We attended a private event with only light appetizers recently and decided to stay for dinner since it was football game day to avoid traffic. We were immediately seated and able to enjoy outdoors on September night with shielded view of golf course. Overhead fans were blowing even though temps cooled to 60-70s, but were promptly turned off when we requested this. We heard strains of pianist out on terrace which added to ambiance. This was clearly a date night and anniversary celebratory subdued setting.
Our server was eager (young and willing, but seemingly not very experienced waiter) and pleasant. He only offered sweet tea refill at end of meal and my glass sat empty since appetizer course, though water glass was refilled every 5 minutes--annoying. Trio of olive ciabatta, cheddar biscuit (more like a roll) and ordinary sliced french bread were offered.
We passed on $9-$15 cocktails described in long menu of them and asked if they had St. Germain liquer, and were told they don't carry it. Interesting choices however if you want to experience before dinner. Breads were good, but not warm, but spectacular or memorable. Soft butter was a plus. Corn chowder is absolutely delicious, smoky, rich, creamy and couple be meal when paired with salad. Tuna tartare appetizers served at table next to us looked like ample serving, though not particularly well plated. After seeing monochromatic salmon dishes being served to nearby tables, decided to pass and choose sea scallops ($34! for 5) instead. (Only item higher was ribeye at $36 but didn't want to risk it when waiter wasn't sure if it was broiled, or chargrilled or what). I really picked the scallop dish because description said it was garnished with foie gras lardons. There was a sliver--OK half a sliver--of fabulous rich buttery foie gras indeed, which made the dish. Excellent choice, very fresh and perfectly cooked, not overcooked or tough, Had I not had appetizer though, I'd have still been hungry afterward as no substantial side dish. Husband's snapper was fresh and nice subtle flavor, though plating was not particularly attractive. As a wanna-be foodie accustomed to dining out around the globe, I expected more. Choose chocolate molten cake for dessert and it was typical that is served in any restaurant...nothing unique but you usally can't go wrong with chocolate. Overall, enjoyable meal but view of golf course hedges and wafting piano music and food not enough to make me return for another $130 meal for two.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, on the campus of Duke University and just minutes from Research Triangle Park, downtown Durham and Raleigh/Durham International Airport, is one of North Carolina's most celebrated hotels. The Inn, known for its luxury facilities, internationally recognized service, excellent cuisine and banquet facilities, stands among the tall Carolina pines, overlooking the Duke Univeristy Golf Course. Join us for business or pleasure, and experience a true Carolina treasure. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Washington Duke Inn And Golf Club Hotel Durham
- Washington Duke Durham