Me describing my weekend. I’m serious you guys. I had a blast and a half. The half makes all the difference.
On Friday night we went out with some of our good friends. We went to dinner at Gravy. I had never been and was very impressed. I had the mushroom ravioli. Yum. Fun fact: they have a cool wine cellar/basement. We sat there and it added a cool atmosphere.
After dinner we hit up a number of hotspots: Bittersweet, Boxcar, and Circa 1888. All are in walking distance of our apartment and are personal favorites of mine.
The main course of my weekend (see what I did there – food reference) was dinner at the NEW Standard Foods.
// Standard Foods //
I made reservations for Standard Foods like three years ago. Okay, it was only about three weeks ago, but it has felt like years. #firstworldproblems Standard Foods is the new restaurant, bar, and market on Franklin Street. It’s in the same complex as Lumina Clothing, Edge of Urge, Yellow Dog Bread, and Wine Authorities (all amazing places).
// Mini distraction from SF //
Quick digression: Before dinner, we went into Lumina clothing. Zach has been following them for a while. If you are a man, live in Raleigh, and you know anything about great US clothing brands, get over to this store immediately. We chatted a bit with the owner, Paul, and his wife. Paul designs the clothing and sends it to makers in the US. Zach bought a fantastic shirt and it fits him perfectly. They have half sizes. He was basically in Heaven and it was fantastic. Great owners and cool spot. Check it out.
// Back at it //
Back to the food. Let me start by saying this place is perfection. For a little background, the mind behind Standard Foods is Chef Scott Crawford. He is a, not one, not two, but three time James Beard semi-finalist (fancy). In short, he rocks. The restaurant and market centers around local farms and fresh foods. Check it.
I’m a fool for any type of cured meat platter. When this initially came out, I was all like LOL, weak sauce, you will be gone instantly (I always speak to my food). But trust me when I say this is worth the money and was incredibly satisfying.
We also started with the apple soup and rabbit and dumplings. Whatever you do in this short life God has given you… please try the rabbit dumplings. The flavors are unbelievable. They teeter on overwhelming, but just miss the edge. The apple soup was interesting and good, but don’t know if I’d order it again.
For the main course we had the catfish and pork. The catfish was yummy, but I’m more of a full on meat person and preferred the pork.
We closed out the meal with the chocolate brioche. My gosh. It was amazing. They poured Escazu hot chocolate over it and it was served with homemade whip cream. Dead.
Cool industrial/farmhouse vibe inside.
Next, we went over to the market. Zach and I live downtown, so we’re always looking for a local place to grab groceries. Although this probably won’t be our everyday spot, (Do I deserve grass fed cow milk or a full rabbit? What am I, a Kardashian? Of course I don’t) I definitely want to stop in here from time to time, particularly to get some delicious local meat!
Yea that’s right. I just learned how to use this cool circle layout option. Check that out. As you can see from the perfect layout above, there are tons of meat and produce options, all from local farms. You can also purchase pre made items like pate, pork chops, and other menu items served in the restaurant. They also have dried beans, coffee, syrups, etc.
When it comes to eating out, particularly when I’m paying a lot, presentation means a lot. I didn’t feel rushed at Standard Foods. Every dish was explained completely. The waitress could tell us where most of the produce and meat came from. (Note: it wasn’t quiteeee to this point: Click me.) And, what was really unique, is that they bring out the dish, explain it, and then pour over the sauce that serves as the complement. I would describe the feel of the restaurant as basic, clean, and balanced. Nothing was too intense or over seasoned. All in all, just right.
Also, I know this review will mean a lot to Standard Foods, because they’ve basically been holding their breath until I approved of them. It’s done you guys. I approve. Carry on.
This upcoming weekend should be great. I’ll be back later on with a Freakin’ Weekend post. Main event you should set aside now: the Christmas Parade this Saturday. Link here.