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Apr 7, 2008 09:24 PM

Wilmington NC - Where do YOU dine?

Just found this board! Lived here for 15 years (from NYC) and have watched good food come and go here. We're always looking for a new place to add to our list of favorites. This may be repetition for some, but tell us your favorites....from fine dining to holes in the wall with great food. Everyone has their tastes an opinions, but some are universal. I'll start with a few.

- At the top - higher end favorites....
* Port Land Grille - Lumina Station - Just a moment under the exhaust fans is wonderful. Consistently terrific albeit pricey. You get what you pay for.
* Marc's on Market - Tucked into a strip center with a sign shop and a place that sells pepper spray, it's easy to miss. Simple decor and great food.
* Caprice Bistro - Only tried once...but looking forward to our next trip.
* Zooi Bistro - Smaller menu, but another "thumbs up."
* Deluxe - Another favorite.
* Rafaella - Not to be confused with the inexpensive Italian place that is no longer at the Galleria - Tried once and so far, it has been great except that we were near the noisy kitchen.
* Bento Box - a unique sushi experience.

Looking into Osteria Cicchetti, Tayste and Dan's Mason Bistro

-Second tier - quality meals you can have wearing jeans...
* Yosake - Especially from 5-7PM - Great sushi & Japanamation.
* Indochine - Some people disagree and I've had a couple of misses on the menu, but you can't beat the decor and food tends to be consistently good.
* Double Happiness - Mentioned here often and gets my pick for chinese...a sleeper that needs for the word to get out. We want them to STAY!!
* Banyan - No complaints so far.
* Circa 1922 - fun for small plates.
* Kiva Grill - Great food - A bit pricier than the older and more casual sibling K-38, which has always been a favorite after the beach.

-Fun casual & good food....
* Nikki's - At the downtown original you can get hummus, nachos and sushi!
* Flaming Amy's - In a location that was jinxed in times past - huge portions!
* Mellow Mushroom - Our incarnation of the Asheville institution. Great pizza despite the occasional wait for it.
* Szechuan 132 - Great chinese! Joe has been in that location for over a decade.

* Brooklyn Pizza - Hey, I'm from NY...and so are they. Big floppy slices and a great calzone.
* Los Portales - You'd better learn how to speak Spanish and be willing to squeeze in. Real, traditional, Mexican...not Americanized.

We've got more....tell us your favorites.

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      1. re: jimingso

        I would second Brasserie du Soleil. Excellent French food.

        I would also add El Guajiro on South Kerr Avenue. They serve wonderful homestyle Cuban food. We really like Dockside for the atmosphere and Wrightsville Grille for the food and drinks.

        Any list would be incomplete withour Laterna, which serves up great fresh Greek/Mediterranean food.

      2. Whenever I visit Wilmington:

        For weekday lunch, *Catch on Princess Street downtown. Same chef as Deluxe.

        For seafood, *South Beach Grill out on Wrightsville Beach.

        For good home-cooked Southern food that won't bust your artery: *The Basics - downtown Wilmington on Front Street.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mikeh

          Catch is yummy!!! I sure do miss that place. I moved to Chapel Hill in July of last year. Have they started serving dinner yet? I will be visiting in May and would love to go there.

        2. Our favorite for sushi, (and it doesn't get mentioned much), is Mineh in the University Landing shopping center. Great food; not just for sushi; and really nice people.

          1. Timechime, excellent information...thank you! We are coming to Wilmington (staying in Topsail) the last week in May and need an upscale or fine dining location for 17 people. Any suggestions? Any with private rooms that you know of? Thanks so much!

            1 Reply
            1. re: chrissue

              Timechime does have some good recs. Today we tried Jessamine Thai and sushi again. They are still working to open the sushi bar but our experience was much improved over when they had first opened. The space looks so much better. The purple trim is gone and so is the funny divider wall that went down the middle. Lots of choices for lunch. Many of the items from Big Thai are on the menu. The angel wing app was terrific and so was the calamari. So light and crisp. My husband had the papaya beef salad which he said is just the same as it was at Rim Wang,SPICY! My curry chicken noodles were good too. They also have brought back thePHO from Viet Bistro, actually using the old Viet recipe. If you have not been lately, go again. I think we might make it a regular Sunday lunch spot!