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Special Dinner in Triangle?

Looking for a romantic gourmet restaurant in the Triangle area for a special anniversary dinner. Actually, it doesn't have to be in the Triangle, as we'll be traveling from ENC and will spend the night. We live near Kinston, and while Chef and the Farmer is fabulous, it's right here, so we can go any time we want, and are looking for something special for this celebration.

We love seafood, not big beef eaters. Any suggestions?

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  1. For outstanding food in a romantic setting, Herons at the Umstead (Cary) and the Inn at Fearrington House (Pittsboro) are peerless.

    1 Reply
    1. re: peetoteeto

      Thank you for the excellent recommendations. Right now Herons is at the top of the list!

    2. Both of Peetoteeto's recommendations are correct and solid. If they don't appeal to you for whatever reason, the other old standbys for the type of meal you are describing are Second Empire and Mo's Diner, both in downtown Raleigh.

      1. You should check out One Restaurant in Chapel Hill. I haven't been since the new chefs have taken over however the reviews I've read all appear to be glowing. It's something to keep in mind.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Erika RollerGirl

          One is another good recommendation. We've been to One twice during the tenure of the new chefs. It is well worth a visit for a romantic dinner or a fun night out.

        2. You say you'll spend the night, and that this is a special anniversary dinner. I think one reason peetoteeto mentioned Herons and Fearrington is not only are the restaurants excellent, they are also a couple of the nicest places to spend the night in the triangle. So quite a bit better than solid if the 'total experience' is something that would interest you.

          Not sure if you've seen http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/01/3.... We can debate rankings but all the places you'd likely consider are listed.

          1 Reply
          1. re: D R C

            Every anniversary is special, and you're right about the total experience being important. Thank you for the link to the News Observer piece; I had not seen it, and it gives great info. Being relatively newly relocated to the state, and living in the middle of nowhere as we do, finding great food is often a challenge.

          2. For Chapel Hill, stay at the Carolina Inn which is beautiful with great service and dine at Lantern one of the top restaurants in America. It's a lovely walk from the Inn as well.

            1. Thanks to all for the great suggestions! Pretty much every one is right up our alley, so the decision will be a difficult one, but will also leave plenty on the list of future adventures.

              1. I haven't been in awhile but also the Washington Duke Inn would be a nice stay and you could eat there as well. There maybe a nice bed and breakfast in Pittsboro and you could eat at Oakleaf and while it is nice, it won't compare to the haute cuisine at Heron's or Fearrington.

                I'd skip Second Empire which has great ambience but subpar food for the setting and price. It's like the opposite of chef and farmer where the ambience is okay but the food is really good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                  It's been a couple of years but I wouldn't recommend the food at the WaDuke. Lovely atmosphere, great place to go for a drink on a spring day, but the food was average at best for me.

                2. Thanks to everyone! We've made reservations at the Umstead for their "Culinary Artist" package, which includes one night's lodging and dinner with wine pairings. I'll be sure to report back.

                  I'm thrilled to have so many other great choices for future date nights.