list of a dozen or so items includes North Carolina rainbow trout, James River oysters, fresh conch meat and bronzini.
Triangle Seafood (905 W. Main St., Durham; 919-956-7360; triangleseafoodmarket.com) is open 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday. The market only is also open on Sunday from 11 a.m-8 p.m.
Greg Cox, the longtime N&O restaurant critic, also covers restaurant news. Reach him at email@example.com.