#TastyTuesday Spotlight on @OroRaleigh ~ Where to Eat #DowntownRaleigh #LunchDate #NC

Downtown Raleigh has an amazing culinary scene with some great options being on Martin St. One of them being the stylish ORO Restaurant and Lounge. But let me tell you its not all just style, there is substance being served on those plates!

Recently I met with fellow NC Blogger\Influencer, Jen Lawrence of JenOni.com. We made plans to enjoy lunch and feature ORO since we’ve both heard awesome things about the restaurant, menu, drinks and of course the food.

The Restaurant

As soon as you walk in, the sleek white decor will catch your eye. Opt to sit at the chef’s table for a closer look of the magic in the the kitchen, 

in the main dining area or in the mezzanine, which has a fireplace.

Although I was there for a casual business lunch, I can definitely see myself coming back for a date night or a fun girls night out. If you are looking for a casual yet chic place to dine in Downtown Raleigh, this is the place! Looking for a place to hold your Private Event and /or offers Catering? ORO provides those services as well.

The Menu

Serving fresh, local ingredients that is pleasing to all and designed to be shared among friends is the mission of ORO. Created by Hylton Hospitality, Christopher and Cara Zalcberg Hylton has done a fantastic job featuring a variety of small plates and signature dishes since Spring 2012.
Executive Chef Chris Hylton has created lunch (served 11am-2p) and dinner (served 5-10pm) menus where all items  are identified with respect for dietary  restrictions. So if you are looking for Vegetarian, Vegan or Gluten-Free dishes that are flavorful and delicious, reservations at ORO are a must. The restaurant also offers some off the menu items that are chef’s selections using seasonal ingredients. 


The Drinks

Looking for an after work spot to enjoy cocktails and conversation? Step up to the full bar and order any of their exclusive wines or beer on tap and check out their specialty cocktail list. I recommend the Mimosarita.

 It’s made with peach infused 1800 reposado..mango infused moscato..lemon.. orange and a large ice cube made of orange juice and sparkling water. Once the ice starts to melt, you get a nice effervesent surprise! Also on the menu is 3 types of mules. Jen tried the classic Moscow Mule made with Tito’s Vodka. Both drinks were refreshing and memorable in a good a way.

The Food

Soups,Salads and Starters...Oh My! Everything on their lunch menu sounded so good, we could not wait to try. The Truffle Mac & Cheese is a staple on the menu. Since the restaurant has been open for the past 5 years, it has been a favorite of guests. So I had to order the vegan dish to try for myself. Made with yellow and white cheddar cheese and fine herbs, the truffle mac and cheese is served as a shareable plat , but you might hesitate and keep all that yummy goodness to yourself. Jen ordered the Chef’s feature soup which was green curry and chicken. I love a good soup because when all the flavors come together, it’s like a party in a bowl. Let me tell you, I had a sample of her soup and my tastebuds were dancing at the party.

From the Sides menu, I tried the Wok Fried Brussels, which is suitable for both vegans and vegetarians. The soy, ginger and chili flakes gave it a wonderful flavor. Not too salty or too spicy,  but just the right balance to make me happy with this side dish. 

Everything looked so good under the Main Dishes portion of the menu that I was a bit undecided. Do I want seafood, or beef or chicken? Thankfully, Maresa was there to guide me thru and offer some of her personal favorites. I ultimately ordered the Fish Tacos. You get 4 tacos topped with mango salsa, cucumber, red onion and cilantro lime aioli. For me the aioli and salsa is what elevated the dish from being just a basic fish taco.

Beef & Broccoli is what Jen opted to order. It was a nice portion of marinated filet served with chinese brocoli and water chestnuts. She enjoyed it and mentioned she would recommend this dish for those who enjoy the Chinese classic. 

Be sure to save room to order something sweet from the Dessert menu. I had my eye on either the creme brulee or banana bread pudding, but an off menu featured dessert was described and we went with that. Ladies and Gents, feast your eyes on this celebration on a plate! 

A housemade funnel cake ice cream sandwhich with birthday cake ice cream in the middle and confetti sprinkles. Since my birthday is on Thursday, it was apropo to go with this and make an early birthdy wish! This was heavenly indeed! Such an amazing sweet ending to a great lunch. 

SobeSavvy Tip: Visit ororaleigh.com and subscribe to ORO’s Newsletter to receive updates and the latest news!

