Dinner in RTP Again
I wanted to thank all the hounders who helped me last year durring my trip down to RTP it was a great food success and got to have an amazing meal at Watts Grocery and the ambiance at Angus barn was great but do tend to agree with the comments made about price vs what you get.
I will be heading back down to RTP and was looking to visit some more of the sites that were on the list from last year. Please let me know if anything has changed or a new place is beter than something on this list. I only have 2 nights and will probably be eating at top 2:
Elaine's on Franklin
I just read that Magnolia Grill closed which was top on my list for this trip I heard so many nice things about it I wish I would have went last time. Please let me know if i am making the right choices with Poole's and Elaine's on Franklin and if there is anything else you would recommend.
Note: my work budget is 50$ pp prior to tax and tip
Thanks in advance for your help.
Frazier's just closed. I would do Poole's and Lantern as my top 2 from your list, or consider substituting Panciuto in Hillsborough for one of those two. It's worth the drive. Not to make it too confusing, but I'd add the following for consideration: Vin Rouge or Rue Cler (both in Durham).
Finally, at the priciest end of Triangle dining - and I haven't been to these places - there's Fearrington House, Il Palio, and Herons.
I'd add One in Chapel Hill to your list somewhere in the middle. I'd also recommend Lantern up at the top with Poole's. Poole's doesn't take reservations, so arriving shortly after they open is the key to a short wait. It's worth the wait, but if you'd rather not wait or if you're looking for someplace quieter, go to Lantern. Also, check out Lantern's lounge.
Herons, Panciuto,a nd lantern are all solid recs but will definitely consume your per diem for a 3 course meal and drink.
Not sure how much alcohol you're planning on consuming (maybe none since it is a work dinner?) but I don't think I could make it out of Elaine's or Lantern for $50 pp before tax and tip. It would be tight. That said, I love both places. Vin Rouge would fit the budget and I love it too, not sure if offers things you can't get where you live, but it is a great place. I don't know the Raleigh side of the Triangle so can't offer any thoughts about those places, but always like readings what others think so I can plan my rare trips there.
re: Tom from Raleigh
I love doing a few appetizers instead of one and then a main. I feel like a lot of chefs put a bit more imagination into the starters, and they definitely change them/have more specials as appetizers than they do with main courses at the Lantern. They've had some of the most amazing spring rolls I've ever had there in the past few months (although not being a pork eater, I haven't tried the latest). They have the new one, they had a duck one, and they had a vegetarian one with shiitakes and asparagus.
I agree that chefs appear to take chances with apps and I like it. The current Lantern menu has Korean fried chicken which is always good.
Last year, one of their special apps was a beef carpaccio with some Asian vegetables, chiles and dressed with sea urchin oil. It was an amazing, ummami bomb!
Looking fwd to going to Lantern again on Saturday night. I love living in Carrboro with Lantern as my local, nice restaurant. We may not get as many new restaurants as Cary, Derm, or Raleigh, but we have quality.