Finally, the best meal, DINNER. Here are my dinner picks for Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina. A good dinner really helps to turn a bad day around and makes a good day better. P and I are huge fans of going to at least one nice dinner in the middle of the week. Just a little something to look forward to. I hate to pick favorites of anything, but I’m going to say that if you can only go to one, make it Mateo, a close second is Stanbury! I’ve also included a few pre-dinner cocktail choices on the Janutful guides, in case you want to make it a real date night 😉
Here are my other recommendations for Raleigh/Durham:
It’s a tough choice but I’m going to have to say this is my top pick for dinner in Raleigh. We always order the small plates, that way we get to try more dishes! The dessert is really good, so save room. The cocktails are not to be missed either. Reservations are a must here, even getting a seat at the bar is tough at 5:30. My favorite dishes are the steak tartare, and bone marrow. I really like the fried oysters, but the last time I had them they were under-seasoned. This is one of the “hot” new restaurants in Raleigh, and has been featured in several magazines.
Poole’s is Ashley Christensen’s original restaurant in Raleigh; she just won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast in 2014. Ashley Christensen is quite the powerhouse restaurateur in Raleigh, owning Chuck’s, Beasley’s and Joule, with three other places in the works. I’ve always enjoyed Poole’s however it is not exactly a quiet evening. The menu is only on the chalkboard so you have to get up to read them and the atmosphere tends to be loud because the space is small. The food is always great, and the menu changes regularly utilizing local ingredients. No reservations are accepted, so get there early or expect a wait. I prefer to sit at the counter as opposed to a table.
While the online description says Indian, it is not your typical Indian fare, check out the menu. We have loved every meal we have tried and the cocktails are spectacular. Try the Modern President, I don’t even like rum and I love this one. Nothing about the description of the Modern President makes it a drink for me, but it works. The Pork Rice Bowl is a must try, it is one of dishes that is hard not to order, over and over again. You have to order the chocolate covered honeycomb for dessert.
It is Elton John approved (he ate there while playing in Raleigh) 🙂 Again great food and great cocktails. I love all the dishes but the Ginger Glazed Ribs are truly amazing and one of my favorites. This place gets busy fast, I suggest reservations. P and I actually like to grab a seat at the bar when we can.
J.Betski’s is also on my lunch list, but I recommend it for dinner too. They have much more than just sausages and pierogies. Their duck is awesome, and the sides/preparation changes on a regular basis. Make sure to ask about their specials, which are usually very enticing. A great date night choice!
This is my top restaurant of the Triangle. Sadly, I don’t have pictures of our wonderful dinners. 🙁 They do tapas style small plates and I have loved all the ones we have tried. The clams are one of my favorites, the broth is just amazing. I also love the charcuterie board (shocker I know). You do need a reservation and Friday and Saturday night can book up a few weeks ahead.
Very seasonal menu, but always great. Not a great place for picky eaters as the menu is on the limited side. They also keep a seasonal cocktail menu, crafted with lots of house-made ingredients.
Great french fare in a fairly casual atmosphere. I love the asparagus with poached egg dish, and the chicken is really good (I rarely order chicken as my entrée but this is an exception).
I thought I would have a few more Durham recommendations, but it is SO hard to turn Mateo down as an option.
Nice dinner in the middle of the week, yay or nay? Am I really the only one that needs a good meal to make it through?