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Fearrington

I'm not exactly sure what I booked. I called to reserve a room, and the person I spoke to set our dinner reservation. Breakfast was included with the room. We had a discounted rate on the room of $150, so I don't know how much the normal rate is. They have packages available, but I did't look at them because of our promo. Dinner was $125 per for the chef's tasting menu. We decided to let them pair wines, but if you're not into that the wine list is great.

They have a lovely outdoor beer garden (wines too), and an indoor space called the Goat. I don't think there's a bar that serves liquor until one of the two restaurants opens, but I could be wrong. Maybe at the Granary? The included breakfast is great.

Apr 18, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Fearrington

"upscale plantation-style opulent Southern" pretty much nails it. I found it to be elegant without being stuffy. We did have a great table right in the window.

Apr 13, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Fearrington

Some years back I was lucky enough to celebrate a birthday with a night at Fearrington. We had a great room, the grounds were beautiful and we walked in to dinner with high expectations. What followed was one of the more disappointing meals of my life. It soured me for some time and I had no desire to go back. Since then, there is a new regime in the kitchen, a new beverage crew and Joris (one of the world's great maitre d's) returned. I've had two very good experiences there since and decided to redo the birthday night.

We had magical weather and thoroughly enjoyed the property all afternoon. Had a great Fullsteam custom brew while sitting outside listening to acoustical music, then got dressed and headed to the House. What followed was one of the best meals of my life.

We were immediately greeted with Champagne by the incredibly knowledgeable and gracious sommelier Max. We decided to let him pair wines and the kitchen cook for us, as we didn't want to make any decisions. Canapes hit the table, and we realized at some point we want a whole meal of these little bites. Latkes with carrot caviar (spherification done very well), chicken mousse with fresh chevre and crisp prosciutto (their take on chicken cordon bleu) started things off. Then came a raw course of Yellowtail (fresh horseradish, black quinoa) and scallops (vanilla tapioca pearls, fresh orange). Seared wreckfish with carolina rice and shrimp butter was cooked perfectly. Caramelized parsnip with barley could never sound as great as this tasted. This was also my favorite wine pairing, as Max served us an almontillado sherry that interplayed with the parsnip so well you couldn't figure out if you were tasting the wine or the food. We also were able to taste 90 BV Latour with wooly pig and squab thanks to the coravin system. Lightly smoked pork belly with apple was just phenomenal. There were multiple elements to all these dishes and the plating was ornate.

Dessert started with a caramel foam with yogurt powder and candied orange zest. Then coconut, with multiple coconut textures and dark chocolate. And finally and amazingly light chocolate souffle (somehow gluten free).

I know I'm forgetting some details and dishes, but the gist of it is this kitchen is completely kicking ass right now. Service was superb in every aspect, and we walked out on cloud nine. Hands down the best meal I've had in NC, better than my one meal at Per Se, and in the top ten in my life.

Apr 12, 2014
veganhater in Southeast
1

Stanbury: Raleigh, NC

Yes it was Vietnamese-style. So good. As far as the sweetbreads are concerned, they were fried perfectly and by themselves were tasty. I wasn't crazy about how the bonito flakes worked and our dish was bombed with qp mayo. Minor quibble in a fantastic meal.

Apr 11, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Poole's

Stopped by Poole's for a drink and a few snacks before dinner. I've always liked their beverage program, so we will do this whenever we're staying downtown. Ordered tuna carpaccio, lamb neck tart and brussels with mushrooms and sherry. I've had mixed results with their food in the past (nothing bad, just average to very good), but on this night everything was killer. The lamb tart was unreal, and I literally have dreamed about it. Best food experience I've had at Poole's.

Apr 11, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

The Latest Poole's Downtown Diner-Raleigh

Stopped by Poole's for a drink and a few snacks before dinner. I've always liked their beverage program, so we will do this whenever we're staying downtown. Ordered tuna carpaccio, lamb neck tart and brussels with mushrooms and sherry. I've had mixed results with their food in the past (nothing bad, just average to very good), but on this night everything was killer. The lamb tart was unreal, and I literally have dreamed about it. Best food experience I've had at Poole's.

