Top Chef alum Katsuji Tanabe will open his Cary restaurant A’Verde at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 18, 2022. The space and the menu reflect Tanabe’s youth in Mexican City with Mexican and Japanese parents. Customers can expect octopus tacos, cohinita pibil, and plenty of local vegetables from okra to butternut squash. “I’m not trying to make a fusion, but I was raised with soy sauce, fish sauce, and togarashi in the kitchen,” he told Eater Carolinas, “So this is Mexican food through the lens of a Mexican-Japanese chef.”
Located at at 2300 Walnut Street, the interiors are splashed in green, from the walls to the plants, to the veladoras on the tables — the name is A’Verde, after all. The restaurant group behind the new venture, LM Restaurants, wanted the interiors to be bright and colorful to reflect the boldness of Tanabe’s menu. Reclaimed mirrors, hanging baskets, and plenty of aged kitchen boards features make for a rustic an homey space. There’s also surprises like the modern Frida Kahlo mural from artist Arianne Hemlein in the tequila room lined with numerous bottles.
Take a tour of the A’Verde before the opening on Friday.