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Raleigh, NC- LUNCH- Very Special Occasion

k
km4874 Jun 20, 2007 07:20 PM

Help! I am getting married in a couple of weeks and I need to find a special place for my new husband and I to take our 2 small children to lunch after the ceremony. The kids are 4 and 7 and well behaved but we don't want to go to a place that is stuffy. We were thinking of a place like Maggiano's but we don't want to drive all the way out to Durham. Any one out there have any good suggestions? Italian or American food would probably be best with the kids and I am hoping we can find a place with good desserts. Thanks!

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  1. aeron75 RE: km4874 Jun 21, 2007 08:13 AM

    You could try Hayes Barton Cafe & Dessertery in Five Points (http://www.hayesbartoncafe.com/). The kids might enjoy the 1940's retro/movie decor and the cakes are a mile high. Congrats!

    4 Replies
    1. re: aeron75
      j
      jsb23nc RE: aeron75 Jun 21, 2007 09:33 AM

      Hmmm...lunch makes it more difficult. You could try Cafe Luna (Italian) in Moore Square (though, I actually prefer 518 West).

      1. re: aeron75
        k
        km4874 RE: aeron75 Jun 22, 2007 06:53 AM

        a

        1. re: aeron75
          k
          km4874 RE: aeron75 Jun 22, 2007 06:54 AM

          I checked out their website and it looks like they just have basic sandwiches for lunch and daily specials. Is that true or do they offer more than that? This is a good idea- thank you!

          1. re: km4874
            j
            jsb23nc RE: km4874 Jun 22, 2007 06:57 AM

            IIRC, they offer pasta dishes at lunch, too. I'll see what I can find out.

        2. Tehama RE: km4874 Jun 21, 2007 11:42 AM

          Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

          I would suggest for American you go to Nelson's in Cameron Village, or for more Italian fare, Vivace at North Hills. http://www.vivaceraleigh.com/ and http://www.nelsonsrestaurant.com/

          3 Replies
          1. re: Tehama
            k
            km4874 RE: Tehama Jun 22, 2007 06:51 AM

            I have never heard of either- thank you. I checked out their websites and Nelson's isn't open for lunch. Thanks for the italian referral. I really like Claudio's off Creedmoor but I have been there so much it wouldn't be really different and special.

            1. re: km4874
              b
              BBQJoe RE: km4874 Jun 22, 2007 09:06 AM

              Since you were considering Maggiano's, I would put Cheesecake Factory or PF Chang's into play. Kid friendly and CF has good desserts your kids would enjoy. Congrats.

              1. re: km4874
                Tehama RE: km4874 Jun 22, 2007 10:28 AM

                Hey there.... Unless I am totally losing my mind, Nelsons recently did begin opening for lunch. If it looks like a place you would like to try out, give them a call and see if they did start opening for lunch. I *think* I saw a sign to that effect outside one day not too long ago. Maybe Nelsons just didn't update their website yet??? Congrats again!

            2. c
              cackalackie RE: km4874 Jun 22, 2007 11:08 AM

              One of my go-to places for the whole family (it's a chain, but......) is Firebird's in North Hills. They are likely open all day.

              They have one of the best kids' menus in town - as in, a delicious grilled sirloin steak (my 7-year-old always gets hers medium rare....she likes it "juicy") for $7.95. The steak comes with your choice of two sides from quite a long list like steamed veggies, carrots, salad, fries, fruit, etc).

              It's a nice atmosphere, very open and mountain-lodgey. It's quite noisy, although that's usually a benefit when we have the 3-year-old. The service is good - all the servers are very professional and know their stuff.

              It's also one of those places where you get the fresh bread on a wooden thingy that you slice yourself. And they've got the typical dessert tray with a little of everything.

              I don't know if Tina is still the manager, but she always takes care of us. She's one of those who makes you feel welcome and remembers the kids names even if you go there once a year.

              And yeah - Congratulations!

              1. y
                yahooer RE: km4874 Jun 24, 2007 02:45 AM

                I'd choose 518 West in a minute. Off Glenwood. Open Mon-Sat for lunch. Nice atmosphere like an Italian villa with lots of nooks and crannies and natural light. Good service and really good food. I'd recommend any one of the specials - in fact, I went to the website to check on which days they were open for lunch and the crab cakes sound so good I just might have to go before the menu changes on Wednesday.