Apr 11, 2014
veganhater in General South Archive

Stanbury: Raleigh, NC

We had a great meal at Stanbury recently. I'd been dying to eat there since they opened, and after getting shut out a few times finally made it happen. The feel is comfortable and casual, and nothing like what I consider a dive bar. We dined on a nice night and the garage door was open, which I loved. Our server was friendly and did a great job pacing the meal.

I love the way the menu is set up, with a bunch of small plates and a few large plates. We opted to order small plates until we couldn't eat any more. Highlights included beef tartare (my favorite dish of the night), swordfish crudo (fresh, tasty, pretty), marrow bones (no brainer), fried oysters (perfectly fried), crisp pig head (fried gelatinous meat), roasted beets, duck breast and a sliced steak dish (can't remember the cut, do remember liking it). The only dish I wasn't jazzed about was crisp sweatbreads, but everything else was delicious.

Apr 11, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Lemon pepper with garlic and onion

I'm not exactly sure what you mean, but parsley tames garlic.

Apr 05, 2014
veganhater in Home Cooking

Eastern NC Barbecue - Blackbeards

There's always a chance skylight could run out, but it's highly unlikely. As for blackbeards, it continues to be solid. Mess burger, barbecue, all soups, liver and onions and most vegetables are recommended. I'm not crazy about either slaw and I'd steer clear of the tossed salad (field greens) as they tend to be gritty.

Mar 31, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Low Country Road Trip

where have you booked in Charleston?

Mar 25, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

"True Cue" BBQ Certification in NC

Thanks. Great link. Blackbeards in Conetoe needs to be added to this list

Mar 25, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Chef/Owner of 18 Seaboard To Open Restaurant in Durham

Maybe they should call it hot pate instead

Mar 25, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Chef/Owner of 18 Seaboard To Open Restaurant in Durham

Hamburger = Ground beef

Mar 25, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Chef/Owner of 18 Seaboard To Open Restaurant in Durham

Pate = cold meatloaf

Mar 25, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Chef/Owner of 18 Seaboard To Open Restaurant in Durham

Sweet. I wish I could read the menu from your pic. What else was on the menu?

Mar 23, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Straw Valley Cafe in Durham to get redesigned by chef at Il Palio

I've only had a few plates at the bar, but enjoyed One quite a bit. The food was beautiful and delicious, but totally different than Straw Valley. Definitely some tweezer usage in the plating, and portions lean towards tasting menu's. The room was nicely done, but still can't fully escape the strip mall location. Very different restaurants

Mar 14, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Seeking Wilmington, NC, recommendations

Tower 7 is fun Cali-mex in wrightsville, brasserie du Soleil in lumina station just outside of wrightsville, and +1 for cd's recs

Mar 12, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Joule, in Raleigh

I'm agreeing with the NY Times on this one, not tooth tooth. The food and drink are great and it's possibly AC's best effort. The prices are in line with many other brunch options around, including some you mentioned. If you're this worried about paying $12 for a brunch plate, it's probably not the place for you. Maybe you should call Ashley up and explain to her you know how to price her menu better than she does, and see if she could stop piping in the imaginary "forced hipster vibe" you sense. I'd certainly go out of my way to eat here, especially for the unique biscuits and gravy. Many others seem to agree as it's been busy on every visit (3).

Mar 12, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Joule, in Raleigh

We will have to agree to disagree. I thought everything we had was delicious. $14 for shrimp & grits is a good deal in my book. The ny times seemed to think highly of Joule as well.

Mar 11, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - March 2014 [OLD]

I love the croissants. Let them rise overnight and bake in the morning.

I don't love the Bolognese sauce.

Mar 11, 2014
veganhater in Chains

Joule, in Raleigh

I found the dish to be an interesting riff on biscuits and gravy. The gravy had a deep, beefy flavor and was chock full of short rib. I will admit I like when chefs play around with peasant dishes (Keller's pork and beans and apdc's foie gras poutine come to mind). Regardless, the rest of the menu doesn't qualify as fancied up basics, unless you consider nicoise salad, eggs benedict and heirloom tomato salad as basics. I find a plate of NC shrimp and stone ground grits at $14 to be a good deal. Ditto for the Nicoise salad. I also thought the coffee prices were reasonable considering what they serve. $4.25 for an 11 oz cappuccino and $2 for a 12 oz. drip coffee seems fair.

