I'm a lifelong resident of the state who has been fortunate to eat at most of the generally accepted "best" of the Tar Heel state. Dressler's belongs on that list--and paradoxically, they earn that type of respect because they don't seem to be trying so hard to be impressive that they forget the basics: good food and quality service.
You'll see a lot of comments here about calamari. My wife strongly dislikes it, but our server (who struck just the right balance between laid back and informative) talked us into it. Thank goodness, because it was excellent, and my wife loved it. As far as main courses, we've had a little bit of everything. The steaks are good and the sauces aren't too heavy. They also don't try to figure out what the fanciest possible combination of sides might be; they just put common sense, well-prepared sides on your plate.
On our most recent trip, the dessert (chocolate torte) was the lone misstep, but we stepped out of our usual comfort zone and didn't get cheesecake. If you're a cheesecake fan, it's worth trying either their regular cheesecake or the chocolate cheesecake, both of which are made from Jon Dressler's mother's recipe.
Ask for a table either by the window or, in the warmer months, outside. They really do pay attention to reservation requests and will do their best to meet your request. Jon Dressler, the owner, can almost always be found at the front seating guests. That type of attention to detail is probably why everything seems to run so smoothly. In my opinion, you'll get more for your money here and have a better overall experience than if you go to one of the "name" places uptown.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.