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Chapel Hill/Durham Birthday Dinner Suggestions

Hello all!

I am turning 21 in a few weeks and my big sister is coming from Charleston to celebrate with me. We both work in the food & bev industry, naturally we love food. I'd love some suggestions on some upscale restaurants in the triangle area to enjoy a great meal. Price and type of cuisine have few limitations.

I've already tried the Lantern and Magnolia Grill, both were excellent but I'd love to go somewhere new! (Preferably somewhere with a decent wine list :-] )

Thanks!!!
M. Craig

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    1. Bonne Soiree. on franklin street, great wine-flights that they pair with your meal. Excellent food, nice people.

      Fearrington House. Consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in NC. Strangely dunned in these pages, but check out their website and look at their list of current awards and ratings.

      Jujube on 54 in Chapel Hill. Asian fusion. chef has a nice hand for seasoning, excellent bar, thoughtful wine list. Lunch for a regular habit, dinner periodically.

      Pancuito in Hillsborough. Currently one of my most favorite places in the area. Great chef who invests in buying locally whatever he can, short excellent menu, one of the best innovators in the area since Bill Neal showed up. (e.g., I had a great piece of duck (cooked french style) on grits with a truly authentic red-eye gravy) .

      1. I'll add another vote for Bonne Soiree.

        3 Replies
        1. re: romansperson

          Third for Bonne Soiree. Others to consider adding to the great suggestions above are Four Square (Durham)-- think Magnolia Grill in a quieter, prettier setting; Glashalfull (Carrboro) if you're really into the wine aspect; Tonali (Durham) for great, authenic, upscale (in food quality not price) Mexican cuisine.

          1. re: bbqme

            Second for Four Square as not only is the food terrific, the setting in the old house befits a special occasion.

            1. re: bbqme

              Second, as well, for Jujube. The food is innovative and terrific, but the atmosphere might not be what you are seeking for a celebratory dinner.

          2. Try Cypress on the Hill (cypressonthehill.com). My daughter took my wife and me there for Father's Day. It was excellent, and my wife chose to go to it on her birthday on Aug. 3, over the many good restaurants in the area--Elaine's, Lantern, Magnolia, Bonne Soiree, and others--all of which we go to several times a year.

            1. Piedmont (Durham) best country pate I've ever eaten, Fraziers (Raleigh) superb cuisine using local products; 18 Seaboard (Raleigh) creative and delicious offerings that should cost much more than it does!