The reality is, after eating there I was surprised at the negative comments. I would kill to have Joule where I live. I wasn't in a rush to check the place out partly because of reading this thread, but it may have replaced Scratch as my favorite brunch stop in the Triangle. Where are y'all going for brunch that offers up great food and coffee that's so much better of a value?

Mar 11, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Joule, in Raleigh

Recently had brunch at Joule and absolutely loved it. Cool space, great coffee and fun menu. It's certainly not dirt cheap, but I found the prices very fair for what we got. I don't get griping about what your meal costs when the prices are clearly printed on their menu. Hangover is $12, two farm eggs are $4. It's not like they surprised you.

We ordered a large cappuccino that was $4.25. For great coffee, that's a normal price. They do use great coffee beans across the board, which I fully expected before our visit.

The food was fantastic. We ordered biscuits and gravy (loaded with short ribs, delicious), Huevos Rancheros (perfectly cooked eggs, big flavors), and benedict (killer porchetta in place of bacon, perfect eggs again). My expectations were that the eggs would be local farm eggs (they are), the short ribs would not be from cargill (they aren't), the porchetta would be made in house from local pig (it is), and the cooking would be technically spot-on (it was). I think prices are very reasonable, service was great and food was great. Definitely high on my brunch list.

Mar 11, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Straw Valley Cafe in Durham to get redesigned by chef at Il Palio

A couple pics. Duck breast and beef tartare

Mar 08, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Straw Valley Cafe in Durham to get redesigned by chef at Il Palio

Y'all get ready. Straw valley opens their restaurant The Black House on Wednesday. We were able to get a sneak preview and it was pretty awesome.

They've done a great job with the space so far. Very warm and inviting. Fireplaces, water fountains, a wall of plants, lots of cool nooks and crannies. Plenty more is scheduled for the grounds and bar area, but right now they've got the dining room feeling great.

For those unaware, the service and beverage program are run by master sommelier Fred Dexheimer. As expected, the wine list is well chosen and lots of fun. He's also come up with a great cocktail list, taking full advantage of the juice bar in the cafe. Water comes still or sparkling courtesy of a Vero system. The coffee service in the cafe conveys to the dining room.

The menu is broken up into about 8 or 9 starters, a couple pastas that can be ordered half or whole, 3 seafood mains, 6 protein mains, a couple items for two, vegetable sides and starch sides. The mains were described as having a sauce and a heavy garnish, and sides ordered to round out a meal. The setup lends itself to sharing/family style. Highlights included beef tartare, ceviche, both pastas (no surprise considering the chef), scallops with black truffles shaved tableside, whole fried black bass with fermented beans (former chef from cypress is in the kitchen with Adam), duck breast, hangar steak, poulet rouge for two, Carolina fried rice, potato gratin, truffled sun choke purée (f#€king delicious), creamed kale, mushroom ragout and sautéed rapini. Amazing level of cooking on the first night with no real missteps. Very excited to see what happens after a few weeks under their belt.

Mar 08, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Xiao Bao Biscuit coming to Asheville! (possibly)

Agreed. I now hate people from Asheville. Why on earth did they pick Asheville over rural eastern nc?

Mar 08, 2014
veganhater in Southeast
1

Need Charleston Recs for mid April

I think I did it. Thanks. Very empowering

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/961042

Mar 06, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Great food, open Monday dinner, Durham, possible Chapel Hill?

My last meal at revolution was fun, but it was last summer. It's been even longer since I've been to four square, but I've had nothing but good meals there. Too many places to keep current with, especially living over an hour away. I haven't even been to One yet (two attempts fell through).

Mar 06, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Great food, open Monday dinner, Durham, possible Chapel Hill?

Revolution and Four square are open on Mondays, off the top of my head

Mar 06, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Sunday night dinner in Chapel Hill

My pleasure. It's the only way to travel. Corkage is cheap as well. If you're really picky, bring your own glasses.

Mar 05, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Sunday night dinner in Chapel Hill

Gourmet kingdom is also a great option for authentic Chinese that's a short drive or cab ride away, as previously mentioned. Great food, not great beverage program (bring your own wine and pay a corkage fee).

Mar 04, 2014
veganhater in Southeast