I was very flattered to get a tweet from Kim @TriangleLocalista to meet me recently. If you are ever looking to find out where to shop, eat, or play, Triangle Localista is a great source to find out what’s happening in the Triangle area. Kim is very enthusiastic about our region, so it was really nice to meet someone who cares about this region as much as I do!
We decided to meet at the Page Road Grill, a new restaurant brought to you by the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group, who also happen to own Mez, which is a Mexican restaurant across the parking lot from Page Road Grill! They also own Spanky’s, 411 West Italian Cafe in Chapel Hill and 518 West Italian Cafe in Raleigh.
Page Road Grill features American gastropub cuisine, but like Mez, is a nicer, sit down restaurant — some place you’d think of taking a client or business associate out to eat. Page Road Grill is just outside of the boundaries of the Research Triangle Park, and is in an area that needs more upscale, sit down restaurants. It’s amazing there is still a dearth of these kinds of restaurants around the economic engine of the region!
Page Road Grill’s executive chef, Jeff Robinson, who was on the management team at Mez, is incorporating local ingredients when possible to his dishes. Some of the places mentioned on the menu include: Elodie Farms, Latta’s Egg Ranch, Melvin’s Gardens, the Bread Shop in Pittsboro and Joe Van Gogh Coffee Roast.
From the outside, the red brick building is rather non nondescript. It doesn’t really grab you, but once you enter, the restaurant is very pleasing. It has a warehouse feel to it with the exposed air ducts in the ceiling, rust colored Asian looking lights, rust colored booths in one area and blue print booths in another area. The bar is located in the front of the restaurant and is a nice, cozy place to sit and watch a football game or grab a drink with friends after work.
Kim decided to start her meal off with the cauliflower cheddar bisque. It was very creamy and she said it tasted very fresh and good. She ordered hers without the bacon in it.
I had the smokin’ bruschetta, which featured nice, thinly sliced pieces of smoked salmon with marinated roma tomatoes, Parmesan over grilled pieces of French bread and a pile of arugula in the middle of the plate. The sauce had a little bit of horseradish, giving it just a little kick. It was very good!
Kim selected a veggie burger for her main dish. The patty was made with quinoa, mixed vegetables and herbs. She had it topped with provolone cheese. The description says it is house made, but it looked almost too perfect to be house made. Kim was happy that the patty was firm and did not fall apart, but she was not so sure she would order it again. It was served with sweet potato chips that were nice and crispy and had some seasoned salt on them. We were impressed that the chips were not very greasy. I really liked the chips!
I ordered the sweet potato gnocchi and was thrilled to have such a great dish. The gnocchi were fried with onions in a sage brown butter and had a nice caramelized flavor to them. They were very soft and sweet. It was served with sautéed spinach, roasted red peppers, shallots and toasted pecans, which gave a little crunchy contrast to the dish.
I am certain this place will be a great success and will be hard to find a seat during the lunch hour, so be sure to make a reservation or come early or late to avoid the crowd!
Page Road Grill is located at 5416 Page Road in Durham and is open for lunch Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and for dinner on Monday – Thursday from 4 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., on Friday from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. and on Saturday from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. You can follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page to get updates and find out what their specials will be for the day.