Lantern is a marriage of Asian flavors and North Carolina ingredients sourced mainly from local farms and fisheries. It has been named one of "America's Top 50 Restaurants" and "best farm-to-table restaurants" by Gourmet Magazine, as one of "America's 50 Most Amazing Wine Experiences" by Food & Wine and as "Restaurant of the Year" in 2009 by The News & Observer.
Chef-owner Andrea Reusing was named one of "15 Green Chefs" on Grist's international list, has written for Saveur, Domino, Fine Cooking, Gourmet.com and the News and Observer. She serves on the boards of the Center of Environmental Farming Systems and Chefs Collaborative. Reusing is the 2011 winner of the James Beard award for Best Chef: Southeast and the author of Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes (Clarkson Potter, 2011).
Lantern was opened in January 2002 by brother-sister team Andrea and Brendan Reusing, along with help from many friends including Silvia Pahola, Ric Palao and David Doernberg, who is responsible for our striking design and warm glow.
Chef de cuisine - Miguel Torres
At Scratch in downtown Durham, Phoebe Lawless bakes empanadas and sugar pie.
At J. Betski's in Raleigh, John Korzekwinski and Jeremy Jennings serve homemade pierogies and kielbasa along with their Pichlers and Prüms.
In Carrboro at Neal's Deli, Sheila and Matt Neal make their own pastrami and farmers market sides.
In NYC, David Doernberg blogs at eatdavelove.
At the Carrboro Farmers market, April McGreger can be found with her Farmers Daughter brand scuppernong preserves and Russian dills.
In Cedar Grove, Dave Ramirez and Susan Wiles grow shishito peppers and lots of other things at Geodesic Gardens.
In downtown Durham at Toast, Billy and Kelli Cotter serve bruschetta, panini, tramezzini and don't forget crostini.
Lantern Table began as a dinner series focusing on local farms and food producers. Lantern Table has now grown to include a community kitchen and private dining room where we host visiting friends & chefs, offer cooking classes and get-togethers. The cozy kitchen dining room is available every night for private dining, for any occasion. Lantern Table can accommodate up to 45 guests for seated dinner, or 60 for passed hors d'oeuvres. We are equipped with state of the art presentation tools and flexibility to provide total privacy, an interactive evening of cooking from the open kitchen or anything in between. Our garden space can accommodate up to 28 for seated dinner and 40 for cocktails and snacks. You can learn more about hosting a private event here.
Andrea and Miguel hosted our friend Jay Murrie of Piedmont Wine Imports for a cocktail-party style evening of Jay's thrilling sparkling wines and a raw bar featuring the freshest catch from the North Carolina & Virginia coasts, including sashimi and oysters shucked to order.
Lantern joined Transplanting Tradition’s farmer/chef Khai Nyui Tow for a celebration of Karen Burmese food to support aspiring refugee farmers in Orange County. The five-course dinner featured rare & delicious southeast Asian ingredients including water gourd, Thai pumpkin, pennywort, lemongrass and roselle buds, all grown by Karen refugee farmers. A short presentation and documentary screening with the Transplanting Traditions Youth Team followed the meal.
100% of proceeds benefited the farm in its work to provide agricultural resources and education to refugee farmers at its 4-acre incubator site just south of Carrboro.
Lantern joined forces with our friends at Panciuto, Mateo Tapas, ONE Restaurant, and The Umstead to cook a 5-course dinner inspired by the work of Nordic Food Lab (restaurant noma’s flavor incubator) and celebrated the end of the month-long collaboration Subnature and Culinary Culture (which included the construction of an earthen smokehouse in the middle of Duke campus).
Subnature refers to aspects of the natural world we typically shun, particularly in the kitchen. The crazy and delicious menu included long-needle pine, raw milk, fermented cherries, tobacco, with wine pairings by Cave Taureau’s Noel Sherr. Special guests will include Josh Evans of the Nordic Food Lab, all the way from Copenhagen.
Alan led a foraging adventure with a small group that morning, gathering ingredients for the dinner in our springtime woods and meadows. That night, Andrea, Miguel and Amanda prepared a spring Kaiseki-style dinner that included fresh bamboo shoots, morels, nettles, chicory leaf, burdock, spring beauties, milkweed shoots and yes, ramps, along with other prime April ingredients from North Carolina farms and fishers.
We celebrated the first day of spring when we welcomed award-winning cookbook author Grace Young to Lantern for a 5-couse dinner. She cooked from and shared her latest cookbook, Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge.
We hosted a special dinner and conversation with author Michael Ruhlman to share charcuterie and other food that’s cured, brined, pickled, fermented and salted. We roasted chestnuts from High Rock Farm on the patio and poured wine from the Vallee D'Aoste in where the rugged terrain and high elevation produces some of the most elegant wines in Italy.
Michael's game-changing new book Ruhlman's Twenty distills all of cooking into 20 fundamental techniques, illustrated with 100 recipes, and hundreds of instructive photos. The 16-course family-style meal included 18-month old whey-fed ham, North Carolina sashimi, crispy rillettes with salted "ume" cherries and moulard duck cured with sake kasu. The full menu and wine pairings are available here.
