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Piedmont

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winedine Sep 11, 2007 03:12 PM

Enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Piedmont in Durham Sunday night.
401 Foster (or Morgan?) street, it is near the intersection of the two.

We have been before, but this meal was exceptional. There were 4 of us so we were able to try many things.

rosemarie cocktail - rosemary syrup, grapefruit juice, gin was refreshing and loved the dried cherries ? on the bottom, a play on olives.
I think all house specialty cocktails were $7.

Housemade Pate - made from pork shoulder in house. very good

3 apps
Garlic Sausage with lentils -very nice flavor, assume sausage was housemade. very good

Salad with herbs and rsted shallot vinaigrette- loved it, greens were very tender, herbs added a wonderful brightness, vin. was very good as well. (I think the emphasis is local, fresh ingredients, organic if possible. Am not sure if this was the case with this dish, but I think it was from the quality and freshness)

Gnocchi with wild mushroom ragu - lots lobster mushrooms, not sure what others were. This was the least favorite, although it was still good. The gnocchi were a bit heavy.

Entrees
Duck Confit with white beans, collards, - duck was perfectly crispy, beans cooked til just done - collards tender. Husband wouldn't share much. Beyond excellent

Local Shrimp Risotto - housemade crispy pancetta made this dish for me with a nice peppery broth. I don't think it was arborio rice, more like a carolina rice. Not starchy that you would expect when you see 'risotto'. Nice cherry tomatoes too. Excellent

Eggplant Parm with Polenta - WOW, and the woman that ordered this is very picky, only eats half, etc and she polished off the whole thing. Eggplant had a very pleasant thick crust, polenta was really more like a whole grain grits, fresh tom. sauce, very very good

Lasagna with bechamel -served piping hot in gratin dish. I would say the pasta was made in house. Very satisfying - only had 1 bite though.

Because everyone ate ALL their food, there was no room for dessert. The prices were about $5 for each dessert though. I would have gotten the rosemary panna cotta and the other choice would have been the chocolate pecan tart.

Prices were (from what I remember) $7 for pate, $6 for salad, $8 for lentil/sausage dish, $8 gnocchi
Most entrees were in mid teens that we ordered. Wine selection was limited, but well chosen. We enjoyed two bottles of a Satenay for $50 ea. I noticed they also took the time to chill the red wine a bit, which was appreciated

Service was slow to start, mostly getting the cocktails - same thing happened last time we were there - maybe the bar is just slow.

Warehouse type feeling inside restaurant with an open balcony type upstairs for additional seating. I imagine it would be loud if it was full. Very pleasant, comfortable in jeans or dressed up.

  1. tacostacoseverywhere Sep 13, 2007 01:57 PM

    Thanks winedine for the detailed review! I must say, Piedmont has become a favorite of Mrs. Taco and mine for date night-- great food, decent service, and really cool little wine list. I agree that it can get a touch loud in there when it's full, but it hasn't taken away from our enjoyment of the meal. I also really like how frequently they change their menu--makes for exciting return visits. Looking forward to trying duck confit and the rosemary cocktail next time we're there (if, indeed, it's still on the menu)!

    1 Reply
    1. re: tacostacoseverywhere
      peetoteeto Sep 13, 2007 09:49 PM

      I went a few weeks ago and had the duck confit...this time with nectarines and rocket. It was amazing. Much better than a similar dish in Quebec the week prior!

      Nice review, winedine. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

    2. LulusMom Sep 14, 2007 07:41 AM

      We'd been a few times before, and I was always a fan, but it was our trip a couple of weeks ago that did it for LulusDad. Every bit of the meal was incredible (with the possible exception of the service). They're really on their game right now.

      1. p
        PeterB Sep 14, 2007 06:52 PM

        We (me. my wife, my 16 year old daughter) had a great meal this week also. Didn't go crazy but had some frites and the tomato fennel soup to start. All of us had the papardelle with pork and porcini ragu. Delicious and an amazingly pleasant aftertaste. Can't remember the term (some foodie, eh?) but dessert was a chocolate thing like a firm mousse. They do nice work there and it's an absolute steal at lunch.

        1. rossgrady Sep 16, 2007 07:26 PM

          I'm already fully on-record as a Piedmont fan, but I nevertheless can't resist posting about the meal we had tonight. I've gotten particularly fond of Sunday night supper at the bar at Piedmont (or really, any night at the bar . . . the bartenders always take excellent care of their diners, and you've got the view straight into the kitchen, if that's your thing).

          Tonight I had the aforementioned farmer's lettuce salad with herbs & shallot vinaigrette, and I have to agree that it was outstanding, better than you'd probably imagine a basic lettuce-and-herb salad could/should be.

          I also had the house-cured lomo (dry air-cured pork loin that's cured in salt & then paprika-rubbed), which was phenomenal . . . it was ultra-thin-sliced and served with a drizzle of olive oil, and as I ate a slice, there was the flavor of the oil, replaced by a sweetness, then the pork flavor, then an explosion of smokiness which must've been from the paprika.

          Then, since the pork-belly-and-lentils was on the menu, I had to have it. The lentils at Piedmont are so good, so rich and earthy and satisfying, that I'd happily eat bowlfuls of them without any pork involved. Add in one of Andy's perfect, melt-in-your-mouth tender pork bellies . . .

          My companion had the "local, grass-fed meatballs" (nice image) with tagliatelle. The forkfuls I stole were great: light, fresh pasta, vivid tomato sauce, and meatballs that were flavor-rich all the way through to the center. It was excellent comfort food for the first cool evening of the autumn.

          -----
          Piedmont Restaurant
          401 Foster St, Durham, NC 27701

          1. i
            insectrights Sep 17, 2007 11:31 AM

            This place has hands down, the best breakfast/brunch I've ever had in the triangle. The ham they serve with the croque madame is made in house. Everything tastes fresh and prepared correctly. A lot of places don't hold themselves to the same standard for brunch as they do dinner, but here this is not the case. Also, for the first time in my NC dining experience we had a knowledgeable server. To top it off, it was just around $35 for two and we left full and slightly buzzed(caffeine and alcohol). I hope this place makes other restaurants in the area step up their game a little bit because right now they're putting everyone else in their category to shame.

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