Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends
Best Restaurants in Research Triangle: Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC
All restaurants are 919 area code
Highway 70 at Airport Road
This "Beefeaters Haven" is acclaimed nationally. Angus beef is aged and cut on premise. Lamb, pork, seafood and vegetarian dishes are also featured. Award-winning and extensive wine list. Reservations strongly suggested. Dinner.
Big Eds City Market Restaurant
220 Wolfe Street
Serving up quintessential Southern comfort food. Country-style food in faux country setting. Lots of antique kitsch on the walls. This is the place for "brains & eggs" and "mess o collards." Yummy biscuits and platter-sized pancakes. Breakfast/Lunch.
Blue Ridge: The Museum Restaurant
2110 Blue Ridge Road
Situated within the NC Museum of Art this dining room truly serves up art-on-a-plate with zesty, multi-cultural foods. Upscale service. Lunch/Limited Dinner Service
509 W Whitaker Mill Road
Upscale neighborhood restaurant with innovative multi-cultural fare. Locally-acclaimed chef. Dinner.
6196 Falls of Neuse Road
The "Osso Buco" here is a must at this intimate eatery. Northern Italian cuisine. Dinner.
136 East Hargett Street
Very "New York" Italian, emphasis on pasta dishes. Downtown neighborhood hub. Lunch/Dinner
Chambers Food & Spirits, The Commerce Building
19 West Hargett Street
Spiffy and sophisticated ambience. Upscale multi-cultural food and polished service. Dinner.
Charter Room, Velvet Cloak Inn
1505 Hillsborough Street
This elegant dining room has assuredly stood the test of time. Both classic and cutting-edge upscale fare (regional and multi-cultural). Quiet, deluxe atmosphere in one of the citys leading hotels. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/ Sunday Brunch Buffet.
corner of Lynn and Creedmoor roads
First-rate Northern Italian food, both classic and new. But make sure you leave room for the tiramisu. Incredible! Lunch/Dinner
Greystone Shopping Center
7713-39 Lead Mine Road
Its rare that "East Meets West"-styled cuisine works really well, but here it does thanks to the skill and creative instincts of the chef-owner of this establishment. Seafood is the main focus of the menu. Reservations
518 Italian Cafe
518 West Jones Street
A downtown gathering place for fresh pasta. Contemporary Italian cuisine. Cappuccino bar. Lunch/Dinner
42nd Street Oyster Bar
508 West Jones Street
Upscale "fish house" setting. Acclaimed steamed and fried oysters with the works: hushpuppies and slaw. Also, varied seafood and non-seafood selections. Lively "upwardly mobile" bar scene. Reservations suggested. Lunch/Dinner.
Fox & Hound Restaurant & Pub
MacGregor Village SC, Hwy 64W
A "pub crawl" through this well-appointed, comfortable establishment
unearths classic British favorites such as superb Cornish pasties and fish n chips, but also creative entrees reasonably priced. Lunch/Dinner
Glenwood Village Shopping Center, Glenwood Avenue
The taste of Charleston and the cuisine of the "New South" is to be found here in this very neighborhood, very trendy dining room with its sleek, linear interior. One is comfortable in a tennis outfit or spiffy evening
wear. "Grits & Gruyere" anyone? Lunch/Dinner
Hayes Barton Cafe & Dessertery
2000 Fairview Road
The hamburger at this 40s-50s neighborhood "retro" diner is a two- hander if ever there was one. Upscale culinary choices as well. And the cakes, all homemade, are eye-popping and utterly delectable. Lunch/Dinner
901 W Morgan Street
The chef-owner of this establishment is often touted as one of the best in the area. Irregardless was born in the 70s as Raleighs first vegetarian restaurant. But now the menu is broadened to offer seafood, chicken and meat choices. The place has a retinue of fans. Lunch/Dinner
Kanki Japanese House of Steaks
North Market Square
4500 Old Wake Forest Road
Crabtree Valley Mall
4325 Glenwood Avenue
Presents the "theatre of food" with skillfully trained Japanese chefs performing masterful hibachi-styled cooking. Also, a sushi bar. Lunch/Dinner
2519 Fairview Road
Oysters Fella---six fried oysters sitting atop an assemblage of chopped spinach, bacon, pinenuts and asiago cheese finished off with a lemon cream sauce---is a must here! Upscale but casual. Very neighborhood. Lunch/Dinner
Cameron Village Shopping Center,
422 Woodburn Road
Multi-regional Chinese cuisine prepared at its best and to order. Lunch/Dinner
Brennan Station Shopping Center
8111 Creedmoor Road
"Eclectic Mediterranean" cuisine served in an upscale atmosphere. Excellent press and word-of-mouth reviews. Lively bar scene. Dinner.
Bent Tree Plaza SC, corner of Falls of Neuse and Strickland roads
This is a neighborhood-styled eatery, moderately upscale. Pasta dishes, signature portobello mushroom selections, meal-sized salads and stone-fired pizzas. Culinary focus is Mediterranean. Dinner
330 Hillsborough Street,
Upscale service and food of the contemporary American genre. Vertical food to match the loftiness of this stunningly rehabbed "Second Empire" Victorian mansion. Dinner.
Simpsons Beef & Seafood
Creedmoor Crossings Shopping Center
5625 Creedmoor Road
Reminiscent of the elegant supper clubs of the 50s and 60s. Owner Mel Simpson presents the ladies with a long-stemmed rose. Excellent bone-in prime rib, steaks and seafood dishes. Live music (light jazz and contemporary) in the lovely wood-paneled bar. Dinner.
