Located within The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Herons offers a creative twist on contemporary fine dining. The culinary team is driven to offer excellent American cuisine with subtle Southern influences and the vibrant menu prides itself on sourcing homegrown fruits, vegetables and herbs from local farms. Indeed, the cooking here is resourceful and the ingredients are immaculately presented with artistic passion in a beautifully decorated interior boasting fine art and a kitchen in full view of the diners. The refined, upscale cuisine also includes numerous vegetarian and gluten free options alongside its breakfasts, lunches and dinners. At Herons, the dining experience is first class and the picturesque view of the surrounding grounds and lake will ensure that any visit remains a memorable one.
La Farm Bakery
La Farm Bakery is an authentic French bakery committed to following century old baking traditions and techniques. Throughout the year, 15 different styles of breads are baked here with 20 changing seasonal additions. In particular, the bakery prides itself on producing healthy, handcrafted loaves from natural yeast with ingredients that combine American innovation with French authenticity. The shop and the café offer a myriad of goods ranging from delectable pastries, conventional multi grain loaves to more creative delicacies such as the White Chocolate Mini Baguette. Yet, it is the signature sourdough bread that really sets La Farm apart from its competitors,the handcrafted 5 pound loaf takes 3 days to produce and is nothing short of impressive in taste and texture.
Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen
This upscale joint offers hungry diners the best of American Southern cuisine and as the menu at Lucky 32 is tweaked seasonally, there is always ample opportunity to sample inventive local dishes such as sweet potato dried pie, oyster pan stew or North Alabama chicken bread. Whilst a wide range of traditional platters include staples such as meatloaf, black bean cakes or shrimp and grits, the extensive offer of salads and sandwiches will also not disappoint. Be sure to ask your server to pair your meal with a refreshing wine or locally sourced craft beer as the selection encompasses all tastes and preferences. On the weekends, Lucky 32 transforms into a buzzing brunch spot with favorites that include pecan waffle pie and the hamburger steak and eggs.
For hearty Mediterranean and Turkish fare, visitors should look no further than the offerings at Bosphorus. Although the restaurant’s humble interior seems rather unassuming, the authentic cuisine comprised of grilled meats, kebabs and seafood is cooked to perfection with aromatic spices and herbs. Whilst the Turkish pizzas and Adana kebabs are noteworthy, the Mezze sharing platter provides a refreshing introduction to traditional Mediterranean gastronomy. Those with a sweet tooth will also not be disappointed with the crispy baklava and satlac pudding on the menu. As the restaurant can only accommodate 15 tables, Bosphorus tends to fill up fast, especially since this delicious ethnic food joint is no longer Cary’s best-kept secret.
Dean’s Seafood Grill & Bar
For seafood lovers, look no further than Dean’s Seafood Grill & Bar. The ever-changing ‘fresh catch’ menu offers up to 8 different types of fish each week, ensuring that every visit will be met with exciting and curious options. When it comes to fish, Dean’s really knows its stuff, the waiters pride themselves on providing expert knowledge on the origins, flavors and interesting history of the fish that is served so do not hesitate to ask. For those looking for a lighter option, the oysters are shucked to perfection and the delectable menu of clams, crab and mussels is also worth considering. For carnivores, the grill also offers a mouth watering selection of high quality steaks, ribs and chops.
In the heart of downtown Cary, Belle is a commendable new café, bakery and restaurant that is located on the site of the historic Jones House, a previously derelict building dating back to the 19th century. Serving fare locally sourced from nearby farms, visitors to Belle have been humming in approval since it opened. While Belle serves up a good old-fashioned brunch on the weekend, sandwich and salad lunch options are offered everyday with the freshest ingredients always coming together in unique pairings. For dinner, diners are welcomed with culinary delights comprised of mouth-watering entrees and small plates, all dedicated to exciting the senses and stimulating the taste buds. Try the rabbit stew or the braised chicken with sweet potato gnocchi and sage veloute.
Belle, 324 S Academy St, Cary, North Carolina, United States, +1 919 378 9724
Chef’s Palette is a stylish neighborhood eatery with a casual atmosphere and an artistic vibe. When it comes to food, the belief here is that people do not only experience the taste of food, but also the sight and smell of it. The kitchen serves up creative Southern fare ranging from gourmet sandwiches to ‘synergy’ salads. Also noteworthy are cultural staples such as brown sugar glazed pork chops and the 18 ounce rib eye, served with crispy sweet potato fries and a rosemary demi glaze. The lentil cake over white bean and eggplant puree also makes for a delicious vegetarian option. Although perfect for a casual dinner in a chic atmosphere, as Chef’s Palette is both a restaurant and bar, be prepared for a livelier clientele in the evenings.
Clouds Brewing offers the finest craft beers from all around the country, with a focus on North Carolina produce. Entering the locally owned bar and restaurant, visitors soon realize that this is no ordinary watering hole. The main feature is the Downpour Wall, the first ‘pour-your-own’ beer tap in state, which features 10 rotating taps and charges customers by the ounce. With a selection of over 90 beers on offer, including Clouds Brewing specialty options, this is undoubtedly a beer lover’s paradise. Following a lengthy drinking session, the attractive food menu of contemporary American fare is very welcome. The nachos and chicken wings are the perfect accompaniment to an ice-cold beer, while the beer cheese dip that comes with pretzels and bratwurst makes for a deliciously greasy snack.
Spirits Pub & Grub
Beer and sports have always come hand in hand in American culture and Spirits Pub & Grub offers both alongside a typical bar menu of burgers, chicken wings, tacos, steaks and sandwiches. Greasy and deeply satisfying, the food served at this joint is not for those watching their waistlines but if you are after the all round American sports bar experience, it is definitely worth it. Sipping on a respectable selection of draft beers, make sure to consider one of 9 Spirits’ mac ‘n’ cheese on offer. The traditional 4 cheese has won awards at the Raleigh SparkCon MacDown while other options such as the beer infused cheese mac with candied bacon are similarly impressive.
When it comes to offering authentic Southern Indian vegetarian cuisine, Udupi Café pulls out all the stops. Named after a coastal town in Southern India that attracts visitors from all over the world to its historical Hindu temples, Udupi similarly draws in crowds to its vibrant menu of delicious appetizers, Indo-Chinese delicacies, pilafs, biryanis and spicy curries. Additionally, consider the large selection of dosai, a thin rice crepe stuffed with homemade cheeses, vegetables and chutneys, as well as the uthappam, an Indian style pancake with a various topping options. Indeed, diners will not leave hungry as the portions are notoriously large and the authentic ambience oozing from the bustling kitchen will ensure a certain return.