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BYH, first they came for the immigrants, refugees and migrants, but I did not speak up because I was none of those....

DAP House rolls out its spring menu

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Fried Pig Ears at DAP House.

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Christina Ruotolo

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Last year, I introduced you to the widely popular restaurant Dickinson Avenue Public House (DAP House). It offers a rotating menu of inventive dishes to take you from season to season utilizing fresh produce, meats, cheeses, bread, honey, wine and other North Carolina produced items.

Head Chef Jacob Wilson and Sous Chef Trustan Hamilton work together, always reinventing tastes from the local area and beyond. I love that they’re never afraid to push the envelope and serve items you may not have thought about eating, such as smoked lamb tongue, frog legs or roasted marrow bone, while still serving staple favorites like the DAP House fried chicken and pickled okra. Now that spring is finally here and summer is right round the corner, let’s get your taste buds ready for some of DAP House’s new entrees and drinks.

First, wind down from a busy work week and start with some drinks. I tried the new Green Light District, which is made with Leblon Cachaka, Domaine de Canton, Kiwi Shrub, lime juice and green chartreuse served over ice and garnished with a piece of crystallized ginger. Now, for definitions. Leblon Cachaka is a Brazilian white spirit (think rum) made from sugar cane; Domaine de Canton is a ginger-flavored French liqueur; Kiwi Shrub is a juice made from little baby kiwis; and green chartreuse is another French liqueur. The color of this drink is yellow, soft and bright. It has a citrus and herbal aroma and upon taking a first sip, it was tart from the kiwi and sweet from the Cachaka but also mellow with a rim of heat from the ginger. It was unique and the mixture of Brazilian and French spirits brings together a drink worthy of spring and summer for $9.50.

Now that I had some liquid courage, I am ready to venture into a new culinary adventure that has the South written all over it: Fried Pig Ears. Start with fresh pig ears, slice them into thin strips, fry them up to a crispy brown, smother them with honey-sriracha glaze, sprinkle on some crushed peanuts and place it all atop a bed of buttery bib lettuce. It was a beautiful presentation and smelled incredible. I was most excited that it did not look like Miss Piggy on a plate, but like glossy strips of bacon. I took a calming breath and took my first bite. It was delicious. I was expecting it to be tough and chewy, but it was crispy, sweet and a bit spicy. Imagine a cross between a french fry and a slice of bacon. I loved the Asian influence with the sticky sauce and salty peanuts. I added some pig ear in a piece of lettuce and ate it like a wrap. It costs $9.

Now, let’s move onto to dinner. A new item on the menu for spring is the Blackened Yellowtail Snapper and Shrimp Ceviche Tostada. Start with a big, white bowl, add in Sofrito black beans in broth, a round crispy corn tortilla, citrus slaw, sliced avocado, avocado crema, Cotija and shrimp ceviche. This dish fed all my taste buds at once. You get flavors of the warm, comforting black beans, mild broth, bright, tangy slaw with red cabbage and carrots, a touch of heat on the tender and mild snapper, and a finish of creamy avocado. Every flavor added dimension to this dish and worked together beautifully. The price is $21.

Instead of dessert, I ended my adventurous food tour with another drink. I tried the new Two to Tango, which is made with Sombra Mezecal tequila, Dewar’s 12-year scotch, grapefruit juice, lime juice, simple syrup and Ras El Hanot Seasoning from Africa. This drink was the most inventive drink I’ve tasted in a while and offered up a multi-layered flavor explosion. You get the hard yet classic flavor of the scotch mixed with a smoky, leather back note from the tequila, a bit of sour from the juices and then it ends with an African savory flavor that reminded me of warm cumin. It had a homespun taste like sitting in a deep leather chair smoking a cigar with a glass of scotch. It costs $11.

DAP House is at 703 Dickinson Ave. Hours are from 5:30-10 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays and 5:30-10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays. For more information, visit www.daphousenc.com or www.facebook.com/D.A.P.House or call 689-6388.

Bone Appetit

The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina (HSEC) will host a Bone Appetit fundraising event from 11 a.m.-midnight April 25 at Buffalo Wild Wings, 426 E. Arlington Blvd. A percentage of all food and drink sales will be donated to HSEC. Write “for HSEC” on the receipt and alert the server. Visit www.hsecarolina.org.

Brewery benefit

The Friends of the Ronald McDonald House will host a special “Friends Night Out” event from 5-7:30 p.m. April 19 at Uptown Brewery, 418 Evans St. Tickets are $25 per person and include a guest's first beer or wine, along with appetizers and desserts provided by several businesses. Tickets may be purchased at the Ronald McDonald House, 529 Moye Blvd. or at 692 Olive, 692 E. Arlington Blvd. Proceeds will benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina. For more information, contact Laurie Josell at 410-218-1893 or visit rmhenc.org/friends-night-out/.

Meals on Wheels

Chipotle, 610 S.E. Greenville Blvd., will host a fundraiser from 5-9 p.m. April 24 to support Meals on Wheels. Fifty percent of the proceeds will be donated to Meals on Wheels, which delivers meals to home-bound adults ages 60 and older who are unable to prepare their own meals. Customers should alert the server that they are participating in the fundraiser.

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