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1201 Raleigh Rd
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
USA

(919) 960-0555

Jujube is a modern asian fusion restaurant and memorable dining experience in Chapel Hill, NC. Our cuisine is rooted in the flavors of China and Vietnam, distilled and whimsically refined with western sensibilities. Part of creating an inspired dining experience is getting out of the way and allowing tradition and the beauty of nature to show through, and part of it is putting your individual stamp on each dish. Jujube does both by weaving classic Asian dishes along with one-of-a-kind creations born from our hearts into one, eclectic menu.

Past Dinners & Events

Sake Dinner with Jonathon Edwards of Vine Connections

Chrissy Deal

Thursday, June 28, 2018  |  7 p.m.

We realized that we’re long overdue for a sake dinner, so jumped at the opportunity when sake expert, Jonathon Edwards of Vine Connections, reached out to us and asked if we wanted to host one.  Jonathon is a highly credentialed fount of knowledge when it comes to all things sake, and especially loves introducing sake to people who aren’t as experienced with it, and creating that “a-ha!” moment for them.

There are a number of things about premium sake that makes it vastly different from the bulk stuff most of us started drinking warm at sushi restaurants, and Jonathon will surely go into all that during the dinner.  But let me just say here that it is a truly enlightening experience when you learn about the painstaking measures these artisans take to create a premium sake.  It makes up a pretty small pond in the ocean of sake produced and is truly special indeed.

One thing we wanted to dispel, from our end, is the notion that sake just goes with sushi.  In fact, we made a point of creating a menu, paired with five of these sake, with nary a sliver of raw fish.  Sake has earned a place on the table of fine restaurants that are in no way Asian, just as French wine has found its way on to wine lists of restaurants that aren’t French.  For that matter, French Champagne goes wonderfully with sushi.  So there’s that.

Take the ‘Hawk in the Heavens’ sake; I’ve always loved that with red meat, and this evening we’ll be pairing it with a Vietnamese stir-fried beef tenderloin called ‘Shaking Beef’.  You get the picture. 

In fact, there were more sake that we liked from the array we tasted than we could create dishes for, so we’ll be offering tastes of a few extras that, along with the ones from the dinner, will be available for purchase at special event prices.

Read more to see the menu and reserve your place!

Read More

Will Costello Of Bien Nacido And Solomon Hills Estates

Chrissy Deal

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Master Sommelier Will Costello of Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills Estates for an evening showcasing one of California’s top producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  I met Will while taking my Certified Sommelier exam.  In fact, he was the one who tested me on the service portion of the day.  Fortunately for me, I managed to pass, and have enjoyed getting to know him better over the last year.

But enough of that!  Let’s talk about these wines!  While the more northern regions of California do get some influence from the ocean, the Central Coast, where Bien Nacido is located, is particularly accentuated by its cooling effect (the photo to the right, taken from their website, shows one of their vineyards).  This is makes it perfect for true cool climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to thrive, the two wines they specialize in.

What that means to the wines is that they, like a good Burgundy, smell very ripe and plush, and yet deliver an unquestioned brightness and focus on the palate.  Which is great for two reasons; they pair wonderfully with food, and they’ll age very nicely should you lay them down for a few years.  If you want a wine to age, it needs acid — and these have it.  I’m looking forward to putting some of these, both Chard and Pinot, away for a while.

We will showcase both of the estate’s distinct vineyard sites and I’m sure you’ll notice both what they have in common and where they differ from one another.  I really did enjoy each.  The Solomon Hills perhaps being a bit higher toned of the two, the Bien Nacido Estate a touch riper; but both exquisite in their own ways.

This was a menu that really wrote itself as we tasted the wines.  I went into the process looking to tread lightly and let the wines shine.  But they shone so brightly that I realized I had nothing to worry about.  So I just went with it…

 

THE MENU

Frito Misto-- kimchi “pickle chip,” tempura white shrimp and beets with yuzu aioli
2015 Solomon Hills Chardonnay

Scallop crudo with daikon puree, shiso, and chives
2015 Bien Nacido Estate Chardonnay

Duck confit and shiitake mushrooms with egg noodles in oolong tea broth
2013 Solomon Hills Pinot Noir

Star anise cured pork loin with cranberry-ginger chutney, Asian greens, and Tokyo turnips
2013 Bien Nacido Estate Pinot Noir

