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“Sparkling Charcuterie and Outstanding Service”
Review of Mandolin

Mandolin
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Ranked #60 of 1,451 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Oberlin
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
65 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Sparkling Charcuterie and Outstanding Service”
Reviewed February 7, 2013

We hadn't been to Mandolin in a while, and stopped by for a quick bite at the bar after a movie. Gotta say, the food was delctable and the service outstanding.

The bar was packed and noisy when we arrived, but in a n ice high-energy way. (bar tables could be just a skoosh bigger) Our drinks showed up pretty quickly -- mine an eminently drinkable Manhattan. We ordered the sliders, which were pretty good, though the fries were on the limp side.

We also ordered the charcuterie plate, which was perfection. A little ramekin of chicken liver pate was capped with a thin crust of fat that cracked open to reveal a luscious, perfectly velvety spread. The housemade breseola and country ham were likewise expertly crafted -- neither too dry nor too slimy and full of flavor. The country ham was surprisingly tender. The pickled onions and smoked quail egg wonderfully complemented the meats. Bravo!

Service, was absolutely wonderful -- attentive, without being intrusive, enthusiastic (this is an underrated trait in servers -- not much can spoil a good meal faster than a server who hates his job) and very knowledgeable.

We are eager to return to Mandolin to sample more of the menu, but would go back just for the charcuterie alone!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank KellyMcB1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    37
    16
    4
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Sunday Brunch was outatanding!”
Reviewed January 27, 2013

My wife and I have been to Madolin probably around 4-5 times and it has always been fantastic. Great modern look while still keeping a warm, charming feel.

This was our first time attending Sunday brunch and it really stands out as the most vibrant, classy choice in the triangle. It is hard to find a place that has as upscale of a feel and as quality a food, with fresh ingredients and presentation.

Well worth the visit!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank jacokast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
155 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“First time - Had high hopes, but was disappointed!”
Reviewed January 20, 2013

NOTE: I would do 2.5 stars if I could, but rounded down because I didn't feel like my experience deserved the extra .5 star.

My date and I were excited to finally visit Mandolin after hearing many good things. We were very disappointed. Here's the 1, 2, 3s...

1. WAITRESS: We were promptly seated for 6:30pm reservations on a Saturday night. At one point, the waitress told us she was *NEW* (really?? on a Saturday night you put out new people??) and kept apologizing constantly for what seemed like everything. She lacked the confidence of a waiter/waitress that you find in a more upscale restaurant.

2. FIRST COURSE: A first course (appetizer) and drinks were ordered (Charcuterie Plate). The drinks took 10, maybe 15 minutes to get to the table. Waited another 15 for the appetizer while the waitress came back answer questions but then continued to ask us about 5 times about main course. I said we were waiting for the first course and my date told her in a nice way to just let us relax and go with the flow and we will order when we are ready. She said she didn't know we wanted the first course right away and was waiting to get our entire order before putting in the first course!!! (I was clear when we ordered drinks as I ordered the first course at the same time.) So, we waited even longer for the first course.

Oh, the ham on the Charcuterie Plate was like chewy rubber and the Sour Dough Croutes were very small, only 5, and almost tasteless. The intent is typically croutes are to be for spreading the Paté upon, but you get a decent amount of Paté, so I had to ask another waiter for some bread.

3. MAIN COURSE: Main course came and my date's French Onion Soup was not even lukewarm. Scallops were lukewarm...not to my liking, but she didn't want to send them back so she could have something to eat with me.

My flounder was done perfectly, however the garnishes were just kind of miss-matched with the flounder. (Pan-seared Flounder – Hoppin’John, Braised Greens, Caramelized Fennel, and Saffron). I wondered after a while if the fennel and saffron might have been left off because I don't remember even a subtle taste of them.

Seared Scallops – Celery root, Black Truffles, and Local Pink Lady Apples. All I could taste was mayo on apples and nothing special on the scallops. No black truffle flavor either. I wonder if it was left off??

Soup came FINALLY back (I wonder why it took so long?). It was "warmer" this time, but not hot like you typically get French Onion soup. The toasted bread with cheese must have sat while they fixed the soup because they got way too hard to really eat.

AS I WAS LEAVING: I told the waitress we we didn't feel like we had a good experience. The owner woman came and talked to me about it when I was leaving and apologized and said, "My husband isn't hear tonight and people make mistakes." and then she offered to buy us dinner at another time. A nice gesture, but I declined after the excuse in quotes above. I don't believe the waitress relayed to the owner woman that part of the issue was the her, the waitress, in addition to the lack of attention to the food.

SUMMARY: Food was not the quality

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Pack-Less
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Service; Good Creative Food”
Reviewed December 21, 2012 via mobile

My mother and I had a wonderful dinner at Mandolin on Sunday night. The hostess was friendly and our waiter was great. Overall atmosphere was good. Service was very attentive. Waiter was knowledgeable about the food and helpful with selections. Food is locally sourced. Menu is very creative. We spilt a yummy panzanella salad. I had a pork tenderloin dish and mother had a chicken pot pie. Food was perfectly cooked and presented. Very Tasty! Wine list was varied and good as well. Can't wait to go back.

Helpful?
Thank ERPNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“It's my new fav in Triangle”
Reviewed December 13, 2012

Lizzy greets you enthusiastically as you walk in making you feel very welcome. The cocktails are amazing (especially the Pims Cup) and made fresh. The bartender (Paul) actually gave me a couple of samples of some other drinks on the list while we waited at the bar.

Our waitress was very knowledgeable and helped me with my gluten free choices. She let us take our time and have a real dining experience (something lacking in the US).

I ordered the beef tartare for an appetizer and it was amazing. Everyone in our party was happy with their apps, mains, and desserts. The exploding chocolate souffle was delicious and comes with a side of chocolate sauce.

Sean and Lizzy Fowler have created a gem and I will keep coming back.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jwzmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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