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Crave unveils new Cucina Italiana menu

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The Crave’n Alfredo features wide fettuccini noodles in a creamy Alfredo sauce topped with plump shrimp.


Christina Ruotolo

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sometimes we crave more than just a great meal. We crave great drinks, an inviting atmosphere, socializing with friends, music and dancing, and we want it all in same place. Welcome to locally owned Crave Uptown Restaurant and Bar, 409 Evans St.

Conveniently located within walking distance to ECU campus and uptown Greenville, Crave provides fresh, innovative food as well as a fun environment to “eat, drink and socialize.” The restaurant has ample seating inside with tables flanked by century-old brick walls and tall ceilings. The parking garage is conveniently located outside the back door, and Crave will pay up to two hours for you so you can relax and enjoy a great meal.

For the last three years, managing partners Michael Anderson and James Moretz have been serving up a “craveable” menu with prices ranging from $5-$25. When asked where the restaurant’s name came from, they said they wanted to “create a space that caters to everyone no matter your mood.” Their motto is eat, drink, socialize.

Starting on Friday and running through Dec. 3, Crave will be introducing customers to its new Italian menu by offering a limited menu until the full menu rolls out on Dec. 4. New additions includes antipasto, soups and salads, paninis and grinders, and Pastabilities. All sauces are made from scratch, using mainly local products to ensure freshness.

Anderson and Moretz have a five-acre farm just outside Greenville and grow their own vegetables and produce that is harvested and used in many of the dishes they serve. All Italian entrees and Pastabilities are served with a large family-style tossed salad. Crave will keep some of the crowd favorites including the zucchini fries with house-made ranch dressing, blackened salmon, lasagna and raviolis.

Crave also is known for serving homemade breads such as white and whole grain bread adding a Tuscan flair. One of the addictive items is the fried bread and roasted red pepper hummus dip. Take some homemade white bread, fry it up and serve it with a creamy hummus. It was crispy on the outside, buttery, soft and chewy on the inside.

The Trojan Steak and Cheese Sandwich is composed of a soft Italian sub roll with sliced tenderloin steak, caramelized onions, Italian style peppers and mushrooms and melted cheese. It’s served with a healthy serving of french fries. The steak was savory and tender, the bread soft and flavorful and the peppers were a sweet addition to this sandwich. This yummy option is perfect for either lunch or dinner and costs $9.99.

Chicken Marsala is one of Crave’s new Pastabilities. It starts with a smoked 8-ounce chicken breast that is butterflied, breaded and baked. It is paired with mushrooms, topped with a Marsala wine reduction sauce and placed atop of heap of spaghetti noodles. It is served with a side of fresh, seasoned green beans and two slices of homemade bread. The glossy wine sauce was delicate and flavorful and not too salty as this sauce can sometimes be. The mushrooms were meaty, and the pasta was the creamy balance to this dish. This dish pairs nicely with a glass of Yulora Malbec red wine and is perfect for those seeking density and Tuscan flavor. Price is $16.29.

Alfredo is one of those dishes that everyone craves. The Crave’n Alfredo features wide fettuccini noodles bathed in a creamy and thick Alfredo sauce topped with plump little shrimp. The sauce was cheesy and rustic, and the bright pink shrimp were little nuggets of buttery perfection. This filling dish pairs perfectly with the Octave Vinho Verde white wine from Portugal with its smooth citrus flavor. This dish costs $12.29 with either chicken or shrimp.

Crave also serves a variety of homemade desserts that are made daily by Liz Braxton, or “Mama Liz” as she is known to customers. She makes seasonal desserts including pies, cakes, cookies and cheesecake. A crowd favorite, available all year, is the Craveberry muffin, with sweet cranberry filling and topped with a gooey, sweet icing. Pair your dessert with a steaming cup of Blackbeard coffee or hot tea.

After dessert, head over to the bar area that is adjacent to the restaurant with its 2,300 square feet of space, built-in bar, moveable stage and eight flat-screen televisions. Dance the night away every Friday and Saturday from 7-11 p.m. There is a DJ to help you unwind after a long week and shake off the blues. On the third Friday of each month, there is salsa dancing. Learn how to salsa from 7-9 p.m. and then dance from 9-11 p.m. Crave partners with ECU and other organizations, including acting as host for Folk Arts Society of Greenville dances.The event space is available to rent for your book club, rap battle, poetry night, reception, party or movie theater night. 

Crave is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Fridays; and 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays. For more information, visit www.cravegreenville.com, follow Crave’s Facebook page or call 413-0087.

Bone Appetit

The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina (HSEC) will host a Bone Appetit fundraising event from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 1-2 at Famiglia, 740 W. Fire Tower Road, Winterville. Five percent of all food and drink sales will be donated to HSEC. Write “for HSEC” on the receipt and alert the server.