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Winston-Salem Update

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I notice that it has been a bit since anyone asked about Winston Salem. We will be traveling through the area at the end of May and would like to take a friend who is in college out to a special dinner. We like local produce, innovative chefs, interesting menus. Can anyone suggest something good--formal or informal, though our friend is really not a dressup- kind of a girl:).

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I notice that it has been a bit since anyone asked about Winston Salem. We will be traveling through the area at the end of May and would like to take a friend who is in college out to a special dinner. We like local produce, innovative chefs, interesting menus. Can anyone suggest something good--formal or informal, though our friend is really not a dressup- kind of a girl:).

I have been dining in Winston since October and the best meals I have eaten have been at Noble's. Having said that, nothing has been truly outstanding and, based on the description of your friend, Noble's might be a bit too upscale.

I haven't been to Sweet Potatoes, but that might be an idea. I've had very mixed experiences at Milner's and Sixth and Vine, although the latter might appeal as well given its location. The best recommendation I can give is Marshall Street Smokehouse, a spot in the middle of restaurant purgatory, but near Old Salem. Decent food and a touch edgy.

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Brent,

can you expound upon your Nilner's experience. I have been twice. The first time for a Pimento burger which was quite good(though not up to harpers) the second time for the lackluster frogmore stew. Each time apps have been good. Sixth and vine is a good spot for a drink but I still have yet to do their food.

nobles may be good for a lunch though I agree it may be to formal for dinner. My suggestion, try Milners', Sweet Potatoes or Christophers

I notice that it has been a bit since anyone asked about Winston Salem. We will be traveling through the area at the end of May and would like to take a friend who is in college out to a special dinner. We like local produce, innovative chefs, interesting menus. Can anyone suggest something good--formal or informal, though our friend is really not a dressup- kind of a girl:).

I have been dining in Winston since October and the best meals I have eaten have been at Noble's. Having said that, nothing has been truly outstanding and, based on the description of your friend, Noble's might be a bit too upscale.

I haven't been to Sweet Potatoes, but that might be an idea. I've had very mixed experiences at Milner's and Sixth and Vine, although the latter might appeal as well given its location. The best recommendation I can give is Marshall Street Smokehouse, a spot in the middle of restaurant purgatory, but near Old Salem. Decent food and a touch edgy.

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Brent,

can you expound upon your Nilner's experience.  I have been twice.  The first time for a Pimento burger which was quite good(though not up to harpers)  the second time for the lackluster frogmore stew.  Each time apps have been good. 

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I grew up in Winston-Salem, although I haven't been there to eat in quite a few years (and when I did, it was on visits to the parents, who would only eat at chains). But my impressions is, it's never been a big restaurant hot-spot. This may sound crazy, but my favorite stop for lunch, if I have time, is the Salem Tavern in Old Salem. Great Moravian Chicken Pie (no vegs in it), yummy pumpkin muffins. And it makes a nice trip break to stroll through the restored settlement, which I have always enjoyed. I think they're open for dinner as well and it's casual.

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There's a really fun Chinese/Indian restaurant on the other side of I-40 than Hanes Mall in a strip mall that is run by a Chinese family who immigrated to India a few generations back. The brother runs a similar operation at Pao Lim in Durham.

Additionally, the New York Times did a 36 hours in Winston recently. That might be of some interest since the Times seems keen to 36 hour just about anywhere in North Carolina recently (l'ld attach the link, but having some e-troubles).


William McKinney aka "wcmckinney"

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the Times seems keen to 36 hour just about anywhere in North Carolina recently (l'ld attach the link, but having some e-troubles).

the NYT link is here for "36 hours in Winston-Salem" :wink:

You're in North Carolina, so you must have some wood-smoked Piedmont barbecue. The Original Little Richard's (4855 Country Club Road, 336-760-3457), a wonderfully ramshackle place with old license plates as wall décor and red-and-white-checked tablecloths, serves authentic chopped, coarse-chopped or sliced pork barbecue with slaw and hush puppies (starting at $4.59). Try the banana pudding ($1.59) and chocolate cream pie ($1.99) for dessert.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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It is on Healy drive right off of Stratfor Road.

