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Oct 4, 2011 12:38 PM

Ann. dinner Sat. in Raleigh advice needed!

We just moved from Seattle to NC, and for our first wedding anniversary we will be in Raleigh to celebrate. We love food, and appreciate an experience and delicious flavors. I did some research, but still need advice... The Chef and the Farmer, Herons, Second Empire, The Mint, or another? Which one? Why? I would love help with selection.

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  1. We'll never be Seattle, but we make a pretty good Raleigh.

    For an anniversary dinner, would suggest, in Raleigh, Second Empire or St. Jacques. In Cary, Heron's. In Durham, Magnolia Grill or Nana's. In Chapel Hill, Elaine's or Lantern.

    After all, Raleigh is also your gateway to the rest of RTP.

    1. The Chef and The Farmer is over an hour east of Raleigh. The food is very nice, however the venue can have a bit of noise and the tables can be close. That may feel more casual than you want for a first anniversary.

      2 Replies
      1. re: meatn3

        Agree with the above recs. Would also add to the list The Fearington House in Pittsboro for a very romantic dinner--even better if you can swing an overnight stay at the house. Heron's would also be great dinner with ultimate night at the Umstead Hotel. Dinner at Magnolia cannot really be topped food-wise but it's not the most romantic spot for sure. More like a grill--go figure. Same goes for Poole's Diner in Raleigh which is more like a diner. The Mint on the other hand has a romantic and lush setting but i understand the food isn't all that. A spot we often end up at for our anniversary is Bloomsbury Bistro in Raleigh. You may want to check their menu online.

        Hope you have fun. We went to Seattle and Vancouver on our honeymoon. I recall well our first dinner at Chez Shea in Pike Place

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

        1. re: Guilty Gourmand

          Love Chez Shea- Had my birthday lunch there last summer.

      2. I would got with Herons above all those you've mentioned. Also in Cary is An which is really nice. In Chapel Hill, I would add Fearrington (a bit south of downtown Chapel Hill) to the list of Elaine's and Lantern. In Raleigh, I would add Flights in the Renaissance hotel at North Hills as a possibility. If our beloved, Bonn Soiree were still here I'd say forget Elaine's and go there, but now I'm just reminiscing. If noise is not an issue for you, I'd add Revolution to your list for Durham if you are looking for Metro Chic. I've not been to Four Square or Piedmont in recent times but they also be options. Can anyone comment on those as potentials?

        Four Square Restaurant
        2701 Chapel Hill Rd., Durham, NC 27707

        1 Reply
        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

          Yeah, I haven't heard a peep about Piedmont since it changed ownership. Anyone been there? Any reports at all?

        2. I was in Raleigh, NC recently with my boss. When went to an Eastern European restaurant called J Betski’s. We chose this place based on the reviews from urbanspoon. It was phenomenal. If you are looking for something different definitely give this place a try. Happy Anniversary!

          J Betski's
          10 W Franklin St, Raleigh, NC 27604

          1 Reply
          1. re: moxta23

            I've been to nearly all the spots mentioned, except Herons, Flights, and Bloomsbury Bistro. Almost all of them serve very good food. Most tend to be brightly lit in my experience. One element necessary for a romantic evening is mood lighting. At Lantern, it's properly dark, so that you feel like you have the whole room to yourself. Also, their Asian influenced cuisine may connect better with your PNW-tuned taste buds than a more properly New Southern menu like Mag Grill would.

            Fearington House would be good, too, but you might want to save it for your 5 year anniversary. It's the special occasion place to go.

            If you prefer Italian food for this type of meal, Il Palio would be a good choice.

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