An ethnic panorama in cuisine, interior design, music, and staff..
Spice Street is an artful representation of the confluence of diverse peoples in modern America. Something about the eating experience is mystical. It must be the physical set-up - the high ceilings, the fountain of water, the relationship of lighting and space, the Arabic food - that makes me feel I am eating fruits in the garden of Eden. The menu, the interior design, the wait and culinary staff merge the whole world in one kitchen and dining room. Some think the colors, sounds, and smells fight, but I see a microcosm of the mosaic that is Chapel Hill. What an appropriate restaurant to have in this town. It is a total testament to our cosmopolitan, open-minded, forward-moving community.
The food service is simply remarkable. The staff gave me a tour behind the scenes. I inspected the kitchen and the two room-sized fridges. The kitchen is at the heart of the restaurant. It is meticulously organized and clean. The vegetable storage is stocked with fresh, whole produce - pyramids of romaine lettuce, eggplant, okra, chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, tomatoes, russet potatoes, zucchini, green chili, red bell peppers, yellow squash, onions, yardlong beans. Raw black and white chocolates and custards sit behind a smaller glass fridge. In the meat storage are packages of fresh squid, beef steaks, whole chicken. The head baker kneads dough and bakes pastries and bread in a large oven in the center of the kitchen. If you imagine that Spice Street is overpriced, you do undercredit the freshness of the food and the authenticity of its preparation. Seven dollars for a Fatouche Salad is a pretty good deal, considering that Spice Street has "kept it real," or at least as real as it can get on Estes Drive.
I recommend that you have lunch or dinner at Spice Street. You would have a luxurious and delicious experience, but just as important, you would patronize the local color(s)!
Going downhill....try somewhere new instead.. My boyfriend and I went to Spice Street last year and had a great experience. We've gone back 3 times since then and things have been progressively worse each time. The food tends to be bland-- tonight I had orange beef and perhaps one bite actually had orange flavor. The service tends to be poor-- there are lots of waitstaff, but little coordination between them and simple requests take forever to fill. We've had problems with our orders in the past, but been unable to flag down a server within 15 minutes to fix the issue. I would suggest trying somewhere new-- there are a lot of new restaurants in the Triangle and I've had better experiences at most for much less money.
This place is not worth it. We also went to Spice Street on Valentines Day. Even with a reservation, we sat in the bar 20 min past our reservation time. The service was very slow and the food was very uneven. One entree (bouillabaisse) was excellent; the other (fillet mignon) was badly overcooked. We were eventually able to get the server?s attention, the meat replaced, and removed from the check. We also experienced the "intimate dining" seating at card-tables, the knee slamming and uncomfortable seating (see an earlier poster). There are too many excellent dining options in the Triangle to have to put up with this place. I would never go back.
beautifully presented with good service though food had its ups and downs. I went there for lunch because it was on the way home from UNC, and being very finicky about food in general, this gets a moderately positive review. I ordered steak and frites with sweet tea alongside. They started with this complimentary fresh baked thin bread to put a wonderful olive tapenade on--delish.The tea was remarkably fresh, always a good sign. The ambience was really delightful, too, right down to the bathrooms having raised sinks and teak counters scattered around different parts of the restaurant. Service was grade A (could only have been improved, perhaps, with an earlier "how is it," though having a bit of time alone with my food was, too, appreciated). My central problem came with one part, though only one, of my food. My portions were closer to $20 than $12, not complaining mind you! The frites=perfect in texture, flavor, etc. though they could stand to offer more dipping sauces if they want to use the Belgian term. The steak=tender, served with a red pepper sauce that was great, not my usual cut of choice but still well-prepared, but oops, I could only eat 3 bites... coated in fresh ground pepper was good... salt being heavily added along with the pepper (probably to make it seem hotter)... ugh. I just couldn't do it. Not enough water in the world could get that "just ran a mile" sweat taste out of my mouth-was just too salty. That said, she asked if I wanted a box, and when I said I couldn't eat any more b/c it was too salty... no problem, taken off the bill. When she asked if there was anything else she could get me, I pondered and asked about dessert-anything salt-containing was unwelcome by then. I got a bloodorange sorbet for $4, and it was enough to serve 2--2 very large scoops, like Ben and Jerry's size scoops, beautiful and fresh. All in all, I'd probably go back and give it another try, being mindful to ask about anything that might be too salty and probably just steering clear of soups and the like.
Made the mistake of taking my wife here for Valentine's Day. Now I know why the restaurant was not crowded. Shame on me for not making reservations elsewhere earlier.
Our crabcake appetizer was very bland, the lobster bisque was overly salty, and our meals were average (that's being kind) - overly oily and overcooked. Certainly not worthy of the price of the meal.
On top of this, they had set up small card-tables for "intimate dining". We slammed our kneecaps sitting down and were not comfortable throughout our meal due to the limited legroom.
The staff seemed pleasant and attentive, but I would not return for a meal. The best part of our evening was going to Southern Seasons to select take-away desserts.
Tacky-Disrespectful-Bad Business Sense.
For a restaurant in that price range-etiquette is a must.
Please! If there are customers in the restaurant do not come out with a crate of glasses to put on the tables without covering up the sides of the crate at the very least.
The sushi bar-yikes-what a mess and that is one of the first things one sees coming into the restaurant-what message do you think that sends?
The bar-what's with bringing out the garbage bins whiles there are customers sitting at the bar? Very disgusting.
Please some finesse and decorum that befits a restaurant of your stature is in order please.
The food and presentation was yummy and pretty but the other distractions really wrecked the overall experience for me.
Please take this criticism as constructive and do something about the whole dining experience and not just the food.
Bland, uninspired food. I can't figure out why anyone would give this restaurant a good rating. The food is sub-standard, the atmosphere is contrived and unsophisticated (the abominable artwork doesn't help) and the staff seems on-edge. I ate with three others and had a chance to try many different dishes. The first blunder was a salmon roll, which we received and mistook for a donut. I'm all for experimentation with new tastes and textures, but some ideas should never be realized. Such as DEEP FRYING a salmon roll so that it is inconceivably salty, heavy, and rather disgusting. None of the other dishes tasted fresh, flavorful or unusual in any way. This restaurant has the feel of a chain but with higher prices. Definitely would not return.
Insensitive artwork and spoiled food.. The food is usually good but inconsistent. Sometimes it is spoiled and I have gotten sick from the food once. It is not wholesome in its decor or family friendly as the tasteless art in the entryway precludes this.
interesting look, but.... I would rather drink and dance there. It has a sophistication to it, a place the mature crowd can "hang-out" if you will. Though I wasn't convinced on the meal. It could be enjoyable.
extraordinary food, the details are amazing.
this place has changed so much for the better that I really dont know where to begin..they have a new chef, a great new menu, the lunch is incredible, the prices are great..but the dinner is amazing, the fish we had there recently was the best i have ever had, after traveling the world and eating in hundreds of resturants, the thing i like most are the salads, the best in the triangle..you can see all the work that goes into making a perfect salad..the chef came to our table and brought our daughter a rabbit shaped cookie with vanilla ice crean bunny tail, she loved it .
the wine list needs serious work, and the manager is not very helpful, but the food is worth it.
we had a large party and the service and food were excellent and really beautiful food too,
we plan to go back often, on sunday night they have 1/2 price bottles of wine, the patio is gorgeous and our waiter was very very good on the night we sat out there. go to this place.
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