Among Durham's best known restaurants is the Magnolia Grill. Just passing the 25 year mark in November, the restaurant holds two James Beard Awards (think Oscars, but for food) and more accolades than is reasonable to mention, though being number11 on Gourmet Magazine's list of Best Restaurants in the country bears repeating.
Today it was named by the News and Observer's restaurant critic, Greg Cox, as Restaurant of the Year. Magnolia Grill is a venerable mainstay that continues to push the envelope of discovery in the creation of new flavor and preparation within the contemporary Southern sphere. Alumni from the restaurant have opened restaurants both locally and far afield, as well as gone on to positions in some of the world's most notable operations.
Durham's food scene is in large part due to the continued, tireless efforts of the Magnolia Grill's proprietors, Karen and Ben Barker. Collectively, they provide culinary direction that wows guests nightly and provides a bar which many chefs in Durham aspire to reach and best. As the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. In Durham, the Barker's have raised the knife and set a standard upon which those who live and visit can count for the quality of food and service.
Congratulations to the Magnolia Grill family for this achievement. Congratulations also go to:
- Nana's for their Gold Medal
- Fairview, Four Square, Revolution and Watts Grocery for their Silver Medals
- Blu Seafood and Bar, Dos Perros, Los Comales, and Vin Rouge for their Best in Class rankings
- G2B and Happy China for being among the Best New Restaurants
For a searchable list of all dining in Durham, see Durham's official visitor website dining section.