Southern Agenda

Family-Style Dining

Chef Sunny Gerhart has long been experimenting with pasta at his Raleigh restaurant, St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar, and diners can try his top success stories when he opens Olivero on a cobblestone-lined corner of downtown Wilmington later this spring. His legacy will wind through the handmade pastas and paella inspired by his grandparents’ origins, and season the jambalaya influenced by his childhood in the Big Easy. “I’m learning more about Italian and Spanish food and what that means through a New Orleans lens,” Gerhart says. “And that just happens to be a part of my family’s story.” Gerhart dedicated his old-world-style restaurant to his mother and named it after her father, a sailor who immigrated to New Orleans from Seville and married into an Italian family. He’ll anoint the centerpiece of Olivero’s open kitchen—a wood-burning grill, visible from the intimate dining room—with juicy steaks and Carolina-caught fish.