XC: Raleigh

It’s been a while. I’ve gone through a huge life transition since I last wrote. Things have drastically changed. I graduated college, said farewell to my friends that had become family, left behind my favorite neighborhoods, coffee shops, restaurants and bakeries as I moved away from my favorite city in America (Charleston, y’all). Got snappy business cards at my first job in public relations and  moved to another southern city (Raleigh, North Carolina). So you can see, there wasn’t much time to write. But, of course, there is always time to eat.

Raleigh in itself has been a transition. I have tried to place my finger on it, and I don’t know what’s different. Is it me? Is it the city? Is it the mere fact that I am a working woman?

I need to document, though the list is never-ending, things that I miss about Charleston.

The smell of hydrangea wafting through the cobblestone streets, the incredible friendliness of each and every person you pass, the sea breeze as you lean against the cold fence at the battery, taking a walk just because you know that you will notice thousands of details you’ve never noticed on a Charleston Single even though you’ve walked by it everyday. I miss my favorite coffee shop (cheers Black Tap), neighborhood animals that felt like my own because of our daily interactions (and the occasional treats I’d bring them from the Farmers Market)….the Saturday morning Farmers Market. I miss the shops, my backyard full of shady palmettos, my boyfriends porch over the busy corner store. I could go on and on…

The good news, I will be back. I have never been so sure of anything in my life. Charleston has my heart.

But, it is on to my next “cross-country”. I was looking forward to discovering new haunts in Raleigh, but have yet to find anything that has wowed me. Am I not looking in the right places? I’m sure. Raleigh is completely reminiscent of my hometown, a city in Northern Virginia, sans traffic but with no city. I know what you’re saying! Raleigh is a city!! It is lacking the pizzaz and electricity of NYC, Charleston, DC. It is lacking charm*.

*Charm is solely an opinion of Corianna, she knows many people who adore Raleigh

So, I have made it my mission to put on some red lipstick, and pull it together. I am seeking all suggestions for exciting things to do in Raleigh and counting on you to help.

After all, Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen did win James Beard Award “Best Chef Southeast”….

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Update: It has been less than 24 hours since I posted this, and I have had a lot of really great feedback that recent grads are in the same boat….and it’s wildly comforting. Overwhelmingly, it seems that everyone has been trying to cope with the fact that, “OMG, we work 9-5? Is this what the rest of our life looks like? Soon we will be married and have children and mortgages and have to pay taxes….” but what I am slowly learning is that nothing is permanent. My mom (praise that woman) sent me this quote yesterday that just seems so fitting, so I thought I would do my good deed of the day and share it with you all. XC

“I beg you… to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Do not search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
– Rilke

Indaco

I dined at Indaco a few weeks ago, and am just getting the chance to write about the flavors of this King Street establishment. Indaco has an extensive Italian wine list and the menu takes the best of Italy.

Antipasti

I ordered (in order of appearance below) the pumpkin blossoms, olives, and crispy chickpeas. They were each notable. The pumpkin blossoms were battered baccala (salted cod) which is a familiar flavor from Portugal. This was a unique plate which is currently nominated for a James Beard award. As an olive connoisseur,  I throughly enjoyed the olives which tasted as if they were each given special attention. And, finally, the chickpeas were seasoned and delectable.

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Primi and Secondi

The primi and secondi didn’t quite live up to the expectations set by the antipasti. Although rich in appearance, the taste was a bit simplistic.  Below (in order) eggplant lasagne, whole roasted b-liner with kale salad, and brussel sprouts pizza.

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Interior of the fish (stuffed wit herbs, lemon, and bonesphoto 1

Desserts

The best part of the meal, hands down, were the desserts. Without even ordering, three beautiful glasses appeared on the table with sweet treats. I am not quite sure what they were, but some flavors my table discovered through detective work: espresso, panna cotta, tiramisu, honey and pistachio.

photo 5 photo 4photo 3http://www.indacocharleston.com/

Who I would take as my date: Dessert lover for an unexpected treat