Though I’ve lived in Raleigh a fair amount of time, I haven’t explored nearly as many of the restaurants as I would have liked to. Thankfully, my girlfriend is more than happy to help me do that!
Margaux’s has an interesting offering with heavy French influences, and it goes well beyond its name. The menu is divided into appetizers, salads & soups, permanent entrees, rotational entrees, village dining, and a prix fixe menu. Because of the sheer number of options, it can be a little overwhelming to make a decision!
My girlfriend can’t resist an authentic French onion soup, and Margaux’s did not disappoint! The Gruyere was perfectly crusted onto the bowl, and the onion was delicious in the broth. I went with the Choucroute Garnie, which was both very well presented as well as delicious.
For entrees, my girlfriend opted for lamb, while I went with triggerfish. I had actually never heard of triggerfish before, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect going in, but found it to be quite light.
The lamb was spectacular. If you have the opportunity – give it a shot before it is rotated out of season! I am definitely going to be coming back!
After my initial visit to the Capital Grille in Raleigh, I was sure to sign up for their mailing list for any fun events that they might be hosting. Though I had received invitations to a few that we weren’t able to attend, when we were presented with an invitation to a prix fixe Easter brunch that we would be able to make, we had to jump on the offer.
The menu was very reasonably priced for the available choices, and for those that wanted to deviate from the prix fixe offerings, the full menu was also provided. Though we were given the option of ordering mimosas and other refreshing adult beverages, North Carolina law doesn’t allow the sale of alcohol on Sunday until after noon (in restaurants), so we had to wait a little on that. Thankfully, the rest of the meal arrived in a timely fashion!
For our starters, I opted for the smoked salmon, while my girlfriend went with the kale salad. Nothing too exciting, but quite tasty all the same.
We didn’t have to wait long for our entrees once our appetizers had been cleared away, which was a pleasant surprise given how busy they were. I went with the dry aged steak with a fried egg, while my girlfriend broke her long-standing rule and opted for lobster. Though my steak was cooked perfectly, my egg was left runny (as opposed to fried), and my girlfriend’s lobster was overcooked to the point of being inedible. The manager made everything right, however, and completely comped her meal.
For dessert, I decided to treat myself to flourless chocolate cake, while my girlfriend went with the crème brûlée.
The service, as always, was excellent, and we were never left with empty glasses. If you have a chance, definitely check out the Capital Grille for one of their many brunches! It’s a great opportunity to have excellent food at a reasonable price.
Google Now just informed me that there has been talk of Delta replacing the 757 that is currently being used to connect Raleigh-Durham, NC (RDU) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) with a 767. This would be a pretty big improvement in the quality of flight for passengers. Delta’s Pink Force One is an example of a 767, though it is a -400, not a -300 as I would expect to bridge RDU and CDG.
While the Delta One seats in the 757 are lie-flat, they lack the lumbar massage option that the 767 and Airbus 330 offer. After being in a seat for a prolonged period of time, I can vouch for how helpful these can be! This also means more Delta One seats, and hopefully better uses for Global Upgrade Certificates. The 767, being a wide-body aircraft, allows for aisle access from all Delta One seats, so you don’t have to worry about stepping over anyone if you need to get up and stretch. Again – an improvement from the 757 currently serving this route.
Right now Delta is only planning on this being a seasonal upgrade, but I hope it sticks around. RDU flyers can expect to see this change in the Spring of 2017, slated to start on May 25th.
You can see seatmaps for these planes on SeatGuru. Though it isn’t clear which variant of the 767-300/-400 will be used, there isn’t too much change in what you can expect as a flyer.
The wristband for the attendees of the 10th anniversary of the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ festival. Love the slogan!
I took an Uber there and back to be safe, and couldn’t help but wear this shirt from Woot. It was too perfect for a BBQ related festival!
There were quite a few proprietors in attendance, and quite a lot of deliciousness in a very small period of time. I have a few of my favorites listed below.
Seeing a whiskey based mixed drink that also contains tea intrigued me, and though I am not a huge fan of sweet drinks, this blew me a away. The recipe is posted above if you want to give it a go! It’s made with TOPO’s Eight Oak Whiskey, tea, juice, and bitters.
Willie Clay Call was also in attendance with their 96-proof moonshine, and mixed with some apple and ginger juices to create a wonderful flavor. Lots of ginger notes, so if you are not a fan of the burn of ginger, might not be your thing.
I took a chance with this IPA, as I am more of an Amber & Red fan, but the Rye really makes this one work. House of Clay was brewed by Raleigh Brewing.
Probably my favorite non-liquor tasting was Brother Vlgaly’s Jabberwock. The amount of spice and heat brought together was a real delight and the presence of the peppers combines with the chicory to give a nice lasting heat. It’s a liqueur that you could make some very interesting mixed drinks with!
After all that drinking, I figured I should take a break, and with all the BBQ around (and the shirt I was wearing), it was hard to say no to pulled pork!
While eating, the Part Time Blues Band came back on stage and played some more – including a very well done cover of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World. If you can catch one of their shows, I highly recommend it!
On my way out, I came across this vendor, and while initially drawn to them by their creative naming it was hard to leave after sampling their sauces. All of their sauces have spectacular flavors, and though I went with Phoenix (I felt it was the most versatile of the ones available), there were a few that left a fairly intense lingering heat that builds over time. I can’t say enough good things about these guys – they know what they’re doing!
For those in the Research Triangle area of NC, the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ festival will be visiting Cary on Friday August 5th and Saturday August 6th. There is a full schedule for the year on the site, as well, if you aren’t nearby. Tickets are still available for those interested!
I’ll be visiting for a few hours on Saturday, and will be following up with pictures and notes afterwards! If you see me there, come say hi!
The Capital Grille national chain has come to Raleigh, and American Express sent me an invitation to sample their menu during a special event. Naturally, I was more than happy to take advantage of the opportunity!
For this event, only a small portion of their full menu was available to the guests, but it certainly did not disappoint!
I went with the Dry Aged steak while my girlfriend opted for the sliced Fillet. To go with our meals, I had a glass of Malbec, and she had a Blackberry Bourbon Sidecar.
The presentation was excellent and the wait staff did everything they could to make sure our needs were met. They even served our appetizers to us while holding the plates!
For dessert, they surprised us with a chocolate lava cake served with cherries in a Chambord sauce. So many wonderful flavors!
They left a thank-you note as well as a survey to help improve their performance once they are fully open. I was more than happy to be a guinea pig!
On December 30th, my brother and his girlfriend drove up from South Carolina to spend New Years with my girlfriend and myself. After some poking about online, we agreed on Spanish tapas for dinner at Tasca Brava.
Tasca Brava is a delightful hole-in-the-wall owned and operated by a very passionate married couple: Juan and Marta. I say very passionate because of how enthusiastic they are about their creations — it’s infectious! Give them a chance to wow you and you will not be disappointed!
You can find it at 607 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27603, and there is parking immediately behind the restaurant so there’s no need to fight for parking on the streets.
For dinner, my brother and his girlfriend shared a massive paella (made in the traditional manner, no less), while my girlfriend opted for octopus. I had the lamb, pictured below.
Juan makes wine choices easy by pairing Spanish wines with the larger dishes so even someone as inexperienced as myself can really enjoy themselves!
I can’t say enough good things about this restaurant and the experience we had; all you need to do is let Juan and Marta work their magic and you will not regret it!