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Chapel Hill Recs

We will be in Chapel Hill on a Sunday evening and Monday until late afternoon. I see a few places are closed Sunday evenings. I am interested in Sunday evening, Monday breakfast, and Monday lunch recs. We have been to Fearrington but would like something new and would like to be able to walk (since wine will be involved). We will stay at either Franklin Inn or Carolina Inn. Thank you in advance.

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  1. La Residence is open Sunday for dinner.

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    La Residence
    202 W Rosemary St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

    1. For dinner I'd toss out Acme Restaurant or Glasshalffull (mixed reviews but supposedly wine friendly) although both are in Carrboro and a bit of a walk. You could always do dinner and then wine at the West End Wine bar separately. Bonne Soiree has gotten great reviews, a bit pricey. Franklin Street to me is sort of tough because it's a college area and in my experience, food is sorta weak in those spots.

      For lunch I'd definitely make the trek out to Allen & Son up on 86, definitely worth the effort. Or maybe Sandwhich/Neals. Another must-do might be the Weathervane for breakfast and stroll through Southern Season, an amazing foodie store. Not as upscale as say Williams-Sonoma (where I used to work) but HUGE and very local!

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      West End Wine Bar
      450 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

      Bonne Soiree Restaurant
      431 W Franklin St Ste 10, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

      2 Replies
      1. re: RonboNC

        One word: The Lantern. OK, it's two words but it is one of the best in CH. It's on Franklin Street.

        1. re: d.v

          The name is LANTERN, so you were correct ,one word.

      2. Glasshalful, Bonne Soiree and the Lantern are all closed on Sunday nights. It's a tough night for fine dining around here (at least walking distance). Acme is good, maybe not great, but probably the nicest place open on a Sunday. Also Panzanella, which isn't upscale but is comfortable and has good farm to table Italian type food.

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        Panzanella
        101 E Weaver St, Carrboro, NC 27510

        Bonne Soiree Restaurant
        431 W Franklin St Ste 10, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

        1 Reply
        1. re: LulusMom

          Thank you. Bonne Soiree is closed until August 3rd. We can definitely get a ride rather than eat bad food...so I will not limit us to walking distance. We will be at Carolina Inn and will be in town early enough for Brunch if that opens up more discussion. Thank you.

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          Bonne Soiree Restaurant
          431 W Franklin St Ste 10, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

        2. Sunday and Monday are the worst two days to try to eat out around here.

          I'd have to say "no" on a recommendation for La Residence, unless you really can't find better.

          If "Kitchen" is open, I'd like to recommend them for you. I've already had 2 different local chefs comment that they enjoyed them a lot, and they're new. Bonne Soiree and Lantern are excellent recommendations as well.

          Sandwhich, Panzanella, and Neal's Deli are all decent places as well. Gourmet Kingdom for Chinese food for lunch is in walking distance and you want to order off the Chinese menu (translated) not the American menu.

          Carolina Inn shouldn't be dismissed from consideration.

          There are no *great* breakfast places around here since Il Palio quit doing their brunch buffets. If Sugarland is doing beignets, they're very nice, but I've found their hours and availability a bit too random for me. Honestly Carolina Inn might be your best breakfast, though Breadman's and Carolina Coffee Shop are *adequate*. Merritt's down the hill a bit has excellent breakfast sandwiches if you don't mind minimal place to stand or sit and eat and you should take cash because they don't do credit.

          5 Replies
          1. re: fussycouple

            the bar at the Carolina Inn had quite good food, I thoroughly enjoyed my light meal there and would recommend it. The menu from the main dining room was very appealing too. So I'd go there Sunday night.

            1. re: Rory

              Sorry forget to tell you what the serve at the Bar. . I had catfish sliders and sweet potato fries. Delicious & others had baby back ribs, and shrimp and grits.

              And I forgot Crooks Corner is open Sunday & has brunch, buttermilk pancakes, country breakfast. etc

            2. re: fussycouple

              Surprisingly enough, Kitchen is open from 4:30-8:30 according to their website. I've been twice, and liked it. Not the greatest in town, but comfortable with good food and friendly service. http://kitchenchapelhill.com/kitchen/...

              1. re: fussycouple

                We did Lantern tonight...I was impressed. We took in a 2000 Chateau Malescot from Margaux...so dinner would have been great without food...but the food was wonderful. We started with a special appetizer and the salt and pepper "shell-on" shrimp. My concubine wife had the spring rolls as entree and I had the pork and chive dumpling...quite nice. We started a little earlier at ACME. I had a nice cucumber and melon salad...refreshing. We have tried "heirloom" tomatoes twice since we have been here and they are not the same "heirlooms" we see in the mountains...granted, mountain heirlooms are grown next to suspect illegal garden items...but these should still be great...a little disappointed but we have had a great time...thanks to all.

                1. re: winefuhrer

                  So glad that your visit here was a success (at least food-wise). You hit some good spots.