Spartacus Grille, Waverly Place Shopping Center (lower level)
852-5050 (with other locations in Chapel Hill and Durham)
The only restaurant to offer a Greek foods buffet at lunch, Tuesday through Friday and on Sunday. Plus a full range of a la carte choices. Famous for its signature braised lamb shank. Lunch/Dinner
AnotherThyme Cuisine, Coffee & Spirits
109 North Gregson Street
Chef-owner has one of the finest palates in the Triangle! Multi-cultural cuisine. Famous for its breaded , boneless fried chicken (addictive!). The sauces----from exotic to simple--- are noteworthy and will have you
practically licking your plate. Dinner.
Blue Nile Ethiopian Cuisine
Lakewood Shopping Center
2000 Chapel Hill Road
Traditional Ethiopian dining. Organic vegetables, meats and seafoods prepared authentically, mild to spicy. This establishment is a treat! Dont miss the honey wine which is made on premise. Lunch/Dinner
905 Main Street
This restaurant was cited by John Mariani in Esquire Magazine as one of the countrys "Top 24 New Restaurants of 1999." Good reason. Great food! Lunch/Dinner
Fairview Restaurant at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
3001 Cameron Blvd.
Provides a truly elegant dining experience. Award-winning multi-cultural cuisine. Noted chef. Dining room is a good place to "see and be seen." Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
2701 Chapel Hill Road
Superb multi-regional, cutting-edge cuisine prepared by a chef who has trained under some of the countrys most illustrious chefs such as Emeril Legasse and Charlie Trotter. Don't miss dessert! Dinner.
Hartmans Steak House
1703 E Geer Street
Durham landmark steak house revered for its fried banana peppers and onion rings. In atmosphere and furnishing, little has changed since this restaurant opened in 1940----a fact that fans applaud. Dinner
1002 Ninth Street,
The accent is on "New Southern" cuisine prepared by award-winning chef. Nationally recognized. Always crowded. Energetic, bistro-like atmosphere. Not the place for quiet conversations. Dinner.
2514 University Drive
Cutting edge is the rule-of-thumb when it comes to menu-planning. Always thought-stimulating play and partnership of ingredients. Multi-regional focus. Superb bread. Upscale service. Dinner
905 W Main Street
First-rate Mediterranean and Greek foods. Particularly popular at lunch. Acclaimed baklava and souvlaki. Lunch/Dinner
810 W Peabody Street,
If youre in the mood for rubbing elbows with a crowd, this is the place. Known for pasta dishes and excellent bread. Lunch/Dinner.
2200 West Main Street
Dynamite decor. Lofty and artistic. Excellent Mediterranean food. Lunch/Dinner
4700 Guardian Drive
Somewhat integrated into the lobby but food is delicious, creative and worthwhile.
200 West Franklin Street
Co-owned by basketball legend Michael Jordan, hence the name "23." "New Southern" cuisine. Big plates, small portions---except in bar (more generous servings). Good food, though. Attached is store where Michael Jordan merchandise is sold.
1350 Raleigh Road (Hwy 54 E)
The mussel bisque here is a must! Revered for its pasta dishes and addictive bread sticks. Lunch/Dinner
Carolina Crossroads Restaurant
211 Pittsboro Street
This definitively "Chapel Hill" inn is beautifully decorated and is worth a visit. The restaurant features Southern regional cuisine, but multi-regional as well. New twists on old classics such as blackeyed pea cassoulet and fried catfish with apple & fennel coleslaw. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Sunday Brunch Buffet
610 Franklin Street
Heralded locally for low-country and Southern favorites. Casual, very popular. Famous for its Shrimp & Grits. Dinner/Sunday Brunch
Dining room features table d hote service at this prestigious award-winning inn. Dinner only. Charming "plantation" setting. Market & Cafe (542-5505) on the property for less pricey dining (lunch and dinner).
1500 N Fordham Blvd
Rehabbed service station converted to diner. Great grits. Yummy smoked salmon omelet. Super burgers. Full-range menu from comfort foods to more upscale foods at night. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Four Eleven West Italian Cafe
411 W Franklin Street
Mega-popular eatery renown for pasta dishes. Lunch/Dinner
Grill At Glen-Lennox
1201 Raleigh Road
Hearty, meaty dining but light fare as well. Creative presentations. Stone-fired pizzas. Lunch/Dinner
Il Palio Ristorante
1505 E Franklin Street
Elegant dining room and service. The states only Triple-A four-diamond Italian restaurant. Northern Italian cuisine. And its the best of the best! Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Sunday Brunch Buffet
202 W Rosemary Street
Sets the continental table in a charming ambience. Upscale. Dinner
1129 Weaver Dairy Road
You havent tasted chicken until you tried this establishments grilled chicken with dipping sauces! Its a casual atmosphere, so go ahead, use your hands! Quesadillas are an A-plus as well. Lunch/Dinner
121 Rams Plaza
If youre from or visited upper New England and have a passion for lobster rolls, this casual, place-your-order-at-the-counter eatery is the only place in the Triangle that serves them. Good lobster. Lunch/Dinner
431 W Franklin Street
Quality ingredients and creative spirit is the hallmark of this establishment that offers multicultural fare. "Plaki" a fish dish--- is a signature, exhibiting remarkable simplicity and freshness. Lunch/Dinner
401 W Franklin Street
Trattoria-styled food. Friendly as all "git-out" chef who, if he has the chance, will regale you with food talk. Lunch/Dinner
Fred Benton is food editor of SPECTATOR Magazine
and is producer and host of
"Food Forum" and "Better Living" on WDNC-620AM radio in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill areas of North Carolina.