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Raleigh: Lafayette Village - lots of new food options in North, North Raleigh

This looks to be a very new shopping center. Much cuter than your average strip center, it has an old world aesthetic. The center is located at Falls of the Neuse Rd. and Honeycutt Rd., just south of 540.
Just across the street is Piper's Tavern.

I only had time for a quick drive-by. Here are sites for most of the food related spots:

A franchised spice company:
http://www.savoryspiceshop.com/aboutu...

Italian with wood fired pizza:
http://www.paparazziraleigh.com/

Wine shop with S. American focus w/ small plates
http://www.vinosfinosypicadas.com/

Gourmet grocer:
http://www.antoniosgourmetmarket.com/...

Gelato:
http://www.henrysgelato.com/

Also Upper Crust, a pie/bakery/sandwich spot

Looks like a lot of options for this part of town.

If anyone has reports, please list them!

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  1. I've heard that Antonio's is hard to work for...that's about it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sisterbeer

      The look of Lafayette Square is really something different. It oozes ambiance. Fun to stroll around.

      Antonio's is an upscale gourmet -- Italian style. Lots of prepared foods. Everything looks appealing and fresh. Only tried a few things. Meatballs were yummy. The cold cuts are pretty good. They make their own roast beef and get their corned beef from NYC. Some people from my synagogue raved. but I was hoping for more. Mostly pricey, but they have a good dinner special for 2: $20 for an entree, 2 sides, a salad, and dessert.

      Haven't tried them for dinner, but the restaurant, Paparazzi, has some excellent lunch specials.

      Few things we tried at the bakery, -- Upper Crust were OK but nothing special. I like the feel of the place, though.

      The Spice store whose name I don't remember is way cool. Better than Penzey's cause they sell in bulk and even Penzey's smallest size containers are way more than we need. Try the dried corn.

      All in all, a nice addition for foodies.

      1. re: sisterbeer

        I've been in to Antonio's a few times and have been impressed with their fishmonger and meat dude. We picked up an excellent NY strip steak there the other day - one of the more flavorful strips that I've had in a while and we typically pick up our meats from Whole Foods or some of the small producers at the farmers markets. They've got a decent little produce section, most things are in good condition. They have a wide variety of prepared foods, a pizza station, and a pastry section, which looks ok. They also have a small selection of wines, most of which are between $10 and $15. It's a nice addition to North Raleigh.

        I also stopped in at the wine bar, Vinos y Finos or whatever. It's a cozy enough spot with lots of comfortable chairs to hang out in. I don't think they've ironed out all the details yet. A number of wines didn't seem to be that good of a value - given the usual price per bottle and that it's all South American wines. They really need to add descriptions to their wine list. On the whole though, it's also a nice addition to N. Raleigh.

        1. re: dinersaurus

          Thanks for the update on Vinos y Finos! Been interested in checking it out, they've got some wine tastings scheduled this month...

          1. re: RonboNC

            Just an update on Vinos y Finos. I made it there for another trip recently and I think it's been gradually getting better (not that it was bad). I don't see it as a food destination - nor does it have to be - but, you can get some enjoyable small plates and some nice wines. I think their prices are a little better now and I enjoy talking with the staff there. It's a great place to start or end a night.

      2. I just read about them in the N&O today as they featured Antonio's. However his website should be in Greg's list of offenders.

        3 Replies
        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

          Are you saying Antonio's website is poor or that Greg Cox gave a poor review? The online mention by G.C. seems favorable...

          1. re: meatn3

            Sorry the website is poor. I was referring to what I thought was Greg Cox post last week about food places that have poor or annoying websites and that this one fits the bill.

            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

              Thanks for the clarification. I missed his article on poor sites, must have been a challenge with so many out there!

        2. Just got back from a little field trip to Lafayette Village and happy to report that it's quite good!

          * Antonios Gourmet Market- Impressive, big space with lots of refrigerated cases and high quality gourmet foodstuffs. Should have spent more time checking out the prepared meals but they have a TON of options. Had a very nice meatball sandwich on great bread there. Tons of staff so expect a high-level of service and of course, higher prices. But excellent options for locals

          * Henry's Gelato- Twenty or so flavors, super creamy and dense gelato. They've got a high-tech customer loyalty program on a tablet pc up front. Some seating inside and small patio outside. Dog-friendly with soon to be, doggie gelato

          * Vinos Finos- Cozy wine bar, very European/Argentinian. Good choice of S. American wines with generous pours at a good price. Small food menu but look forward to trying their empanadas. Had a chance to chat with the owner a bit, will be back for a wine-tasting.

