HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >


birthday dinner in the triangle

So my girlfriend just gave me my birthday present, which was a nice new saute pan and a nice dinner at the restaurant of my choosing. She has put on a price limit of less than $150 total. Ah, the choices.

We have been to Magnolia Grill and loved it. Been to Angus Barn, liked it too, but not wanting to go back just yet. We like many different styles of food. I am looking for a place where a suit jacket might not be out of line, but a tie would be too much. She lives in Raleigh, I in Carrboro.

Sound off, Fellow Foodies, and thanks for the help.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Go to Nana's Restaurant in Durham.

    1. Consider Frazier's, on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. The food is meticulous and delicious, the atmosphere is sleek but not stiff. Check out the menu and see if you like it.

      The Lantern in Chapel Hill is my go-to for special occasions, but that may be old news to you if you live in Carrboro.

      423 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

      2418 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607

      1. My husband and I love these restaurants for special occasions (all delicious and not too fancy):
        Lantern (in Chapel Hill)
        Acme (in Carrboro)
        Piedmont (in Durham) - we just went for our 3-year anniversary and we were blown away. Amazing. They make their own charcuterie, which you don't see too much around here.
        We have been to Nana's and loved it too - I think it's more pricey.
        Write back and tell where you end up going!

        1. I'll second Latern and Acme as good ones in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area. And add Saint Jacques in Raleigh (Falls of Neuse at Spring Forest) - It's the go to special occasion place for my parents.

          1. Bonne Soiree, hands down.

            1. I think it kind of depends on what your drinking habits are. Do you normally go for a bottle of wine or just a glass each? Can make a big difference in the check. Most of these places have menus online which can help with figuring out if you'll pass the magic number. All that said, I like Bin 54 for big celebrations, but think it will *probably* be above budget. I'm not a big fan of Nanas, but I realize I'm in the minority on this. I actually greatly prefer Vin Rouge, and you'd find it much easier to stay in your budge there too (and the service is eons bettter). Lantern is great, Acme hit and miss - sometimes really good, sometimes just weirdly bad. Elaines can be really great, again, depends on the beverage consumption whether this fits the budget or not. I'm guessing BS is going to be above budget no matter what, but maybe if you don't drink it won't be. Piedmont and Rue Cler are both really nice and definitely doable in your budget. I hope you had a great birthday, and have a great present meal! Let us know where you go and how it is.

              3 Replies
              1. re: LulusMom

                When we dined at Bonne Soiree, I had a beer and my wife had a glass of wine, we each had an app, an entree, and a dessert and the bill was well under $150 including T&T. So unless they each get the paired wine option or a mid or high price bottle of wine, they should easily come in under the limit.

                1. re: bbqme

                  OK, glad you chimed in with that info. Guess my post tells you something about *my* drinking habits!

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    You're a bonne vivante, nothing wrong with that!

              2. Cindy's House in Cary on a Thursday night.

                1. Just wanted to say I'm glad you posted this. I'm trying to think of a place to take my boyfriend for dinner in 3 weeks. Some of these sound good.

                  1. Has anyone tried Savoy in North Raleigh for dinner? I've had friends who raved about it at lunch, but no intel on dinner as of yet.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Suzy Q

                      We have an anniversary dinner next weekend. He wants Vin, I want Savoy. If I win, I'll report back. =)

                    2. Well everyone, thanks for the great tips. I think we are going to try either Piedmont or Elaine's, depending on how far we want to drive, what each is having that night, etc. I'll let you know what we choose and how it goes.