It’s Friday night and my 7 year old has plans to go on her first sleepover, so I let my creative juices flow and planned a Date Night Out for my husband and I. The Theme: Havana Nights. The Place: Durham,NC …but first I had to get date night ready and shop for the perfect outfit. I hit up a thrift store for these Cuban inspired fashions.
DATE NIGHT OUTFIT
Red Dress + Heels by Jessica Simpson + Bracelet + Hair Flower Accessory and Printed Shirt for Him from Carolina Thrift
This Mama is date night ready!
Residents living in The Triangle are blessed to have a plethora of choices when it comes to date night. Durham was our area of choice this Friday night because its a vibrant city that has been in the midst of an urban renaissance over the past 10 years and it continues. There are a multitude of bars, lounges and hot spots all over Bull City. So we got in the car and headed to Downtown Durham. My husband made a customized Latin Jams playlist on Spotify for us to jam to along the way! My new fave is by Will Smith/Marc Antony/Bad Bunny! Have you heard it? Take a look and listen here ⤵️
Lounging at Amendola Family Cigar Co.
Living in Miami for almost 20 years, my husband and I grew an appreciation for cigars. However it is a pastime that we just don’t get a chance to indulge in as parents. I knew surprising him with a visit to Amendola Family Cigar Co. would be a great place to kick off our date night!
This local down-to-earth cigar lounge is a converted house with a full size walk in humidor and also a fire pit on the front patio that welcomes cigar aficionados to sit fireside and relax with their favorite cigar. It is the brainchild of founder Jeff Amendola. Originally from Bronx, NY. he states…”My interest in cigars created a bigger monster, collecting cigar boxes! In 2010, I decided to put my fascination and love for cigars into action and started my own cigar manufacturing business! I want the cigar smokers in my community and beyond to experience a fresh hand rolled cigar without having to go to Cuba, The Dominican Republic, or cities like Miami to enjoy a fresh hand rolled cigar.” Jeff invited us to try out two of their cigars. A full bodied Maduro for my husband and the Sweet Carolina, a mild cigar with a sugar tip, for me.
We sat and chatted over a glass of bourbon and rum (the lounge is BYOB} for about an hour while Jeff walked us through their business and supply line from Honduras. Only premium Honduran leaf and some in his line have Cuban seed. They sell cigars from Chocolate to Bold and everything in between! The lounge also offers various memberships that allow patrons to have their own custom name plated locker where they can keep their stash of cigars and libation secure on the premises. The comfy atmosphere and choices make Amendola the go to spot on a date night or just when you want to sit solo and reflect in a relaxing space. It’s the perfect place to pregame, end the night or just unwind anytime. Be sure to check them out and follow on Instagram @amendolafamilycigars.
Dinner at Cuban Revolution Durham
Let’s face it, when you mention NC, the words “latin” is not the first thing to come to one’s mind. Lucky for us we were invited to try out a restaurant called Cuban Revolution located in Durham’s Warehouse District on Blackwell Street. A stone’s throw from the DPAC and Durham Bulls Stadium, this restaurant/bar had quite a vibe on a Friday night!
Their menu covers the very best of Cuban cuisine. You can choose to get a few tapas and cocktails or a full blown dinner. The iconic Cuban Sandwich is front and center. All their sandwiches are made on pressed authentic Cuban bread. They also had different pork entrees in the Cuban tradition.
We started off our Havana Nights culinary adventure with two cocktails and two tapas : Mango Mojito • Caipirihna • Fried Green Beans • Gambas Ajo. The tapas were a recommendation of our server named Demi. She was quite helpful and knowledgeable of the menu. We decided to share a Havana Pork Platter. The pork is slow roasted in Mojo and Adobo served with rice, beans and plantains. It was just enough for the both of us to have room for some of their Key Lime Cheescake and a Cafe Cubano.
SobeSavvy Tip: Every Friday and Saturday night a band starts at 9:30pm, so make plans to enjoy a live performance with your meal. For more info, follow on Instagran @cubanrevolution
👀Watch YouTube Video of Highlights from our Date Night In Durham -“Havana Nights”❤
➡️As parents, date nights are rare, so I wanna know, on your last date night, where did you go? Let me know in the comments below!⤵️
Yesterday, SobeSavvy.com joined a few thousand others at DPAC for the 6th Annual Bull City Food & Beer Experience! The word, “experience” accurately depicts this now iconic annual event that I had the pleasure of attending last year and sharing with you again. Enjoying 30 restaurants paired with 30 beers sounds like a great way to spend a ‘Sunday Funday’ especially while raising money and awareness for the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association.
Pale Ale, Stout, IPA, and various ciders were all properly represented here. Small local breweries served their craft beer and stood side by side with international powerhouse breweries. They all coexisted perfectly. A few liquor brands, such as Social House Vodka, also served up some samples of their spirits. Durham has such an incredible food and beer culture and this event does an amazing job showcasing it! Check out my facebook photo album highlighting more from this event, here.
Taking up space on all 3 levels of the beautiful DPAC lobbies, this event is always a crowd pleaser and this year was no different. Inside the actual theatre, they had the Stella Artois Onstage Experience featuring County Fare. This year the food in this area was served by various food trucks based in the Triangle. These meals on wheels have now become a staple in the food scene not just here but nationwide. Guests mingled on stage and enjoyed some awesome live music by Big Fat Gap and beer garden games like bean toss. One of my favorites were the dumplings by the food truck Chirba Chirba. One dumpling was pork, the other offering were their veggie dumplings. Simply delicious.
