Editor's Note: Today, our resident Captain Cool (who also happens to be our IBCLC), Victoria Facelli, is kicking off a series of posts on the Top Five pre-baby date night destinations in the Triangle. If you're planning your final meals as a Party of Two, be sure to check back for the Orange County and Wake County installments later in March.
Recently at our EmDo Community Open House, one of our clients was talking about getting in the last of her pre-baby life experiences. Namely, she told me she was hitting the beach that weekend just to experience what it feels like to throw a toothbrush and a swimsuit into a tote bag and hit the road just One. Last. Time.
We also talked a little about relishing in the the last few date nights before becoming parents. Sure, there will be date nights after a baby is born, but let's be honest here. The days of going out to eat at 10 p.m. will be few and far between.
So as you're preparing to cherish those last few spontaneous morsels, here are our suggestions for a few (kid-unfriendly) Durham-centric restaurants. These are so good, the memories will last you for a few months, or at least until Grandma comes to visit and you get your first post-baby Date Night away (but that's another post for another day).
Without further ado...
5 Things to Eat in Durham on a Pre-Baby Date Night:
- Dashi izakaya aka Upstairs
To be clear, Dashi’s downstairs Ramen Bar is delicious, but in my opinion, it’s got nothing on the upstairs. There is no way you could get a car seat up the stairs and their small plates are out of this world. Only downside: your partner will absolutely order from their extensive Japanese whisky selection and you will want to punch them.
This funny little Italian restaurant, located in a strip mall off Guess Rd. (no, seriously), is Durham’s worst kept secret. There can be long waits, so get a reservation or be ready to wait 45 minutes + in their lounge (bonus: the available small plates to nibble on are as delicious as their regular menu), but this is the kind of food that makes you grateful for your insatiable pregnant appetite. You'll be thankful for the stretchy waistbands on your maternity jeans, trust me.
For some of us having a baby means letting go of our night owl ways. Cluster-feeding and waking up with a baby every two hours don’t count. So, celebrate the end of staying out late at Mateo where they will bring you perfect little Spanish tapas until 12:00 am. Make a reservation though, or they will seat you at high bar stool tables that are… awkward… for a very pregnant person to try to get in and out of.
Fancy little Italian sodas anyone? This bustling little pizza place is everything I love about Downtown Durham: Inventive flavors, local produce, and giant pizza oven in the center of everything to terrify the parent who accidentally brings a toddler in here. Their fennel and sausage pizza? To die for. Perfect for a pre-kid date night, and I hereby order you to get the fancy little Italian doughnuts for dessert.
Vin Rouge (especially for brunch)
This classic French restaurant is part of the Durham Old Garde (i.e., it was here before Downtown Durham got cool again). Their seafood tower is a miracle to behold, but since you are probably avoiding raw sea food enjoy your final Saturdays as a carefree, not-bound-by-nap-time-schedules person by tucking into one of their signature brunch crepes.
There you have it. Our Top 5 recommendations for a delicious, promisingly romantic, pre-baby Date Night success story. Coming up next... the hidden gems of Wake County.
What did we leave out? What are your favorite Durham spots to no-wine and dine? Any low-key, favorite suggestions we overlooked?