Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy 2014!

Thankful for a great 2013 filled with wonderful moments with family, friends (old and new), and the opportunity to travel and to be a part of this great city of Raleigh, NC. All the best in 2014!
Keep shopping, eating, drinking and playing local!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Warm Raleigh Spots on a Cold Winter's Night!

So last Saturday night was cold and wet and generally not a desirable night to be out. Roads were dark and dangerous and honestly, the thought of staying in and going nowhere weighed heavily on my mind.

BUT, I am glad we decided to go out and brave the elements ! We happened on a rare night where both teenagers were at sleepovers so no way should we waste a "kid-free" night!

I had an agenda, as I usually do, of places that I wanted to check out or just be at. Every single one of the spots we hit were ultimately perfect for a wet, dark, cold winter's night. As soon as you entered each place, it was warm, friendly, cozy and delicious. So, I now whole-heartedly support going out on miserable nights...and if you are going to do that, definitely put one of these spots on your hit list!

Crafty Beer Shop is located in Five Points area nestled in among the shops above Glenwood Avenue. It's a cozy spot with a nice bar and a locals vibe. You can sample some local brews on tap or just pop in and grab a six pack to go. We enjoyed the great music, the cozy fireplace and the delicious stout on draft. Fun spot to meet up before dinner downtown or just to chill and have a beer with friends after a long day at work.  It was great to get out of the rain and into Crafty Beer!

Second Stop: STANBURY
Where do I even start? I had heard about Stanbury but had no idea exactly where it was located or what it was about. I knew their menu was small but adventurous and I was excited to get to the bottom of this mystery.  We literally GPS'd our way into a Raleigh neighborhood (it's located at 938 N. Blount St.), parked across the street and ran inside to escape the rain that was pouring down by now. We did not have reservations but we were lucky to find two seats at the bar. Warm, cozy and inviting, we sat down and browsed the cocktail and dinner menus.

The staff was friendly and helpful. We ordered a beautiful maple leaf cocktail and a glass of red wine from Rhone, France.  A delicious Gouda and Robiola cheese plate with toast, marcona almonds and a wonderful fig compote, was a great start. We shared the NC Black Bass dish that had so much flavor and goodness we couldn't get enough. Just as we were finishing up, there was a line at the door and the place was getting busy. We look forward to coming back very soon to Stanbury.

Stanbury bar

Earthy red wine and a Maple Leaf cocktail (yum)

Cheese plate

Large plate: NC Bass

After the Stanbury, I immediately thought of Foundation. It seemed like the perfect place to follow dinner and the rain was starting to ease off a bit. After running literally straight into the SantaConda Pub Crawl on Fayetteville Street, we slipped quietly into Foundation and enjoyed a beer at the bar. This is another great spot you can disappear and forget about the terrible cold weather going on outside (or the SantaConda Santas...! ;-) ). 

Fourth (and final) Stop: TROPHY BREWING
OK. I admit it. I am a HUGE Trophy Brewing fan. I bring everyone here, I always suggest it for meeting up with friends or when we crave an awesome beer and pizza night. It's also one of the coziest spots in town. Always friendly and fun, we love Trophy Brewing. This is a great nightcap spot and we enjoyed our last beer for the night here. If you haven't been, you need to go soon!

Rain or shine!!