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Favorite Apps in the Triangle

What are your favorite appetizers in the Triangle (mostly interested in Durham and Chapel Hill, but feel free to post about Raleigh too)?

My personal favorites: the Ahi "Poke" Tuna and/or the Beer Braised Mussels at Revolution, Downtown Durham. Both go great with a Pomegranate Lychee Martini.

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  1. grits souffle at Magnolia Grill
    the salsa at Fiesta Grill
    whatever charcuterie is being served at Piedmont
    the soups and the brussels sprout & country ham salad at Crooks Corner
    oysters at Blu.

    I obviously love appetizers way more than entrees.

    1. I love love love LOVE the guacamole and the shrimp ceviche app at Mez.

      1. In Raleigh:

        Porter's:
        Tempura green beans
        Flash fried calamari with Asian bbq sauce

        Coquette:
        Charcuterie plate

        1. Does a first plate at a good Indian buffet count as an appetizer? Just kidding, I haven't had many appetizers (as compared to main meals and desserts), but the one that comes to mine that I had last was the haystack shrimp at Revolution. I would love to get back there to try a different seasonal menu.

          1 Reply
          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

            I also liked what use to be the Octopus 3 ways (now 2 ways) at Papas Grill. It was my first experience with Octopus that was grilled or smoked (instead of sushi or in some Asian dish) and one of the three parts was just a long tentacle which was tasty.

          2. Tuna Tataki at Blu
            Chicken Liver Crostinis at Toast (also Goat Cheese and Honey Crostinis)
            Big Bowl of Mussels at Pop's

            1. Have to agree with the grits souffle at Magnolia Grill. Not sure it counts as an appetizer, but the duck confit salad at Vin Rouge is fantastic (as are their snails, which definitely DO count). The curried samosas at Merlion are great. The menu changes a lot at Elaine's, but I recently had a very good ceviche there. Been a while since I've been to the lantern, but they did (and probably still do) great veg. dumplings.
              Honestly, I love doing a meal of appetizers - I feel like most chefs put just a bit more thought into them. I've been having some great meals lately at Glasshalful, all from the small plates side (their new brandade on toast is cheap cheap cheap and very tasty).

              3 Replies
              1. re: LulusMom

                I was wondering if mezze and small plates were appetizers or meant to create a meal.

                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                  I think ordering 2 or 3 of them is a great meal for me, and if I go with Lulu (or her dad) with often pick one or two to share and then have a couple to ourselves. But sometimes LulusDad gets a small plate and then a big plate. I guess it just depends on your appetite.

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    I love doing that as well as you often get to taste more things that way!

              2. My favorite lately has been the oyster gratinee at Vin Rouge - wonderful!

                1. I don't do appetizers often so my experience is not wide, but the best ones I've had over the last couple years have been the goat cheese souffle at Bonne Soiree (really just to die for) and the cheese plate at Coquette. Yeah, I really really like cheese!