Every year, for my birthday, we go out to dinner at a special place of my choosing, and this year I picked Poole's Diner. I'd heard great things about this place (they were in Gourmet, I've seen blog
postings, etc), and I was really eager to try it. It was well worth the trip to Raleigh.
I'd say we got there around 6:45 , and since the place doesn't take reservations, we took a seat at the bar and ordered drinks to pass the time until a table was available. Liz had an Ellie's Brown Ale (from Avery Brewing Co), and I had a "Truman 75" cocktail. From a quick google, it's a variant of a "French 75" cocktail, mixing gin, cucumber, prosecco and citrus. It was very light, refreshing, and a nice change from my usual "gin and tonic". I think if you added cilantro, it would be really awesome, but I love cilantro. If I ever decide to make one at home, I think combining the recipe for a French 75 and this would be a good place to start.
While we waited, we ordered an appetizer of pimento cheese with crostini, which was tasty.
After a while, we got a table, and I had a Stone IPA, which is a darn fine IPA.
To start, I got the chicken liver pate, and Liz got the heirloom tomato salad. The pate was quite good, and I ate all of it. Liz shared some of her tomatoes, and they were good, too. For our main courses, Liz had roasted chicken, which she said she liked, and I had the lamb meatballs, with a side order of fried okra. Sadly, the lamb was a little dry, so it was probably my least favorite part of the meal. It was good, but not great. (Should've gone for the scallops that were on the menu instead). The okra, though, was great. I'm not a big okra fan, but this dish really changed my mind. The cornmeal coating was crisp and not greasy at all, and the okra was tender without being mushy. Very nice.
By that time, it was about 9:40, and we had to leave since our babysitter (Liz's mom) wanted to leave by 10. All in all, I'd definitely go back to Poole's (and hopefully I won't have to wait until next birthday to go). It's funny, b/c much like Lantern (in Chapel Hill), which I like a lot, I liked the sides and other small plates at Poole's much more than my main course, and it's the same way at Lantern. Go figure.
I'd have taken pictures, but I think that's weird to do when you're eating.