Brewery Bhavana | Raleigh Restaurant

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Brewery Bhavana has been all the rage in downtown Raleigh over the last several months, and for such good reason! Not only is it a brewery, flower shop, book store, and dim sum restaurant in one, but it’s also received critical acclaim and awards since it opened. Bon Appetit named Brewery Bhavana in its top ten new restaurants in the country (!!), and it’s been lauded near and far by everyone who’s visited. It’s so many of my very favorite things in one place… beautiful and inspiring story and space, flowers galore, bookshelves lining the wall, delicious dim sum and traditional Chinese food, and unique, locally brewed beers. Yes, please!

Rob and I made reservations for a fun date night downtown, and Brewery Bhavana was an even better all-around experience than we expected! I’d stopped by a time or two before, but it was our first time eating at the restaurant. We scoured the book shelves, I marveled over the beautiful, locally-grown flowers, and we sat down to an incredible meal. We started off with beers from their expansive, impressive, unique beer list, with Rob ordering the Piglette (a Belgian table beer with brett and sour cultures), and I had the Bask (a sunshine and grapefruit brunch ale). We both loved our beers, and they were excellent selections! We started off with the duck egg rolls with hoisin sauce, along with the char siu bao – Cantonese barbeque pork buns. So delicious! There were so many items on the dim sum menu that sounded so good, and our picks were amazing. We split the General Tso chicken for dinner, which was tossed in a tangy hibiscus sauce. Though you can get General Tsos from any Chinese carryout, this was far and away the best we’ve ever had – and we keep talking about how insanely delicious and fresh it was. Peeking around at all of the others tables was fun, too, as every single dish looked so amazing! The service, decor, and atmposhere were impeccable, too, and we were awed by our visit.

Raleigh friends (and anyone visiting town!), be sure to make yourself a reservation and head downtown to Brewery Bhavana for a date night or an evening with friends! Go a little early to grab a beer at their impressive bar, pop into the bookstore and flower shop, and prepare to eat one fantastic meal! We had such a wonderful evening downtown, and I’m already eagerly anticipating our next visit.

Seasons 52 in Raleigh

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A couple weeks ago, I was invited to attend a Raleigh bloggers event with the chef of Seasons 52, which recently opened at Crabtree in Raleigh. I was especially excited to attend this event, as I am a longtime fan of Seasons 52! My friends and I used to regularly go there for dinner and drinks, as well as to celebrate special occasions, when I lived in Washington, DC. Every single time we went, we were treated with the utmost customer service, something which I vividly remember to this day. During each and every visit, whether it was just for dinner or for a job promotion celebration or for a birthday, we were treated to kind, gracious hosts and waiters, often got to meet the chef or manager, and usually received a complimentary treat (or three) like champagne, an appetizer, or one of their luscious desserts. One time, they even took a picture of all of us, printed us each copies, and gave us picture frames to take home – so impressive! I’ve always raved about both the service and the food at Seasons 52, and I was so excited to learn that a Raleigh location had opened!

I got to bring a date to this event, and boy was I lucky to have Rob on my arm! We were so fortunate to talk with the head chef, lead bartenders, and sample their seasonal, fresh, summertime menu. It was such a wonderful, carefully thought-out event, and we were so pleased and honored to be there! We started out sampling their Peach Bourbon Smash, which has become our very favorite summer cocktail – and one that we recreate often. It was really interesting getting to talk with their bartenders, learn about their ingredients, and sample wines, watermelon agua fresca, and, of course, this heavenly peach bourbon smash. And the food! Their summertime menu really focuses on the natural goodness and harvests of this time of year: so many fresh, local indgredients are used to highlight what’s best right now.

We had watermelon-heirloom tomato salad with feta, roasted prosciutto wrapped figs, every type of their amazing flatbread (fig/bacon/arugula/goat cheese + lobster/roasted sweet peppers/mozzarella were my favorites), scallops (the best I’ve ever had) with sweet corn risotto and snap peas, and crusted rack of lamb with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies. It was all scrumptious, and we couldn’t stop eating this amazing spread! To top it all off, desserts are their signature “shooters,” and we indulged in a sampling of key lime pie, Belgian chocolate smore (oh.my.goodness.), and cherry creme brulee. Decadent and oh so delicious!

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It was the nicest event, and it was such a treat to learn from the chef, see how they craft their seasonal menu, talk with others at the event, and sample all of this absolutely delicious food! I’ve always had the very best food and dining experiences at Seasons 52, so it’s one of those rare restaurants that’s stood out to me over the years. I’ve been a longtime lover of Seasons 52, and I’m so, so glad that they’ve expanded down to Raleigh. Rob and I can’t wait to be back – and to bring our friends with us!