I want to know more about those collard green and bacon fritters…new chefs at Littler in Durham bring quite a pedigree

The refined and artful restaurant Littler in Durham, NC has reopened after two years, with two talented new chefs at the helm — Chef Elizabeth Murray and Pastry Chef Tanya Matta. Prior to joining Littler, Murray served as Executive Chef at Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn, the award-winning luxury hotel in Big Sur, California, and Matta held the role of Executive Pastry Chef at The Grey, the award-winning restaurant in Savannah, Georgia. Littler will be open from 5-10pm Wednesday through Saturday. Reservations will soon be live on RESY.

Photo courtesy of JNK PublicRelations
by Forrest Mason

Reflecting the Piedmont region of North Carolina, the menu offers guests delicate North Carolina bluefin tuna crudo with beetroot and benne seed, rich house made carrot cavatelli with harissa yogurt, and crispy collard green and bacon fritters. Entrees include a vibrantly adorned roasted cauliflower, Murray’s southern fish cassoulet anointed with squid ink aioli and smoked trout roe and hanger steak a la plancha served alongside cheesy rosemary grits. Comforting sides like creamy kale with quinoa and roasted garlic and mini parker house loaves made with heirloom grain round out the meal. Meanwhile, beloved longtime dishes – the Latkes Benedict, Gray’s Lamb Burger and oysters on the half shell — return, updated. To complete the dining experience, Matta’s desserts — including the beautiful red currant mousse complemented by vanilla-roasted strawberries, shortbread cookie, toasted meringue and red currant granita – are also works of art, and best paired with dessert wine selected by General Manager Adrienne Stacy.

Ah, Yes, the Artists: About the Chefs

Chef Elizabeth Murray
 – a Blowing Rock-Boone native – brings her extensive culinary experience from around the world to Littler. Most recently, Murray served as Executive Chef at Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn. Prior, Murray cooked at the two Michelin-star Coi in San Francisco under famed Chef Daniel Patterson, where she learned the nuances of flavor.  Her earliest chef mentor was Trey Foshee at Georges at the Cove in La Jolla, California where she celebrated Chino Farms and all the sea had to offer. 

A Durham native, Tanya Matta joins the team — spearheading the pastry programs at Littler, Pizzeria Toro and Jack Tar & The Colonel’s Daughter — with a star-studded career in the pastry arts. Her passion for pastry began twenty years ago at two of the South’s most celebrated fine dining restaurants – first at Seeger’s, followed by Bacchanalia – both in Atlanta, Georgia. In New York City, Matta worked alongside mentor and James Beard award-winning pastry chef, Claudia Fleming, at the famed Gramercy Tavern, then again at Todd English’s Olives.

Left to right: Pastry Chef Tanya Matta, Chef Elizabeth Murray. Photo courtesy of JNK PublicRelations by Forrest Mason

Courtesy of JNK PublicRelations

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