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“Disappointment: marathon eating in and out in less than an hour!”
Review of Lantern Restaurant

Lantern Restaurant
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Ranked #10 of 292 Restaurants in Chapel Hill
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Netherlands
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Disappointment: marathon eating in and out in less than an hour!”
Reviewed May 11, 2013

After a long wait, we finally were able to eat at Lantern. Being big Euro foodies we had heard and read excellent reviews. We arrived to small but intimate restaurant to be brought to a table along the wall. The tables are small and close to each other so if you are going for an intimate private dinner this is not the place, you can hear everything your neighbors are talking about! The waitress came to the table and asked if we wanted water and we decided on that, we were not asked if we wanted a cocktail or wine but I didn't think anything of it I thought ok that will come after they bring water. She came back with the water, took our food orders (set menu) and walked away to place the order. In the meantime someone came and took the wine and drink list away along with the glasses! The amuse came of pickled vegetables and before we could even eat one or two bites the first course was brought to us. I wasn't even asked if I wanted wine with the dinner. The soft shell crab cakes were divine, absolutely delicious! I can not argue with that, one of the most delicious dishes I have ever tasted. This was a promising preview of what was yet to come. About 5 minutes later our main course came out. I couldn't believe how fast the food was coming out of the kitchen. My son even asked how they could make it so fast? The second course was steak on a bed of fried spinach. The meat was ok, the spinach way too salty and greasy. We did not finish this dish. Desert was nothing special an ice cream sundae. We were in and out of the restaurant under an hour. There was little conversation or interaction with us from the staff, normally people ask how the food is etc. Nothing. Really disappointed, I looked forward to coming and it did not live up to my expectations.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Anonymous88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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324 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
NC
Level Contributor
34 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Small Restaurant with Excellent Service”
Reviewed May 10, 2013

Friends and I went to Lantern on a rainy spring night and had a lovely evening of good food and excellent service. We shared two appetizers -- the pork and chive dumplings, which were good, and the vegetable spring rolls, which were absolutely delicious. Often with spring rolls, the only taste is the fried roll, but these were lightly fried so that we could taste each of the vegetables inside, and the dipping sauce seemed to accentuate the fresh flavor. I got the steamed char as an entree, and while it was good, it lacked the zing of the spring roll. The rice tasted like simple steamed white rice; I did not get any hint of the jasmine that supposedly flavored it. The fish, while perfectly steamed with lemongrass, was a little bland, but perhaps I should have opted for a fish entree that was cooked some way other than being steamed. We shared desserts, and my favorite was the grapefruit sorbet -- so refreshingly tart, especially after a seafood meal. We usually order red wine when eat out, but on the recommendation of the waiter after he heard our orders, we ordered a blended white that could not have suited our meals better. The price was reasonable. Our waiter was quick to answer our questions and had a delightful sense of fun that made our evening at Lantern special. It is a small space, so reservations are a must. We ate fairly early, but when we left at about 8:15, the place was packed. As the room fills, the room gets noisier, but it never got annoying. My meal, with tip a shared appetizer and bottle, ran about $85. There is valet parking directly across Franklin Street, which we used because of the rain, and the valet did tell us that Lantern would validate our ticket, which they did cheerfully. I don't know that I want to eat at Lantern again too soon, but it is a restaurant I will revisit in the future.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank travelgal112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ny
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“A truly special place”
Reviewed May 7, 2013

On the main drag in Chapel Hill with many restaurants, Lantern stands out. i wanted to try everything on the extraordinarily creative Asian influenced menu but settled on a couple of shared appetizers and entrees. Everything was perfectly prepared and beuatifully presented. Good reason to return to Chapel Hill.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank hilifer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
94 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Very good!”
Reviewed May 6, 2013 via mobile

Delightful Asian Fusion restaurant! Very friendly and well trained staff. Succulent food. We enjoyed every dish. Using ingredients from local farms and the right mix of spices makes every dish tasteful. Dessert melts in your mouth. This place is always very busy, make a reservation if you can.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank AnaM922
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jupiter, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“The Lantern is Amazing!”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

My company recently had a corporate dinner in the Lantern's new private dining space. Everything was top notch. Jason- the General Manager- was amazing in his assistance planning the event, the space was "Awesome", food was scrumptious, and service was friendly and attentive. Not one single complaint from me or any of my attendees. Absolutely wonderful experience!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Andrea F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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