Damn it, Chapel Hill gets all the luck. This small town is already full of great chef-driven restaurants. Places like Lantern, Bonne Soiree, and Elaine’s. Then there are the old, great stand-bys like Crooks, La Residence and whatever they’re putting out at the Siena. And now there’s a new kid in town: Cypress on the Hill. I just learned about this place today thanks to a tip from one of my readers, and based on the menu, I’m looking forward to a trip to my old college town to give it a try. Chef Alex Gallis has been Chef de Cuisine at Magnolia Grill for the last five years, and his menu shows his training under Ben Barker: locally-sourced ingredients prepared with a Southern touch. But I also see that Gallis isn’t afraid to explore new concepts, using Asian ingredients (soba noodles, mizuna, pickled ginger) and techniques, too.
Restaurants with a Southern cuisine have struggled a bit in the Triangle lately, but I’ve come to believe that college towns are where they will still work. If the food is as good as it appears, I suspect that Cypress on the Hill (COTH? — er, maybe not) will be hanging around for awhile.
Cypress on the Hill is in the old Trail Shop on West Franklin Street, next to Ham’s. They’re open for dinner Monday through Saturday. Dinner and dessert menus, which change weekly, are available online.
308 West Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, North Carolina