#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 

#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!