ORO Restaurant & Lounge

18 E Martin St

Raleigh, NC 27601 

Phn 919-239-4010 

Top 4 Reasons @ZoesKitchen is a great kid-friendly, #dinnerdate spot for healthy food ! #LiveMed #ZoesKitchen

If you haven’t heard,  Zoës Kitchen serves amazingly fresh food, full of goodness for the whole family. That’s why whenever we have the chance to go on a family dinner date, Zoës Kitchen is our top choice. Recently while on staycation in North Hills, we enjoyed an early dinner at this popular eatery. Here are the Top 5 Reasons why Zoës Kitchen is a great kid-friendly dinner date spot for healthy food:

  1. Serves Mediteranean food that is delicious and nutritious. It’s flavorful and heart healthy, which makes Moms/Dads happy to enjoy with their little ones. 
  2. Lots of seating with bright decor both inside and out makes for a great casual and comfortable dining experience.
  3. Adult beverages..yes, please! Beer and wine are served. Fresh squeezed limeade is available too along with soft drinks and tea.
  4. A variety of flavorful menu options ranging from starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, fresh sides kabobs, desserts and a reasonably priced LIVE MED kids menu for ages 12 and under. Our daughter loves the shrimp kabob entree and 1 side for just $5.99!

I recommend trying the Rosemary Ham & Mozzarella Piadina. It’s a flatbread sandwich that will transport your tastebuds to Italy! I enjoyed it with a side of braised white beans. 

There are locations in 20 states, with 17 restaurants in North Carolina alone! You can order online for take out or dine in. They also cater and offer party nenu ideas and other information at http://www.zoeskitchen.com 

I hope the next time you find yourself hungry with kids and want to go out to a healthy, tasty dining spot that is casual and family-friendly, you will consider Zoës Kitchen!

Zoës Kitchen
141 -112 Park at North Hills St

Raleigh,NC 27609

Want a Taste of NOLA? Try @BoneFishGrill ‘s New Seasonal Menu now thru June 16 #creolecuisine 

This past Sunday, I took a trip to NOLA by way of my tastebuds, thanks to Bonefish Grill and their new seasonal specials, available through June 16. I am a seafood lover and I enjoy creole cuisine, so when I heard that the fresh fish experts at Bonefish Grill are spicing up things in the kitchen with their new Creole-Style Redfish, I knew I had to make reservations to dine there!

Redfish itself is a new type of fish on the polished casual favorite’s menu. The mild sweet fish with a medium firm texture was introduced in the 1980s in the New Orleans kitchen of famed chef Paul Prudhomme.

Bonefish Grill’s Creole-Style Redfish is topped with crawfish — a fresh water crustacean similar in taste to lobster and very popular in the South — then accented with a creole-style sauce and served with sweet corn spoonbread.{While I am usually suspicious of any large commercial restaurants claim
that a dish is “Creole/Louisiana style” Bonefish grill hit this one out of the
park! The right blend of hot and spicy made the Creole spirit of this dish
authentic.}

Bonefish Grill is spanning the globe of culinary inspiration for other items on its new seasonal menu, including:

·         Crab Cake Topped Wood-Grilled Atlantic Cobia – for a new twist, Bonefish Grill creates a delicious combination of flavors, pairing a popular starter with an interesting fish offering a rich, sweet flavor that is slightly firm, with a light flake. Served with a jalapeño bacon cream sauce it is finished with jalapeño slices and served with jasmine rice and French green beans. { Being from Baltimore, any fish that is topped by crab meat has to
meet  a high standard in my books. This met that standard. I have had their
crab cakes on prior visits so I know how good they are. The Cobia
underneath complimented the crab meat. I know, I know it should be the other way
around but again being from Baltimore things compliment crab meat and that is
just how it is !! The cream sauce is SO GOOD
.}

 

·         Fresh Maryland Soft Shell Crabs –a delicacy only available a few weeks of the year, the Soft Shell Crab is sautéed crispy, stuffed with a Maryland-style crab cake and served with choice of two fresh sides.{This dish is so popular and rare that the Bonefish Grill we visited had ran out of it. The manager was kind enough to call other nearby locations to see if they had more. Now that’s customer service! If this is the dish you want to try, you may want to call ahead to see availability}

·         Cedar Plank Norwegian Salmon –Sourced fresh from Norway, thisAtlantic Salmon family is higher in fat content, Omega 3 fatty acid and has a velvety texture. Roasted on a western red cedar plank from the Pacific Northwest it is topped with a fresh, light citrus, honey-based glaze and served with a vegetable medley of asparagus, spring peas, pearl onions and button mushrooms.

