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“Wonderful spaces! And awesome food!”
Review of The Black House at Straw Valley - CLOSED

The Black House at Straw Valley
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Richmond VA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Wonderful spaces! And awesome food!”
Reviewed May 25, 2014

Best lamb and grouper we have had in many years! Helpful staff and awesome space. Love the beer garden and the intimate dining spaces in the old house. And the oyster bar is excellent too. This is my favorite new restaurant venue in Durham and it is not even downtown. In fact, that is a big advantage. I now can negotiate with my Chapel Hill friends a half way point to meet.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mulsay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

44 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    25
    9
    4
    4
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Black House is my new favorite Durham/Chapel Hill area restaurant”
Reviewed May 12, 2014

I've lived in the Chapel Hill/Durham area for over ten years and The Black House, Straw Valley Cafe's newest addition, is my new favorite spot in the area. I've been 3 times in the past week. Once to enjoy their great coffee and fresh pressed juice while working on a paper (which turned into meeting a friend for cocktails and a wine tasting), once for dinner and most recently for lunch on Mother's Day. The fresh pressed juices are great, and taste even better in their creative cocktails. Dinner was fabulous, the ribeye was one of the best I've ever had (sorry, Bin 54). We enjoyed lunch outside with 7 people on Mother's day and everyone loved what they ordered. My friends and family we're all amazed by the "secret garden" located right off the highway.

Recommendations: Dinner: Ribeye, the fresh tomato plate. Lunch: Big fan of the housemade onion dip that comes with the chips, and I suggest adding the fountain of youth aioli to the turkey sandwich. Haven't had a bad juice, cocktail or wine there yet! I don't think you can go wrong :) The raw bar looks delicious, too!

Good to Know: Closed Mondays. They're not serving brunch, yet, but the lunchtime soups, salads and sandwiches are amazing!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jessica T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fabulous Lunch”
Reviewed April 22, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

What a pleasure to visit to Straw Valley Cafe for brunch. Great food & service. Only negative: a little echo prone.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank MarkGaryB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beckley, West Virginia, United States
Level 6 Contributor
496 reviews
359 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 361 helpful votes
“Good new restaurant in Durham - Chapel Hill area”
Reviewed March 17, 2014

My wife and mother and I ate here 3/15/14, less than 72 hours after the restaurant first opened its doors.

Located off Mt. Moriah road off Durham Chapel Hill Blvd. A little hard to find because of poor signage, no doubt related to the newness of the restaurant.

Located on a rambling property which was originally a dairy farm, then an art gallery, now a restaurant. The property is very quaint, and has a Frank Lloyd Wright - Taliesin feel to it. Contemporary, bare wood furnishings. The staff all seemed very enthusiastic to show us around and tell us about the background of the property.

While our waitress Kristen was pleasant, the overall service was terrible - it took an hour to bring my wife's drink from the bar, while they were able to bring my mother's in about 10 minutes, and it took us 2 1/2 hours to finish our meal. I attribute this to the newness of the place, and the fact that they need to work out the kinks in their service.

Food was excellent. We split oyster appetizer. Well seasoned, juicy oysters. My mother had the cioppino, my wife had the scallops, and I had the pork chop. All were excellent. We split the chocolate mousse dessert, which was excellent, as well.

The mixed drinks were original and tasty.

If not for the appallingly slow service, which I anticipate will improve quickly with experience, I would have given the restaurant 5 points rather than 3. We will be back, though, and I anticipate a much better experience.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
95 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“A Good Cafe That's Hard to Find”
Reviewed March 23, 2013

My wife and I visited the Straw Valley Café today in Durham. It’s actually closer to Chapel Hill, near New Hope Commons. The place was recommended by my wife’s friend, which is the only way we would’ve ever found it, because they don’t advertise.

You actually have to turn into the New Hope Commons Shopping Center, head toward Office Depot, and make a left through some tall bushes into a gravel parking lot. You still won’t see it.
Drive around to the parking lot at the front of the building, look around a bit, and you will see a modern, narrow storefront that belies the size of this coffee shop and wine bar. It’s actually comprised of several buildings and outdoor areas.

We were there for breakfast. The coffee was quite good, though served in paper cups and we had a crumb cake baked by the bundt cake shop next door. It was outstanding. The other baked goods looked fresh and many were identifiable as products from the better bakeries in the area, including Guglhuph in Durham.
They have free wi-fi, so my wife grabbed her newspaper and I read the NY Times on my iPad near the glass storefront.

After breakfast, we wandered through the several outdoor seating areas and a couple of indoor areas. One was large, contained several rooms, a fireplace and looked like a lobby in a resort. I like the huge deck, built around a large pine tree and surrounded by huge bamboo plants. When the weather warms up here in a few weeks, I plan to spend a lot of mornings having coffee on that deck.

It’s amazing to find such a lovely facility nearly completely hidden. The access road is not at all noticeable. Even if you see it from the highway out front, US 15-501, you may have trouble figuring out how to get to it. If your friends don’t tell you about it, you won’t know it’s there, which is a shame. It’s an amazing space and I recommend it for coffee and baked goods. Looks like a great place for a glass of wine or beer in the evening, too.

My biggest concern is how a place that hard to find is going to stay in business. If I were you, I’d check it out. Soon. http://strawvalleycafe.com/

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

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