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Vin 205 Wine Bar Winston Salem

Vin 205 is associated with Wine Merchants Gourmet in Stratford Towers Center, near but across the road from the lower entrance to Thruway. It is toward the back in the old Celtic Cafe location, if that rings a bell.

Mar 31, 2012
kdbarlow in Southeast

Road trip from Miami to Asheville, need recs

It may be too far off of I-26, but if you want a diner, The Farmer's Shed in Lexington (near Columbia) is a possibility. It's an add-on to a local farmer's produce market that features southern home-style cooking and produce from the family's farm. The menu changes daily and includes choices like fried chicken, meat loaf, and country fried steak paired with your choice of two sides (think collards, butter beans, stewed tomatoes, or hashbrown casserole) and either cornbread or a biscuit for $8.50. Their web site now lists their daily selection, so you can see whether it appeals to you.

We stopped there in March while on our way to Florida and had a very good meal. Be forewarned: they sell out early and are only open between 11 and 7 on Mon.-Fri. However, they were nice enough to let us call ahead and pre-order from the highway, to ensure that our youngest daughter got her fill of chicken and Mac and Cheese.

Jun 17, 2011
kdbarlow in Southeast

Graduation dinner for my son - central North Carolina

The link below should get you to La Botana:

Unless she has reopened, Chef Starr closed her restaurant in Mocksville prior to moving to Sanders' Ridge (maybe two years ago).

Jun 06, 2011
kdbarlow in Southeast

Good Eats near Winston-Salem

For more casual yet distinctive restaurants not mentioned in this thread, I'd consider La Botana for its regional and vegetarian (better considered meat minimalist) Mexican menus and Old Europe, for its German fare and beer selection. I'd also consider Bistro B in Kernersville (sm town located 10 miles down Business 40) for tapas.

Rana Loca (downtown) has an interesting Latin-influenced menu and patio dining can be casual, but the dishes that I've tried have lost a little too much of their Latin roots for my tastes; however, your mileage may vary. The Screaming Rooster and Willows Bistro (mentioned above) have generated some decent buzz, but I haven't had the chance to try either.

Have a nice visit.

Jun 05, 2011
kdbarlow in Southeast

Graduation dinner for my son - central North Carolina

I can think of a few possibilities in the Winston-Salem area based on your list of his favorites. The Goat Lady Dairy (in Climax; between High Point and Greensboro) has a monthly dinner in summer months that emphasizes locally produced cheeses, produce, and meats. It's in a dry county, but I guess that not as much a concern for a high school graduation dinner. In W-S proper, Milner's (SC low country influence) and Sweet Potatoes are possibilities for menus that include several of his favorites. Also on the dress-up side of the aisle would be Fabian's. It's a five course fixed price meal in a small quirky dining room that used to be a gas station. Usually there is a common appetizer, soup, and salad, with your choice of entree and dessert. The menu changes weekly depending on what is available from area farms and Chef Bill presents the menu to the patrons (single seating at 7:30) so you can discuss how you'd like your meal prepared with him. Dinners may take three hours, so you'll need to consider whether this works for you family.

On the casual side, Mozelle's (southern-influenced bistro) and La Botana (regional Mexican) are two additional possibilities. La Botana has both regional and vegetarian menus which are fairly unique for this area. One of my faves is the Burrito Potosino, which is steak or al pastor pork with prickly pear cactus, and pinto beans, with salsa verde and cotija cheese. Given your list of favorites, he may also like trying one of the molcajetes.

Several of the local wineries have restaurants with strong relationships with local farms. The wine may not work for the grad party, but I'd still recommend that you look at Sander's Ridge. Chef Starr does a nice job with southern influenced cooking and their dining room has great character. They do family style dinners on Thursday (w/ occasional music) and have several dinner specials on Friday and Saturday in addition to their on-line menu. Plus, there is a zip line next door, which could be a special treat for your son, just make sure that he brings a change of clothes.

