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Restaurant Gift Certificate in Triangle Area

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Hi everyone.
I need help finding a nice restaurant to buy a gift certificate for my parents for X-Mas. They often come and visit me in NYC and enjoy ethnic and creative foods. Some places that I know that they enjoy are Taverna Nikos, Starlu (before it closed), & Anotherthyme. I find formality annoying but I certainly do not want a casual hang out either. The price is not a factor. They live in the Duke University area so Durham and Chapel Hill are preferred but they will definitely travel to Raleigh for great good.
Your recommendations are appreciated.

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  1. What about Watt's Grocery or Piedmont? Those are definitely local favorites!

    3 Replies
    1. re: sarahUNC

      I'd be thrilled if someone gave me a certificate for Watts Grocery!

      1. re: romansperson

        While Watt's Grocery and Piedmont are good, I still feel that Magnolia Grill is better as far as food is concerned.

        1. re: chazzer

          I don't think you can go wrong with any of the restaurants listed so far. I'd add Nana's and Four Square to this list. Tonali is a local Mexican place that they may like. It was started by an alum of Magnolia Grill, I believe.

          If they want to travel to Raleigh, I find The Pit, Poole's Diner, and Fins worthy of the trip.

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          1. This is a little off topic, but another souce for a gift certificate might be Southern Season in Chapel Hill. They often have classes taught by folks from many of the restaurants mentioned here, not to mention all kinds of other goodies - cheeses, wines, candy, prepared foods, fresh flowers, kitchen/food/entertaining-related trinkets, teas, coffees, and a very nice coffee bar and in-house restaurant (Weathervane).