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Looking for feedback (i.e. personal experiences) Raleigh Restaurants

Looking for experiences/personal opinion about the following:

Waraji
Vivace
Bloomsbury Bistro
Savoy
Michael Deans
Zely and Ritz
Market
Humble Pie
Hayes Barton

These are restaurants I've not been to and are considering. I've heard mixed reviews regardless of Greg Cox's review on Bu.ku. I guess everyone will have winners and losers. I'm looking to take a bridesmaid out to a dinner. Doesn't have to be expensive just something good and in Raleigh. J.Betskis has been ruled out (though I know better from word of mouth). Didn't have a good impression at 18 Seaboard first time.

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18 Seaboard
18 Seaboard, Raleigh, NC 27604

Bloomsbury Bistro
509 W Whitaker Mill Rd, Raleigh, NC 27608

Zely and Ritz
301 Glenwood Ave. Suite # 100, Raleigh, NC 27603

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  1. Hayes Barton has a 50's diner sort of look and a lunch counter menu and atmosphere. IIRC food was fine, but not enough that I make a special trip. Seems to be a memory lane sort of place for many who grew up in Raleigh.

    I have had brunch at Michael Deans. Food and service was quite good. Atmosphere fairly standard - comfortable/appropriate without being particularly memorable.

    Humble Pie has outdoor dining available, a quirkier atmosphere and the option of strolling around downtown after the meal. I had breakfast there and while it was fine, it didn't warrant the long wait IMO.

    That's all I've got!

    4 Replies
    1. re: meatn3

      I've not been to Market. It looks interesting. Went to Buku a couple of times. Buku is definately worth a try if you've not been.

      What about Poole's Diner? Ashley's cooking is always interesting and the cocktails are tasty.

      1. re: Tom from Raleigh

        Yes but without reservations.. and without seeing the menu. It would be tough to sell. I'm meeting my fiance and bridesmaid who are coming from a shop in North Hills. I've been to Coquette, but that was back when Chef Bland was still there. It is a possibility, but I'm trying to find a place I"ve not been to.

        I guess take Savoy and Bloomsbury off the list as they are out of price market. I'm also looking for a birthday dinner place in the Triangle on Sunday. Most of Chapel Hill I think will be shut down so thats probably not a good idea and a lot of restaurants don't do Sundays in general..

        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

          I taken many people to Vivace and they all enjoyed it. If you go the pasta/ pizza/ apps route it's quite reasonable. Even the entrees are reasonable. My DH loves their spaghetti and meatballs. Their brussel sprout dish is fabulous. But they have a number of more unique options as well.

          I liked Market, too. Fresh, local foods, but I prefer Vivace. Vivace's ambience is also more sleek and sophisticated.

          1. re: TerryG

            I agree with your assessment of Vivace - elegant atmosphere, nice variety and different price points. And the excellent service that sets most "Urban Food Group" restaurants apart from many competitors.

    2. Oh, Fraisers has reopened! The menu looks good and service is always terrific.

      3 Replies
      1. re: meatn3

        Isn't it more of a wine bar though? With wine bar snack food?

        1. re: cackalackie

          ISTR entrees too. I have not had a chance to visit yet - oops forgot this was personal experience feedback.

          1. re: meatn3

            I keep forgetting to go check it out - so thanks for the reminder!

      2. Also has anyone recently been to Lucky 32, Maximillians or Flights (in Marriot at North Hills).

        I want to try something different and so I'm looking at Lucky 32, Flights or Buku.. They are also open on a Sunday. Switching gears this is for a birthday dinner.

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        Lucky 32 Restaurant
        109 S Stratford Rd, Winston Salem, NC 27104

        6 Replies
        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

          If you want to try Lucky 32 in Cary, they sent me a $10 gift certificate we're not going to use. If there's some way you can send me your address, I'll send it along.

          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

            I had lunch at Lucky 32. The only negative (for me) is that they don't grind their own beef, so it couldn't be cooked to my preference. The rest of the meal was nice, service was quite good, atmosphere comfortable. This company has a decorating scheme which is kind of upscale Southern Living.

            My SO loved the peanut butter pie.

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            Lucky 32 Restaurant
            109 S Stratford Rd, Winston Salem, NC 27104

            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

              I eat at Lucky 32 all the time - my office is right around the corner. I like their seasonal menu changes - there's usually something new to try. My faves are the beef stew and black bean cakes, and yes, the PB pie is amazing. They also have RC in the bottle for us nostalgic Southern types. :-)

              (Never been to the one in WS - I'm talking about the Cary location.)

