Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Raleigh, I Love You: Stanbury

Lately I've been thinking about all the things there are to love about living in Raleigh, North Carolina. Between traveling for work and fun, friends relocating away from the city, and our somewhat half-hearted considerations of pursuing a new life in a new place, I've come to really appreciate everything that Raleigh is and has.  But the honest truth is, when you live here you often never take a moment to consider how great you have it.  In the vain of Olivia's Charleston, I love you blog posts, from time to time expect a little post dedicated to all the amazingness that you as a Raleighite have in your backyard,  Up first, a little trip to culinary heaven at Stanbury.

The softshell crab is just as good as it looks -- this is the size of the "small plate" entree which I found to be more than ample with a few bites of my husband's quail order thrown in.

We didn't try the marrow, but it's gotten great reviews
from other bloggers. via
I first read about Stanbury in my favorite Raleigh periodical, Walter Magazine where the origin story is nicely captured.  It's one of those places that seemed too cool for me at the time, and there's plenty of instagram worship from those in-the-know Raleigh people that I'm well aware aren't in my social circle  -- you know the types that if Raleigh had a 'Page Six' you'd be reading about them. In addition to a feeling that I wasn't the target audience for this restaurant, of course I read the online reviews warning me to eat maybe a pre-meal because the plates are small.  By the way I don't know why I bother reading these online reviews because they hardly ever tell me anything true -- the plates sizes were completely reasonable and we definitely over ordered with 2 small plates and 1 large plate for only 2 people.  In sum, if you think you are too hungry or not trendy enough for Stanbury, then you should reconsider because the atmosphere is chill and the food is actually downright good. Maybe the best I've had in Raleigh good.  Try it, and see if you agree.

Things to Know

  • Definitely make reservations ahead of time.  There's a link right on the main website. Expect to have to plan a few weeks in advance for prime weekend meal times.  It just gives you something to look forward to.
  • Order a cocktail.  They are priced respectably at $9 and just as thoughtful as the meal you're about to eat.  If you like lemon-based drinks, I would recommend the Ladybird, but the cocktail menu rotates weekly.
  • Order a few plates to share. Honestly unless you are starving, dinner for two sharing 3 small plates would be plenty.  If you are ordering a large plate each, you really don't need any additional small plates, again unless you have a really large appetite.
  • No need to dress up -- this place is a little outside of the main downtown area and has a decidedly low-key vibe.  Jeans and bed hair wouldn't put you amiss in the local crowd.
  • Save room for desert,  Your bill comes with a small piece of dark chocolate from Escazu next door -- a little hint to drop by before you head to your car for more artisanal delights.

Artisanal chocolate truffles will run you about $2 a piece at Escazu via

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