Hounds in Raleigh for one night
A large group of us are in Raleigh for business tonight and looking for a dinner that is interesting and cutting edge, not steakhouse, not barbecue, not a chain. A young chef with ambition? A mixologist with interesting ideas? Fun, not pretentious and with unfried food options desired. Thanks, Chowhounders--I can reciprocate with advice about LA.
Poole's Diner, Mo's Diner, and J. Betski's off the top of my head.
306 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Poole's would definitely be my first choice. The chef was on the cover of the local alternative paper this week, so they could be slammed. They don't take reservations for small groups but may for larger groups. Be sure to call ahead. Here's the site: http://www.poolesdowntowndiner.com/
I've always thought Sitti would be a good place for this type of thing. It's a great room with lots of sun light. Great food from Lebanon and a solid selection at the bar.
All the spots are located in downtown Raleigh.
Raleigh, NC, Raleigh, NC
Your request sounds like a review somebody would write after visiting Poole's. I think that's definitely tops on the list.
I guess other possible spots not already mentioned might include The Borough although that's probably not cutting edge food-wise. Maybe also buku for both food and bar. If you were interested in Mexican options, both Dos Taquitos Centro and Jibarra would be good spots.
I also agree with Foundation as top mixology spot. I've only been a couple of times. I think I'm in the minority here but it didn't exactly blow me away. Friend ordered the weekly special--a Basil Smash--and they couldn't find the basil so they tried to concoct something else. I ordered a dry rye Manhattan but initially jut got a shot of rye. At least they were up to trying to create an alternative and also had a choice of rye.
7420 6 Forks Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615
110 E Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601
OMG!!!! Poole's was perfect for us. Thank you everyone. Not only did we have a great meal, but I looked pretty smart for finding it. The sweet corn soup with lobster salad was a sweet corn foam with salty lobster in the middle. I have never eaten anything like it. We moved on to the beet salad, the beef carpaccio with green fried tomatoes and the amazing mac and cheese. I shared the striped bass, with another foam--"emulsified tomato water" actually, and amazing hairloom tomatoes. We ended with the chiffon chocolate cake with a lovely salt note and the lime panna cotta, served with diced watermelon. And I had the Milan Mule--a vodka/ginger/lemon/basil drink that was complex--spicy/sweet/delicious. Not only were there cutting edge elements, like the foam, but the ingredients were tops. The heirloom tomatoes that accompanied the bass were plain and delicious. We got there around 6:30. It would have been an hour wait for a table, but there were 5 contiguous seats at the bar that suited us perfectly. The curve of the bar meant that we could all talk with each other. We will be back on our next visit. Chowhound rocks!