Sometime in the past five years I have inadvertently become a “date night snob." When our first child was born five years ago, adult-only dinners disappeared, and when my husband and I do get a rare opportunity to go out and dine alone I want it to be a big deal.
We always choose a nice restaurant in downtown Raleigh. So, when it was suggested that we go to Ruckus Pizza Pasta and Spirits, I’ll admit that I turned up my nose. A pizza place? In a strip mall? In Cary?! However, we unexpectedly got a last minute babysitter on a Monday night, when many of the restaurants downtown are closed and decided to give Ruckus a fair try.
The Location: Tryon Place in Cary, near the Crossroads Shopping Center. They have a nice sized outside seating area and on nights when the weather is nice, we’ve seen people outside drinking beer and playing cornhole. It was cozy inside, but there would definitely be room to push same tables together and seat a large group.
The Company: My handsome husband of course! This was a date night.
The Meal: I had checked out the menu online before we left so I already knew what I was going to order. We started by sharing a basket of pickle chips ($6), which were sliced uniquely lengthwise which made them perfect for dipping! They had a bit too much breading and batter for my taste, but the pickle flavor was still there. For dinner, I ordered the BBQ Chicken and Gouda Panni ($7 Barbecued chicken breast, smoked gouda, sweet red onion, tomato and cilantro mayo on focaccia bread). I’m a sucker for anything with cilantro in it! My husband ordered 20 hot wings ($14) which came with the wing sauce served on the side. Before we left, we ordered a small pizza to take home to the kids for the next day. This was a pizza place after all! The pizza was very good! The sauce and dough are made from scratch in house.
The Service: Everyone was very nice and seemed like they were happy to be there, I didn’t feel like my service was sacrificed even though it was a Monday night.
The Final Bill: Less than $50, including a pizza for the lunch the next day - definitely a cheap date!
The Verdict: I’m so glad we tried it! We had a very relaxed meal, everything was comfortable and familiar, and we didn’t have to fuss with directions, or parking, or what to wear. They have a good looking calendar of events including live music, trivia and a “keep the glass” pint night. We might not be able to make it back for a date night anytime soon, but we will definitely be picking up pizza with the kids in the near future. If you’re thinking of giving Ruckus a try, check out their Beer Dinner this Monday night!
I learned there are definitely merits to staying in the suburbs for date night! If you know of a great place to eat that otherwise might get overlooked because it’s in a strip mall, leave your recommendations in the comments below!