Food is fabulous! Desserts are heavenly! Best barteneder in town. Service needs a little help but highly recommended otherwise.
Durham Bookcases (www.thebookcaseshop.com) is located diagonally across Duke Street from Parker and Otis so we go over there for coffee quite a bit. Love their Irish Cream Latte, drip coffee, hot chocolate, and cafe au lait.
We've eagerly looked forward to Ashley Christensen's (Poole's Downtown Diner) latest venture, and she has not disappointed! This well-lit corner bistro is down-home urban chic with a little nouveau-industrial flare. A long communal table runs through the center of the dining room. The energy is all about getting down to the business of seriously simple, damn good food.
Like it's sister restaurant, Poole's, Beasley's menu is chalked on a blackboard over the bar. Featured cocktails are quirky and well-blended. We tried the Big Bad Old Fashioned, made with bacon washed bourbon, maple syrup, bitters and orange peel. Just the right mix of sweet and bitter. There's an interesting handful of beers and "soda pops," as well as wines. Drinks are served in jars (even the old fashioned, in a little jelly jar), adding to the upscale, no-nonsense, down-South vibe. The quart-jars of black tea passing by were strangely beguiling.
True to its name, Beasley's Chicken + Honey offers one entree -- fried chicken. You can get a quarter chicken, light or dark meat ($7.50), or a chicken biscuit (chicken and waffles are featured late night or brunch). The half-dozen or so sides ($3.50) offered the night we dined included biscuits, macaroni & cheese and Heirloom tomatoes.
The chicken was piping hot, utterly juicy, spicy, crunchy perfection. The drizzle of honey elevated it to Southern-fried nirvana. I am already -- one day later -- craving it again. Biscuits were wedge-shaped, rich and likewise drizzled with honey. The mac & cheese custard was shard cheddar-creamy and spiked with pimentos, and the sliced giant German Johnson tomatoes were flawlessly ripe and dressed with a tangy malt mayo.
Alas, we were to stuffed to try the buttermilk cheesecake with peach jam and rhubarb compote ($5.75) -- something to go back for.
Dinner for two, two drinks each, and tip ran around $60 -- not bad for a downtown night out. My only suggestion for the folks at Beasley's is to put big rolls of paper towels on the tables to clean up your delightfully honey-sticky fingers before heading out!
Consistently high quality. I've loved everything that I've tried. The atmosphere is relaxing.
Make certain you check your bill before you pay at this downtown Durham restaurant. It used to be one of our favorites, but 2 of the last 3 visits they have overcharged us on menu items. We like their food, but do they think we cannot read?
DJ Junior is incredible. I've seen him spin at Elvisfest and Heavy Rebel. He spins an eclectic mix of 50's 60's Rock/Rockabilly. Looking forward to this show!
I went there for the lunch counter specials. I was very well impressed by the food I ate that day. I'll be back with my wife.
Gonzalo Fernández, Raleigh, NC
Lunch for under $10 for salmon, steak, soup, four different salads and a variety of desserts...this is the best kept secret in the Triangle.
Tasty! Love the patio.
not just impeccable fine dining -- best coffee and burger in the neighborhood. great brunch. hospitable service.
Just had dinner at the new location - fantastic. We ordered multiple sides in addition to our entrees. Of note were the polenta, which is to die for - light and airy, flavorful, don't want to know how much butterfat was in it to make it so delectable. The sauteed spinach had morsels of preserved lemons, the broccoli rabe must have been locally sourced as it was exceedingly tender and flavorful. We ordered the mixed nuts and bread with butter for appetizers (we had our kids in tow) - the mixed nuts were roasted with mixed Mediterranean herbs, sugar and butter. The bread seems like it was sourced from Weaver Street (which is a good thing) and the butter included a nice ratio of Gorgonzola Dulce.
For entrees, I ordered the polenta which was also cooked perfectly, the home-made mushroom stock adding depth to the dish. My wife ordered the Chorizo with white beans. The Chorizo was rather mild in the spice department but was very light and 'clean' tasting. Apparently, the Chorizo is locally sourced as many of the menu items are. The white beans were subtle and a nice foil for the Chorizo.
My son ordered the NY Strip steak with fries. The steak was cooked as ordered (medium rare), flavorful and came with a generous portion of fries. The kicker is the special ketchup served with the fries, spicy and smokey.
The wine list, thankfully not too extensive, is well-rounded but most importantly, complements the menu well. I had the Argentinian Malbec which was superb.
Hats off to both Hitch and Janet on moving to the new location despite the rather dismal economic climate. The new location is well designed, a nice mixture of urban contemporary architecture and west coast casualness. There is outdoor seating as there was in the previous location, and I would imagine that when the restaurant is full, might be the place to be if you want to have an intimate conversation.
Support this restaurant, it deserves to succeed on the merit of it's finely executed cuisine.
I love La Rez! The atmosphere is an A+ and diverse. Formal and romantic yet very welcoming and relaxed. The food is excellent and the staff is friendly and professional. Going to La Residence is such a treat for me. It's like getting away from all the hustle & bustle of everyday life. also, great wine selection!
Tonight my wife and a few of our friends went to Nelsons in Raleigh. It was our second try as our first experience was less than good. Upon our arrival, our table was ready and we were sat in the side dining room. We were unlucky to be there on a night where a friend of the owner of Nelsons and a group of about 10 of his friends were dining adjacent to us in the dining room. The acoustics were awful. The people were drunk and screaming the whole night. We politely asked them to settle down a little and their response was, "We are spending more money than you so who cares if we are loud!" Well at that point I felt it was time to involve a manager. We asked that the manager to say something and we were assured it would be taken care of as we were not the only ones complaining. Well nothing happened for about 20 minutes. Finally after we were DONE with our entrees the manager came out and asked us if we would like to move. We asked for the check and felt that we should be compensated in some way for the bad experience. Well they not only did nothing again, we were offered not even a free iced tea. We were never acknowledged again and we left with no apology from the management. Our server Kelly was very apologetic but her hands were tied. It was a management issue and nothing was done. We were insulted, belittled, and treated like second class by the "friends" of the owner so I will never eat at Nelson's again and I suggest you don't either. The owner should be ashamed of himself for allowing behavior like this from his "friends". The steaks and seafood are just as good at any other restaurant in the area with alot less attitude. Diner Beware.
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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