·         Kate’s Wild North Atlantic Haddock – This nostalgic favorite of loyal Bonefish Grill guests features thismildly sweet, wild white fish — cut in-house — garlic crumb dusted, wood-grilled, topped with feta and a lemon basil butter sauce.

SobeSavvy Tip: Make your dinner reservations between 4pm-6pm and enjoy daily Happy Hour specials. I recommend any of their happy hour priced $5 hand-crafted cocktails and especially the “Tropical Tiki Martini”. It’s like a drinkable vacation!

Be sure to go to www.bonefishgrill.com for more information on specials and sign up to become a BFG insider to get updates sent right to your email inbox!

Bonefish Grill

4421 Six Forks Rd ~ Raleigh, NC

*also locations in Cary and Durham*

4 Places to Brunch on Mother’s Day in #Raleigh |@seasons52 @simplycrepes @bonefishgrill @ncartmuseum 

Raise your hand if you think Mimosas and Moms go together like Sundays and Brunch! Eating brunch is one of my favorite activities no matter what the occasion, so I have compiled a list of some of my favorite brunch spots here in Raleigh, NC. No matter your tastes, there is sure to be something on here that Moms will like. 

SEASONS 52 ~CrabTree Valley Mall                4325 Glenwood Ave- Raleigh, NC 27612

Head to Seasons 52 and experience the wonderful flavors of the season from their a la carte Mother’s Day Brunch Menu. Check out my review here to see more of what they have to offer. Don’t forget to toast to Mom with any of their amazing Brunch Sips! Then take her shopping at Crabtree Valley Mall since the restaurant is conveniently located there.

SIMPLY CREPES~Lafayette Village          8470 Honeycutt Road, Suite 110                    Raleigh, NC 27615

Breakfast is being served all day at Simply Crepes and seating is first come, first served at Raleigh. If the sun is shining, grab a seat on the patio and watch the kids play on the courtyard lawn at Lafayette Village. This place is a family favorite, which I shared in my past restaurant feature. I highly recommend the chicken and waffles on a crepe entree. So good!

IRIS RESTAURANT~ NC Museum of Art 2110 Blue Ridge Road                     Raleigh,NC 27607

Sunday Brunch here is popular on any given weekend partly because people enjoy the food as well as the beautiful atmosphere. The cuisine is innovative and the setting is an expression of art and nature. Read here how I spent the whole day with my family at the North Carolina Museum of Art and what we ate at #NCMAIris. Reservations to dine at Iris Restaurant are a must. Call 919-664-6838

BONEFISH GRILL~North Hills                4421 Six Forks Rd.                                 Raleigh, NC 27609  

If your Mom is like me and loves seafood, along with Brunch cocktails and libations, then I suggest your Mother’s Day Celebration be held at Bonefish Grill. Take a look at my Sunday Brunch review here and hopefully you are inspired to go this Sunday. Afterwards, walk off that brunch and go shopping or catch a movie at North Hills! 

Have you made Mother’s Day Plans? Where do you enjoy Sunday Brunch?

Hope you enjoyed my list and now have some ideas where to take Mom to eat on Mother’s Day for Brunch in Raleigh, NC ! 




#Raleigh, Plan your Mothers Day Brunch NOW @Seasons52 @shopcrabtree #Seasons52 #SundayBrunch 


This past Sunday, although rainy outside, my family and I found sunshine and the flavors of Spring inside Seasons 52. Located at Raleigh’s Crabtree Valley Mall, SobeSavvy.com was invited to review their Sunday Brunch menu. Disclaimer: My husband and daughter joined me for this complimentary dine, however the opinions are our own.

Since we arrived after 12pm, we thought we’d start off trying their “Brunch Sips” Seasons 52 is well known to be a top notch spot for creative craft cocktails, so we were not surprised by how refresing their Sangria is..(yes it is as good as it looks)

…and how unique their Bellinis are. He ordered the white peach and I tried the rasberry Bellini for the first time. It was really good. Cheers!

Our daughter had her own kid’s brunch menu to review. Take a look at all these tasty choices for children under 12!

I am glad she chose the Brick Oven Brioche French Toast because that meant we could taste as well. She opted to have the pecans on the side and even ordered extra as those brown sugar pecans were so good, so addictive!

Before our brunch entrees came out, the Chef sent out an amuse bouche of their housemade orange marmalade, greek yogurt mousse with granola. It’s available also a mini starter and a great way to get your tastebuds ready for more amazing flavors.

