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Thursday Night In Durham

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The missus and I are going out on the town Thursday night in Durham, NC. There are a few old posts asking the age-old question, "Where should we go?", but I was wondering if we could update the answers. I am looking for a killer dinner and some very nice vino. To help narrow it down, we would like to stay within the $50 PPA range, if possible. I appreciate any and all input.

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  1. I had a beautiful piece of swordfish with a spicy-sweet caponata at Piedmont last week; it was clean-your-plate delicious. I'm not a wine drinker, but my friends who are have generally had good things to say about the wine selection. The fish was ~$20; the apps are in the $7-$12 range, so with a couple of glasses of wine apiece, that's your ballpark.

    I'm such a fan of the country pate (and/or the duck-liver mousse, when it's on the menu) that I wind up ordering it every time, regardless of how well it might pair with my main course. Always seems to work out.

    I still haven't had dinner at Rue Cler (we had a couple of meh lunches there, and thus my SO is less-than-enthused about giving dinner a try) but most everyone has glowing things to say about it. I will say that the bread from their in-house bakery is the best in the Triangle.

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    Piedmont Restaurant
    401 Foster St, Durham, NC 27701

    Rue Cler Restaurant
    401 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

    1 Reply
    1. re: rossgrady

      I'm a big fan of both the places Ross has just mentioned. But both have limited wine by the glass options (if you're not going with a bottle), especially Rue Cler. Still and all, I've had very nice wines by the glass at both.

    2. I've had good lunches at Rue Cler, but the one time we went for dinner (Valentine's), the service was very mediocre and I wasn't particularly impressed by the food.

      Piedmont, on the other hand, has always provided a wonderful experience. I've been there about five times now and it's definitely in my top three in the triangle. Rue Cler is nowhere near, imho.

      4 Replies
      1. re: termite

        We haven't been to Piedmont yet because we are so fond of Rue Cler. We nearly always get the salmon which is thin and moist and wonderful. Mussels are terrific and probably the best food bargain in the Triangle ($8, c'mon, can you do it at home for less?). 3-Course dinner for $25 is great way to see what the kitchen can do. I like that you can order the courses on the 3-Course dinner a la carte if something sounds wonderful. And service has always been friendly and attentive. I also like the fact that there's just one menu for lunch or dinner. And the bread, as someone else mentioned, is fresh and fabulous.

        We're planning to go to Piedmont one of these days. It's just to bad that Rue Cler is right on the way. We can't drive by without stopping.

        1. re: yahooer

          Gotta agree with you on the mussels. They are really good.

          Having said that: put on some good music that will distract you when passing RC and get to Piedmont. You won't be disappointed :)

          1. re: yahooer

            For $8, I'll go with the War Wan Ton soup at Jujube as best deal in the Triangle. A 9" diameter bowl arrives with delicious broth chock full of shitake mushrooms, chinese sausage, and 5-6 pork dumplings with some sort of Chinese greens. Easily a meal in itself.

            1. re: bbqme

              Also recommend Metro 8 on Ninth Street. Great churassco and tuna dishes there complete with brocollini. Well within your price range as well. I have been very pleased with my dinners there.