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If you had to recommend 1 restaurant in Raleigh what would it be?

h
heids Sep 8, 2004 10:12 AM

I'm leading the charge for a bachelorette party on the 24th. We are hitting Sullivan's for pre-dinner drinks. The bride hates seafood but loves all the tasty animals that roam the land. She's from San Diego originally and loves Thai food but I understand that is hard to come by here. The party is 8 early 30s women with a limo driving us around.

Any suggestions for a great non-student atmosphere dinner with a broad selection of reasonably priced and great menu items?

thanks in advance!

  1. s
    Sant Sep 8, 2004 11:05 AM

    I recommend 518 West. Very pretty restaurant, great food (Italian/Med/California) at fair prices, good wine list, and near all the happening clubs, bars, etc., in downtown Raleigh.

    http://www.518west.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sant
      h
      heids Sep 8, 2004 01:57 PM

      thanks, Sant! I was *thinking* 528 already so I will probably go with that!

      cheers,
      heids

    2. w
      Windsor Sep 8, 2004 11:02 PM

      On my last visit to Raleigh our Chowhound friends gave me too many places to vist. I took the advise for Shabu Shabu in North Raleigh. It is a blend of Thai/Japanese with two separate restaurants merging the two into a sunken seating bar area serving from both menus. We filled our evening ordering from both menus. We planned on getting up from our soft pillow seats after our first drink. Instead, we kept ordering small plates from the two menus. It was a delightful evening!

      1. j
        Jenn Sep 9, 2004 12:28 PM

        518 has good food and a nice atmosphere, but I think it's a bit noisy. Perhaps because of the open plan of the interior. If you have a group, it's hard to talk to anyone but the person on either side of you without screaming. Caffe Luna has similar food, but is more conducive to conversation. Just my opinion!

        When I saw the header on the initial posting I thought you were asking for the best overall restaurant in Raleigh. I have to tell you that I am not a big fan of Raleigh's dining scene. There are several pretty good places, but not one great place that I love. My favorite restaurant in Raleigh is probably Neomonde Deli. They have the best hummus in the world

        1. j
          Jenn Sep 9, 2004 12:28 PM

          518 has good food and a nice atmospher, but I think it's a bit noisy. Perhaps because of the open plan of the interior. If you have a group, it's hard to talk to anyone but the person on either side of you without screaming. Caffe Luna has similar food, but is more conducive to conversation. Just my opinion!

          When I saw the header on the initial posting I thought you were asking for the best overall restaurant in Raleigh. I have to tell you that I am not a big fan of Raleigh's dining scene. There are several pretty good places, but not one great place that I love. My favorite restaurant in Raleigh is probably Neomonde Deli. They have the best hummus in the world

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jenn
            aphayes Aug 5, 2007 06:17 AM

            I would agree on the 518 noise factor. We had dinner there last night which was very good, but we did have to practically shout at our table of four. We were also seated upstairs where the temperature was about 15-20 degrees hotter than downstairs... afterall heat rises. It was ok until we started eating our hot food, at which point we were uncomfortable. Again, the food was very good and the restaurant is VERY reasonable for its trendy atmosphere. I will definitely be back, just perhaps a night other than Saturday! I should also mention that we had to change our reservation due to friends arriving late from out of town and the host was incredibly friendly when I called.... acting like it was no problem at all. That I really appreciated.

          2. p
            Parsley Aug 5, 2007 03:16 PM

            I'd think about Jibarra. Very sophisticated Mexican, nice room, not as noisy as 518 West and great food. We're from California and feel right at home there. Always good,always interesting.

            1. Tehama Aug 5, 2007 04:12 PM

              Hi!

              I actually think your best choice is Vivace at North Hills (the Lassiter). As move into our 30s, I think the classy atmosphere and food will appeal to you more than other places. The food is excellent, the surroundings elegant, and the service well-mannered.

              If you are absolutely set on downtown Raleigh, my suggestion is actually Prime Only (across from 518 and 42nd St) where you can go to the sushi bar or the dining room. Then you can walk wherever you want. Or in the Warehouse district, Five Star, Nana's or maybe even Humble Pie. You might also like Red Room (Glenwood South) for tapas and a fun atmosphere.

              As with everyone else, while I have always liked 518, it gets very noisy in there.

              Other ideas -- the best Thai, I think, is at Lemongrass WAY in North Raleigh. LOVE Lemongrass, but (a) long drive, and (b) it is in a shopping center, so the ambiance is not killer. Or Cafe Tiramisu on Falls of Neuse for Italian.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Tehama
                Suzy Q Aug 6, 2007 08:23 PM

                I would definitely second Tehama's suggestions - for my "girls nights" we always enjoy both Prime Only and Vivace. Both have a very active bar scene - adults, no students - and good food to boot.

                I'd skip Shaba Shabu - I've been twice and been really disappointed both times. If your group likes sushi/Japanese, then Mura in North Hills is beautiful and has really good sushi, tempura, and Kobe beef.

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