On the Sunday Brunch Menu, there’s an array of creative entrees suited for anyone. Whether you choose sweet or savory, breakfast fare or lunch, Seasons 52 has one of the best gourmet menus that is very health conscious. I like how they actually list the calorie content of their dishes. Its good to know that the dishes we had not only taste good, but were good for us too! Here’s what we ate at Seasons 52 during their Sunday Brunch.

STARTERS

Hi my name is Leslie and I love Shrimp & Grits. So when I saw this listed on the menu, I knew I had to order it. I was not disappointed. The combination of cheesy grits, chorizo sausage and large shrimp were amazing! Warning it is not a shareable if you really love shrimp and grits. You are gonna want it all to yourself!

If you are looking for a shareable try the Meditteranean Hummus …Duck Lollipops (my least fave of the 3 only because it is a bit too gamey for me)

…or one of their flatbreads.  Lox on bagel lovers should definitely order the Smoked Salmon Flatbread. Our server Amy advised that it was one of her favorites and I really enjoyed Seasons 52 remix of this classic dish.


ENTREES

Even though Sunday Brunch starts at 10 am and ends at 1pm, dishes from the regular menu are available to order. My foodie family loves variety and Seasons 52 definitely serves up an array of “whats good now” emphasizing on fresh, seasonal ingredients. We tried two of their recommended egg based dishes. First up was their S52 Eggs Benedict. They put a new twist on this classic dish by replacing the traditional ham/canadian bacon with..wait for it..poached lobster ! Yup, it tasted BETTER than it sounds!!

Next we tried a beautiful dish served in a  ceramic dish called ShakShuka . This is a arabic middle eastern breakfast recipe of  of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, spiced with cumin. They added chorizo and feta cheese. It was so flavorful and just such a pretty dish to look at {prior to eating it !}

Seafood lovers must try the seabass. Mine was cooked to perfection. It’s served on “Forbidden Rice”  which I had for the first time. I don’t forbid you in trying this sticky black rice at all. It went well with snap peas and other asian flavors used to prepare this entree. Absolutely loved it!

Another fave dish that all of us enjoyed is the Lamb Chops. You get a nice sized rack of lamb that my daughter called the rack of love because she loved the lamb chops. We all agreed that it was tender, well seasoned and simply delicious. Just check out the pic below that I shared along w/others via InstaStories on my IG @SobeSavvy

DESSERT

We were full but still had room for dessert. They serve dessert in shot glass sized portions. Little glasses of heaven. Key Lime Pie, Pecan Pie, Red Velvet Cake..got your attention yet. Pick your favorite. All made in house daily. Incredible ending to an incredible brunch experience.

SobeSavvy Tip: At some of their locations, they have a secret cocktail that is not advertised, nor is it on any menu but can be made upon request. But here in Raleigh, it is listed and goes by the name “Botanical Buzz”. We tried it and I will say its for the bold and not the faint of heart. After enjoying it, join the fun by sharing your reaction on Twitter and Instagram using #BotanicalBuzz

Still looking for a unique place to take mom on Mothers Day then look no more. Seasons 52 is the kind of place any mom would love to spend time at on her special day. Make reservations now to reserve your spot.

Seasons 52
4325 Glenwood Avenue
Crabtree Valley Mall
Raleigh, NC 27612

Amazing Eats @SimplyCrepes #Raleigh for Best Chicken-Waffles, Patio Dining & NEW Spring Menu ! 

Disclaimer: Thank you Simply Crepes for inviting us to feature your new Spring Menu. Although the restaurant hosted us, all opinions are 100% my own, courtesy of my tastebuds.

Spring has sprung and here in the triangle that means alot of things. Robins are singing, bumblebees return and most of all , IT’S PATIO AL FRESCO DINING AGAIN TIME !!

We can think of no better place to kick off outside eating than a trip to Simply Crepes, located in beautiful Lafayette Village in North Raleigh.

They invited SobeSavvy to sample a few items off of their brand new Spring seasonal menu. We visited pre sunset on a gorgeous Sunday late afternoon and took advantage of their outside space adjacent to the grass courtyard.

Once seated we started with their “spring fling” Wine Flight. Rose’, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay were served.

We had an order of their now iconic brussell sprouts served w/bacon and goat cheese. The Chardonnay complimented this dish well. This dish is the ONLY brussel sprouts that my husband EVER EVER eats. It is THAT good !

Next up was their Le Cordon Bleau crepe. Filled with ham and chicken in a scrumptious sauce, this dish was superb with a glass of Pinot Grigio.

