Krill's bar.
Forrest Mason

Krill’s name pays tribute to the small fish known for nourishing an entire ecosystem, similar to how this small restaurant hopes to nourish the community.

James Beard Nominee Giorgios Bakatsias Opens Southeast Asian Restaurant in Durham, North Carolina

Giorgios Bakatsias – NC’s most prolific restaurateur, James Beard Foundation semifinalist nominee for “Outstanding Restauranteur” and NCRLA’s “Restaurateur of the Year” – announces the opening of Krill with Chef/Partner Jason Lawless today. Krill’s name pays tribute to the small fish known for nourishing an entire ecosystem, similar to how this small restaurant hopes to nourish the community. The opening of Krill this week marks the 11th restaurant in Giorgios Hospitality Group, and the first of several to open this year. Krill is now accepting reservations at Open Table.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to have Chef Jason Lawless and such a diverse team on board; Jason re-energized Parizade when he took the helm in 2016 – elevating our flagship Mediterranean restaurant, and together, we’ve spent years dreaming and planning Krill as a way to celebrate Jason’s talent and our love for Asian cuisine,” says Bakatsias. “This is going to be a wonderful playground for sharing the beautiful journey of discovery of Asian flavor and culture, without boundaries or limitations. Jason’s menu is intensely delicious, fun and inventive.” 

Krill represents a culmination in Lawless’s culinary career. He brings unique training from significant career stints with two of America’s pioneering chefs – Singapore born Swiss Chef Gray Kunz – who helped introduce Asian fusion flavors to the United States and received international praise for his dishes combining Asian and French flavors and techniques, and Chef Floyd Cardoz, who introduced a groundbreaking temple of Indian cuisine known for exotic spices and flavor.

Lawless served as Executive Sous Chef of Gray Kunz’ Café Gray and Chef de Partie at Chef Cardoz’s Tabla, and received additional training with some of the most well-known chefs in the world -- including acclaimed Alain Ducasse at MIX in New York City and Stephan Pyles’ at Star Canyon in Dallas. A seasoned leader in the kitchen, prior to leading the team at Parizade, Lawless also served as Executive Chef at Tocqueville and One White Street in New York City, and in Vermont at the Woodstock Inn & Resort. While directing the menu and team at Krill, Lawless will continue to serve as Executive Chef at Parizade, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary this Fall. 

“I was so fortunate to work with these late, great chefs, Gray Kunz and Floyd Cardoz -- both of whom we lost too soon, recently. Training with them inspired a love affair with the flavors and techniques of Asia and India, so it’s incredibly exciting to be finally bringing a restaurant and menu to life that reflects their influence,” says Lawless, whose menu offers twists on Asian inspired street food such as Blistered Miso Shishitos with furikake aioli and sesame seeds, Pork Buns with adobo and pickled vegetables, Uni Udon with mussels, sweet sake and scallions, and Grilled Chicken with kimchi vinaigrette. 

Krill’s concise menu is designed for sharing, and divided evenly between Hot and Cold starters, Wok, Noodles, Skewers and Large Plates. Krill’s signature wok-fried rice -- which cleverly combines Chinese, Filipino, Thai and Japanese influences with the addition of fermented crab and shrimp paste, Chinese sausage, cilantro, Thai basil and shaved bonito -- is not to be missed, as well as the Crispy Whole Fish with a Singapore style papaya salad with citrus, toasted coriander and mustard seed. Look for fresh East-meets-West cocktails like Peaches & Dreams where Tennessee Whiskey mixes with unfiltered sake, peach puree and kalamansi – and features a sugared ube rim. From approachable sake, beer, wine and craft cocktails, to dishes from traditional woks and the charcoal grill, and house made sambal and nam pla on every table, every taste at krill is sure to be vibrant and evocative of the flavorful street foods of Asia. 

As with all GHG restaurants, visionary restauranteur Giorgios Bakatsias is responsible for designing the 2400 square foot space, featuring design elements signature to Giorgios Group restaurants – including a transporting setting and lush covered garden patio. From the convivial dining room with giant lanterns overhead and murals by artist Arianne Hemlein, to the view of the bustling kitchen from the bar – designed by John Taylor, to the lemongrass and bamboo garden outside, Krill’s high energy setting is ideal for the bold flavors of Lawless’s Asian inspired street food.

Krill is located at 506 Ramsuer Street and welcomes reservations for indoor dining via Open Table and walk-in’s Tuesday-Thursday from 5-9pm and Friday-Saturday for dinner from 5-10pm. (Lunch and Take-Out will be introduced in the coming weeks, and Krill will soon be open daily.) Seating is available indoors for 50, outdoors in the bamboo garden for 50 and for 12 at the bar. And don’t miss the view of the chefs at work from the bar. Parking is available on-site.

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