Sweet Potatoes
529 N Trade St, Winston Salem, NC 27101

Goat Lady Dairy
3515 Jess Hackett Rd, Climax, NC 27233

Jun 05, 2011
kdbarlow in Southeast

Good Eats near Winston-Salem

Mozelle's emphasizes a diner/bistro menu with some southern influences. I've had both lunch and dinner there and my experiences have ranged from middlin' to good, although I've only had lunch there since Bernardin's moved into the Zevely House. The food quality has been fairly consistent, although not always to my tastes. We had a work lunch there recently (mostly sandwiches) and everyone was happy with their lunch, except for the shared appetizer of fried pickles, which lost their breading during frying (and are done better elsewhere in town) For lunch, I've usually gone with their half sandwich and soup special. I've enjoyed the grilled pimento cheese and bacon with their tomato bisque and my daughter is a fan of their pimento cheeseburger. My favorite item that I've tried on the menu is the tomato pie, although I think that they should pair it with something lighter for the summer besides succotash. My biggest disappointment was the meatloaf, which I found to be a bit bland and dry the day that I tried it, although I may have been victim of my own expectations, since I would expect this to be a signature dish given their niche..

They are proud of their cakes and pies, and have bragged in the past that some of their pies are made w/ recipes from the previous occupant, which apparently brings back fond memories for folks who have lived in W-S longer than me. I've not really explored the dessert menu, although they do have nice options for a restaurant of their size.

The biggest negative has been the quality of service. The kitchen is small, so there can be a wait when they are slammed. I've had my order botched twice there, but that waiter hasn't been around my last two trips, so that problem may have been solved.

All in all, Mozelle's is a place that I pull for, but I think it needs a few tweaks to reach its potential. I prefer their menu to Fourth St Filling Station, although the slower kitchen can be a problem if the kids are with you. I certainly think that it's worth a try. I like it as a place to meet someone for lunch, but only if I'm not in a hurry. I need to try it again for dinner to see if the addition of Bernardin's to the block has influenced what Mozelle's is doing for dinner.

Which places have left you underwhelmed?

Jun 05, 2011
kdbarlow in Southeast

Anything to eat in Chattanooga?

I can't vouch for it personally, but I had Alleia bookmarked from a previous thread to try the next time I was in Chattanooga. Their menu includes wood-fired pizzas, grilled meats, and a variety of pastas. A search for Chattanooga or Alleia on this board should net you an older thread that had additional recs.

Jul 31, 2009
kdbarlow in Kentucky & Tennessee

Pizza in Winston-Salem

I agree w/ quazi regarding pizza in W-S. I haven't had anything better than decent since moving to W-S about three years ago.

The best pizza that I've had in NC lately was at a little cafe in downtown N. Wilkesboro (Branciforte's?; yes, it was a surprise to me, too). I've been there 3 times now and it's been good to very good all three times, although it was best when the owner was making the pizzas. The entrees weren't quite as good as the pizza, but it's a nice little place to know about, if you are in the area.

WInston Salem chow? Little help chowhounds?

I second quazi's recs to stop in Greensboro if you are looking for pho or good vietnamese. W-S has decent pan-Asian at Xia and Oriental Cafe, but neither is as good as restaurants in CH.

I also heartily agree with his recs for Milner's (low country inspired) and Sweet Potatoes (down-home southern). Ombu off Hanes Mall Blvd also had a good review in the Journal recently, although I haven't had the opportunity to dine there.

I'm less enthusiastic about the barbecue recs, although that my reflect my own biased taste buds (I'm a Wilbur's fan living in enemy territory). I think that Allen & Son in your neck of the woods is better than either of these-or more accurately, I think that it was better a few years ago, since I haven't been to CH lately.

Gluten-Free Restaurants

Most, if not all, of Jose Andres' restaurants have a special menu that lists all of their gluten-free items. I took a friend who is allergic to gluten to Oyamel in Dec and she was happy with her selections. Jaleo and Zaytina are likely to have similar policies.

Winston Salem - Vietnamese

I second quazi's POV. You'll have to make the trek to GBO for good Vietnamese food.

Xia is an attractive pan-Asian restaurant and is your best alternative in W-S. Last visit both spring rolls and pho were on the menu. The food was pretty good, but IMHO simplified for American tastes and lacking some of the complexity of tastes and textures that you will find elsewhere.

Gluten-free in DC?

As pointed out above, Jose Andres' restaurants have separate menus listing only gluten free items and the waitstaff is supposed to trained to accomodate customers who have the need for a gluten free menu.

I dined at Oyamel this past Saturday with a friend who suffers from celiac disease and she was quite happy with the gluten free offerings.

