Are you looking for a charming, low-key restaurant in Downtown Raleigh with excellent small plates?!?! We found one this past weekend. It was my birthday and Heather wanted to make reservations somewhere we had never been before. Stanbury is off the beatin' path from where we usually go and she decided to surprise me for my birthday dinner. It had been highly recommended to us by some of our neighbors recently. Once we got there- I could tell by the dim lights, fire pit on the patio, eclectic crowd, and special waiting room with games, we were in for a treat. You could feel the welcoming mood in the air.
We started the meal with a bottle of Cabernet Blend (2012) from France. After talking with the waitress (who was excellent), we decided to just get small plates to share so we could try more of the menu. The first two small plates we ordered were the Fried Oysters (My Favorite) and the Beef Tartare. The Fried oysters had a cucumber and carrot type of bedding topped with the perfectly fried oysters and cilantro. There was also a sriracha mayo dipping sauce for the oysters which made for the perfect bite. Truthfully, the flavors just melted together in a happy place. The beef tartare was also outstanding. Our first two small plates were clean and we were ready to try two more.
For our second round, we decided on a Basil, Mozzarella, tomato salad (forgot the menu name) and the duck pastrami (Heather's Favorite). The salad was a superb addition to our meal to give us some vegetables. Again, the tastes just flowed together happily on the plate. Once the duck pastrami came to the table, we were wondering if we would have room, but of course we made room. The game flavor of the meat reminded us both of the holidays and colder weather. It was flavored perfectly and also had an excellent sauce that it was paired with to make the dish even more flavorful.
Just when we didn't think we could eat anything else, Heather insisted that we get a dessert for my birthday. So, who am I to break tradition?! We decided on the dark chocolate brownie with house-made peanut butter ice cream and sprinkled with pieces of peanut brittle. As you can imagine, we were in heaven when we were eating this dessert and just like all of our other plates, we cleaned the plate.
At Stanbury, I had a wonderful birthday dinner. Heather and I will be back to this restaurant again and it will definitely be before my next birthday. We highly recommend Stanbury for any event or just for a night out.