                Their pizzas are dinner plate size and the kids could probably split one. Pasta dishes are terrific, even the spaghetti and meat balls. Seafood is always wonderful. Deserts are very special. As you can tell, I like 518 a lot and have been going since they opened. We've never been disappointed. And with a new specials menu every week, we've never been bored.

                4 Replies
                1. re: yahooer
                  k
                  km4874 RE: yahooer Jun 26, 2007 09:12 AM

                  Thank you everyone! 518 is on my short list and Bella Monica was also recommended. Any thoughts on Bella?

                  1. re: km4874
                    Tehama RE: km4874 Jun 27, 2007 04:39 AM

                    I love Bella Monica! In fact, I didn't know they were open for lunch, but dinner has always been very consistent and a wonderful medley of flavors. However, as much as I adore their food, the tables are very close together, and that may not give you the privacy you need to celebrate your wedding. If you are close to Edwards Mill/Blue Ridge, swing by and scope it out. They do have a couple of tables in the long hallway on the way to the restroom (I know, a little weird) where you could have more privacy.

                    1. re: Tehama
                      v
                      VaNC RE: Tehama Jun 27, 2007 09:29 AM

                      As much as I love Bella Monica, I don't know if I would call it fancy. If you want a fancy, special occasion place and Italian, I would do 518 or Cafe Luna, with Cafe Luna being fancier. From my experience, it serves a full menu for lunch, just smaller servings. They get a business lunch crowd mostly, but I have certainly taken my kids there for lunch, as well as dinner. Assuming they are well mannered and it is a special occasion, Parker Kennedy, the owner, will likely come to your table and make a fuss over them!

                      1. re: Tehama
                        k
                        km4874 RE: Tehama Jun 28, 2007 06:32 AM

                        I did check it out over the weekend and the host that met us was so kind and helpful. I definitely got a good vibe from him and the place. We are not looking for anything fancy. We want to be comfortable and enjoy a nice meal.

                  2. d
                    dschoonmaker RE: km4874 Jun 27, 2007 07:26 AM

                    You didn't mention what day of the week, but if it happens to be a weekday, consider 18 Seaboard.

                    http://www.18seaboard.com/

                    1. k
                      km4874 RE: km4874 Jul 9, 2007 05:57 AM

                      The wedding was Friday and I wanted to report back to you and thank you for all of your terrific suggestions. I am already planning to try some of you recommendations below. Thank you!

                      We went to Bella Monica for lunch and I was so glad we did. I made reservations which we needed as shortly after noon people were waiting in line. It was a little noisy but perfect for 2 kids that had already been patient enough with us throughout the morning ceremony and pictures. Our server was Danielle, and she was terrific and very attentive to the kids. My son ordered a child's pizza which was huge. He shared with his sister and still managed to bring 2 slices home. My daughter had the spaghetti and meatballs which she enjoyed. They used a skinny fusilli (corkscrew) noodle which was a nice touch. My husband had the cannelloni which was terrific. I had the shrimp scampi but I should have known better. I don't like the taste or the look of the smaller baby shrimp. It tasted good but when I saw the cannelloni and the ziti at the table next to us, I was kicking myself. Oh, we also started with the pear and gorgonzola salad to share and it was wonderful. Overall, it was a great decision and we will be going back.

                      We needed a breather between lunch and dessert but we did make our way over to Edible Art We had the sampler plate which was great- a slice or cake, a slice of pie and a cheesecake for us to all share. They were smaller pieces but more than enough for us. Everything was delicious. My daughter loved the almond and amaretto cake which really surprised me. They were really nice over there too and it was cheap. For the sampler, 2 coffee and an extra brownie it was $10! I wish they were open in the evenings.

                      Thanks again everyone for all of your input and help. I appreciate it!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: km4874
                        Tehama RE: km4874 Jul 9, 2007 10:39 AM

                        Congratulations on your wedding! And, thank you for the thoughtful post. I love Bella Monica, so I am so glad you had it for your special day.

                        I did not know Edible Art did samplers. What a nice tip. Thank you for passing that on!

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