Saigon Restaurant in Greensboro - did I miss the secret password?

I've been to Saigon three times since moving to Winston-Salem just over a year ago. In my experiences, the food has ranged from good to very good and I would second quazi's grilled pork over vermicelli recommendation. I did find the food to be toned down a bit compared to similar dishes that I've had when living in Washington DC, but like gso said above, Duckie has been very accomodating when I've made requests or asked for recommendations.

Chinese takeout in Winston-Salem

Oriental Cafe is the asian place that quazi is recalling. We've gotten take out from there several times and I think that it is a notch or two above Kowloon in quality and most items that I've had are as good or better than what I had on my last visit to Sampan (plus the decor is nicer, if you happen to dine in) The menu is pan-asian, but is primarily Chinese and Japanese (w/ a sushi bar), with a few Thai items thrown in for good measure.

NC Inns with Restaurants

I would like to plan a weekend trip to an inn in the NC mountains or Piedmont that also has a superb restaurant on-site or within walking distance. I moved back to NC last year, after living out of state for over a decade, so most of my knowledge is dated. I imagine that The Fearrington House or some of the inns in Blowing Rock are possibilities, but I would appreciate any recommendations of inns to consider (or avoid) that you might have.

For comparisons sake, I'm looking for a place along the lines of (to use VA and MD examples) L'Auberge Provencale in White Post or Inn at Easton, but not as bank-breaking as the Inn at Little Washington. In addition to The Fearrington House, two other inns on my radar are The Inn at Ragged Garden and Crippens in Blowing Rock, but I'm not sold on any of these after looking at their websites.

Thanks for any suggestions (or for any prodding that I should reconsider any of the above).

Greensboro Recommendations?

We ate at Saigon in late August and it was still kickin' then. However, the Vietnamese restaurant that was closer to Guilford College (the name escapes me)did appear to be closed.

I would heartily second the recommendation of Saigon, assuming that it is still open and isn't too far removed from your location. Of moderately priced restaurants in the Triad, it's among my favorites.

Winston-Salem Brunch

What about the Zevely House? I have yet to try it, but I've gotten good feedback concerning their dinner.

Thai in Winston-Salem NC?

I have visited ChaDa Thai once and also found it to be lacking. Downtown Thai, which was mentioned above by brentk, has been recommended by others as the best in W-S, but I have yet to try it.

Anniversary dinner in Winston-Salem

<<What did you not like about Mr. BBQ and lil richards? Their cue is not heavily smokey but both their hushies are better than the couple of places I have tried in lexington.>>

Thanks for the recs.

I found the barbecue at both Mr BBQ and Lil Richards to be a bit on the lifeless side, so I may be missing the smoke. In DC, we had one place that cooked with wood (Rocklands), but I thought their barbecue was greasy and their sauce was too sweet. Despite its shortcomings, the fragrance of the oak and hickory cooked pork made mediocrity taste better than it should (and probably accounted for why take out was never quite as good). I did give both establishments a second try and Mr BBQ was improved over the first visit. The pork was chopped more coarsely and the sides were fresher, plus the young ladies at the counter were friendly, as always. My wife liked the hush puppies at both places, at least when we got fresh ones. Even with the return visits, I preferred the sandwich (coarser chop) and sauce that I got at Smithfield's in Mebane while traveling over the 4th.

One possibility that an old timer threw out for me is that I may be missing the old NC pig, rather than the 'cue. He contends that much of the pork on the market is too lean and that the best barbecue requires a fattier animal with darker meat. Of course, I may remember these places as being better than they actually were. I'll have to make a road trip to Lexington to test that theory.

<<In my opinion Cha Da Thai just sucks.>>

For us, somewhere between sucks and mediocrity is the truth. I think one appetizer and one entree was OK, but that was only batting .333, which isn't so hot in the restaurant biz.

<<there is a better pho place down the street, Van Loi and another pho place on spring garden>>

Coming in from the direction of Guilford College, my friend pointed out another Vietnamese place which appeared to be closed, though I don't recall the address, so I don't know whether it was either of these.

