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Raleigh - Fancy Restaurants

Hey, this NYCer is going home to Raleigh for Christmas. What are some of the nicer restaurants in town these days?

Been to Margaux ... eh.

I'd like something like Nana's -- but in Raleigh.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

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  1. Well, pretty much everyone-I-know raves nonstop about Enoteca Vin: http://www.enotecavin.com/

    I had a really nice meal the other night at J. Betski's ( http://www.jbetskis.com/ ), although I'd recommend the apps we had (the salmon, the pierogies, the arugula & the kielbasa) over the entree (a nice piece of trout that was maybe a little too drowned in butter; reminded me a lot of a similar dish I'd had at Magnolia Grill a few years ago, actually, which left me feeling equally "meh" about it). But it's not Nanas level of "nice".

    There's a lot of buzz about Jibarra (http://www.jibarra.net ) but as I haven't been, I can't really say much about it. Little more here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/309456

    If you feel like doing more research yourself, you can go to http://www.triangle.com/dining and use the advanced search -- select Raleigh (All) (and I'd go ahead & add Cary to that), and then do Sort By: Stars. What you'll wind up with is N&O critic Greg Cox's top picks in the area. I find his reviews to be difficult to suss a lot of the time -- half the time his tastes seem in sync with me, but the other half he's way off -- so I wouldn't necessarily rely on his star-ratings per se . . . but it'd give you a list of names to plug into the Chowhound search box up there.

    1. There is a Nana's Chophouse in Raleigh now. Raleigh Hounds may wish to chime in on this. I haven't been.

      1. The "nice" I guess meaning high end restaurants in Raleigh these days are Vin, Fins, Bloomsbury Bistro, Second Empire and probably others I am forgetting. I may also add a new entry, Riviera, which is downtown and not as fancy, but the food is wonderful. Not everyone agrees on all of these all of the time (except maybe Vin) so you should do a search.

        I agree with you that Margeaux's is "eh", but I know some who RAVE about it.

        1. I have had good meals at Enoteca Vin and a so-so meal at Nana's Chophouse, which used to be associated with Nana's in Durham but isn't any more. It was ok, but a little steep I thought for what i had. Steak i believe.

          Fraziers on Hillsborough is pretty good and so is Porter's next door, though a little more casual.

          People were very excited for 18 seaboard which recently opened. The lighting and ambiance are pretty nice but i thought the meal was not very exciting, more hype then good food. I went with my parents back in October and my father ordered the scallop and grape appetizer. The app came on swewers sticking out of a piece of wood which was interesting but the scallops were minescule and the grapes were supposed to be muscat's but in reality were red grapes. It was neat to look at but only so-so to eat. My cheese grits were a blob that looked like it was scooped with an icecream scoop and had retained that shape but the broccoli with a creme fresh sauce was wonderful.

          I went to Rue Cler last saturday night and had a great meal but it is in Durham.

          1. See, I knew I was forgetting something. Fraziers is up there with Vin as great and reliably so, in my book.

            1. thanks all. These were names of places I saw on Citysearch, Cityguide, etc. but I'd never been so I wasn't sure. I might give Enoteca or Frazier's a try based on menus.

              1. I have not been impressed with Nana's Chop house

                Would you consider going to Duck & Dumpling?

                1. I used to live in Raleigh and absolutely adored Vin. I miss it still -- I'm in Durham now and don't make the drive often. I have posted on the many merits of Piedmont on this board in the past, and they hold true, but I would still say that if you're trying to stay in Raleigh, Vin is the way to go. And by all means, get there early and have some cheese, wine, olives, and bliss in the lounge area before your meal. Cheers!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: shoneycu

                    Just FYI, the "lounge" area has been replaced with tables, but the bar is still pretty great. Still make great drinks, for those who want a cockttail!

                  2. I'll second Vin. Never been even slightly disappointed there. Still trying to find the opportunity to get to Piedmont, though. Sounds very much worth the drive.

                    1. It will be interesting to see the new menu at Vin once it's worked out. It's my understanding that the chef is reworking it -- someone referred to it as being somewhat similar to what Tom Colicchio at Craft in NY does -- call it "Craft Light" or "Craft Plus." Whatever. I do know that the chef is back to Vin full time, so she'll really kick some butt.