8111-137 Creedmoor Rd
Raleigh, NC 27613
Last week was Triangle Restaurant Week, when an assortment of local restaurants run a special set menu. We were meeting up with Lynn and some of her friends.
I ended up narrowing our dining choices to between Oliver Twist and Red Room, but the humor value of a restaurant naming itself after the Dickensian orphan famous for wanting more gruel, won out. What can I say? As an English major and bibliophile, that’s right up there with Gatsby Gardens and Gatsby hair products for men.
The interior was gorgeous. With it’s strip-mall location, Twist has a challenge with the utter lack of windows and natural light, but they succeeded with dark wood furniture, red drapes, cushions and a stylish wine bar feel. (A bit like the wine cellar at Alla Osteria)
Our wines and martinis were all tasty, our waitress was friendly, and I can’t emphasize enough just how pretty the place is. Our food was all stylishly plated and looked like a food magazine. But the food tasted… fine. It wasn’t bad, but for a splurge restaurant like this, I expected better. There was nothing I couldn’t prepare myself (with my meat the slightest bit overdone and my asparagus just the slightest bit underdone, it was uncannily like I did cook it myself!), so the markup for gorgeous plating was just too high.
Also, the food arrived in the way Stick and I call “Chinese style”, which means there was a huge wait between when the first plates and last plates came out. This works in a traditional Chinese restaurant because everyone’s eating from the same dishes, no one is watching their food get cold as they wait politely for their date’s dinner to arrive. But, in a Western restaurant, it’s really annoying.
I still had a great time, because the drinks and company (thanks to Lynn’s “devious friend matchmaking scheme”) were both fantastic, and the food was fine. I think Stick and I would go back for a bottle of wine, or a cocktail from the extensive martini list.