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Raleigh/Durham/CH Suggestions Needed for BDay Dinner

I get the choose the restaurant for my birthday dinner, and I'm kind of at a loss as to where to go - I'm tired of the old standards so I need some suggestions.

I'm tired of Lantern, Elaine's, FourSquare, and Magnolia Grill. I've eaten at Piedmont and Rue Cler pretty recently. I also just ate at J. Betskis (LOVED, highly recommend), so it seems too soon to hit it up again.

So, here's the list I've come up with as potential dinner spots:

Nana's or Provence- I haven't eaten at either in over a year - any recent experiences?
Bonne Soiree, Bin 54, Jujube - Never eaten at these

Anywhere else that I should think about? Where would you eat faced with these restraints?

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  1. i could eat at nanas everyday. i havent been there in about 6 mos though, although it would shock me to find that it had slipped AT ALL since then.

    1. I love Bin 54, and I'm not even a red meat eater (but my husband, who is, also loves it). Bonne Soiree just got listed as one of the best restaurants in the US in Bon Appetite, which might make it hard to get into (and that aside, while I liked the food, i found the atmosphere fairly stuffy). Jujube is great and much lower key than either of these.

      2 Replies
      1. re: LulusMom

        Metro 8
        Blu Seafood

        Both on or near 9th Street


        1. re: steveindurham2

          I have Tonali on my regular to try list - with the mixed reviews and comments about interior, I think it would be a miss for a special dinner.

      2. Of the ones you mentioned, and I must say I don't think your list should be limited to these, but of the ones you mentioned, I'd pick Bonne Soiree in a heartbeat. Lovely atmosphere, nice owner/hostess. I recommend the wine-tasting to go with your meal, it allows your owner/hostess to interact with you in a very nice way.

        The food is great, the atmosphere is semi-formal without being stuffy at all (imho), and voila, you had a great time....

        1 Reply
        1. re: fussycouple

          What do you suggest outside of the list?

        2. I'm so glad to hear that Provence hasn't changed. The description you gave are the reasons that I've kept going back to it over the years; I just haven't been in a while due to a baby in the family now.

          1. What kind of food do you love? That would help since it's *your* birthday. (Happy BD, btw!)

            How about Acme? Provence is good but I prefer Vin Rouge on Ninth Street. Second Empire in Raleigh? I've wanted to try it but haven't. Fearrington is also amazing.

            1 Reply
            1. re: AnnandBailey

              I love food! In general, I really am looking for excellent service, fresh ingredients and attention to detail. We went ahead and made reservations at Bonne Soiree, but may cancel and go somewhere else, and I hadn't even considered Fearrington - I haven't been there in a few years. That could be a good option.

              I think that Vin Rouge is good, but totally different than Provence - I don't think they have the same level of service or very similar menus. I do enjoy both.

            2. I would strongly suggest Herons at the Umstead in Cary, on the SAS campus. Just had a wonderful dinner there this week. Service, which had been an issue, is greatly improved. Saw you liked Provence, I think the Maitre d' from there is now at Heron's. You can google them and look at the current menu on line. Our stellar selections included the goat milk agnilotti (sp?), the Foie gras which was beyond superb, the beef carpaccio, and a wonderful truffle custard with duck rilletes. That was just apps! Prices for apps are in the high teens, salads around $12, entrees in the 25-38 range. Be sure to save room for dessert as well. They are also known for great, but expensive cocktails. The bar area is very nice too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: winedine

                Margaux's, Jibarra and Fins are 3 other choices in Raleigh.