Our Five Faves

Kelcey and Bill's fave date places

Posted February 6, 2012

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, we decided to ask some of the folks in the newsroom their picks for romantic or date places. For our first installment, we got Kelcey & Bill from the WRAL morning team to give us their picks for great date places! Whether ultra-romantic or just plain fun, here is where they love going on dates:


Kelcey Carlson

Kelcey Carlson


Market (Raleigh) - love the atmosphere and open kitchen. Reminds me of going to a friend's house for a party. It's a great place to have fancy food without having to get fancied up.

Poole's Diner (Raleigh) - you just feel cool in this place. Great comfort food. Dark and cozy.

Zely and Ritz (Raleigh) -  Great place for a dressy date. It's intimate and the owners make you feel special.

Hayes Barton (Raleigh) -  two words: dessert case.

Sitti (Raleigh) -  love the atmosphere and variety on the menus. The front windows are a great place to people watch. I like watching the city turn over on a Friday night from business to casual.

Lilly’s (Raleigh) - The best pizza and it became our lunch spot when I was on my first maternity leave.

Roast Grill (Raleigh) - It is just a cool Raleigh joint. If you haven't experienced it, you should!

 Bill Leslie

Bill Leslie 

18 Seaboard (Raleigh) - Jason Smith is a magical chef with a penchant for creativity, homegrown hospitality and consistent goodness. I love the salmon here. 

Angus Barn (Raleigh) - The classic place for a great steak and five star service. I never grow tired of the cheese up front. 

Caffe Luna (Raleigh) - Parker Kennedy is a gracious host of Tuscan temptations. My favorite is bowtie pasta with pink salmon sauce. 

Maximillians (Cary) - Great seafood with a flair and some heat. Always creative and fun. 

Heron’s (Cary at the Umstead Hotel and Spa) - Elegant yet homegrown. I love their use of North Carolina products, much like 18 Seaboard. I ate my first ramps at Herons. Great for brunch as well as dinner. 


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  • luvinbeinme23 Feb 10, 2012

    Love the steaks at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and desserts. I also love the lobster Mac-n-cheese and desserts at Twisted Fork - especially the Red Velvet cake!

  • elliesmom Feb 9, 2012

    Awesome that you focus on restaurants that use NC produce and meat, like Market, Pooles, Zely and Ritz and 18 Seaboard. These chefs are doing a great job buying local and supporting our farmers. And the food is delish!

  • proud to be southern Feb 8, 2012

    The Peddler has to be the best romantic restaurant to get a great steak cut to order. Casa Carbone is the best Italian since Villa Capri closed years ago.

  • PRGuy Feb 8, 2012

    Book the Chef's table at the Angus Barn for a truly unforgettable dinner. They cook off-the-menu items for you and pair it with wine, and you get to see behind the scenes in the kitchen.

  • mea521 Feb 7, 2012

    Chef Carlo left Casalinga & is now by Kohl's in N. Raleigh. "Casa San Carlo". It is a little smaller, but great atmosphere! Warm & welcoming! Awesome food, great price (especially the lunch buffet)!

  • Khanrahan Feb 6, 2012

    Hey Carydoggymom, we have some great picks from Durham coming this week from reporter Erin Hartness.

  • carydoggymom Feb 6, 2012

    Where are the Durham restaurants? I live in Cary, but Magnolia Grill in Durham is wonderful!

  • Khanrahan Feb 6, 2012

    Davidgnews, one WRAL reporter also suggested Casalinga in north Raleigh. Stay tuned this week to see who it is!

  • davidgnews Feb 6, 2012

    We were utterly disappointed in 18 Seaboard, not to return. Maybe it was just a bad night for food and service.

    I'd go with Bloomsbury Bistro over 18 Seaboard any day.

    I second the Casa Carbone recommendation, but also Casa Linga in N. Raleigh.

  • cwood3 Feb 6, 2012

    My 2 favorites are 2nd Empire and Casa Carbone-hands down. Angus Barn has great steaks but the bill is quite steep.

    Casa for price, atmosphere, and quality are my top choice!