Simply Crepes decided to do their own new unique twist on a old time favorite. CHICKEN AND WAFFLES ANYONE ? The “waffle” is a crepe of course and the chicken is crispy fried chicken tossed in their maple bourbon sauce served over smoky apple wood bacon. THIS.WAS.PAST.GOOD.

I have had a myriad of this staple dish over the years. Had it up north, had it down south and frankly it was played out in my mind. Not anymore ! The flavors all combined to make a heavenly dish. The chicken was so tender and the maple bourbon sauce is incredible.

The crepe at the bottom just soaks up all this goodness. Oh, it also comes with a side of bacon creme sauce !!

Our little one wasn’t that hungry and opted for their great creme brulee oatmeal. Yes. It tastes as good as it sounds !

Mimosa Monday and Wine Wed are always great times to enjoy their wine deals

Simply Crepes make it a point to always local source when they can and openly list their suppliers for all to see

Don’t forget to check the board for their specials !

The sun was setting and our meal was over. Great dinner on a great early evening enjoying the warm breeze. Make simply crepes a must do dinner choice and ask for an outside seat!


#FoodieFriday Spotlight on New Winter Menu @SimplyCrepes #Raleigh @LafayetteVill

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways”. This Valentines day instead of just reciting poetry, why not recite it in the charming old world atmosphere of Simply Crepes restaurant in Lafayette Village in Raleigh http://simplycrepes.com/

They are having a special romantic Valentines Day dinner that is not to be missed. Multiple courses at one reasonable price.

According to their website ..” For The Héroux Family, with a French Canadian background, the wondrous scent of crêpes cooking is one of the simple joys of life. The recipe used in their home and now at their restaurants has been passed down through many generations.

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What makes it special is its versatile ability to translate such a wide variety of foods to the plate. Whether its breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, the crêpe works as the medium to serve you a delicious meal!

Simply Crepes hosted Sobesavvy.Com to try some entrees from their new Winter Menu http://simplycrepes.com/Portals/5/Menus/Winter_Menu_-_Raleigh-2.pdf

During these cold days in the peak of winter come on in to Simply Crepes and be amazed by this new menu.

They have 9 awesome choices from the appetizers section. You can choose them a la carte or order 3 for a flat $20.

My daughter ordered a crock of the creamy potato chowder from their list of Pantry Soups. She loved it.

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Brussel Sprouts

Hubby and I shared an order of the Brussels Sprouts & Chevre. Served crispy in a sweet balsamic dressing with a “dollop” of chevre cheese. Hand down this was one of the best dishes I have had in a long long time. It was perfect. Just order it.

Wine Menu 

They have a delightful wine menu. Lots of familiar and not so familiar choices. Every Wed they have a “Wine Down Wednesday”. It is 50% off all wine by the glass or bottle.

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I ordered the wine flight, which is the only wine choice excluded from that special.

A Rose’, Chardonnay and a Pinot Grigio. A great way to sample different wines!


Entrees

The first entrée we had actually came from their Morning menu

Shrimp and Grits ! The grits were creamy and of perfect consistency. Served with jumbo shrimp chorizo, Andouille sausage and bacon. It disappeared in a matter of moments !

The Winter Menu entrée we had was the Creamy Cajun Chicken and Rice Crepe. It comes with a bell pepper cajun sauce. It had the right amount of kick and flavor. The chicken was of outstanding quality {and quanity}

Desserts

It was now time for what my 5 year old calls.. ” THE MAIN EVENT”..Dessert !

We decided on 3 out of their numerous choices of dessert crepes. You can order them standard or “petite” sized !

I fell in love with crepes on the streets of Paris, France. Crepe stands in Paris are as ubiquitious as hot dog stands are in NYC !

Oreo Cookie Crepe

This was outstanding. If you like Oreos then you will LOVE this. Filled with sweet vanilla cream, this was my little ones favorite.

Banana Walnut
This was simply decadent. Filled with Crème Brulee cream and sautéed bananas, candied walnuts and vanilla bean ice cream.

Cinnamon Apple Crepe
Cinnamon apples, sweet cream and caramel. This was like if the best apple pie came inside a crepe !!

Keep in mind if you are anyone in your dining party suffers from Celiac Disease, crepes here can be made Gluten Free using buckwheat batter.

They also have a curtained off area that can be utilized as an event space for up to 40 people {30 to 35 comfortably !}

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*Simply Crepes Tip #344 Sign up for their exclusive birthday club and get a very nice discount off of a meal during your birthday month !!

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Ps …this restaurant is kid friendly!