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Riviera in Raleigh


wcmckinney
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Was walking to my normal lunch time haunt of the Brass Grill today when I came upon the just open (we're talking first lunch service) Riviera. Very fetching interior, in a refurbished older building with exposed brick and white wood. There's a small bar and probably 15 tables.

The only menu items today were panninis...mine was turkey and brie with appel chutney and arugula. Portabellos and Roast Beef were the other options (plus another veggie). But the real winner were the french fries which come doused with truffle oil and malt vinegar...their tea is made with peach puree and brown sugar giving it an "Arnold Palmer" taste of freshness. The staff was very atune to pointing out that they make as much of what they serve in house (though probably not the turkey).

The dinner menu looks solid and would be interested to see how this place is doing in a few more weeks because it has the makings of a solid eatery...as my friend said, "You know downtown Raleigh is growing up once a fancy Mediterranean place opens."

William McKinney aka "wcmckinney"
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Per my post header, it's on Wilmington St. (across from the Wilmington St. Parking deck).

I don't know hours, and I'm not entirely sure they know hours yet. I know there's a glut of newly opening (fairly) nice restaurants happening all at once in Raleigh, and even in downtown Raleigh so I hope this one keeps its quality control up and makes it.

William McKinney aka "wcmckinney"
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I had the opprtunity to duck in for a late lunch on Thursday and found it very good. It was after 2:00 so all they were serving were Panninis. I got the turkey and brie as well. Didn't see a listing for fries and didn't ask but got served a side of noodles with the pannini and all was pretty good and reasonably priced. I'll be interested to sample a few of their pastas and other selections at later dates. Not sure the food I had was on par with my new favorite restaurant, the Raleigh Times Bar, yet but it's very nice to have these additional options downtown and I look forward to checking in again.

Just to be a little more clear on the location, it is on Wilmington, just past the interestection with Hargett heading toward the Capitol. Next to the Wilmington St. deck and across from the Mechanics and Farmers Bank and the Alexander Sq. Deck.

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We had a chance to go for an early dinner (with kids) on Saturday. We had a great meal. This is another strong new addition to the Raleigh dining scene. The chilled avocado soup was excellent. Shrimp with chorizo appetizer was also very good. I really enjoyed the pasta with lamb ragout, and the pan roasted duck with pancetta etc was also very good. See link to menu for descriptions. Desserts were ok. Atmosphere was great, even though we were dining very early. Definitely worth putting on your short list of restaurants to try.

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