Fun with DPAC

Way back in early 2013, Whitney and I learned that Book of Mormon was coming to the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC). We were very interested in seeing it but knew it would sell out quickly, so we thought what better way to guarantee ourselves some seats than to buy season tickets? Of course, our reasoning was not quite so shallow; we have always enjoyed shows at DPAC and the rest of the season looked fun too. It also gave us a regular excuse to have a date in downtown Durham, so we thought it was a good idea all around and bought us some season seats.

There were so many popular Durham restaurants that we hadn't been to yet that we decided we would try a new place before each show. For this post, I'll do my best to describe our experiences with the shows and restaurants, although some time has passed and I may not remember perfectly.

Show: Ghost
Restaurant: Pop's
Pop's Trattoria is an Italian restaurant in an attractive red brick building on Main Street. Maybe it was because we went at a busy time, but we didn't have a great experience. The dining room was crowded, loud, and smoky, and service was slow. The food was decent, but wasn't easy to enjoy with the atmosphere and worrying about getting to the show on time. I liked the show though. I was familiar with the movie and felt they adapted it well to the stage with good music and cool special effects.

Show: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Restaurant: L'Uva Enoteca
L'Uva is in the American Tobacco Campus, and our first experience with it was during our Taste Carolina Durham food tour. It's also an Italian restaurant, and had a nice upscale feel to it. I really enjoyed my food and wine there. The Grinch was unsurprisingly kid-targeted, but it was cute and good for getting into the Christmas spirit.

Show: Once
Restaurant: Local 22
Local 22 is a bit west of downtown and appears to have been reincarnated from a former Italian restaurant to take advantage of the popularity of farm-to-table. It happened to be restaurant week when we went, which means we were able to try a sampling of dishes from a prix fixe menu. It's been a while, but I don't think the food stood out as good or bad. Once, on the other hand, was probably our least favorite show of the season.

Show: Book of Mormon
Restaurant: Mateo Tapas
This was a special night for us, as it was Valentine's Day and the week of our six month wedding anniversary (and a crazy snowstorm!). We recognized this far in advance and planned to spend the night at the King's Daughters Inn, the B&B where we spent our wedding weekend in downtown Durham (and conveniently walkable to DPAC!). To make things all the more special, KDI was having a champagne tasting event for Valentine's Day, so we were able to enjoy that before walking over to the show, and avoid the hassle of finding restaurant reservations that night. Book of Mormon was a great show. Afterward we were able to grab some bar seating to try Mateo Tapas. It perhaps wasn't our favorite style of food (Spanish tapas), but the dishes were interesting and we had a great time.

Show: Evita
Restaurant: Pompieri Pizza
There are so many good pizza options (except for deep dish...) in the triangle that a pizza place really has to be great to stand out. Pompieri was not such a place. They espouse the authenticity of their Neapolitan pizza, and I did enjoy the thin crispy crust, but was not "wowed". They did like their menu of topping options, so would be interested in going back to try some more. Evita had some good music and was performed well, but I wasn't familiar with it and had trouble following the story, especially because of the operatic style where all the dialogue was sung.

Show: Wizard of Oz
Restaurant: 58Fifty Bistro
58Fifty opened up in a development in south Durham near us, so we tried it out on our way to Wizard of Oz. It's a casual bistro with a good menu and beer selection. I enjoyed our experience there. Wizard of Oz was well-done and was one of our favorites of the season.

Show: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Restaurant: Nana's
Nana's is probably the oldest restaurant on this list, going back to 1992, and is well-known as a somewhat fancy Durham restaurant. We were adventurous and decided to try the tasting menu, which had a lot of things that we might not otherwise order, including foie gras. It was fun to try some unfamiliar foods, although we might need to go another time to try some more standard fare. Joseph is a favorite musical of mine, so I really enjoyed the show.

We had so many fun experiences that we decided to get season tickets again for this season! This year we're doing Saturday matinees so our plan is to try a brunch spot before each show. We'll let you know how it goes!

1 comment:

  1. I love this entry. The shows were such good ones and I liked reading about the restaurants.