About Mateo

109 W Chapel Hill St
Durham, NC 27701
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Spanish Heart / Southern Soul from the crew at Vin Rouge.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates

Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Thursday 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 5:00 - 10:30 pm; Friday 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm - 12:00 am; Saturday 5:00 pm - 12:00 am and Sunday 5:00 - 9:30.

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(919) 530-8700

Website:
http://www.mateotapas.com/

Parking Details:
There is a small lot beside our restaurant as well as street parking. There is also a large parking lot located behind Mateo on Ramseur St.

Executive Chef:
Matthew Kelly

Additional:
Bar Dining, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Mateo Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.5

ambience

4.4

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Tapas (99)
Creative Cuisine (64)
Good for a Date (62)
See All
Fit for Foodies (62)
Special Occasion (52)
Hot Spot (45)
Worth the Drive (39)
Neighborhood Gem (39)
Pre/post Theatre (35)
Authentic (34)
Bar Seating (34)
Romantic (31)
Good for Groups (28)
Good for Anniversaries (28)
Fun (27)
Local Ingredients (26)
Tasting Menu (26)
Vibrant Bar Scene (21)
Good for Birthdays (20)
Cozy (19)
Handcrafted Cocktails (18)
Casual (18)
Good Vegetarian Options (16)
Notable Wine List (15)
People Watching (14)
Modern Decor (13)
Family Style (10)
Quick Bite (9)
Business Meals (9)
Comfort Food (9)
Outstanding Value (8)
Seasonal (7)
Great for Lunch (7)
Great Beer (7)
Gluten Free Options (7)
Late-night Find (6)
Healthy (6)
Happy Hour (5)
Open Kitchen (5)
Molecular Gastronomy (4)
Paleo Friendly (4)
Spicy (4)
Historic (3)
Private Room (3)
Organic (2)
Wood Oven (2)
Vegan (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Waterfront (1)
Scenic View (0)
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1408 reviews
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 (Raleigh)·Dined 2 days ago

I loved the swordfish. The sweet potato hand pie was off the charts!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value2

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined 2 days ago

Atmosphere and food were excellent. The dishes were delicious and entertaining. A couple of the small plates were not quite as good as others, The waitress not as communicative as she could have been about describing the food. Since the dishes are complex, it would have helped to understand a little more about what we were ordering.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 3 days ago

Came to Mateo to celebrate a Birthday all the way from Raleigh. Had a great time and it was completely worth our 30+ min drive. The staff was friendly and extremely helpful with the menu. We look forward to coming back soon!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Bar Scene, Happy Hour, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Outstanding Value, Great Beer
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 7 days ago

I've now had two meals at Mateo and nothing about the second outing tainted my initial opinion - this is a wonderful restaurant. The menu is fun to explore and the wait staff was very knowledgeable during both visits. The food is stellar and eclectic. Foodies will flock here for some time to come. Highly recommend trying the nightly specials.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Tapas, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 7 days ago

We waited for over and hour for a o Karol once we were seated. We asked where it was and there didn't seem to be any emergency.

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food5
ambience4
service1
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 7 days ago

Wonderful as always! We sat upstairs and I much preferred that experience, quieter with a lovely ambiance. Highly recommend the ensalada marisco and the chicken croquettes -- always incredible.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 18, 2017

Best Tapas food in Triangle Area , My Favourite Restaurant in Durham ..

Tags: Tapas, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 17, 2017

Love the food. books up quickly, so make a reservation. but it is noisy.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Family Style, Outstanding Value, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Worth the Drive, Tapas, Modern Decor, Pre/post Theatre, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 17, 2017

A really fun place to eat and the food is delicious.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Savannah)·Dined on February 17, 2017

Service was very poor. Our server was not exactly friendly and agreeable to begin with, but when we told her my wife had an onion allergy she made us feel like more of an imposition than a welcome customer. Only visited the take maybe 6-7 times in the almost 2 hours we were there. I know they had food and drink runners, but that's to allow servers to give their tables more attention not less. No one asked how anything was. The food was decent, but definitely sub par from what I was expecting, given price and reputation. We ordered about 8 different items, and a common theme was that they had good intentions but either did not think it through or it was poorly executed. All minor details, like wiping the edge of a plate, covering the entire plate of otherwise delicious venison carpaccio with a pool of overly bitter olive oil instead of using less or a higher grade olive oil, stating that their food is perfectly seasoned through a lack of salt and pepper shakers on the tables, then getting food that is lacking in any salt (not under salted, but entire lack of). Not placing a listed accompaniment to a dish on a plate, putting a hot espresso drink in a glass instead of ceramic cup making it difficult for someone with kitchen hands to hold due to the heat of the glass. I honestly don't remember it all. I'm not trying to sound snooty or picky, I'm a chef of 20 years and hate picky reviews myself, but it was little details where a restaurant up for a James beard award, and where I'm spending over a hundred dollars on dinner for two, should not drop the ball.

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food3
ambience4
service1
value2

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 15, 2017

We had a great meal at Mateo on 2/15 prior to seeing a show at DPAC. The food was outstanding. We shared small plates that consisted of dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon, roasted brussel sprouts, beet salad, bomba rice with duck, and the spare ribs in pepper jelly. All were fantastic with our favorite being the bomba rice. The restaurant is very popular, so reservations are a must unless you want to take a chance of snagging a spot at the bar. The night we were there, the bar was full when we arrived at 6:30. Service was excellent and our server helped us with a couple of selections. The only negative to Mateo is that the noise level is extremely loud. It took us a while to adjust to the high level of noise so that we could carry on a conversation. Other than that, this place rocks!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Fun, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 15, 2017

Mateo's is amazing! We can't wait to go again! The food is absolutely delicious!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Tapas
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 15, 2017

Don't go on Valentine's Day! Let me start by saying I love Mateo. I've been here before and had an awesome experience. We decided to go on Valentine's Day because we had a $60 gift card. We didn't realize they were serving a "special" Valentine's Day menu. It was an abbreviated menu, which was slightly disappointing but at least we knew it was going to be good. Normally Mateo's tapas plates range from $4-16, with more than double digits under $10. Their Valentine's Day special was 4 plates for $65, or $16.25 per plate. I was extremely disappointed. They were up-charging for the V-Day special. The food was still amazing, as always, but the price tainted it slightly. We will be back, but never again on Valentine's Day!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 15, 2017

Valentines menu was a bust, wish it was advertised. I'll give it another shot.