              1. re: Suzy Q

                Actually the one in Winston closed a few years ago. Only Cary and GSO have Lucky 32 now

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                Lucky 32
                7307 Tryon Rd, Cary, NC 27518

              2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                After trying Jay Pierce's food at the Farm 2 Fork, I was chomping at the bit to get over to Lucky 32. We were bowled over by the food he brought to F2F. We were much less overwhelmed by the restaurant. In a half empty restaurant, we were seated next to the waiters' station, right in the path of the kitchen traffic, nowhere near any other diners. Maybe it was because we were with a child? Requested a change and were moved to a nice table not in "Siberia."
                The food was okay, but nothing special. Certainly nothing close to what we expected after the stellar offerings at F2F. I'm sure we felt more let down because our expectations were so high. Still, we're not feeling the need to return any time soon. Too bad, because we know what they're capable of.

                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                  My wife and I like to go to Lucky32 for date nights after they send us the quarterly $10 off gift certificate.

                  Last time we went the fried okra with voodoo glaze was wonderful. My wife often gets the shrimp and grits. Last time I went my main dish wasn't as good as my sides. (but I still finished it.)

                  Enjoyable place for our date night when someone is watching the kids. (I don't think it would be a problem bringing kids here but it would be more expensive then just for the two of us.)

                2. Hmm, so I have tried Waraji, Zely, Market, Humble Pie and Hayes Barton, my thoughts below...

                  * Waraji: Great traditional sushi/japanese food, solid service and decor, some of the better sushi in Raleigh

                  * Zely: Great quality ingredients but a bit over-priced. Decor is a bit dated, I like the place but would probably choose Pooles over Zely. Similar types of food.

                  * Market: Only eaten there once, it was decent but I find the location odd and it's sort of a neighborhood restaurant. Great to have Escazu next door...

                  * Humble Pie: Great deck, decent small plates, good service and cool decor. Used to be one of my faves but I've found the food to be a bit uninspiring lately. Not a bad choice, just not at the top of my list

                  * Hayes Barton Cafe: Great comfort food, ridiculous portion size, great service and interesting retro decor. Have not tried them since their main baker left, so I hope their cakes are still up to snuff. Love the place but only if you're in the mood for a LOT of calories because that's what you're going to get. Great Raleigh institution with a slightly older crowd...

                  Now here are some separate recommendations. I'm not usually in North Hills and have heard good things about Vivace and Coquette but haven't been to them yet.

                  * Fraziers! Awesome food, fresh American and yes it's a wine bar. So you sit at a small table, order a bunch of plates and graze. But seriously tasty stuff, great service, very cozy and intimate

                  * Tasca Brava: Great spanish food, romantic, personal service. A bit pricey but worth it...

                  * Sawasdee Thai: If you like thai food, the spot up on Glenwood is excellent, Thaiphoon Bistro is also pretty darn good.

                  * Jibarra is still one of my faves. Great service, cool decor, food can be a bit hit or miss but solid overall at a good price.

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                  Jibarra Restaurant
                  7420 6 Forks Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615

                  Sawasdee Thai Restaurant
                  3601 Capital Blvd Ste 107, Raleigh, NC 27604

                  Thaiphoon Bistro
                  301 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27603

                  Tasca Brava
                  607 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27603

                  1. Thanks everyone. Wound up at Coquette on Saturday night and it was good. Our guest liked it very much. Sunday wound up at Bu.ku for my bday and it was a very different style but everyone left full and the space is very nice. There were some things that were more flavorful than others and I was somewhat disappointed that an item I really enjoy was left on the menu when our waiter told us it hadn't been served in some time. Just as heads up they are revamping the menu to include more seasonal and "raw" (based on the menu) items.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                      Happy birthday!

                      Interesting to learn of the direction of the menu changes. I'm intrigued by their decision to offer "raw". I don't see it as a good fit for them, but who knows...

                      1. re: meatn3

                        I know it's too late now...but for future reference - I've never had a disappointing meal at Maximillian's in Cary. Michael Schiffer is way underrated on the local scene, IMHO. Sort of a quirky, "mad scientist" with flavors.
                        Try the daily "Pasta from Hell" if you dare...and start with the Grilled Caesar.

                        1. re: meatn3

                          Well they already have a Raw section, but I don't know anything about the chef that replaced D'Auvray (or whatever his name is). I was bummed about the no grilled octopus as that is a favorite of mine or smoked octopus.