Mateo

    Authentically delicious with Spanish flair Review originally published 2/1/2013 By Greg Cox At Mateo, patatas bravas are bite-size chunks of fried potato, so delicately crisp you could have told me they were roasted. Tumbled onto a puddle of a piquant, subtly smoky tomato sauce, then topped with a blanket of aioli and a…

One

(Note: One closed on April 2, 2016) New, improved One deserves 5 stars Review originally published 11/8/2013 By Greg Cox This summer, One’s owners closed the Chapel Hill restaurant temporarily for a reboot. It was barely three years since the place had opened with a big-budget decor, so changes to the dining room amounted to…

Mandolin

Review originally published 5/11/2012 By Greg Cox A recent special at Mandolin featured a single scallop for $15. It was worth every penny. Delivered live to the restaurant, the monumental mollusk and its dense, briny-sweet roe sac were expertly pan-seared and presented on the half-shell. Anchored to terra firma by an earthy dab of parsnip…

Coquette

Second Helpings of French Favorites By Greg Cox Original review published 6/26/2015 I made some return visits to restaurants I haven’t reviewed in a while. This time around, I drop in on a few French favorites. My dear Coquette, It’s hard to believe that six years have passed since I last wrote to you. It…

Herons

By Greg Cox Original review published: 12/25/2009 At the conclusion of your meal at Herons, the restaurant in the luxe Umstead Hotel, your bill is delivered to your table in an elegant ostrich skin wallet. Tucked into the wallet along with the check is a Guest Experience Card, which asks you to rate your experience…

Second Empire

Original review published: 12/21/2001 By Greg Cox When Second Empire opened four years ago, it instantly became one of Raleigh’s most sought-after dinner reservations. Many wanted to see the inside of the historic Dodd-Hinsdale house, whose resurrection from spooky derelict to grand Victorian mansion just three blocks from the Capitol had been highly publicized. Gourmets…

Angus Barn

Original review published 5/11/2001 By Greg Cox The hostess’ brow furrowed almost imperceptibly as she looked down at the reservation book. By the time she looked up, her welcoming smile had returned. “Was that reservation originally made for 7 o’clock?” Oops. I should have suspected something was amiss when my appointment calendar reminded me of…

Bloomsbury Bistro

Review originally published 3/26/2010 By Greg Cox On a recent menu at Bloomsbury Bistro,  one of the entree options was (gourmets,  prepare to gasp in horror) tilapia. A freshwater fish known for its low cost,  mild flavor and frequent appearance on the menus of ethnic restaurants,  tilapia is hardly fashionable,  and certainly not what you’d…

Four Square

Original review published 12/17/1999 By Greg Cox You pull into a parking lot framed by ancient crape myrtles, and when you get out of the car you find yourself looking up at the massive Doric columns of a Neoclassical Revival mansion. Built in 1908 and beautifully preserved from its slate roof to its leaded stained…