One of the best things I’ve put in my mouth this year was bacon jam that Rx Restaurant & Bar serves with its housemade pimento cheese. The sweet, sticky dab of brown richness on the plate filled my mouth with smooth bacon flavor.
That jam is an example of why after just five months of operation Rx has claimed a significant place on Wilmington’s dining scene.
But Rx’s climb is not just about food.
Tonight, when the restaurant serves a menu of full of its contemporary spins on homey Southern fare, it will be aiding Superstorm Sandy victims and the budding Wilmington Wine and Food Festival.
Ten dollars from each $85 ticket will benefit American Red Cross efforts to help the storm’s victims. A portion of remaining proceeds will fund the first ever Wilmington Wine and Food Festival scheduled May 19 at May 19, at St. Thomas Preservation Hall.
This evening’s Rx menu is a mouthwatering feast featuring local foods: butternut squash soup with duck confit; quail alongside creamed collards; bison short ribs with parsnips, carrots and celery root; a moon pie prepared with Frangelico.
Besides supporting good causes and local farms, including Cottle Organics in Rose Hill, Nature’s Way in Hampstead and Red Beard Farm in Castle Hayne, Rx is showing off chef Scott Grimm of Wrightsville Beach’s Dockside restaurant.
Grimm, who joins Rx chef Jon Kurzen and chef/owner James Doss tonight in the Rx kitchen, manned stoves with Doss years ago at Wilmington restaurants. Both men later went on to work under Charleston, S.C., favorite-son chef Sean Brock of much-applauded McCrady’s and Husk.
Doss also is helping to arrange the Wilmington Wine and Food Festival along with other businesses, including Wilmington Wine and Jester’s Java, both of which, like Rx, have taken a chance on the emerging east Castle Street downtown neighborhood.
Doss and business partner Josh Novicki renovated the former Hall’s Drug Store, 421 Castle St., at 5th Avenue, to create Rx, where Doss tends a rooftop garden that provides the restaurant with herbs and produce. Despite a recent shooting on Castle Street’s east end, fans are still flocking to these businesses and supporting the area.
I love food, and I love wine, great beer, cocktails, the whole culinary shebang, but what I love even more are the people behind all the great food and drink businesses that are making Wilmington a topnotch culinary destination. Places like Rx not only fill our bellies but also feed our souls.
To book tonight’s Chef’s Tasting Menu and Wine Pairing, call Rx at 910-399-3080. Juice Wine Purveyors and Choice Specialty Wines are donating some wines for the event. Wines on the menu will be available for purchase by the bottle.