Category Archives: Wine

REVIEW: Sitti – Raleigh, NC

If you work in or near downtown Raleigh, there are so many dining options that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Let me help. Start eating at Sitti once a week. The healthy options will make you feel good about your decision to dine out, while the freshness of the meal will keep you coming back.

I am a huge fan of baba ghanouj (bah-bah guh-noosh), a dip made from roasted eggplant, olive oil, tahini and spices. Sitti’s version of this dish is garnished with pomegranate seeds and bursting with freshness. Along with the restaurant’s warm pita bread, this could be a meal!

Baba Ghanouj – roasted eggplant whipped with tahini, garlic, yogurt and lemon juice

Baba Ghanouj – roasted eggplant whipped with tahini, garlic, yogurt and lemon juice

My friend ordered the goat cheese & orange salad. It was full of fresh fruit, goat cheese and walnuts. This is what I would have ordered too, but I didn’t want to get the same thing – I wanted to be adventurous!

Goat Cheese & Orange Salad – mixed greens, sliced orange, goat cheese, dates and walnuts in a lemon vinaigrette

Goat Cheese & Orange Salad – mixed greens, sliced orange, goat cheese, dates and walnuts in a lemon vinaigrette

I ordered a falafel wrap, but the real star of this dish was the deliciously seasoned french fries. The fries are seasoned with thyme, parsley, sea salt and olive oil. Is your mouth watering too?

Falafel Wrap – crushed chick peas, seasoned and fried, with lettuce, tomato and tahini sauce.

Falafel Wrap – crushed chick peas, seasoned and fried, with lettuce, tomato and tahini sauce.

Sitti has a selection of appetizers, sample platters, wraps, salads, kababs and flatbreads. Take advantage of their special deals during Triangle Restaurant Week.

 

Happy eating!

-Haley

 

Sitti on Urbanspoon

REVIEW: Plates Neighborhood Kitchen- Raleigh, NC

“Globally Inspired. Locally Produced.” That is the motto and exactly what you will find at Plates Neighborhood Kitchen, a new restaurant in the Glenwood South neighborhood near downtown Raleigh. Plates opened November 1st and you will need to make reservations if you plan to go during the weekend. The atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming. The food is elegant yet the prices are reasonable. The servers and bartenders are helpful and friendly. What more could I ask for?

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I went with two friends on a Friday night and we did not have reservations but luckily there were three seats open at the bar. The bartenders were very personable and we had a great evening. I started out with a lavender julep which was carefully made and thoroughly enjoyed. For dinner I ordered a smoked salmon and leek salad with a citrus vinaigrette. I would definitely order it again!

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My friend ordered chicken with grits and kale. He especially enjoyed the grits and finished every last bit. For dessert, I saw that Plates had a persimmon creme brûlée. I don’t usually eat creme brûlée but I love persimmons, so I ordered it. I also tried some port with my creme brûlée. It was a perfect dessert.

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The menu changes often because Plates uses fresh ingredients that they try to source locally whenever possible. You can expect local food with an international inspiration, served by friendly people.

The menu provides just a few options which is nice because you won’t be overwhelmed with choices. Until it comes to dessert… chocolate chess pie, creme brûlée, sticky toffee pudding and cheesecake.

Check out the New Year’s dinner menu at Plates.

I hope you enjoy Plates as much as I did.

-Haley

Plates Neighborhood Kitchen on Urbanspoon

 

REVIEW: Venable – Carrboro, NC

Venable Rotisserie Bistro in Carrboro takes comfort foods like chicken pot pie, ravioli and udon soup and turns them into something fabulous. I lived in Carrboro for two years and I can’t believe I didn’t try this restaurant until now. It is one of my new favorite restaurants in the Triangle. Venable is a fine dining establishment with the attitude (and price!) of a casual Carrboro restaurant. We started our meal with the chèvre salad, “local beets with hazelnuts, goat cheese, mixed greens and a sherry hazelnut dressing.”

Chèvre Salad

This salad was perfect. Creamy goat cheese, sherry vinaigrette and a waffle-cut beet. The presentation was very nice but equally important is the taste, which was phenomenal. It was difficult to pick an entree, given the elaborate choices. Here are some of their options (check out the full menu here):

NORTH CAROLINA FLOUNDER – $22
Bacon-wrapped NC flounder with butternut squash purée, braised red cabbage and roasted sweet potatoes

ROOT VEGETABLE CHICKEN POT PIE – $15
Rotisserie chicken with carrot, parsnip and celery root stew topped with puff pastry crust

GRILLED SALMON – $16
Grilled Atlantic salmon with soy-ginger green beans and skillet-roasted fingerling potatoes

Grilled salmon

Grilled salmon

We went with the grilled salmon, and it ended up being a great choice. The photo above is a half-portion, but with the salad, it was just the right amount of food. We got our salmon cooked medium, as our waiter suggested. It was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. With the description of “fingerling potatoes,” I was expecting a heap of fried potato strings. I was pleasantly surprised with the healthier option of large cuts of sautéed potatoes. I would definitely get this dish again!