Must Eat Places in Nashville, TN

I saw your post in passing and since you didn't have any replies I thought I'd throw out a suggestion: F. Scott's Restaurant and Jazz Bar. This is a bit dated, but I had a very nice dinner there with quality entertainment about three years ago. At the time, they had a special after 9 (2nd entree for half price; I was a starvin' grad student),so we had drinks in the jazz bar, then had a great dinner in the restaurant. Current info is here:

Maybe someone else can vouch whether this is still worthwhile.

Jul 27, 2006
kdbarlow in Kentucky & Tennessee

Anniversary dinner in Winston-Salem

Thanks for your suggestions, thus far. I'd appreciate any additional info that you could share about your dining experiences at Nobles (I've got the menu from their website) and Milner's (read the Dinner Belle).

Also, the following restaurants have been suggested off-line: Bernardin's, 1703, Michael's on Fifth, and The Vineyards. Has anyone tried any of these establishments?

Anniversary dinner in Winston-Salem

<<If gso is not too far there are more fine dining options there(Berts, bistro sofia, 223 south elm, etc) or even Saigon(upscale vietnamese).>>

I've been to Saigon once, while visiting friends in GSO and we had a very good meal. We each had a vermicelli entree, one beef and the other seafood, and both were very good. The only mediocre dish was the Hanoi Pho, which was weak that night. I also appreciated the wine list, which is much better than most Asian restaurants.

Saigon definitely deserves a return visit. The other restaurants may have to wait until another anniversary, or at least until we find a good baby sitter, but thanks for the suggestions.

Anniversary dinner in Winston-Salem

<<What did your wife think of Christopher's and what have your other experiences been in the area?>>

Her dinners at Christopher's have been mixed, but more favorable than not. She normally orders a fish entree, which I think have typically been good; the appetizers have been more erratic (I'll ask for more details when she is awake).

We have tried several restaurants, but mostly relatively inexpensive ones where our daughters could comfortably accompany us. Our list would include Arigato, The Loop, Nawab, Mi Pueblo, La Carreta, Village Tavern, Athena, Mr. Barbecue, Little Richard's, Lucky 32, Cha Da Thai, Sampan, Kowloon, and Oriental Cafe. Of these, Oriental Cafe was good to very good, particularly since it came after disappointing dinners at Sampan, and Kowloon (take out)and mediocre dinners at Cha Da Thai and Arigato. Village Tavern (Reynolda Village) was good for bar food (ie. better than national chains), although I'm not inclined to wait for a table at the Hanes Mall Blvd location. I was disappointed in both barbecue places; neither was as good as I remember Woodlands in Blowing Rock and were several notches below how I remember Lexington No. 1, Wilbur's, etc (I'm originally from NC). Mi Pueblo and La Carretta just didn't live up to expectations. While the breadth of dishes is improved over what I could order in NW NC 15 years ago, I expected the quality to be better, given the influx of Latinos over the past decade.

Granted, I may be judging these restaurants by DC competition instead of the competition in the Triad (with the exception of the BBQ joints). Let me know if you want detailed info about any of the restaurants that I mentioned.

Anniversary dinner in Winston-Salem

My wife and I are looking for suggestions for our anniversary dinner in August. We moved to W-S from DC a few months ago and have had mixed results so far with area restaurants. We are primarily looking for fine dining suggestions, but we would also consider other suggestions if they are special experiences. My wife was treated to Christopher's, Salem Tavern, and Bonefish while interviewing for a job, so we'd probably want to try something besides these establishments. Thanks for any suggestions.

Suggestion off the Dupont/Cleveland/Woodley Park Metro -- Casual and moderate $

In Cleveland Park, I like Nam Viet, Indique, and Spices (in that order), but the bar/front at Palena (untried by me but great rep) may be a good choice if your timing is right.

In Dupont, I like Al Tiramisu, Johnny's Half Shell, Firefly, and Hank's Oyster Bar, although the first three of these may be more than moderate depending on your selection.

Most of my dinners around Woodley Park have been mediocre for the money.

1789 - Okay for two 26-year-olds???

My family took me to 1789 for a celebratory dinner after my thesis defense last year. The surrounding diners were mostly older, but the food was excellent and the service was very good, including the way that they took care of my five year old daughter who surprised me with perfect behavior. My caveat would be that our dinner was during the tenure of the previous chef; I can't vouch for the current menu. I also would second the suggestion that you request seating downstairs; it is much more appropriate for an anniversary dinner.