North Carolina Dopers, Restaurant Advice?

Wow, I haven’t actually started a thread in a while, but here goes.

My girlfriend lives in Raleigh and has a birthday coming up. I’m planning to go down there to surprise her and, among other things, take her out for a nice dinner. The problem is, I don’t know the area very well, she goes to school on the outskirts, and she lives closer to Rocky Mt, so I’m looking for some help from the fabulous doper community.

I’m looking for a reasonably upscale restaurant, not necessarily a shirt-and-tie required type place, but still somewhere where I wouldnt be overdressed if I wore that.

I’m figuring on spending about $100 for the meal, she’s underage so there won’t be any drinking involved, the price would be strictly for the meal, dessert, etc.

The last, and most important part. If I can afford it, which I very well may be able to, I will most likely be proposing to her that night, maybe not right there at the restaurant, but a place that would help to set the proper mood would be great.

Any advice for me? Thanks in Advance.

I lived in Raleigh about 6 years ago and there was only one place that would qualify for what you are looking for.

I can’t remember the name of the place to save my life, but posting this in case it jogs another Raleigh doper’s memory. Wonderful, excellent food. Great atmosphere, music. If someone is singing, they’re really good. Not too crowded.

It’s an Italian restaurant. The owner is a great guy, I believe his son died at a young age. I remember seeing this guy on a quick news segment one night, and couldn’t believe I knew this guy. So part of me is thinking he moved to Michigan and I saw him on t.v. there.

Sheesh, I should shut up now. But this place was so great, if it’s still open, you have to go. Even if this place is closed, if someone knows what place I’m talking about, please post. I think his last location was on Six Forks but really not sure. The first location was on the same road the airport is on, but in the shopping center near Kinkos.

First of all, congratulations, soon-to-be-groom Meros!

The Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) has tons of great restaurants to choose from. The Magnolia Grill in Durham is supposed to be divine. I’ve never eaten there myself, but I’ve heard nothing but good things. Second Empire in downtown Raleigh is in a beautiful restored Victorian mansion. Very elegant and very romantic. You may need to call and make reservations there, though. I’ve also heard good things about Bistro 607 in Raleigh, if you’re into French food.

Thanks for the congrats but they might be premature. As much as I’d hope to be able to pop the question that night it’s going to necessitate beinng able to afford it first. Luckily I have until the end of October and I’m looking for a better paying job as we speak.

The Second Empire might do it, the price range is right and the pictures from the website are beautiful. Combine that with her love of al things Victorian to begin with and it might be a winnder. I would, however, love to hear any other recommendations.

Just to increase the area I’m looking for, anywhere around the Triangle would be great. She goes to Peace and I’ll be staying in RTP if a frame of reference is needed. But, since I’ll be driving 9 hours anyway, a drive isn’t two big of a deal, maybe within 2 hours one way or another.

If you both like seafood, try the 42nd Street Oyster Bar . You don’t have to dress up, but you can if you want. It’s a very nice place, but also relaxed. We went there for my birthday last year and had quite a nice time.

The restaraunt is located smack in the middle of downtown Raleigh, right off of Hillsborough Street. The website has a great, easy-to-follow map and a complete menu that you can look at.

Amedeos is a fine Italian restaurant near NC State. Also The Angus Barn Steakhouse is another obtion.

Ok, one of my favorite special occasion places for dinner is 518 West Italian Cafe - there is a website (518west.com). It has wonderful Italian and Mediterranean food. The full menu is heavenly. There are plenty of appetizers and pasta dishes, as well as pork loin and beef tenderloin. This is located on Glenwood Ave downtown.

So, also looking for proposal locations. Pullen Park in the evening is a very nice place to go; it borders the NCSU campus. The Arboretum off Hillsborough Street (near the fairgrounds and 440 intersection). (www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum). There are some lovely secluded places and a beautiful Rose garden. These are both very nice places to go with your significant other.

I wish you well and hope things work in your favor to propose. Marriage is a wonderful gift when it is right.

Neo China is wonderful if you’re in the mood for Chinese. In fact, if you could pick up a box of pork fried rice and swing by Atlanta on your way home I’d appreciate it.