There's a really fun Chinese/Indian restaurant on the other side of I-40 than Hanes Mall in a strip mall that is run by a Chinese family who immigrated to India a few generations back.  The brother runs a similar operation at Pao Lim in Durham.

Additionally, the New York Times did a 36 hours in Winston recently.  That might be of some interest since the Times seems keen to 36 hour just about anywhere in North Carolina recently (l'ld attach the link, but having some e-troubles).

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I have eaten at Sweet Potatoes 15-20 times by now. My only complaint about lunch there is that the terrific grits are only available at dinner! I have really enjoyed my many meals there. Very few clunkers in the bunch.

I have had lunch at Noble's once and enjoyed it very much.

At the various Village Tavern locations, I have been disappointed by some dishes, but thrilled by the think crust pizzas. Not a fan of South by Southwest.

My first visit to Bleu was interesting in a good way and I'll get back there soon.

Cross posted on donrockwell.com

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I've been a little surprised that no one has mentioned the River Birch Lodge on Robinhood Road. <RBL Web Site>

They're an independently owned restaurant and describe themselves as "Mountain Casual". Nice dining room and a very imaginative menu featuring southeastern fare.

The kitchen is quite willing to make modifications and substitutions to their normal offerings. One of my favorites is their Thai Chicken Salad, but with smoked duck substituted for the chicken.

I try to get over there from Greensboro at least once a month and I've never been disappointed by either the food or the service.

Maybe some other folks here would like to meet there one evening for dinner?

Others out there with opinions / experiences with RBL?

- TT


Tom Tyson

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It is on Healy drive right off of Stratfor Road. 
There's a really fun Chinese/Indian restaurant on the other side of I-40 than Hanes Mall in a strip mall that is run by a Chinese family who immigrated to India a few generations back.  The brother runs a similar operation at Pao Lim in Durham.

Additionally, the New York Times did a 36 hours in Winston recently.  That might be of some interest since the Times seems keen to 36 hour just about anywhere in North Carolina recently (l'ld attach the link, but having some e-troubles).

Szechuan Palace

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I've been a little surprised that no one has mentioned the River Birch Lodge on Robinhood Road. <RBL Web Site>

They're an independently owned restaurant and describe themselves as "Mountain Casual". Nice dining room and a very imaginative menu featuring southeastern fare.

The kitchen is quite willing to make modifications and substitutions to their normal offerings. One of my favorites is their Thai Chicken Salad, but with smoked duck substituted for the chicken.

I try to get over there from Greensboro at least once a month and I've never been disappointed by either the food or the service.

Maybe some other folks here would like to meet there one evening for dinner?

Others out there with opinions / experiences with RBL?

- TT

Hi TG....I responded to your calling all diners message also.

I, too, have had several good experiences with RBL. Though the food is good and the kitchen accomodating, it always struck me as a little too expensive for what it is. With the re-opening of Fabian's on Reynolda Road and despite others' comments above about Milner's, RBL is usually our 4th/5th choice for a dinner out. Again that's just us.

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The owners of Sweet Potatoes have opened a second restaurant called the Cotton Mill. I'll be in town in a few weeks and hope to check it out.

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how about fabian's?


The complexity of flavor is a token of durable appreciation. Each Time you taste it, each time it's a different story, but each time it's not so different." Paul Verlaine

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Bernardin's - excellent food, excellent service, decent ambiance.

Fabian's - Best food I've eaten in Winston-Salem. A quirky dining experience, however. for starters - reservation ONLY dining. You call, and leave a message. They call you back. Single seating at 7:30. The concept is seriously flawed, as you spend the evening waiting for courses of your meal to appear. You are at the mercy of chef. Amazing food (mostly), spotty service, marginal ambiance.

Fabian's

1100 Reynolda Rd

Winston Salem, NC 27104-3248

Phone: (336) 723-7700

Chang Thai - excellent Thai, average service, average ambiance. Our fav local restaurant.

Chang Thai Restaurant

4146 Clemmons Rd

Clemmons, NC 27012

336-793-4363

Foothills Brewing Company- brewpub, decent pizza, decent ambiance, get the beer sampler - 6 mini glasses of beer, great place to take college age kids.

