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Jul 14, 2007 09:10 AM

New restaurants in Durham

So what's the scoop on Blu Seafood and Bar (next to Vin Rouge) in Durham? Also, I read somewhere that a former Nasher cafe chef has opened a place on Broad. Does anyone know anything about this?

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  1. Have not made it to Blu yet, but the menu looks good. Very Floridian..... Amy Tornquist is opening "Watts Grocery" on broad st. next to the Green Room. I've heard an opening date of August or September is most likely. She is calling it a gastropub focusing on local ingredients.

    4 Replies
    1. re: chops

      I went to Dain's place on 9th Street and have to say I was happy with the cheeseburger I got - 8 oz burger with cheddar cheese, lettuce (whole green leaf, red onion, jalapenos and tabasco). The bun was freshly baked as well. Came with chips which I didn't eat, pickle and cherry pepper for $ 6.25. I'll be back - good selection of beers as well.

      1. re: chops

        Went to Blu last Monday 7-23 ... love that they are open on Mondays, unlike so many other places. Had the Yellow Tail baked whole -- delicious! The chef was most gracious, the staff very friendly, and the music lo and peaceful (again, unlike so many other places). My wife liked the choice of three dining areas (we chose the aircoonditioned patio this time). We plan to visit again tonight (this Monday!) and share the Pomano. Very high marks from us.


        The chef/owner, Tim Lyons, is from Key West, and the place is *not* Giorgios-related. Here's a little blurb from the N&O:

        And that's all I know.

        Blu Seafood
        2002 Hillsborough Road, Durham, NC 27705

        7 Replies
        1. re: rossgrady

          Thanks, that's great info. Isn't Durham great?

          1. re: suse

            The reference to Dain's was due to the New restaurants in Durham heading. It's mainly has bar food but just thught it should be mentioned.

            1. re: steveindurham2

              Is the place called Dain's? Any more info?

              1. re: LulusMom

                It's called Dain's Place. 2 doors down from Charlies in the old Peek-a Boo grill location. Basically burgers and such. Many options for toppings. They carry the Foothills Brewing Co. beers as well.

                  1. re: _V_

                    Friends and I checked out Dain's for lunch last Friday. We really enjoyed our burgers. The buns did taste freshly baked and were softer than most places. The burger was big and the toppings tasted fresh. A good test is whether the tomato tastes like a tomato and here it did. Even though the pattie was cooked through so that there was no pink it was still juicy and flavorful. I thought $1.99 was bit much to sub fries for the chips. I'm glad I stuck with the chips because the burger filled me up.

                    Dain's is a good addition for Durham.

              2. re: steveindurham2

                No, that's cool. I'm glad you brought it up. I just hadn't heard about it before. Thanks for the info.

          2. Four collegues and I went to Blu for lunch yesterday. Three ordered the New England style shrimp roll, one ordered fish (talapia) and chips, and I got the oyster po boy. Overall, the meal left much to be desired. The shrimp roll filling tasted like a combo of shrimp and imitation crab meat and was very bland-- like they forgot to season it with salt. My po boy was pretty good but rather small portion for ~$9 sandwich (a more satiisfying oyster po boy can be had at Fishmongers nearby if you are willing to risk a long wait time). The best deal by far is the fish and chips, which looked to be a whole side of boneless talapia. But by chips-- which we all got, by the way-- they don't mean it as the Brits do, i.e., thick cut fries, but actual chips they make themselves. The chips were overfried perhaps because they were sliced too thin. They were brown rather than golden and thus had a bitter aftertaste. The ubequitous cole slaw side was okay. The iced coffee that I ordered didn't arrive until well into my meal, but I was told they had to brew it, and the service was otherwise fine. None of us got dessert-- it looked overpriced and the choices weren't intriguing (e.g., $6.50 for chocolate brownie with ice cream).

            I will caveat this post by saying this was lunch and so perhaps the head chef wasn't even doing the cooking. It's quite possible that their dinner quality is a whole different ballgame. But that said, working in Durham I like to check out prospects by having lunch first to see if they excite me. After having lunches at Piedmont and Rue Cler when they first opened I was very eager to go back and have dinner there. I can't say the same about Blu, which is really too bad because more good seafood places are really needed in the Triangle.

            4 Replies
            1. re: bbqme

              Damn. I was going to go get lunch there next week. Oh well.

              1. re: termite

                Please don't let my post dessuade you from trying Blu. I would be curious to know whether my experience was an exception.

                1. re: bbqme

                  ok, I'll give it a shot and report back next week.

                  1. re: bbqme

                    I've been to Blu a few times for dinner and once for lunch (just this week). While I can't be sure, it didn't look like the head chef was in the kitchen during lunch. Dinner is definitely better, so don't count out Blu until you've tried dinner.

              2. So I finally made it to Dain's Place. I had been craving a burger for some time - you know how there's nothing worse than when you're really craving one and then you finally venture into burger land and end up disappointed.... this was NOT the case at Dain's. What a fun little place and the burger was exactly what I had been craving. I know where I'll be going the next time I have a craving.