          Overall I'm impressed with what they're trying to do here. Look forward to trying Upper Crust, Paparazzi and the upcoming crepe place. I don't live very close but I'll be back!

          -----
          Henry's Gelato
          10725 S US Highway 15 501 Ste E, Southern Pines, NC 28387

           
           
           
           
          2 Replies
          1. re: RonboNC

            Nice job! Appreciate you taking one for the team. ;-D

            I seldom am up that way and was intrigued when I was passing through. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this is where Vinos Finos is located. I had recently purchased a groupon (or something) for them, but wasn't really sure exactly where they were located! I'll try and report back once I use it.

            1. re: RonboNC

              Just made a stop at Henry's Gelatos in Cary. They are pretty good, but don't have all their flavors in the case. They have some in the back so if you are inclined to want a certain flavor.. ask if they have it in back waiting to be put out.

              -----
              Henry's Gelato
              1063 Darrington Dr, Cary, NC 27513

            2. I just read on city-data that Antonio's has closed.

              17 Replies
              1. re: meatn3

                A long time ago and became part of the shop. That place isn't really great for food but the small plates/wine place looks interesting. Other wise you have to really search for anything worth going there for from what I could tell (the whole village that is).

                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                  I'm totally confused by what you are saying.

                  From what I read Antonio's (market + ready to eat) closed recently. Lafayette Village is still open. (Edit: 5/17)

                  Not sure where discussion of it being a destination came up...but the shopping center and Antonio's certainly has filled a need in that part of Raleigh.

                  Edit:
                  https://www.facebook.com/AntoniosGour...

                  1. re: meatn3

                    From what I remember Antonio's closed and it all just got folded into whatever that market was called. Are you saying the whole market itself closed?

                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                      As far as I know Antonio's was always grocery/deli counter/grab and go with some seating for meals. They seem to have expanded the dining in space over time. The whole thing has closed.

                      1. re: meatn3

                        Pampas at the Village is the restaurant which has taken over the other half of the Antonio's space. A slimmed-down Antonio's is still operating in the other half.

                        Pampas is an Argentinian Steakhouse with some Cuban and Italian thrown in. It's a northern outpost of the downtown Oakwood Cafe which used to get a lot of love here on CH.

                        Norberto Meccia and his family operate this place. It's reasonably-priced downhome good cooking. We had a lovely lunch there not too long ago. Churrasco and Skirt steaks -- tougher cuts / generous portions with some tasty sauces. With 2 sides, a good value. Well worth checking out. A real independent operation with hard-working folks. They deserve support.

                        1. re: TerryG

                          So Antonio's is still open? Their Facebook page indicates that they closed a week ago...

                          Pampas sounds terrific though!

                          Thanks for helping to make sense of all the bits and pieces.

                          1. re: meatn3

                            Hmmm. I was there about 2 weeks ago so guess I missed the closing. No surprise. They were empty when I was there. Too bad. They were a nice option. It's was a bit of a schlep so feel a bit guilty for not giving them more support.

                            1. re: TerryG

                              I was just at Lafayette Village this weekend and I can confirm that they are indeed closed.

                    2. re: meatn3

                      Wow, the space must be cursed - it looks like Pampas just closed only six months after opening, http://blogs.newsobserver.com/food/ar....

                    3. re: burgeoningfoodie

                      burgeoningfoodie, I understand what you're saying but I think the coffee shop there is top-notch, http://www.jubalavillagecoffee.com.

                      1. re: D R C

                        Agreed. Juballa is an excellent coffee shop with great espresso drinks. There's also a Henry's Gelato location, a nice little wine bar, a spice store, and a chocolate shop among a few other restaurants that are ok in a pinch. All in all, it's a nice little addition to North Raleigh and worth taking a look at.

                        1. re: D R C

                          I agree Juballa is the best coffee shop in all of Raleigh. Have yet to get an espresso drink there always order one of the pour over coffees.

                          1. re: chazzer

                            Will they sell coffee to go these days?

                            When they first opened they wouldn't - said it was a quality issue iirc. It surprised me since we have such a "to-go" coffee culture. They lost a few sales that day.

                            1. re: chazzer

                              I thought a lot of people like Benelux and Helios

                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                I found Helios to just be selling trends without any substance. Juballa takes their coffee seriously and it shows by giving a great cup.

                        2. re: meatn3

                          If so, that's too bad. They were a great place to buy meat and fish. Although, I feel a bit guilty as I haven't been there in quite a while as I was usually too lazy to make the extra trip for these items (when I never had another strong reason to stop in and I could get all I needed at Whole Foods).