              2. Here's the "skinny" (ironic wording since any "skinny" I have will be gone in 48 hours): we are deciding between Rue Cler and Il Palio for brunch Sunday, going to Kitchen Sunday evening (maybe early and then hit somewhere else later), Monday bfast: undecided, Monday lunch: undecided, Monday Dinner: Latern. Thanks to all for the input. We are bringing a few bottles of vino as well for the corkage friendly places (the folks at Kitchen said I was the first person to ask about bringing a bottle in...so I probably will leave it behind since their pricing seems to be very reasonable). Thank you again.

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                Rue Cler Restaurant
                401 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

                10 Replies
                1. re: winefuhrer

                  I'd pick Rue Cler over Il Palio for brunch in a heartbeat, having been to both. That said, service can sometimes be a problem at Rue Cler and they tend to run out of things early. Get the beignets if you go.

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                  Rue Cler Restaurant
                  401 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    Ha...we walked in at Il Palio and promptly exited stage right...we ended up at 411 West...didn't change my life but was good. We will make the brief trek to Rue Cler tomorrow for lunch. The beignets at 411 were pretty good. We had a nice Sancerre as well...the beignet sweetness muted the Sancerre a bit but that is why frittes exist!

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                    Rue Cler Restaurant
                    401 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

                    1. re: winefuhrer

                      And we're evil ... we ask for a side of either mayo or bernaise with our fries at Rue Cler!
                      I'm with you on 411. Not bad, but nothing life changing. It's hugely popular here though.

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                      Rue Cler Restaurant
                      401 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

                  2. re: winefuhrer

                    We went out on a Sunday night a few weeks ago and tried out Kitchen. We really liked it. The menu was nice and small, yet I had a hard time deciding what to order - I could have had everything. They do nice mussels, but the fries weren't the best ever. Not bad, but that was the only thing we didn't think quite made the cut. Oh yeah, the bread wasn't fabulous. Everything else was excellent - gnocchi, paté, duck confit, salad, shrimp remoulade, nice desserts. Everything was very fresh tasting. I'd go back in a skinny minute. Oh yeah - I should stay away from that word....

                    We ended up going out afterwards as well and I would recommend this place to anyone: The Crunkleton on West Franklin. There wasn't much going on, but people are starting to come back to town. This is a true old-school bar with fantastic mixed drinks and the less people there are, the more time the bartender takes making the perfect drink. They make an amazing Sazerac. If it's nice out, you can sit on the window bench. Don't miss this experience.

                    1. re: suse

                      Suse,

                      We did Kitchen last night. We sat at the bar and tried several menu items: tomato/mozz salad, muergez and eggplant, roasted caesar salad, mussels, and smoked almonds. The food was good. The kitchen seems to put time into the items. I would not consider it a gastronomic experience but it was fine. The staff was very engaged and friendly. The mussel broth was delicious but the mussels themselves were underwhelming...we went to Rue Cler for lunch today and the mussels were much better...but I compare most mussels to the ones we get in Portland and Washington...those white mussels as big as your thumb (the name escapes me...but delicious). There is a great wine shop in Durham called Wine Authorities...they specialize in estate wines...nice friendly people. We sat outside with a nice Vinho Verde...we are back to Chapel Hill tonight for Lantern, maybe ACME for a nibble pre-dinner, and then we may try Crunkleton. I still have a slight headache from yesterday.

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                      Rue Cler Restaurant
                      401 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

                      1. re: winefuhrer

                        Penn's Cove Mussels?

                        1. re: wintersummer

                          Yes, yes, yes...thank you. We ate our weight in Penn's Cove when we visited PDX and Seattle in March. The dining in wine country Oregon was incredible...everything on your plate was running around or in a garden that morning.

                      2. re: suse

                        Agree on the bread. They can and should do better. Otherwise, I'm a fan.

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          I actually liked the bread at Kitchen. I didn't think it was great, but thought it was good.

                          1. re: wintersummer

                            The first time I went I thought it was fine. Second time I was actively turned off by it. Second time was on my own, and when I mentioned this to my husband, he said "Oh that bread was good!" So maybe it just depends on the day. Also, the first time they gave us a wonderful, spicy olive oil to go with; the second time the bread came without anything. This *may* have been because they assumed I'd just eat it with my caprese salad.

                    2. I'd give ONE in Meadowmont a try. I'm going to try and get over there this week on a Thurs, but the chef behind the venture has a good following and another chowhound gave it a thumbs up on here.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                        How did I miss the One review??? How many days ago?

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          Becca wrote a review of One at her site: http://blog.thegourmez.com/?p=1473#mo...

                          1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                            Thanks for the link Tom.

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              We wanted to do ONE but I think it was closed Sunday and Monday. Their website mentions a Sunday brunch but, after a call, we found out the brunch had not started yet.

                          2. re: LulusMom

                            I went yesterday. I couldn't wait any longer and no one really gave a decisive yes outside of this site and I was referring to Tom's post, but glad to know others have been. That bost by The Gourmez is pretty much on the spot. I'll be adding to my own thread a little bit later.

                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                              So we're not to meet you there tonight I assume? Can't wait to hear your report.

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                Well you said it was too late for Lulu and you were waiting on others to respond. I didn't hear from anyone else.

                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                  Not to worry. Lulu is excited that she gets to chose where we go to dinner now. I do look forward to your review.