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May 7, 2014 01:42 PM

Owner of Geer Street Garden Opening Italian Spot in Durham

Spot will be taking over the space that was the first Local Yogurt (across from Nana's and Nanataco).

The owner of Geer Street Garden use to be the chef at Piedmont and for awhile at The Federal.

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  1. Oh, I like the sound of this. Any idea if this is a sit down, table service type of place? I ask because I assume a yogurt place in a strip mall is awfully small for an Italian restaurant, but I'm excited.

    2 Replies
      1. re: rockycat

        Thanks rockycat, that info helps a lot. This place sounds wonderful.

    1. I can't imagine what the parking situation will be like at Rockwood Plaza when this new joint opens. As it stands today, there is already nowhere to park around dinner time.

      1. Tried The Boot for dinner last night, and really enjoyed it. It's a lot like an indoor version of Geer Street, with many long communal tables and a couple of booths in the front and a bar area in the rear.
        The food is geared towards casual Italian, and the price points were very reasonable. We started with the calamari appetizer (generous portion, nice light breading, and including tentacles!), a Caesar salad, and then followed with the linquine with clam sauce and the orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage. All were executed well - it's a great addition to Durham's dining options.
        In terms of parking, we got there at around 6:15, and there were several spaces open, but it might get tougher later on.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ksbee

          People often forget you can park around back of the plaza that holds The Boot, Thai Cafe, Wine Authorities, etc.

        2. no love on this board for Gocciolina? a bartender @ Vin Rouge recommended it to us, and it had been reviewed (and highly recommended) in the News & Observer this week also. seemed stellar to me, fairly-priced, excellent cocktails, decent wine list, outstanding pastas. lots of veggie sides. place was full-up, perhaps due to the review. service might have been a little slow, but it's not a restaurant you want to rush out of. it's in north Durham, Guess Road.

          4 Replies
          1. re: mrwaterslide

            Have read about it, but I think it is so out of the way of a lot of the hubbub (places that are closer together) that it doesn't get much mention. It is on N. Guess rd I believe and is run by another chef that has or had an additional spot.

            I think I recall it being mentioned as sorta upscale italian and a bit pricey for what you get but once a thread starts, I'm sure those rumors will be put to rest.

            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

              I had dinner at Gocciolina a few weeks ago. It was a very good meal at a very reasonable price point. We were very lucky to walk in without a reservation on a Friday night and a get a two top after waiting for amount 5 minutes or so. However, I'd strongly suggest making a reservation because its small dining room stays very busy and is likely to become more so now that the favorable N&O review is out.

            2. re: mrwaterslide

              We've been several times. Lots of love for this place from me! Definitely get a reservation. We think it's great. When you walk in, the decor makes you think you've landed a 70s strip mall red sauce joint, but the food is anything but. The first time I went I got the steak and it wasn't great, but I'm so glad I went back because I haven't had anything worth complaining about since. The fish special was outstanding. You have to order a side, but the pricing is totally fair. The little antipasti are delicious. Some people might not be happy about the portion sizes, but frankly, I'd much rather have a delicious few bites of food than a big pile of blah. Their homemade pastas are delicious. I hope it does well and stays around for a long, long time. Maybe paying North Durham rents will help make that a reality because it's a pretty small place.

              1. re: suse

                re the portion sizes, suse. yes, the starter portions are small, but they are so nicely priced, and so delicious, that you can get one or two more than you might get elsewhere, and try that many more different tastes. the pasta portions were more than ample --- my gf didn't finish hers, so she could save room from the fish course. we left extremely satisfied.

            3. Our turn trying The Boot last week after one of Lulu's school assemblies. This place is perfectly located and I love that it is open right after school. We all agreed we'd like to go back.

              Lulu started with fried mozzarella; I've never been a fan and I don't think L had ever had it before, but what the heck, it sounded good to her, and you know what? It really was good. Not heavy and goopy at all. We also got a bowl of olives for the table, and enjoyed those. LulusDad got the chicken parm sandwich (it came with fries) and a side of broccoli rabe. I think he was very happy with all of them but it was way more food than he'd expected (not a bad thing). Lulu got the orecchiette with broccoli rabe without the sausage, and I got the linguini with clams. We both thought they were slightly overly lemony, but still liked them a lot. Lulu (who has previously never met a pasta she thought was undercooked) felt that the orecchiette could maybe have used another minute. I didn't taste it so don't know, but I will say she's been known to send pastas back when she thinks they're overcooked, so I tend to take her word on this. Still, again, we were both happy. The table shared tiramisu and cannoli and both were hits. I loved the menu, the space and a lot of the food. We'll definitely go back.