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Mar 16, 2009 04:19 PM

Your "go-to" place (Raleigh)

Ever since Vin closed, I'm at a loss for a place to take visitors - where I can count on good food in a nice environment that feels a bit special.

Where's your "go-to" place? Is there somewhere that replaces what Vin was in its heyday?

(The reason this came up today is that I was just asked for a recommendation for a place to take out-of-town clients - and one that had a decent vegetarian choices.)

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    1. It depends on the clients. If I wanted to give them a Southern flair, I'd take them to The Pit. If we had a lot of time and they could appreciate the stylings of Ashley Christensen, I'd take them to Poole's. If I just wanted to take them to a nice place without a lot of pretense, I'd likely go to Fraizer's. If they were interested in having a few beers and a good burger, I'd go with either Raleigh Times Bar or The Player's Club. J. Betski's is a great choice also!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tom from Raleigh

        Tom - You mean Player's Retreat? I keep meaning to go there. (It's been ages...) I like all those choices - but in this case it's the client who's veggie. So I was hoping for a place that wasn't so meat-focused.

        1. re: cackalackie

          Check out Sitti. It's a Lebanese place downtown that should fit the bill. When I walked in, I thought it would be a good place to take clients.

          P.S. I do mean Player's Retreat. Great burger, nice selection of local beer on tap, plus it's right around the corner from LocoPops.

      2. Lately my reliable go-to has become 18 Seaboard. In fact, I'll probably be there for lunch today. If your client accepts fish there are usually at least 2 fish options on the dinner menu. Coquette may soon go into my regular rotation but I'm not entirely sure about it's veggie-suitability.

        1. My go to places are:

          Excellent Asian = The Lantern.
          We eat here very regularly and can usually get out for under $80 including wine if we do our usual family style sharing of apps and mains.

          Great food and atmosphere = Fins.
          We ate there last week and it was one of the best meals that we have had in a long time.
          We split one app, one salad, one main and one bottle of wine for around $70, and it was more than enough for us.

          Beer and bar food = Tyler's Taproom.
          Not as many beers as The Flying Saucer, but better chosen beers and MUCH better food.

          Barbeque = The Pit.
          People argue which BBQ is the best, and to me, there is a close tie as to which has the best food, but I would much rather eat it at the Pit because of the atmosphere.

          1. Am I the only one in Raleigh who can't stand The Pit? At any rate, The Borough has several vegetarian options, but is only open after 4pm. However, it is a great laid back atmosphere and the staff is great. Love J. Betski's and 18 Seaboard for a more upscale feel.

            2 Replies
            1. re: hausfrau

              I hated it. I was in there a few weeks after they opened and there were flies everywhere buzzing around the inside dining room, and my clothes reeked of BBQ smoke when we left. You can't have a place that has a business casual atmosphere and not ventilate the BBQ smoke so that people have to dry clean their clothes after eating there.

              Have others encountered those negative aspects?

              1. re: mikeh

                I've been to The Pit half a dozen times and I've never noticed an issue with smoke or flies in the dining room or noticed that my clothes smelled of smoke. I find flies particularly offputting. You say this was a few weeks after opening, so perhaps it was an issue that they've worked out.