Guess what else coexisted perfectly with all that beer? FOOD OF COURSE ! Over 30 restaurants of every imaginable genre/cuisine was there. From Italian to sushi and EVERYTHING in between. The restaurants participating gave unlimited samples of the dish they were serving. What also makes this event unique is that most tables paired a specific brew for the specific restaurant dish. Some foods pair better with a stout or pale ale and vice versa. Attendees didn’t have to wander far to find the perfect beer for their dish, it was right there alongside it! My favorite part was the opportunity to meet and talk with the Chefs from some of my favorite local restaurants.
If I had to use one word to describe this event, I would say ‘Incredible’! Where else can you experience local food, beer, beverage,craft artisians, all in one place?! The foodie in me appreciates organized events like this that I can partner with and celebrate what is offered here. Watch this video for recap of all the food + beer + fun!
Thanks for reading and hope to see you next year! Cheers 🍻
Do you have a favorite food and beer pairing? Let me know in the comments below!
Downtown Durham’s renaissance has been in full swing now for over 5 years. New businesses and restaurants seem to be opening on a weekly basis. A number of trendy boutique hotels now gives visitors and staycationers plenty of choices. One problem that I have noticed is that most only do one thing at a high level. Great bar but no vibe. Great vibe but the hotel lacks good service and room quality. Fun poolside scene but I don’t want that scene RIGHT outside my door. I have found the answer to this dilemma. That answer is found at The Durham Hotel. My husband and I spent the night there recently and experienced everything this wonderful hotel had to offer. SobeSavvy Tip: pack your camera and capture great views of the city from The Durham Hotel’s rooftop.
Per their website their 52 rooms ..”Feature modern interiors and local collaborations, the rooms at The Durham have been designed by Los Angeles-based firm Commune to be warm and residential, making guests feel right at home in our downtown Durham hotel.” Indeed our room was stylish, spacious and minimal in a comfortable sense not spartan. It had an airy west coast feel to it.
I can tell alot about a property based on the quality of their bath products. Here at The Durham Hotel, guests can expect bath robes & slippers along with red flower bath products. If you are unfamiliar with red flower, they use essential plant oils and is an all natural product. I really enjoyed how gentle and moisturizing the soaps and lotions were as well as the scent.
After check in we headed up to their rooftop area, which coincidentally is called what else, “The Roof” of course ! They explain this wonderful area as ..” The Roof at The Durham is a year-round gathering spot for guests and locals alike, offering one-of-a-kind panoramic views of the city. Here you will find original, handcrafted cocktails, extensive wine and beer offerings and a seasonal raw bar and small kitchen menu.
We enjoyed a ‘Sunday Funday’ sunset while sipping on cocktails such as the ‘Airmail’~made with rum, lime, honey and prosecco~served in a flute! The bartender was amicable and service overall was great. I am a seafoodie, so ordering from the raw bar was a must. I enjoyed freshly shucked oysters and even tried a speciality one called ‘The Durham Oyster’. If you love raw oysters, definitely make plans to enjoy some while dining on the rooftop.
Perfect for intimate gatherings and large groups, the breezy 3,000 sq ft. layout features an indoor bar, covered and open-air lounge seating, as well as a penthouse with its own patio for private parties. The hotel also hosts its own calendar of events, making the rooftop the perfect destination every night of the week.
There are many unique offerings this hotel offers which made it very appealing to book a stay here like complimentary Rooftop Yoga on the weekends to name a few. Here are some amenities that we were able to partake in:
- 24 Hour Fitness Studio
- Business Center + Meeting Space
- In Room Coffee Service
Before we dozed off to sleep in the evening, we were sure to fill out our “coffee card” in the room and hang it on our door. The next morning, VOILA fresh ground coffer is delivered to your room. This is included with your stay at no extra charge. The in-room coffee features Durham’s Counter Culture Coffee freshly ground for guests to brew. This was by far our favorite of all the amenities! Both the ‘Apollo’ and ‘Big Trouble’ provided us with the coffee kick we needed to start our day.
Continental Breakfast is served daily in the restaurant featuring select complimentary offerings for hotel guests. Here is a list of the ‘made in house’ deliciousness they had available for us to eat:
- Durham Granola with yogurt
- Buckwheat Sugar Cake
- Cheese Toast (Boulted Bread from Raleigh)
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Candied ginger scone
- Date cakes with salted caramel
- Corn muffin preserved local fruit (gf)
Breakfast as well as dinner is served in the restaurant on the 1st floor. They also serve Brunch on Sundays.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay at The Durham Hotel. From the customer service, to the cleanliness and comfort of the room, I would highly recommend this hotel to visitors and locals alike! It is in the heart of Bull City and convenient to hot spots like Pour Taproom (which I’ll be sharing more about later this week). We kept our car parked during our stay since we could easily walk to things to do in Downtown Durham. Before you check out, make sure to get a picture of the iconic Durham Bull, located across the street from The Durham Hotel.
Watch the video recap + room tour of our staycation at The Durham Hotel >>here. For more photos, take a look at this>> Facebook album. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you are local will add The Durham Hotel to your Staycation Ideas list!
THE DURHAM Hotel
315 E. Chapel Hill St.
Durham, NC 27701
thedurham.com | 919-768-8830