Italian Restaurants are often a favorite for an intimate night on the town. Most have grown large and crowded with families seeking a low cost experience.
Not so Casalinga Ristorante Italiano; here you will find the authenticity of a true Italian family run restaurant combined with an old fashioned intimacy that the chain restaurants lacks.
The menu provides your date with a large selection of salads, soups and entrees that are guaranteed to please any palate.
The restaurant is famous for its homemade bread, of which a nice selection comes with the meal. The walls are covered with famous people taken with the owner at various times over the years.
The restaurant has two dining rooms, both of which maintain an intimate quality about them.
At Casalinga you should plan for a long slow meal as they are very traditional. Also you will need to plan to spend a little more than the large neighborhood restaurants.
The restaurant has live music on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The music is of the softer variety appropriate for the intimate setting provided by this restaurant. There are no blaring televisions or parading wait staff here.
All the food is prepared by Master Chef Carlo who recently was inducted into the Chaine des Rotisseurs a world wide culinary academy founded in 1248.
The restaurant is located in Mini-City off Capital Blvd at:
Casalinga Ristorante Italiano
4538 Capital Blvd
Raleigh, NC, 27604-4353
Hours: Mon-Thurs 4:30 – 9:00 Fri-Sat 4:30-10:00 Sun 5:00-9:00
Lunch Buffet: Mon-Sat 11am-3pm
If you happen to have a date with someone who wants to try something very different you can try out the Brazilian steak house. This place is a very special place indeed. The tables are small and intimate with white table clothes. The place settings are of a formal nature.
When you enter the restaurant through the thick wooden doors, it is like entering into another place.
You and your date will be seated by a host dressed too formal for the warm, muggy Deep South. He will ask you if this is your first occasion to visit. Even if its not, it is always nice to hear the explanation of the feast you are about to partake in.
He will tell you about the delicious salad bar and warm entrees. Then he will tell you about how the meats will be presented to you and what you need to do when you are ready.
And he (or she) is not even your wait person. The wait person will be very attentive that your dining needs are being met. This restaurant is for true meat lovers. They may have some dessert offerings but I don’t know anyone who has ever had any room to find out what they are.
Even the wonderful selections in their salad bar can fill you up, just looking at them. If your date loves exotic treats, delicious meats and pampering; your date will love this place.
The restaurant is located in the shopping plaza at the intersection of Six Forks and Strickland.
9650 – 145 Strickland Rd.
Hours are: Mon-Thu 5:00 – 10:00 PM Fri-Sat 5:00-11:00 PM
They have a location in Cary that has a brunch most weekdays.
Solomon’s Restaurant in North Raleigh is another excellent choice for an intimate night out with your special other. The restaurant is currently planning a move to a slightly larger space in Celebration at Six Forks on the corner of Sawmill and Six Forks. The move is needed because the popularity of this local Mediterranean Restaurant has exceeded the physical space.
Named after the owner’s son, who happens to be the chef, the restaurant has created a real name for itself in North Raleigh. The menu contains Mediterranean dishes and an eclectic group of Southern dishes that happen to fit well with the cooking style.
When you and your date are greeted at the restaurant, a hostess will most likely seat you in a booth. The table will have the silverware wrapped in a black cloth napkin. There will most likely be a lit candle on the table and a wine list with some very tempting choices at a very reasonable price. The restaurant is known for its understated elegance and outstanding foods.
The lighting will be somewhat on the low side, giving this a truly intimate feeling.
The range of choices varies from night to night during the week. There is a long list of standard choices of salads, appetizers, main courses and a limited dessert menu.
The dessert choices, though limited are worth leaving a little room for.
This is an excellent place if you want a romantic atmosphere and a sense of privacy. It is also an excellent choice if you like great food.
If you are a little short of cash they have a salmon special on Thursday evenings that can have you looking like a prince even when you’re feeling more like a pauper.
The food and the ambiance of this little local restaurant are an excellent way to charm your date.
The restaurant is located at:
Celebration at Six Forks
7321 Six Forks Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615
Hours are Mon-Sat 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
One final choice for an intimate dinner is the Melting Pot Restaurant. This restaurant specializes in fondue.
When you arrive you are seated at a table with a hot plate in the center. It is the built in variety, not a hot plate like a college dorm. The tables are small and comfortable.
The waiter will start you off with drinks, sort of the normal part of the meal.
Then the wait person will go over the menu that you will be selecting from. The first item is the cheese fondue. This is the one we all recognize.
Then there is the salad. No you don’t cook this one, it is just a salad.
Then the real cooking begins. Basically you select the veggies and they provide the pot to cook them in. You cook them to taste. You have a choice of what broth you will cook them in. As my wife is a vegetarian, I didn’t have a choice when we visited this restaurant. It is nice to know that if one or both of you are vegetarians that they do have selections you can choose from.
When the vegetables are done, it is time to cook the meat or meats. Again, you have choices depending on what you like to eat and how much you’re willing to spend for it.
After you have enjoyed your cheese, salad, veggies and main course it is time for the chocolate temptation.
You may think you are full, but few people can resist a dish of fruits and some hot luscious chocolate to dip them in. This tops off the evening.
Fondue restaurants are on the pricy side of things but they are also an excellent way to find out how well you work together. Most of the time it is just you and your date figuring out what goes into the pot next and what is ready for the taste test.
If this sounds like you special date you can find the Melting Pot at:
Melting Pot Restaurant
3100 Wake Forest Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27609
Hours: Mon- Thu 5:00-10:00PM, Fri-Sat 5:00-11:00PM, Sun 4:00-10:00PM