Bleu - average food, crappy service, beautiful ambiance. Bernardin's owners opened this up about 1 year ago. Ate there three times, and regretted it each time. Overpriced, average food. Crappy service, gorgeous decor. It's the kind of place you hope will improve over time because it looks and feels upscale..if they can get the wait staff and the food up to the quality of Bernardin's, it's gonna be fabulous...i suppose i'll try it again in about a year.


Edited by Heartsurgeon (log)

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update on Bleu

ate there again, service and food took a great leap forward...as i thought it might

plan to try it again in a month or so to see how it progresses.

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update on Bleu

ate there again, service and food took a great leap forward...as i thought it might

plan to try it again in a month or so to see how it progresses.

well, i returned for dinner...it was bad..

worse crab cakes i'v ever eaten...and tiny (appetizer)

wifey got scallops..overly salted, and served on a cold plate..

oh well...back to waiting again...the place has a great vibe, and the decor is all eye-candy and nice, the service was excellent....but the food just disappoints. surprising when the mother-ship (Bernardin's has solid food)..

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New place..

Ombu Restaurant

fabulous burger (this is not a burger place).

Upscale dining, nice decor, nice service. food is decent (just opened).

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New place..

Ombu Restaurant

fabulous burger (this is not a burger place).

Upscale dining, nice decor, nice service. food is decent (just opened).

what makes the ombu burger good. I had the scallops the other day but my go to winston burger is the pimento one at Milners

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Meridian on South Marshall.

http://www.meridianws.com/info.html

Top notch. Those guys are talented. I have had the good fortune of sharing kitchen time with Trevor, one of the owner/ chefs. All of those guys are in their element and it really shows in the menu.

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I was in Winston just two weeks ago visiting family. It's pretty nice this time of year in the spring.

Made a visit to Milners, and was pretty impressed. The restaurant bills itself as "American Southern" cuisine and serves up slightly more refined variants on traditional Carolina dishes. (Though the green papaya salad on the menu really threw me off..) The bar also is pretty hopping on weekend nights and attracts what appears to be Winston's beautiful people crowd. The small plates menu is extensive and seems to be just the thing for shooting the breeze and drinking.

milnerscheese.jpg

This is the baked pimento cheese, Surry sausage and goat cheese, and roasted garlic blue cheese with flatbreads. This was basically gussied up and bubbling hot pimento cheese and was as tasty as you might imagine. The goat and blue cheeses were also excellent.

milnersfrogmore.jpg

I tried the Frogmore Stew with shrimp, mussels, white fish, scallops, sausage, and "aromatice vegetables". Other then the odd addition of baby corn, this was perfectly cooked and very fresh, and had a nice zingy, tomatoey flavor.

milnerstuna.jpg

My aunt had the yellowfin tuna with a black bean cake, sauteed spinach, tomato butter, and chow-chow. This is definitely Tall Food but the flavor combos worked, and the tuna had a good meaty flavor that worked nicely with the spinach and the rich tomato butter. The portion was also crazy-huge which is either good or not good depending on your opinions on these things.

milnerssteak.jpg

We also tried the steak special. This was pretty good, although the cheese-infused mashed potatoes were the star of the show here.

We tried the salmon crusted with moravian cookies and it was really very nice: wish the photo had turned out. We also tried the pecan pie, which was very hot and about what you would wish for in a pecan pie.

Final summation: I think Milner's is definitely a good choice in the Winston area for good, upscale Southernesque food.

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"what makes the ombu burger good."

it tastes good.

Ombu and Chang Thai are the two places we eat the most now.

Gave up on Bleu.

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Oh well, Ombu appears to have gone out of business (at least they don't answer the phone, and the place appears to be cleaned out of furniture wit the doors locked...

appears a new eatery may be appearring in the same spot in August called The Kitchen Table...i will report back

Had brunch at Meridian...maybe not the best time to go...i was not inspired to return (perhaps my expectations were to high, like the price)...

had a pretty nice meal (casual dining, sometimes with live music, lively atmosphere of Friday/Sat evening crown) Full Moon Oyster Bar.

They have successfully recreated a Florida Keys/Oyster Bar in Winston-Salem. Food is good, nice vibe. It's definitely NOT fine dining, but you'll get a tasty meal for a reasonable price.

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