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Seeking inspiration in Chapel Hill/Durham

ksherk Jul 13, 2008 10:38 AM

Hey, my culinary inspirators -- The Folks are coming to town, and I'm once again faced with planning a Nice Dinner Out. They are good foodie people, love Acme, but Dad is in his mid-60s with the accompanying difficulty hearing -- which means that many places with post-industrial concrete floors that bang noise around are out. (Sigh...so much for Rue Cler...)

The folks have loved:

The Lantern

among others. I've taken them to Piedmont, but we were there at a dark time of year (February is not great for local produce!) and if there's a decent crowd, it's too loud for Dad. I'm running out of ideas! Any thoughts? Has anyone been to the fancy place in the Courtyard that I forget the name of?


P.S. Don't worry, there is always 'cue on the weekend menu. That will happen. This is the other end of the spectrum.

  1. k
    ksherk Jul 14, 2008 06:00 AM

    Thanks, y'all! I've long wanted to take them to Magnolia Grill, but I have heard that the sound is a problem. And thanks also for the Hillsborough rec -- they liked visiting there, and it's nice to have an excuse to go back.

    1. p
      PeterB Jul 13, 2008 04:40 PM

      Bonne Soiree in the Courtyard is excellent fine dining. I also really like Four Square in Durham. I've never had anything but a great meal there and it's in a beautiful Victorian house. If the weather's nice dining on the veranda is a wonderful experience.

      1. w
        walras Jul 13, 2008 03:44 PM

        The Fairview at the Washington Duke has worked well, both for the food and the accoustics.

        Link: http://www.washingtondukeinn.com/Dini...

        1. t
          Tinasky Jul 13, 2008 12:02 PM

          I'm a big fan of Ashley Christensen. Though in Raleigh, she's running Enoteca Vin and Milner's Diner

          2 Replies
          1. re: Tinasky
            dubedo Jul 13, 2008 02:09 PM

            What's Milner's Diner? Do you mean Poole's Diner, or does she have another one in addition to Poole's?

            1. re: dubedo
              Tinasky Jul 13, 2008 06:21 PM

              No, no...I goofed. Thank you for the correction. It is Poole's.

          2. f
            fussycouple Jul 13, 2008 11:27 AM

            Bonne Soiree is that "fancy place in the courtyard" and they are small and not loud.

            Il Palio at the Sienna is excellent, and unless they are having a major party somehow, their acoustics are fine. (Also good for brunch).

            Pancuito in Hillsborough on Churton Streeet is small, like Bonne Soiree, and is also not loud.

            All 3 of these are perfectly good "nice dinner out" restaurants.

            Magnolia Grill is *exactly* where you don't want to go, with the crowding and the noise level there. Both I and my father have problems hearing over "background noise" and when there is a decent crowd it is difficult for me to hear at Piedmont as well (I still go sometimes, it's just hard to hear).

            1 Reply
            1. re: fussycouple
              chili367 Jul 13, 2008 11:58 AM

              agree with fussycouple. i love magnolia grill but it is not a quiet place.

              i also agree with those recommendations. note that of those, pancuito is going to be the least formal. i ate there last night and it was very, very good -- which it has been for me every time i've visited.

            2. b
              brokegradstudent Jul 13, 2008 11:14 AM

              Magnolia Grill?

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