$80 per person does not include tax and gratuity

Vermouths And Madeira Of Haus Alpenz

Chrissy Deal

IMG_6385-2.JPG

When the economy slumped in 2007, I had a theory about saving money; buy better vermouth and cheaper base spirits.  Given that most cocktails call for less vermouth than the base spirit, the extra you pay for the good stuff is more than offset by the savings on the base spirit.  My hypothesis was, vermouth makes the drink, and we tested it by offering blind tastings of classic martinis and manhattans to five discerning drinkers.  One each made with run-of-the-mill vermouth and top-shelf spirits, one each made with a premium vermouth and our well (which, in fairness, is not exactly rot-gut, but still far less expensive than the top shelf).  Each and every person preferred the one with better vermouth.  Now, you can make the drink even better still by using good vermouth AND good spirits, but if you’re gonna spend on only one, buy better vermouth.

Writing the menu for this special wine dinner had me pulling out my stash of kimchi. Join us for the dinner at Jujube to try the dish that resulted from my tasting trial! 

Well, we’re happy to announce that the purveyor of the very products that inspired this contest 10 years ago, Jake Parrott of Haus Alpenz, will be joining us on December 5th to share a dinner and talk about some of the products in his amazing portfolio.  And that’s before we even get to the Madeira!  

Henriques & Henriques is generally regarded as one of the top houses on the small island of Madeira, and we’re happy to also feature these.  Production of premium Madeira is miniscule and laborious, so these wines are truly a treat with quite a history.  What’s more, they’re vastly underrated in terms of how well they pair with food.  We’ve chosen to focus on four of the noble grapes, in ascending order of sweetness, to showcase their subtle differences and versatility with food.

You know we love our wine dinners here at Jujube, and there’ve been plenty that I’ve gotten excited about, but this will be a unique experience that is sure to open your eyes.  Also, when you hear my bit about why THIS Vesper is the one most like what Ian Flemming wrote about in his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, you’ll insist upon drinking yours THIS way, every time.

Writing the menu for this special wine dinner had me pulling out my stash of kimchi. Join us for the dinner at Jujube to try the dish that resulted from my tasting trial! 

THE MENU

Taro tots with preserved vegetable-black olive aioli
Historically Accurate Vesper Cocktail

Shrimp cocktail with tomato-wasabi jam
Diplomat Cocktail

Fried oysters with kimchi pancake
Henriques & Henriques 15 year old Sercial Madeira

Pan-fried bacon and collard dumplings
Henriques & Henriques 10 year old Verdelho Madeira

Red-cooked pork cheek with Tanjin greens
Henriques & Henriques 10 year old Boal Madeira

Five-spice and coconut panna cotta with orange marmalade
Henriques & Henriques 15 year old Malvasia Madeira

Grower Champagne And Dim Sum

Chrissy Deal

I love Champagne.  A lot.  Like, if the hypothetical desert island that we all talk about to determine absolutes has a refrigerator, mine would be stocked with Champagne.  Heck, if it didn’t, I’d dig a hole and figure out how to cool it with sea water.  That’s how much I like Champagne. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of sparkling wines from all over the world, and drink them often.  But there’s just something about Champagne. It’s just, well, better, and I honestly don’t believe it has to do with any mystique or branding.  I believe that it just happens to be a perfect wine, from which the mystique naturally evolves.

I also love hosting wine dinners and try my best to price them at a point where people can afford to come to them.  But, well, spoiler alert here… Champagne isn’t inexpensive and sort of gets in the way of that goal.

But then it dawned on me.  One of my single favorite pairings for Champagnes is dim sum.  Dumplings, turnip cake, greens with oyster sauce…  It all goes perfectly with Champagne.  I think it’s the saltiness combined with the focused flavors, plus the shrimp and pork, that make such a great match.  The theme for a recent meeting of my tasting group was Champagne and I prepared dim sum; it was a lovely match.

And, since dim sum is comparatively less expensive than most food, I can afford to do a dinner with some amazing grower Champagnes at an attractive price for you.  So that’s what I’m doing!

This was a long-winded way to invite you to join us for our very special Grower Champagne and Dim Sum dinner at Jujube, Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. On the menu will be four beautiful wines from Charles-Gilbert de Vinde, a solid Champagne house that produces delicious bubbles at a great value.  Two of the Champagnes are sourced from exclusively Grand Cru vineyards, and have garnered nice press.  The house, located in Le Mesnil sur Oger, largely focuses on Chardonnay, which is entirely great with me, because I love Blanc de Blanc. There’s a particular finesse and regality of these wines and I think they’ll go wonderfully with our food.