We welcomed award-winning cookbook author Molly Stevens to Lantern and she cooked from and shared her gorgeous and essential new book, All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art. The fall menu included Nassawadox oysters, acorn-fed pork, heirloom apples and other prime fall produce and was a benefit for Lee Calhoun's Southern Heritage Apple Orchard.
Robert began his cooking career in Chapel Hill working with Bill Neal at Crook's Corner before finding his way with his wife Nunally Kersh to Charleston. In 1997, they opened what has become one of the most beloved restaurants in the south. The dinner began with cocktails and snacks and continued with 5 courses of Hominy Grill flavor. The menu featured both North and South Carolina ingredients and was paired with wines from Jon-David Headrick's small, progressive producers of the Loire Valley.
We hosted a special lunch honoring Frank Bruni, author of the New York Times best-seller Born Round: A Story of Family, Food and a Ferocious Appetite. Currently a writer at large at the New York Times, Mr. Bruni was formerly the newspaper's restaurant critic and Rome bureau chief. The family-style lunch included fall delicacies like chestnuts, Nassawadox oysters, persimmons, acorn-fed pork and sweet white shrimp from the Pamlico Sound.
We welcomed David Chang to Lantern for a 9-course dinner in honor of his groundbreaking new cookbook Momofuku.
Our special guests included James Stock of Haw River Wine Man, who shared some of his amazing wines from the sandy, volcanic soil of Santorini and the Peleponese along with his family's organically produced olives and olive oil, John and Cindy Soehner of Eco Farm and Alex and Betsy Hitt of Peregrine Farm, who treated us to an early preview of their tomato harvest.
On Tuesday, April 22nd we welcomed award-winning cookbook author and teacher Andrea Nguyen to Lantern for a special six-course spring Vietnamese dinner. Nguyen shared dishes from her James Beard nominated cookbook, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors.
The dinner featured Delaware roosters! and once again Ben & Noah joined us.
Listen to a discussion of the 1st Annual Fickle Creek dinner on WUNC FM's The State of Things.
In the bar we featured the English heritage duck breed known as Aylesbury. This delicious variety comes from Frank Reese, godfather of the heritage poultry revival. Each course was paired with wines from Burgundy.
A unique evening of food and wine along with 3 Cups. Rosenthal Wine Merchant’s Tony McClung, and Mike Tiano, of Haw River Wine Man, gave a special wine class, followed by a seasonal Japanese dinner featuring local ingredients. The evening began at 3 Cups with the class and tasting of six French wines selected from the Rosenthal portfolio, and concluded at Lantern with a six-course meal paired with the same wines.
featuring Elysian Fields Farm's spring harvest, pasture-raised lamb and wild salmon. Elaine created pairings of small-producer French wines for the meal as well.
Brendan, Elaine, April, Miguel & Andrea cooked an all-local five course dinner at Harland's Creek Farm, in Pittsboro, NC to benefit the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. Nearly every single ingredient on the menu was local, including whey-fed pork, asparagus, black truffles, oysters, ramps, and strawberries.
featuring Fickle Creek Farm
Two local American cheese-making pioneers, Flo Hawley and Portia McKnight of Chapel Hill Creamery showcased their farmstead cheeses, as well as their whey-fed pigs with a six-course menu inspired by the Italian Piedmont and paired with artisan wines from the same region. We also served prime autumn produce from nearby farms and fresh white truffles direct from Alba. Throughout the evening, Hawley and McKnight discussed their approach to farming, their cheeses and long-term goals.
The dinner focused on simple preparations of pork, chicken, and beef all raised within 25 miles of Chapel Hill. The menu included:
Chapel Hill Creamery quark with radishes and sea salt
Roasted chicken with spring onions and baby turnips
(Shady Grove Farm & Fickle Creek Farm)
Braised pork shoulder and belly with fennel, olives and Anson Mills grits
(Chapel Hill Creamery)
Grilled beef with fried herbs and crispy potatoes
(Baldwin Family Farm & Braeburn Farm)
Local organic strawberry ice cream
Originally stranded in the sixteenth century by Spanish explorers on Ossabaw Island off the coast of Georgia, Ossabaw hogs are the descendants of the famous Spanish Iberian or pata negra hogs – free-range pigs who fatten up on foraged acorns & wild grasses before becoming the most sought-after ham in the world – ibérico.
The amazing story of their rescue from the island is the subject of NY Times writer & author Peter Kaminsky’s upcoming book, Pig Perfect. Among the tale’s heroines is Eliza Maclean, one of only two farmers in the world currently raising Ossabaws.
Luckily for us, Eliza’s Cane Creek Farm is in Mebane.
The evening benefited the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, the Pittsboro-based group who has tirelessly worked to save rare farm breeds from extinction since 1977.
Owl’s Nest Trading Co. shared a selection of traditional organic wines from small producers in Germany, whose estates have been in their families for hundreds of years. The quality of these delicious wines is a reflection of their deep roots in the land. They will be a great pairing with pigs who feast on Alamance County alfalfa, peanuts and acorns.