                          But, they had been constantly tinkering with the store and the layout. The last time I was in there, they cut the store space in half to make room for a restaurant on the other side. It made it all a bit claustrophobic and just not as pleasant. Still, I really liked the idea of it and wish they could have kept it going.

                          1. re: dinersaurus

                            I suspect the new WF's probably had an effect for exactly the reasons you site.

                            I do still miss Conti's and Antonio's helped fill that void. Although the last few times I stopped by to p/u a sandwich I couldn't get waited on and ended up leaving.

                        3. To add to the discussion. Antonio is looking into another venture.. no word yet on what and where.

                          1. Morning! What do you all think about the Lafayette Village area in general? As in, do you see it as a place that wold support a long-term restaurant, or a place that will see a lot of places come & go?

                            A friend of mine is scouting restaurant space and that was one option. Like someone said below, Lafayette Village would be a destination for me coming from inside the beltline. If I am purposefully going to drive that far (20/25 minutes) I'd probably rather drive to Durham. But obviously that is just me and where I'm located.

                            Any thoughts on the viability of that location would be appreciated! Thanks!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Tehama

                              There's quite a bit of upscale residential in the area along Durant and Honnicutt Rds. I'd always assumed that they were the target audience for Lafayette Village anyhow. Also, there are a number of smaller restaurants serving the lunchtime crowd in the area, Tookie's, Piper's, and NY Bagel among them. Then you have to figure that if Niall Hanley just spent all that money to put a branch of the Hibernian right there, he must feel that the area can support the business.

                              I can only speak for myself. I work further south on Falls and I live further west past Creedmoor Rd. I go to the bagel store for lunch regularly and wouldn't have any problem going back to Falls for dinner if a restaurant appealed to me. I have some trouble seeing the area as a destination for inside-the-Beltliners, though.

                              As far as long-term viability, it's hard to say. Most restaurants are not all that viable in the long term. I'd say that would have more to do with the general appeal of the concept and having good relations with the landlord. Look at Margaux's. It's stuck in a cookie-cutter suburban strip mall next to a Tuesday Morning and a Jersey Mike's, yet it's been there well over 15 years, an eternity in the restaurant world.

                              I don't know how helpful this was but maybe I've given you some ideas.

                              1. re: rockycat

                                Thank you so much! I really don't have mega-awesome vibes about it, but mostly because it is such a haul for me. That is terrific feed-back. Thank you so much!

                              2. re: Tehama

                                Of all the places in that part of North Raleigh just south of 540, Lafayette Village is probably the most viable spot for a restaurant. They seem to get a lot of traffic there, it's much more attractive than every other shopping strip nearby, and there's plenty of other interesting shops and places to pull people in. I'm not qualified to give any sensible marketing or location advice, but all I know is that I personally want more options in that area, especially more quality upscale restaurants. It would be nice not to have to schlep it to downtown or Durham or wherever for a decent meal.

                                1. re: dinersaurus

                                  This is just a FWIW. I had lunch yesterday at Papparazzi (see short review in another thread) in Lafayette Village. At 12:30 on a weekday there was only one other table indoors occupied when we walked in. There were a few occupied tables outdoors. By the time we left there were only two more tables seated. One looked like a small office party and the other was a parent and two children, both of whom were plugged into their individual electronic devices.

                                  This may be indicative of absolutely nothing.

                                  1. re: rockycat

                                    Now that you mention it, the demand around there for lunch is probably low. There's not much density of office space nearby to draw people in and nothing that's walkable nearby. I've typically been there in the evenings or weekends when there's been decent crowds, especially when the Village is hosting events, but I'm sure it's quiet during the day. As for Papparazzi, I tried it once but didn't find a compelling reason to return, it just seemed like a generic Italian place, so it wouldn't surprise me if they're empty.

                              3. Purchased a cherry pie and mini Boston cream cakes from Upper Crust (http://www.uppercrustpieandbakery.com/) bakery for a Memorial Day party. The mini cakes were very good, but the cherry pie was the star. Stuffed with slightly tart cherries enveloped in a delicious crumble topping. Very fresh and delicious. 5-star rating!

                                Shout out to the Olive Wagon (http://theolivewagon.com/about.html), as well. Friendly staff, lots of samples and delicious oils, vinegars and other pantry staples. I made a shrimp dish with the citrus Habanero olive oil and it was the perfect amount of heat. The white balsalmic vinegar was terrific in a salad dressing.