An in Cary

From coat check upon arrival to the presentation of each dish served, modern Asian restaurant An exudes a commitment to providing an extraordinary dining experience. It’s a focused passion driven by Steven Devereaux Greene, the establishment’s executive chef, and it quickly becomes evident to each person who comes through the doors.

“We want to provide a place where the community can get quality food and service that’s refined but not stuffy,” said Greene during a recent sit-down conversation. “We also aspire to be a restaurant where the employees are happy and look forward to coming to work.”

Not surprisingly, the contentment of An’s staff members shines through in their smiling faces and eager-to-please deportment.

“We have an unbelievable team in the front and the back of the house that make An truly unique,” Greene said.

Executive Chef Steven Devereaux Greene carefully prepares a dish using ingredients sourced locally and around the world.

A versatile chef from Ninety Six, S.C., Greene was captivated with cooking from the time he was 16. He began his career at Charleston’s elegant 82 Queen, where he ascended to the role of sous chef. He continued cutting his culinary teeth at The Holy City’s McCrady’s and then down the road a bit at five-star-rated Woodlands Resort & Inn. Greene’s inventive techniques helped him rise from sous chef to chef de cuisine. In the ensuing years, he refined his skills under the tutelage of esteemed chef Ken Vedrinski in Charleston and Scott Crawford, executive chef at Herons in The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary.

Greene’s global travels, particularly to Malaysia and Thailand, inspired him to begin putting an innovative spin on Asian-influenced food.

“I’ve been fortunate to do some cooking stages overseas where I learned how to be more efficient in everything from food preparation to managing a kitchen,” he said.

Among the chef’s most imaginative creations is the Salmon Tartare, which he revealed as his favorite dish. Precisely prepared using a blowtorch for charring, the tartare contains Kobocha squash, shiso, coconut, burdock root, Japanese sudachi fruit and barrel-aged maple syrup.

Left: The marinated Hamachi fish entrée features bamboo rice, almonds, house-made preserved lemon, lump crab and green curry.

Right: The bar is well-stocked with locally crafted and imported libations.

“It’s a dish with delicate flavors and textures, but its refinement represents where I am with my cooking nowadays,” Greene said.  

Eclectic fish entrée marinated Hamachi is artfully composed with bamboo rice, almonds, house-made preserved lemon, lump crab and green curry. Berkshire pork features a no-holds-barred ginger-glazed loin and belly amid smoked apples, sweet and sour eggplant, gai lan (Chinese kale) and purple kimchee.

Greene said An’s bill of fare changes with the seasons. Some menu items such as pan-fried pork potstickers and Thai osso buco wings with toasted cashews are popular year-round staples.

Ingredients are sourced from around the world and down the street.

“Some fresh juices are flown in from Japan, but we get fresh wasabi root grown in Oregon,” Greene said. “We try to source produce and meats locally.”  

Greene was quick to acknowledge that he always continues honing his craft. Much of his education emanates from within the experienced kitchen at An.

“My sous chef ‘Homey’ is a 62-year-old Vietnamese man who’s been here from the beginning,” he said. “He’s probably made 10,000 pad Thai and fried rice dishes, and I’ve learned so much from him.”

There’s also a female cook from China who makes dumplings by hand. Talented executive sous chef Josh Hughes followed Greene from Herons. The sushi chef boasts 15 years of experience, and pastry chef Francisco Almaguer churns out exquisite tarts, torts and seasonal sorbets along with the best chocolate chip macadamia cookies you’ll ever taste.

Inside the dining room, a high ceiling and striking light fixtures convey a stylish, wordly ambiance.
Beverage director Anthony Guerra helps guide patrons as they choose from among nearly 500 bottles of available wine.

“We are always trying to get some different flavor profiles that work well with the food,” Guerra said. Local craft beers and specialty cocktails also pair nicely with the cuisine.

Seating at the sushi bar lends guests a view of the skilled chefs crafting artfully presented sushi.

It should come as no surprise that An’s décor is posh but accessible. The dining room’s lofty ceiling is reinforced by striking mahogany columns. Softly illumined contemporary fixtures create a casually romantic vibe. A vintage canoe hovers above the bar area. Fresh flowers appear on each table, and imported tableware enriches the overall ambiance.

A spacious outdoor patio with stone fireplace provides an informal alternative dining spot. Several private rooms with movable walls are available for special functions, which are all overseen by Sammie Vong, An’s events coordinator.

Just outside, a tranquil patio provides a relaxed spot for a casual dining experience.

An is open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner and Saturday for dinner only. The restaurant is closed on Sunday. Reservations are accepted by phone or by using OpenTable online.

The Arboretum at Weston
2800 Renaissance Park Place, Cary
(919) 677-9229

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