Out of all the restaurants in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer carefully vetted selections to let you explore Raleigh dining on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Raleigh Best Restaurants list. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.
A Raleigh fixture since the mid-1960s, Angus Barn serves close to 20,000 perfectly grilled, dry-aged steaks every month. Eight different cuts are available, with your choice of six different sauces and toppings. In addition, you'll find a variety of seafood and lamb dishes, plus barbecued ribs and even a few vegetarian options. For dessert, try the award winning chocolate chess pie, or blackberry cobbler. Arrive a little early to relax with a drink in the Wild Turkey lounge, or visit the country store, where you can purchase many of Angus Barn's signature sauces, cheesecakes, and more. (919-781-2444, 919-787-3505)
Beautiful dark wood accents and white linen table cloths make this stately room an attractive setting for business dinners. An extensive liquor collection and fully stocked cigar humidor impress the big whigs, and a stately grand piano playing in the background adds to the ambience. Start off with an order of oysters on the half shell or chilled gazpacho, then choose your beef — will it be sliced filet with gorgonzola butter, 24-oz Porterhouse or cowboy rib-eye? In addition to steak, the kitchen cooks up tantalizing seafood, from the classic lobster tail to Hong Kong-style Chilean sea bass, and you'll need a few minutes to ponder over the long list of sides. (919-833-2888, 919-926-9177)
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Located in the historic Dodd-Hinsdale House, Second Empire features a pristine dining room, with a fireplace, graceful arch doorways and crème-colored walls. Select a bottle of wine from the award-winning list, and be prepared to savor elaborate Continental classics, such as the wild boar rack and braised pork cheek duet with root vegetable puree, crispy corn potatoes and caramelized Belgian endive. The casual wood-paneled tavern's a popular spot to sip a martini or enjoy a less formal meal. (919-829-3663)
Authentic Provencal cuisine graces tables at this surprisingly charming dining room, housed in the North Ridge Shopping Center. An extensive selection of appetizers and mains, from escargot with garlic and parsley butter to braised snapper in mushroom consommé give diners plenty of choice. The decadent tournedos Rossini, filet mignon on brioche comes topped with seared foie gras and is served with potatoes au gratin and roasted tomato. The wine list features labels from the top regions in France and over 10 varieties available by the glass. (919-862-2770)
Just minutes away from downtown Raleigh, Bloomsbury proudly boasts the talents of John Toler, a nationally recognized chef. Chef Toler's inspired French dishes have captivated the hearts and stomachs of locals. The restaurant's comfortable setting and intimate dining area offer a nice respite from the congestion of the city. The menu changes seasonally, and you can expect to be tempted by any number of Nouvelle entrées bearing an American or ethnic lilt. Black angus beef, grilled salmon, or muscovy duck liver may appear among other sumptuous offerings on the ever-changing menu. Bloomsbury's wine list draws a fair amount of praise as well. (919-834-9011)