Bonus: Venable has a lot of vegetarian and vegan options! And check out their brunch menu…so many delicious options!

I hope I’ve sold you on this wonderful restaurant! It is a great place to eat dinner before checking out a show at DSI Comedy or enjoying a local band at The Station.

-Haley

 

Venable Rotisserie Bistro on Urbanspoon

REVIEW: Guglhupf Bakery – Durham, NC

I used to drive past Guglhupf three times a week on my way to an internship. I drove past it for months before trying it because by the time I would get off work, it was closed. Once I finally went there, it became one of my favorite cafes in the Triangle area. The unmistakeable European feel will put you at ease and allow you to make new friends out of strangers. The cafe is spacious, with plenty of outdoor seating and two floors inside. The adjoining bakery emits the delicious smell of freshly baked bread out onto the patio area. If the weather allows, sit outside and enjoy a sandwich or a snack like you have no where else to be.

Guglhupf Bakery in Durham, NC

Guglhupf Bakery in Durham, NC

I visited Guglhupf before Thanksgiving to spend some quality time with my friend Liat. It has become somewhat of a tradition for us after I took her there for the first time last year. I don’t usually stray far from my favorite item on the menu, a turkey, brie and apple chutney sandwich. However, this time I got something a bit different, a turkey, grilled pear and gorgonzola sandwich. The sandwich was heavy on the turkey, but the strong flavors of arugula and gorgonzola cheese complemented the sweet, grilled pear. I still prefer the turkey, brie and apple chutney sandwich, but this one is a close second. Guglhupf also has an assortment of small plates and salads.

House-roasted turkey with a grilled pear, arugula and gorgonzola on rustic house bread

House-roasted turkey with a grilled pear, arugula and gorgonzola on rustic house bread

Liat got what she always gets – the strawberry tart. I have yet to try it because the sandwiches always fill me up. The menu is not large but there is an option for everyone, whether you are craving a hearty soup or something sweet. After, or even before, going into the cafe, check out the bakery. I dare you to walk out without trying anything.

Nutzen den tag!

-Haley
Guglhupf Bakery on Urbanspoon

Vin Rouge steak frites

REVIEW: Vin Rouge steak-frites – Durham

<p style=”text-align: left;”>Saturday night I went to <a href=”http://www.vinrougerestaurant.com/” target=”_blank”>Vin Rouge French Bistro</a> to specifically try the steak-frites. I just had an amazing experience in Paris with steak frites at the Café du Commerce and I wanted to see how Durham’s offerings stacked up against the Parisians.

I ordered hangar steak with bleu cheese butter.

It was absolutely delicious.

I eat my steak rare (as everyone should!!) and it was perfectly cooked.

I couldn’t finish it (I had ordered the porc rillette for an appetizer because I have tasted Chef Matt Kelly’s rillette before and couldn’t help myself) and the leftovers were as good the next day for lunch. I only wish that I’d had some more frites…

I ordered a carafe of <a href=”http://louisdressner.com/Texier/” target=”_blank”>Éric Texier 2008 Côtes du Rhône</a> red and was very happy with that choice, too. When you are in the mood for excellent steak and hot crunchy fries, head over to Vin Rouge on Hillsborough Road! You won’t be sorry.</p>
<p style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”http://www.eatitnorthcarolina.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/vin-rouge-steak-frites1.jpg”><img class=”size-medium wp-image-875 aligncenter” src=”http://www.eatitnorthcarolina.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/vin-rouge-steak-frites1-300×225.jpg” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”225″ /></a></p>
<p style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/25/292367/restaurant/Old-West-Durham-9th-St/Vin-Rouge-Durham”><img class=”aligncenter” style=”width: 200px; height: 146px;” src=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/link/292367/biglink.gif” alt=”Vin Rouge on Urbanspoon” /></a></p>Rich Text Area










Saturday night I went to Vin Rouge French Bistro to specifically try the steak-frites. I just had an amazing experience in Paris with steak frites at the Café du Commerce and I wanted to see how Durham’s offerings stacked up against the Parisians. I ordered hangar steak with bleu cheese butter. It was absolutely delicious. I eat my steak rare (as everyone should!!) and it was perfectly cooked. I couldn’t finish it (I had ordered the porc rillette for an appetizer because I have tasted Chef Matt Kelly’s rillette before and couldn’t help myself) and the leftovers were as good the next day for lunch. I only wish that I’d had some more frites… I ordered a carafe of Éric Texier 2008 Côtes du Rhône red and was very happy with that choice, too. When you are in the mood for excellent steak and hot crunchy fries, head over to Vin Rouge on Hillsborough Road! You won’t be sorry.



Vin Rouge on Urbanspoon




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Word count: 158   Last edited by Charlie Brinson on January 27, 2011 at 12:03 am





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