Raleigh, N.C. — Dishcrawl's second Raleigh outing was last night, and we headed to the Glenwood South district to sample small plates from four restaurants: 518 West, Blue Mango, Bia at Solas and ViewBar.
Our first stop on this restaurant crawl was 518 West, a well-known Italian restaurant on Glenwood. Guests mingled at the bar before our meal, which was a marinara mousse to start, followed by margherita pizza and whole wheat fettucine. The marinara mousse was served with a basil-honey emulsion, and it was kind of strange...the tastes didn't match up to the textures in my mind. However, the simple margherita pizza was delicious and made right in front of us, and the pasta was a delicious mix of noodles and mushrooms.
After making the short walk to Blue Mango, we settled down for some Indian cuisine. Our first dish was chilli paneer: fresh cheese with a spicy sauce. I really enjoyed the paneer, because it was mild and paired well with the chilli sauce. This was followed by chicken and rice with a yogurt sauce, served with naan bread. You can't beat spicy Indian food and naan bread prepared right in front of your table!
By the time we crossed the street to Bia, I was already feeling pretty full – all those small plates add up quickly! However, I ended up not eating a lot at Bia because it was my least favorite stop on the tour (and I had to save room for dessert). We started out with spicy chicken meatballs, which were okay, but nothing special. I felt like they needed a dipping sauce to complete it as a small plate. Then there were these strange cabbage dumplings, which I was not a fan of, although Kathy enjoyed them. Their popcorn polenta and shrimp saved the day, and I thought it was pretty good and a unique spin on shrimp and grits.
Our desserts at ViewBar were more than enough to leave any sweet tooth satisfied. Our plates consisted of rich chocolate cake, cheesecake with raspberry sauce and different types of bakalava. I can't complain about any of those treats, but my favorite was the chocolate cake with a dollop of whipped cream and a bite of strawberry.
We had a blast on our second Dishcrawl adventure, and we're already excited for the next one! Tickets are still available for next Wednesday's Dishcrawl tour through the Warehouse District. I'm ready to eat at new restaurants and meet some great people who love food. We've been live tweeting all of the Dishcrawl events, so be sure you follow us on Twitter!