I was so excited to try out the newest addition to Glenwood South’s restaurant scene, Krave. I had already heard a lot about Krave but not about the restaurant. Instead, most of the hype has been about the late night atmosphere.
Krave is downtown’s only weekend after-hours lounge and with a DJ and late night menu, including favorites like grilled PB&J. It has become a sensation for late night eats between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. However, I was eager to see if the restaurant aspect was as good as the late night atmosphere seemed to be.
The Location: Krave is centrally located in the heart of Glenwood South’s entertainment district at 510 Glenwood Ave. in downtown Raleigh. Street parking is hard to find, so it is best to pay a little to park in a parking deck rather than ride around looking for a free spot for 30 minutes. The location makes it the perfect place to grab dinner or drinks before heading out to the many bars and late night attractions that Glenwood South provides.
The Meal: My friend and I decided to start with cocktails and Krave had a nice selection of signature homemade recipes. I went with the Krave signature martini, Krave It. The martini had Stoli Strawberry Vodka and freshly muddled watermelon with fresh lime and a splash of Redbull and cranberry juice. My martini was wonderful! You could taste all of the different flavors in it. The carefully picked fruit flavors along with the splash of Redbull was screaming summer deliciousness. Also, I am sucker for cute glasses and I love the strawberry granish that was on top of my adorable glass.
My friend got the Kraveade cocktail, with Sky Bood Orange Vodka, muddled orange, lemon wedges and a splash of simple syrup. I did not think I would enjoy the drink he chose because the name made me think it would taste like lemonade. Much to my surprise it was more of an orangeaid/lemon hybrid that was extremely delicious. It was a well-crafted drink and none of the flavors were too overpowering, especially not the one I was most concerned about – lemon.
After looking over the menu, we decided to go the tapas approach and went with three small plates instead of getting an entree. It was pretty obvious that this was more of a tapas restaurant because of the large selection of small plates compared to the six entrees that were available. Plus, there were too many different things we wanted to try, so we thought this would be the best approach.
Our first choice was the Krave Fire Shrimp, which ended up being my favorite part of the meal! The shrimp were tossed in a zesty Thai chili sauce and served over Asian slaw. The Thai chili sauce was amazing and had a wonderful kick to it. The slaw was cool and remotely reminded me of kimchee, a very popular Asian dish, but most importantly it complemented the spicy Thai shrimp perfectly. This meal came with six large shrimp.
The next small plate we chose was the Krave Chicken Wings. The reason I decided to try the wings was because of the style they were served. The wings were cut osso bucco style (Italian for “bone with a hole,”) baked and then flash fried. We went with the Thai Honey sauce which was delicious; we ended up dipping our other food in the sauce! It is served with ranch dressing and is a great plate to share because it comes with about six wings but they are huge!
The final dish we chose was the Kobe Steak Tips. Are you catching a little Asian theme here? They were tossed in a teriyaki glaze and drizzled with a wasabi aioli. The tips were prepared rare but seared on the outside. Perfect! The sauce was incredible, the sweet teriyaki glaze that they marinated it in combined with the subtle kick of wasabi aioli blended perfectly in your mouth. We decided to kick it up a bit and dip the tips in the Thai honey sauce from the wings, great decision.
Although we only got three small plates, this was more than enough food for both of us!
The Service: Our server Britney was wonderful. We were seated right away. She brought us waters and gave us time to browse the drink menu. The servers use iPads to take orders, which was very impressive. When we asked about different menu items she was able to show us pictures of the items on the iPad so we could see how large the portion sizes were. With the iPad there was no waiting for the server to take your check, she just slid our card tableside and allowed us to hold the iPad for signature and tip while she walked away for a moment. Just doing their part in staying green! You could also choose to have your receipt emailed or printed off. She was very attentive and knowledgeable about the menu and definitely steered us down a delicious street for our small plate selection.
The Final Bill: The drinks were about $11 each, while each of the small plates was about $10, making the final bill around $50, not including tip. The small plates are a great way to go if you want to keep the price a little lower. The entrees run about $17 each.
The Verdict: Krave definitely lived up to the late night hype and I am excited to visit again and try out some of the different small plates, like the calamari. I also am looking forward to coming in late night to hear the DJ and enjoying a grilled PB&J.