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Need restaurant recommendations near Raleigh please!

I am having a very small wedding in November, and in an effort to ease travel burden on family members from Alabama (his mother and daughter) and New Jersey (us, my mother and daughter), we're meeting in the middle and having it in North Carolina. I have never spent time in NC so I am flying completely blind here.

We are on a shoestring budget and we are not having a typical reception... we would like to take everyone out for a celebratory dinner. I was hoping to find a couple of restaurants to look at in the $25-30 price point range. Fancy enough to not look ridiculously out of place in my dress (it's not very fru-fru, but it IS a wedding dress), but not so fancy that they charge us out the yinyang for a few steamed asparagus sticks and an inch-square of chicken.

Am I asking too much, or are there recommendations that can be made?

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  1. How many people would there be? What types of food are you interested in? What day of the week are you considering?

    1 Reply
    1. re: meatn3

      6-9 people total (still waiting on final figure, but I expect 9). Saturday evening. Types of food we like are varied, but I would stick with steak, probably stay away from seafood.

    2. You'd like a place that looks nice and festive, I think, as well as reasonable and tasty.

      Check out 18 Seaboard, 518 West, La Volta, Sitti (which has a big table in the center for family dining), Duck & Dumpling -- some names to get you started.

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      18 Seaboard
      18 Seaboard, Raleigh, NC 27604

      Sitti
      137 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC 27601

      The Duck & Dumpling
      222 S Blount St, Raleigh, NC 27601

      6 Replies
      1. re: jnwall

        18 Seaboard may be a good idea, the price should work and they have a private dining room and a space next door, allowing some privacy for your party. The chef/owner is very nice and usually very accommodating

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        18 Seaboard
        18 Seaboard, Raleigh, NC 27604

        1. re: jnwall

          Thanks I will check them out :)

          1. re: CarryKai

            I agree with chazzer's comments. For fine dining, 18 Seaboard offers very good value for the area. And they do have that one room that would probably be just the right size. It's a good central location. It's also right on the R-Line, which is a free bus that takes you to other night spots in the downtown Raleigh area. You're also just a couple of blocks from one of the original Krispy Kreme stores! (Nothing says "I love you" like "Hot Doughnuts Now.")

          2. re: jnwall

            Good recommendations, jnwall! 18 Seaboard is a bit more upscale and I think 518 West is a good deal for the price. I'd also take a look at the Mint since it's priced pretty reasonably now. Buku is really nice if you're into more ethnic options, it's got a great patio, bar area and dining room. Good luck!

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            18 Seaboard
            18 Seaboard, Raleigh, NC 27604

            1. re: RonboNC

              Buku has gone downhill very fast since the chef left a few weeks ago.

              1. re: bluejworld

                Thanks bluejworld, totally forgot about his departure! Had brunch at Buku about a month ago and I thought it was pretty good...

          3. The Pit would be good for a crowd though not if you're looking upscale. I'm not sure about Sitti either as I've only been once and was underwhelmed. If you are looking at 18 Seaboard, you may as well say J.Betski's too but I'm not sure if the layout of the restaurants is conducive to a group. Also look towards North Hills they have a few dining destinations.

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            18 Seaboard
            18 Seaboard, Raleigh, NC 27604

            Sitti
            137 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC 27601

            1. As boring and mono-dimensional as it might be, The Angus Barn does beef beautifully and has a spectacular wine list. I also like Coquette in North Hills.

              Links:
              http://www.angusbarn.com/
              http://www.coquetteraleigh.com/

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              Angus Barn Restaurant
              9401 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617

              1. I had a party for 10 at Coquette last year. We were able to use their smaller room in back. Even having a few other tables being served, the space still felt fairly private. The food and service were terrific and it fits your price range.

                If my party had been composed of slightly more adventurous eaters I would probably have gone with An Cuisine in Cary. They have the capacity to create private areas and the food/service has always been wonderful.

                1. Try Caffe Luna downtown. Also Vivace in North Hills.

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                  Caffe Luna
                  136 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601