THE MENU
Shrimp and chive har gow, shrimp toast
Champagne Charles-Gilbert de Vinde Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc NV

Pan-fried pork and cabbage dumplings, sticky rice and chicken wrapped in lotus leaf
Champagne Charles-Gilbert de Vinde Brut Reserve NV

Daikon cake with duck confit, braised greens with oyster sauce
Champagne Charles-Gilbert de Vinde Brut Rose NV

Yuzu-lemon curd tart
2008 Champagne Charles-Gilbert de Vinde Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc Brut

 

SEAFOOD ON THE PATIO: PARTY WITH THE QUEEN OF WINES

Chrissy Deal

I’ve been reminded by many of you that we’re long overdue for a wine dinner.  And some, in particular, have requested we do something like the Chablis Clambake we did a few years back.  So, in the interest of pleasing as many of you as possible, as well as feature a new local importer, we’re taking it back out to the patio for a party.

Unlike our usual format, this is not a course-by-course affair, but rather an array of really tasty seafood dishes with some unique French whites that we feel will pair well across the board.  After all, these are delicious and versatile wines, some of which you may not be familiar with, so why not show off how well they pair with a variety of foods?

The culinary theme for the dinner will be France-meets-Asia-meets-low country boil, taking Vietnamese dishes (which are, by origin, an Asian-French fusion), adding a few more riffs, and coming up with something really fun. Starting with an Asian twist on the classic Provencal sandwich Pain Bagnat and finishing with a delicious, curry-spiced seafood boil.

So, a bit about Laure and her company Queen of Wines.  She is rather new to the scene here and focuses on family-owned French wineries, many of whom she has gone back with for many years.  Her palate is impeccable and she takes the job of educating the customer very seriously.  Even her back labels include a well-done and illustrative description of what style of wine it is, and what it goes best with.  I’m sure she’ll be a wonderful hostess for this event.

THE FOOD

“Pain Bagnat”  |  poached tuna salad, Chinese olives, marinated vegetables, herbs, crusty bread

Blue crab salad rolls with dipping sauce

Grilled, stuffed calamari  |  ground pork, chopped shrimp, wood ear mushrooms, black vinegar

Curried low country boil  |  North Carolina white shrimp, clams, grouper, potatoes

THE WINES

Les Cordeliers Brut Exclusive  |  AOC Cremant de Bordeaux (Blanc de Noir of Cabernet Franc)

Les Chais du Lavieu Apremont  |  AOC Vin De Savoie (Jacquiere)

Guillemard- Pothier "La Motte"  |  AOC Hautes-Cotes de Beaune (Chardonnay blend)

Sick-Dreyer Sylvaner  |  AOC Vin D’Alsace (Sylvaner)

Domaine de Grandmaison  |  AOC Pessac-Leognan (Sauv Blanc, Semillion, Sauv Gris)

Sparkman Cellars Wine Dinner w/ Chris Sparkman

Jujube Chapel Hill

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015

My family and I just got back from a trip to Woodinville, WA, to visit Chris and his wonderful family and “help” with harvest.  My stepson, Benji, came away with red-stained hands from helping with punchdowns and was thrilled to watch the machinery at work.  Chrissy and I enjoyed tasting freshly pressed, mostly fermented Petite Sirah and Merlot.  Obviously, these wines will be better when they’re actually finished; but there was such a freshness and vibrancy, in both color and flavor, and the uniqueness of tasting wines in a partially finished state went a long way.

Then we sat down and tasted the wines for the dinner…

First, a bit of a back story.  Chris and I have been dear friends for many, many years, even before he started making wine, so it’s been exciting to watch him grow in the industry.  He’s a talented and driven person, so it’s been no surprise to watch the accolades roll in for his wines and winery.  Great scores, top 100 lists for both single wines and the winery as a whole… you name it.

So, when we started pulling wines, Chris wanted to reach into the archives and pull out some special stuff.  Frankly, I also think he wanted to show off to an old buddy just how far they’d come.  After all, we could have written a 12-course meal with all the wine we tasted.  I really wanted to feature the Ruby Leigh, as it was the first wine of his that knocked me out, so when he pulled an 09 I knew it would be pretty cool.  Well, it wasn’t just cool, it was amazing.  Exactly the wine I first fell in love with.  Sturdy and regal, but entirely generous, this Merlot-driven wine really shows off how deep and glorious the grape gets in Washington.

