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Need 2 restaurant picks (Lantern, Glasshalfull, etc.) in the UNC/Chapel Hill area!

meigga Nov 10, 2011 01:45 PM

I'm visiting UNC for a few days and will have the chance to do 2 dinners in the area. Which of the below you would recommend for the best food or most unique experience?







106 S Greensboro St, Carrboro, NC 27510

  1. x
    xcuzmee Nov 19, 2011 05:47 AM

    I agree, Lantern and Elaine's are fantastic. We've also have had great experiences at Pancuitto in downtown Hillsborough, which is close to Chapel Hill.

    1. b
      burgeoningfoodie Nov 14, 2011 08:05 AM

      May I ask where you are coming from? I have not been to the Lantern but it is the top spot between UNC and Duke areas. I'm assuming you aren't venturing toward Raleigh. I've not been to Four Square in a while and my judgement is biased based on it being a holiday when I was last there.

      I enjoy Vin Rouge and Watts in Durham. I'd also look at Revolution though many give it mixed reviews. I've never been to Crooks but it seems to be a darling of the area. Acme in Carrboro I remember being good and Elaine's was good but for the price I'd choose Lantern and then something else. If you aren't from NC, but want to try NC BBQ without the fuss and without having to travel all the way to The Pit which is good but pretentious for NC BBQ. I'd suggest Backyard BBQ Pit on Hwy 55.

      I've wanted to go to Nana's and have not been but it has been around for a long while. Another place that hasn't been talked about in awhile is Piedmont. You may have to hunt for recent experiences. If you want something much less formal, you can hit up Mediterranean Deli on Franklin Street.. loads of counter displays as well as the typical Gyros, Shawarma, etc.

      Sticking to your list... I would go with Lantern and Four Sq or Lantern and Nanas. Pops is a typical Italian place and Glasshalffull just wasn't that great in my opinion. One has a chic vibe and a new chef and the food is fine but ultimately not up to par with the other 3 mentioned.

      One last Durham recommendation is to look into Blu Seafood. I've not been but it seems to get a overall positive response.

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

      Vin Rouge
      737 9th St, Durham, NC 27705

      Mediterranean Deli
      410 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

      Blu Seafood and Bar
      2002 Hillsborough Road, Durham, NC 27705

      1 Reply
      1. re: burgeoningfoodie
        LulusMom Nov 14, 2011 08:12 AM

        I love Blu seafood.

        Has anyone at all been to Piedmont now that they've changed owners? I used to like the place a lot, but since I haven't heard anything I haven't bothered to go. Has to have been 2 years now since they switched. Would love to hear any reviews.

      2. b
        brokegradstudent Nov 11, 2011 10:01 AM

        A nice list you're starting from.
        Everyone is right about Lantern.

        I like Crooks more than most on the list (and Cheese Pork is back this weekend!). I've also enjoyed Glasshalfull. I especially like GHF for small plates at the bar.

        Since you're including Durham in the list, I'd also consider Rue Cler and Magnolia Grill

        Rue Cler Restaurant
        401 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

        106 S Greensboro St, Carrboro, NC 27510

        6 Replies
        1. re: brokegradstudent
          LulusMom Nov 11, 2011 11:19 AM

          I'm usually a big fan of Glasshalful, but was thinking of taking Lulu for dinner this week and figured I'd look up their menu (it changes seasonally - something I like). I was surprised to see that there weren't any small plates options. This is sad - it was one of the points that initially attracted me to the place (that and the wine ...). The menu still looked very good, but just thought I should let people know that, at least as far as I could see from the website, the small plates part of their schtick is gone.

          1. re: LulusMom
            brokegradstudent Nov 11, 2011 12:00 PM

            oh no!

            1. re: brokegradstudent
              LulusMom Nov 11, 2011 01:45 PM

              Maybe check the website and see if somehow I just missed the small plates portion. I'd hate to be giving out bad info. But I looked, and didn't see, and was disappointed.

              Here's a link to the dinner menu: http://glasshalfullcarrboro.com/index...

              1. re: LulusMom
                rf24230 Nov 12, 2011 05:09 PM

                I would pick McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's or just not eat over Crooks.

                1. re: rf24230
                  Rory Nov 13, 2011 01:24 PM

                  If you love Indian food, go to Vimala's it's really excellent, freshly made, my got-to place in Chapel Hill. I'm a big Indian food fan & cook.

                  1. re: Rory
                    Tom from Raleigh Nov 13, 2011 07:11 PM

                    Vimala's is really great. Well Worth a visit.

        2. brsmith2 Nov 11, 2011 09:12 AM

          I'd say Lantern for sure. Just to add a couple other candidates to your list: Crook's Corner is something of an insititution in town, even if the food won't really wow you. I haven't been, but the Fearrington House is ultra fancy and reportedly outstanding. And finally, another place I haven't been to, but heard great things about, is Vimala's CurryBlossom Cafe.

          Crook's Corner
          610 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

          Fearrington House Restaurant
          2000 Fearrington Village, Pittsboro, NC 27312

          1 Reply
          1. re: brsmith2
            Tom from Raleigh Nov 12, 2011 01:35 PM

            I'd pick Watts Grocery in Durham over Crooks Corner.

            For a change of pace, you could try The Pig or Allen & Son for bbq.

            lantern is my favorite place right now.

            Watts Grocery
            1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705

          2. d
            dinersaurus Nov 11, 2011 08:55 AM

            Yep, Lantern has to be on the list. The area's best cooking and ideas are coming out of that kitchen. As other's have said, you can also eat very well at Four Square, although I think Nana's has better food, but I like Four Square's atmosphere, being in an old home. One is pretty good too and has a sleeker, more contemporary feel to it. If you like things a bit funkier, then Gulghupf might be an interesting option. I'm not as big on Il Palio, although I had a good meal there recently. But, the ambiance just doesn't click for me, as it seems a bit cold.

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

            1. t
              ToothTooth Nov 11, 2011 06:34 AM

              For a unique dining experience, spoil yourself at Four Square.

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

              1. LulusMom Nov 10, 2011 01:55 PM

                I would unreservedly recommend The Lantern. I also think you should take a look at Elaine's - just like the Lantern, it is walking distance from UNC. http://elainesonfranklin.com/

                4 Replies
                1. re: LulusMom
                  meigga Nov 10, 2011 02:16 PM

                  fantastic, thanks! the lantern looks amazing

                  1. re: meigga
                    ksbee Nov 10, 2011 04:08 PM

                    If you are thinking of coming as far as Four Square, you should also check out Guglhupf Cafe - it is an incredible German bakery and cafe: http://www.guglhupf.com/cafe/. Their dinner is quite good - not traditional German fare, but German influenced with fresh ingredients.
                    Il Palio at the Sienna Hotel in Chapel Hill doesn't get much love on this board, but I have had a couple of great meals there recently.http://www.sienahotel.com/IlPalio.aspx

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

                    1. re: ksbee
                      Remsleep Nov 18, 2011 08:01 AM

                      Speaking of places that dont get much love, I've never had a bad meal at Carolina Crossroads at the Carolina Inn. Only proviso is I haven't been there in three years or so, although before that I ate there a couple of times a year as it was a favorite of my in-laws.

                      Carolina Crossroads
                      211Pittsboro St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                    2. re: meigga
                      dbird Nov 11, 2011 09:14 AM

                      Lantern and Nana's. Or you could do Lantern twice.

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