Chapel Hill & surrounding area?
Lantern for asian/fusion food, Elaine's for comfortable but upscale modern American. I'd skip Mama Dips. Locopops for amazing (seriously) popsicles. Panzanella for the best wood fired pizzas I've found in the area in a comfortable place. I second Provence, which doesn't get mentioned much on this board, but can be really nice. Glasshalful isn't as wonderful as it was, but it's a nice place to stop for a glass of wine and maybe a small plate or two. Hope your friend's situation gets better soon - you've very kind to help.
101 E Weaver St, Carrboro, NC 27510
I'll add Bonne Soiree - it's upscale French, quiet and old school, but your friend will feel taken care of there and the food and wine selections are excellent.
I'll also give a shout-out to Southern Season's restaurant, The Weathervane - I've eaten there many times and both the food (which is Southern influenced) and the service have always been consistently good. Prices are mid-range, but it can be very busy. I really enjoy getting a seat at the bar when I'm out running errands and getting a chance to relax a little. http://www.southernseason.com/cafe.asp
For pizza, I like The Loop better than any place I've had pizza in this area - it's super casual, too. You go in, place your order at the counter and pay, and they'll call your number. Then sit down and enjoy. http://www.looppizzagrill.com/menu.html
Bonne Soiree Restaurant
431 W Franklin St Ste 10, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Allen and Sons (BBQ), Queen of Sheba (only African in the area that I know of), Carolina Crossroads (upscale in hotel), Gourmet Kingdom (Authentic Szechuan), Sage makes some decent Veggie items, and well I like Mediterranean Deli. Not special, but it is a good standby when I have trouble deciding where I want to eat or what. Oh and Orange Leaf (in the same place as Queen of Sheba and Sage). Orange Leaf is about 10 yogurt pumps of various yogurt flavors (I personally like the Taro) and toppings bar. Get in line, grab your desired cup/bowl, fill it up, pay by the ounce (I believe it is .35/oz).
211Pittsboro St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Queen of Sheba's
1129 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
410 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
301 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510