But, honestly, I could just as easily go on about the stunning Enlightenment Chardonnay, the exotic Apparition Roussanne blend, or the ripe and immensely charming Wilderness Blend and Holler Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Menu

Butternut squash, pecan, and goat cheese “truffles” with watercress salad and pear-ginger coulis -2014 Apparition Roussanne blend

Seared scallop and roasted wild mushroom with tangerine curry -2013 Enlightenment Chardonnay

Grilled quail with fruit mustard, lotus root frites, and garlic spinach -2013 Wilderness Red Blend

Sichuan-style smoked pork with fresh noodles -2012 Holler Cabernet Sauvignon

Dark soy and star anise poached beef tenderloin with Chinese broccoli -2009 Ruby Leigh Bordeaux Blend

Dinner w/ Kathy Josephs of Fiddlehead Cellars

Jujube Chapel Hill

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I met Kathy back in the mid 90s when I was still chef and owner of my first place, Oswald, in Santa Cruz, CA.  She’d only started Fiddlehead a few years before that, but was already getting many well-deserved accolades for her wines.  We put on a wine dinner there, and I’ve jumped at every chance to do so again when the opportunity arises. 

So, when the good folks who represent her in the area told me she was coming to town and asked if I’d like to do a dinner with her, of course I said yes. 

The wines are as lovely as they’ve ever been, both the Sauvignon Blancs and Pinots showing generous fruit but with a stately balance and correctness that makes these wines impossible not to like.  In particular, they’re all very well suited to the bold flavors that we feature here at Jujube, so I think that we’re going to be in for a very nice set of pairings this evening. 

The “shaking venison,” which is our adaptation of the classic Vietnamese beef dish with stir-fried, marinated cubes of lean venison and caramelized onions and watercress, is an homage to a dish that I used to serve at Oswald with her Pinot, well, at least the pomegranate and venison part. 

Smoked NC trout mousse on black rice crostini with leek, endive, & radish salad -Gooseberry Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Santa Ynez Valley

Butternut squash-ginger bisque with grilled shrimp and pumpkin seeds -Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Santa Ynez Valley

Star anise-braised duck, shiitake, and egg noodle soup -728 Fiddlestix Pinot Noir 2011, Santa Rita Hills

Pomegranate “shaking” venison -Oldsville Reserve Pinot Noir 2012, Oregon

Chenin Blanc In All Of Its Glory

Jujube Chapel Hill

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Here’s the thing:  I love Chenin Blanc.  In fact, I actually think it’s the most underrated grape in the wine world.  It does, after all, produce some of the world’s most amazing wines and yet, at least in this country, has never truly recovered from the bad rap it got in the 70s when it was over-cropped and turned into jug wine from California’s Central Valley. 

But, I’m serious.  At basically every dinner where a special Chenin Blanc has been snuck into the line-up, it’s stolen the show.  And the Chenins below are all special in their own way.  Some pricier and more complex than others, but all delicious and incredibly predisposed to a fine food pairing.  In fact, I served the Petillant  (fancy way of saying sparkling) in this dinner at my wedding.  And, no surprise here, everyone just kept on going back for more. 

The wines for this dinner are all imported by a good friend Zingo Munger and are from the two regions I feel make the finest Chenin in the world, the Loire Valley of France and Stellenbosch, South Africa.  The French ones being perhaps a bit more high-toned and the South African being a bit more rambunctious, but each marvelous in their own way. 

I do want to leave you with one more thought.  Should you choose to pick up a few of these wines for yourself, do yourself a favor and do so with either the Le Clos or DeMorgenzon and put them away for a couple of years.  They age impeccably and will turn into something even more magnificent than what they are right now.

Compressed watermelon and cucumber with shaved country ham -Domaine Careme Vouvray Petillant Cuvee T 2012

Salad of romaine and grilled peaches with crispy onions and buttermilk -Clos du Gaimont Vouvray 2013

Black rice and white anchovy-stuffed tomato, roasted, with cherry tomato coulis -Raats Family Original Chenin Blanc 2013

Guinea hen galantine with green papaya salad and basil -Domaine Careme Vouvray Le Clos 2010

Star Anise-cured pork loin with Chinese quince jus and daikon pudding -DeMorgenzon Chenin Blanc Reserve 2014