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Help me, Triangle Hounds, you're my only hope!

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So I was finally going to make the big trek to Raleigh to take my dear husband (aka "the boyfriend") out for his birthday to J. Betski's. He loves Polish food and I thought this would be a nice surprise. I just found out that they're closed for their annual vacation until Thursday. Did I mention that his birthday is TOMORROW?! So now I'm at a loss. There are five of us - we are well familiar with all the usual suspects in Durham and Chapel HIll. I wanted to try something new. Fun drinks. Nice atmosphere - not too precious. Great food. I don't know Raleigh - any ideas? I've read a lot of good things about Bonne Soiree in Chapel Hill but I'm afraid it's going to be too stuffy. Help me, ya'll! What should I do?

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  1. Go to Magnolia Grill in Durham. I have not been there in years, but always enjoyed it.

    1. Don't do the Raleigh scene that much, but these have been on my list to (still) try for a while:

      Coquette - http://www.coquetteraleigh.com/

      Sitti - http://www.sitti-raleigh.com/

      Oakwood Cafe (maybe a bit downmarket, but great for Cuban food) - http://oakwoodcaferaleigh.com/

      1. Bonne Soiree is awesome. Elegant, classy, but not stuffy. Excellent service, cuisine and wine. Take them up on the wine match program.

        You really can't go wrong with Magnolia Grill, Four Square, or Nana's either.

        1. Oliver Twist for tapas if you want something different--really great, fun drinks, and fun atmosphere.

          1. I just had my birthday bash at Coquette. From my very picky sister to those of us with adventuresome palettes - all were very pleased. The staff was great, as was the food. Tremendous value for the price. Nice but not fussy atmosphere. I think their charcuterie is better than Piedmont's. A vegan would have problems finding much, a vegetarian would have more possibilities. I suspect they would try to accommodate the meatless ones if you called ahead. I tasted 4 different desserts that night and they were all delicious.

            "An" was another option I considered. I had two people who would have found it too "weird" ! I've had several fantastic meals there. Fresh, innovative and delicious. Service has been terrific too.

            Where ever you go, hope it is a perfect celebration!