When you're sated, just flip the tag red-side-up, and the servers won't both you; unless, of course, you subsequently flip the tag green-side-up again, in which case they'll start coming back with more.
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The combination of quantity and festive atmosphere more than offsets the inconsistent food quality, though some of the meats are quite good. When we went with friends the top-round and lamb were very good, the skirt steak and chicken also good. The fish was dreadful, but hey--it's really a meat place! And once you find things you like, you can pile your plate high. They also provide complimentary fried bananas excellent and mashed potatoes. Dessert, in the highly unlikely event you have room, is an extra charge, and the selections look nice. Alternatively, for no extra charge, you can go back to the buffet and have cheeses and bread.
Chamas is located in Brightleaf Square, in the restored-warehouse space formerly occupied by Brightleaf and before that, by Fowlers. The phone is It's definitely worth trying at least once. Steven Schwarcz. Its food was described as "among the very best in the Triangle" and its atmosphere as "formally elegant.
There's little I would add except to say that the food quality, in my experience and that of some of our other colleagues , can be a bit uneven. It's not quite Magnolia Grill. But when it's great, it's truly superb. We've eaten three times at "Orient Garden," a relatively new Chinese restaurant in Durham, and have had exceptionally good meals each time.
Although small, the restaurant is reasonably attractive with a large tiled decoration of a dragon on one wall. The menu is standard but they will make you special dishes on request. This restaurant does not have quite the depth of Peking Garden in Raleigh, our favorite in the Triangle, but it's very good and a lot closer.
The address is W. This is a classic and classy family-run restaurant. Sam Papanikas is the executive chef, his brother Chris is the general manager and maitre d', and their parents Glen and Angelika Papanikas are the owners. Sam is turning out some wonderful dishes, including a truly superb "confit" of salmon and an excellent roasted lamb; and all of the traditional Greek dishes the family being of Greek ancestry and the restaurant itself describing its food as "Hellenic and Mediterranean Rim" are also first rate.
The restaurant's atmosphere is sophisticated but, at the same time, almost homey, making Papas Grille a very pleasant dining experience.
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Prices, too, are reasonable for the quality, though certainly not cheap. My only complaint is that the wine list, which otherwise is quite good, does not list vintages. With one important exception discussed below , this restaurant has been consistently good for some years, and recently has gotten even better. It's also been expanded and renovated, and now has two attractively furnished rooms so there's usually plenty of room. Prices are relatively modest, especially given the quality.
Be forewarned, though, that there is an important exception to this restaurant's quality: the Tandoori-oven cooked meats are often served overcooked and dry. This occurs even when I warn against it. Oh well, at least the non-Tandoori items are excellent. It's family run Andre Macias is the chef and owner , modestly priced, with tasty innovative food. It's also much closer to home Shannon Road, Suite 1, in Durham, Steven Schwarcz ].
They've eaten there twice and say the food is authentic, very good, and reasonably priced, that the atmosphere is "homey," and that Carmi the owner is charming.
Has any of you been there? If so, would you like to offer your views? The restaurant is located in a renovated building at Morgan Street entrance on Fernway , and the phone is It rivals in quality my favorite steak house in this country Brooklyn's Peter Luger but has a more upscale, decidedly genteel, atmosphere, reminiscent of a private club. Everything Bin Fifty-Four offers says "quality," from the heavy wooden front door, the understated name inscribed subtly on the door, the finely carved wood tables, the beautifully unique but sensible wine glasses, and the fine service.
The steaks are just amazing. As an appetizer, the Kobe beef tartar topped with a quail egg is perfection. As main courses, the dry-aged Kansas strip is one of the most delicious pieces of beef I've ever tasted. The T-bone steak for two is heavenly. The filet mignons are as good as they get. One gets a choice of three specially-prepared steak sauces in separate dishes, all delicious but wholly unnecessary. The side orders, such as chanterelle mushrooms or roasted root vegetables, are also excellent.
And the wine list is exceptional, especially for such a new restaurant.
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Just when you think you can't eat any more, Bin Fifty-Four offers a range of special desserts, including a unique twist on southern banana pudding-topped with caramelized meringue-that would make a French pastry chef swoon. This is the "real deal. Reservations are essential. Reviewed on June 5, [Originally reviewed Dec 4, , I ate at this restaurant again on June 5, and it was every bit as good.
It's a good place for holidays, special occasions, etc. If you do go, you might want to ask Todd or Alal, who manage the front of the restaurant, to have Chef Stapleton or Dumke let you know what dishes they recommend for the evening. You won't be disappointed. This is a new less than three-week old South Indian restaurant located at West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, in the lovely space previously occupied by Cypress-on-the-Hill.
I ate there last evening with friends, and the food was truly excellent: authentic flavors, yet innovative, and beautifully presented. Chef Subash has years of prior experience cooking at restaurants in the two leading hotel chains in India Oberai and Taj , and it really shows. All in all, CholaNad is a really high class experience—yet the prices are moderate. They also have a website: www. Charlie Deal, who runs the excellent Jujube Restaurant in Chapel Hill, has broadened his ethnic appeal with Dos Perros, an upscale, fun, and festive though moderately priced Mexican restaurant.
The address is N. Mangum Street, and the phone is The prices are reasonable, especially given the high quality.
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Il Palio's relatively new chef, David Rose, is highly talented, but it's still not the authentic Italian that it sometimes purports to be. Chef Jim Anile is now in charge, and his food, while good, is neither authentically Italian nor light. It appears, however, that Chef Brugalossi was unable to sell his restaurant in Italy and, at least as things now stand, will not be coming here. Meanwhile, Chef Villella has left. An Italian, Chef Villella is intent on making the menu items more authentic but, at the same time, more innovative.
Ruth Reichl of the New York Times, for example, has described his cooking as joining "excellent ingredients and unusual combinations Chef Villella has started by making his mark on Il Palio's Sunday brunch. This is a quite special restaurant, most definitely worth trying-again and again! The physical space is attractive and highly sophisticated, with deep reddish and greenish hues punctuated by photographs of Asian street scenes. There are essentially three rooms: a front room on the left with tables, a front room on the right with bar seating around the open kitchen, and a back room with a single long table overlooked by a gold Buddha-like statue.
The food is excellent, starting with a fascinating array of small or large appetizers the dumplings are especially good that can be shared or just eaten in lieu of a main course. However, main courses, such as the ginger roasted chicken with jujube and shallot compote or the sliced steak, are equally delicious and well prepared. Desserts, too, are very nicely done. JujuBe also has fine wine and high quality saki selections. I have been to JujuBe with friends three times, and everyone has always been pleased if not delighted.
In the space on Chapel Hill's Franklin Street formerly occupied by Darbar, there's a new pan-Asian restaurant that's well worth trying. Lantern is a very chic and sophisticated place that would not be out-of-place on Manhattan's upper east side. That by itself has negatives as well as positives, the negatives being a high noise level and a bit of an "attitude.
Although the menu is small, the choices are outstanding and varied. Equally important, where the dish purports to be authentic, like the Vietnamese pho, the flavors are quite true to the homeland cuisine. Everything we had on several occasions, with one exception, was quite good.
I especially recommend the black mushroom and cabbage dumplings, and the steamed grouper with black beans, seared ginger, and scallions. The only exception was, the one time we ordered dessert, the coconut rice pudding. We returned it. Perhaps other desserts are better. Lantern is located at W.
Franklin St. The restaurant does not take reservations for parties fewer than five and can fill up quickly, so it's best to go early or late. A new, and quite good, Vietnamese restaurant has opened in Chapel Hill.