• Owners Pamela Marcotte and Avi Kendi opened Nolia (as in magnolia), a Neighborhood Southern Bistro, 366 North Caswell Road. Marcotte, a theater major from ECU, left Carolina for Manhattan's lights, but ended up owning restaurants instead. On Nolia's entrée menu: roasted half-chicken with collard greens and garlic mashed potatoes ($15), and pork tenderloin with smoky black-eyed peas and sweet potato puree ($18). The lunch roster includes salads ($5 to $8) and sandwiches ($7 to $8) including a burger and a barbecue rib sandwich. Lunch hours: Monday through Friday 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.; dinner Monday through Saturday 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. www.noliarestaurant.com.
• Under new management and new name in Ayrsley Village is Dessert Plus Coffee Bar, 2108 A Ayrsley Town Blvd. Owners Debbie Swartz and Michelle Morton (mom and daughter) have upgraded the menu, added desserts, smoothies, and lemonades as well as live entertainment by acoustic-centric local musicians. Hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. www.dessertpluscoffeebar.com.
• New on the seasonal menu at BRAVO! Cucina Italiana at Northlake Mall is balsamic chicken salad with boursin; wood-grilled steak salad with Gorgonzola and horseradish dressing; and grilled shrimp with fregola and arugula.
• Chef Dar Amidi of Harper's Restaurant at Carolina Place Mall has created a four-course Samuel Adams beer dinner; cost is $30 per person and starts at 6:30 p.m. June 11. The menu includes items like horseradish crusted tuna, and honey porter and thyme roasted leg of lamb. Reservations: 704-541-5255. www.harpersrestaurants.com.