Let’s face it… this is the important bit. While a buffet is offered, you are always able to order à la carte. Though the buffet looked amazing, I opted for a Reuben. Though there was quite a lot of corned beef, it was still easy to eat (easier than those from some restaurants that get seriously carried away with sandwich construction).
My coworkers opted for the prime-rib French Dip, and they couldn’t stop raving about it. The creamed horseradish was particularly tasty, apparently!
If you are even in the area, you should make it a point to give it a shot – I know I’ll be coming back!
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.
For our second day, we opted for a fairly low-key start as we had been traveling well into the night (not arriving in Kansas City until midnight), and we wanted to be well-rested for our Rennaisance Faire adventure plans the following day. Our hosts mentioned many restaurants but two really stood out, so we knew we had to make time for them. Grünauer and Jack Stack BBQ. For our first night, we opted for Austrian.
Grünauer was founded by an Austrian family, and is still run by the same family. The food is carefully prepared and presented, taking additional care to remain true to tradition. The menu offered a wide variety of options, so we made sure to try a few different things. We started the evening with drinks (a Racing Bird, similar to a spicy margarita), and ordered appetizers: a plate of Austrian meats and fried mushrooms served with tartar sauce.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the drink, as I am usually not a fan of tequila, but the citrus flavors combined with the spicy salt (pepper and paprika were involved, I think) blew me away. The liverwurst was surprisingly delicate, while making sure you recognized its presence, and the real surprise was how well fried mushrooms went with tartar sauce. Two things I would -never- think of combining!
For entrees, we again wanted to try quite a few different options. I went with a traditional Austrian farmer’s meal (Bauernschmaus), while others had a Waygu-style beef Goulash, sirloin, Paprikahuhn, and crepes.
Though the farmer’s plate was described as having bacon, it was truly more in the vein of pork belly. Delicious! The sauerkraut had an excellent flavor and the acidity left meat (served on top of it) tender. My girlfriend and our friends all enjoyed our respective dishes. If you are visiting, you really should make it a point to stop by!
We wrapped up our dinner with a nice cup of coffee, with some of us ordering Melange (a spiced cappuccino) instead. Delightful!
I am a sucker for good BBQ, and Fahrenheit 250 didn’t disappoint! I opted for jerk chicken with brisket chili and cheese grits. The grits weren’t runny (yay!), and everything had a wonderful kick to it! These folks know what they’re doing, for sure. They also have a decent selection of beers on tap – be sure to be there for happy hour!
After a productive week, the team felt a night at an Irish pub was in order. With an expansive selection of whiskies and beers, it was an excellent decision! I opted for a Reuben with a fried egg, and their soup of the day: a turkey meatball in a curry sauce akin to that of butter chicken!
The hat opted for Shepherd’s Pie – also with a fried egg! It was an excellent choice from what I was told! Our server, responsible for recommending the inclusion of egg with our entrees, certainly earned her tip – she knew the menu like the back of her hand, and was happy to suggest both libations and savories.
This weekend I was visiting Charleston for my brother’s white coat ceremony. For those not familiar with it, it is the induction ceremony to medical school, so definitely cause for celebration! After some poking around, we decided we would go with Halls Chophouse, as it had excellent reviews across various platforms and specifically identified dry-aged beef – a personal favorite.
Halls Chophouse can be found in downtown Charleston at 434 King St, Charleston, SC 29403. Though there are many fine dining options available in Charleston, I think I have found my new favorite. Be sure to dress the part, though – it is an upscale joint!
We started the evening with a nice glass of Syrah, as we were all planning on having steak for dinner. After inspecting the menu, we decided on sharing Oyster Rockefeller. We also agreed on Brussels Sprouts with roasted Pancetta in a light cream sauce for one side, with the second side for the table being Collard Greens cooked in Apple-Cider Vinegar with chunks of bacon. You can see the full menu here.
For my entree, I went with a 14 ounce, dry-aged New York Strip. It was cooked expertly at a warm rare.
I cannot say enough good things about this aspect of the dining experience. Our waitress (Caitlin – ask for her!) and her coworkers never let our water levels fall below half, took care of our wine, and even served our sides to us. The most striking thing, however, was that when she asked if we were here for a special occasion, she communicated that to the member of the Halls family that was working that evening. I have never seen that done before, and it blew me away.
He then came by our table and told us how great it was to have us joining him for dinner. As we were getting ready to leave, our waitress let us know that they had given my brother a slice of chocolate cake as a congratulatory gift from the entire Halls family! More surprising still, after we had left the establishment, he followed us to the street and called us back to have complimentary shots of Fireball to mark the beginning of the next chapter of my brother’s life. I have never seen this level of attentiveness at a restaurant, and it really blew me away.
This is how you get repeat customers.
If you are headed to Charleston in the coming months, or even if you aren’t – make it a point to come to Halls Chophouse!
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!