Good food in the Triangle!
I am thinking of moving to the Raleigh area in the next few months, and am headed up there in a couple of weeks to check it out. I would like to see a little of everything-Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham. Right now the only place I'm definitely planning on going to is Magnolia Grill in Durham. Is that the right decision? I've read good things and their menu looks great. My sister says we have to go to Sandwich in Chapel Hill for lunch sometime. We are planning on spending an entire afternoon in Raleigh, so I'd like to find a great lunch spot, and maybe some fun bars to go bar hopping. I work in food and bev in Charleston, so I'd also like to maybe be scoping out an upper end fine dining place to possibly pick up a night job. Please help! :)
While not high end fine dining, I'm a fan of Bloomsbury Bistro and Fraziers in Raleigh. Bloomsbury is more fine dining. Fraziers is more of an upscale casual type place. Coming from Charleston, I would compare both to FIG in terms of the general feel versus, say, a Charleston Grill.
If you're just looking for a good lunch and nothing too pricey. I would check out Sitti in downtown Raleigh. They do a nice job with Eastern Med. I also enjoy the sandwiches, brats etc. at the Raleigh Times bar. They also have a great selection of Belgian beers to wash them down with. I also enjoy lunch at Coquette, a French bistro in North Hills, a shopping center ten minutes from downtown.
Magnolia Grill, Bonne Soiree, Cypress on the Hill, Watts Grocery, Rue Cler, Panciuto, J. Betski's are as good as anything in Charleston.
Bonne Soiree, in Chapel Hill, is literally the best meal I have had in my life...ever...
In Raleigh, Solas is a great bar and a surprisingly good restaurant. We also went to The Mint and had a great lunch in a beautiful setting.
We also hit up Nana's in Durham and very much enjoyed our New Year's Eve meal there.
If you would like more information, or pictures, from any of these places, let me know!
Here's an update on my fantastic Chapel Hill/ Raleigh trip!
We had an excellent lunch at Watt's Grocery in Durham. Between all of us, we got a sort of tuna nicoise salad with green goddess dressing, which was excellent with an affordable bottle of South African sauv blanc; a fried shrimp po boy; a reuben sandwich and some ridiculously good hushpuppies. Solid service, cute little place.
Our big night out we went to Magnolia Grill and it blew us away. Every dish ordered was exceptional. We shared appetizers: pork belly, twice baked grits souffle, sweetbreads, and foie gras, and just could not pick a favorite between the 4 (although I actually have to lean slightly towards the grits souffle). For entrees, veal, lamb, rabbit, and NY strip. I was pleased that all the meats' temperatures came out spot-on (don't know why I always lower my expectations when it comes to that). The vanilla bean buttermilk pie was heavenly. The server did fine- she was slightly on the weak side, but nothing that could eclipse the overall great experience.
Sandwich in Chapel Hill was a great spot for a hungover lunch.
And yes, Blewgo, couldn't help but look up the Roast Grill. Got lost as hell looking for it, but had a great hot dog lunch on the way out of town, complete with bottled Cokes and all. I have never eaten 3 hot dogs in my life in one sitting, but there's a first for everything!
Thanks everyone. My boyfriend is now a believer in me AND Chowhound. He's depending on me for a great food experience in Charlotte next week. Hopefully we won't disappoint! Let me know if you have opinions on where to take a friend for a 30th bday blowout dinner.