Tags: Tapas
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food3
ambience5
service5
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 15, 2017

The food is usually good but on Valentine's Day it was insanely overpriced and the food was not good. It was a huge let down.

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food1
ambience2
service4
value1

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 15, 2017

Molecular gastronomy? Who knows?

Kind of expensive, but we had cocktails, so....

Extensive tapas menu on regular nights; we were there on Valentine's Day and menu was abbreviated.

Fun crowd at the bar.

Good for special event or intimate date.

Friendly staff and fast service.

Tags: Late-night Find, Historic, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Tapas, Special Occasion, Casual, Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 15, 2017

We were seated promptly for our reservation. Our server, Larry, was friendly, knowledgeable about the menu options and attentive to our table, even with a full restaurant. The food was great!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Tapas, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 14, 2017

Service was really bad. We got the wrong tapas (as did tables on either side of us) our meals took an hour, we ordered salad. The food was good but service seemed in chaos for everyone. No apology offered even though it was evident things were completely sideways. Would not go choose to go back, would recommend to friends with a large warning. So many other options in the same area.

Tags: Tapas
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food4
ambience3
service1
value3

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 12, 2017

My wife and I really enjoyed our first visit to Mateo. The food was delicious and our server was friendly, attentive and helpful. Our only complaint is that when we usually go to a tapas place, we rely on the staff to bring us the small plates we order in groups or pairs over the course of our meal. Instead, Mateo brought us all five plates we ordered at once, which was pretty overwhelming and prevented us from eating at a leisurely pace. We'll definitely go back, but when we do, we'll have to specific what we want and when.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 4, 2017

This was our second visit after we had an excellent experience at Mateo 4-5 months ago. Maybe it was because it was a busy Saturday evening, but the service was just barely mediocre. Our server didn't seem at all welcoming and friendly and that was a real disappointment after previous visit. Food was good--but not excellent--and the 4 of us shared plenty of dishes. With dessert, I asked for cup of coffee. I received it, but it wasn't super hot like I enjoy and the waitress never returned to offer refills. Not sure we'll return...

Tags: Tasting Menu
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food3
ambience2
service1
value2

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Wonderful experience...gets better each time we visit.

Friendly and helpful staff....Food awesome.

.........................................................................................

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 4, 2017

I was very surprised by how busy it was so late in the eve. The food selection was Fantastic. Small size tapas great for sharing, many choices. Cocktails and wine were very well chosen to compliment the menu. Atmosphere was a bit noisy but it was packed so can't expect much intimacy when it's that popular!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Worth the Drive, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Modern Decor, Hot Spot, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2017

I had an incredible meal at Mateo. The service was excellent as well. It is the best restaurant I have visited in Durham. I will go back again. Reservations in advance are highly recommended.

Tags: Authentic, Great for Lunch, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, Tapas, Business Meals, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on February 3, 2017

It was an absolutely amazing spot for my birthday dinner! I found it very romantic and energetic!

Tags: Good for a Date, Family Style, Great Beer, Sunday Lunch, Waterfront, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Healthy, Happy Hour, Vibrant Bar Scene, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Authentic, People Watching, Great for Lunch, Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Outstanding Value, Local Ingredients, Fun, Tapas, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Good Vegetarian Options, Cozy, Tasting Menu, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Open Kitchen, Quick Bite, Bar Seating, Vegan, Worth the Drive, Organic, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 1, 2017

This was our first visit to Mateo and we can't wait to get back. The food and service were stellar! Highly recommend the octopus. All dishes were tasty and fun to share. Also, great wine list and server was able to recommend wines especially to Spanish novices. 5 star all around!

Tags: Quick Bite, Cozy, Good for Groups, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 31, 2017

Great as always and I have to make this 50 characters what a pain

Tags: Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (London)·Dined on January 30, 2017

Would give 5 stars, but was sat right next to the kitchen and therefore unable to get an overall impression of its ambiance...

Tags: Tapas, Wood Oven
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 30, 2017

Mateo food quality was very good and authentically Spanish. A diverse variety of Tapas including Octopus that was outstanding. Our server, although relatively efficient came across as not wanting to be there that evening. This is a restaurant for "foodies", it is not romantic, a bit noisy and casual but the food and food variety is awesome.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 30, 2017

The mix of flavors was wonderful. I only like to eat out things that I can't cook myself and none of what we ate is something that I would have thought to do.

Tags: Cozy, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 28, 2017

High quality tapas restaurant in a convenient downtown location. Interesting and diverse menu options and fun place for a late dinner. The Duck was Shrimp dishes were standouts for us, save room for the banana pudding.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Fun, People Watching, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 27, 2017

Great food and service. Only problem was that I made the reservation because of Restaurant Week. Maybe it said somewhere that this was the case, but when I arrived, I was told that they don't do that for lunch. Bummer, but it was still excellent!

Tags: Good for a Date, Late-night Find, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 26, 2017

Absolutely incredible food and the wait staff gives great distributions on the food. I would highly recommend Mateo to anyone who is a foodie or wine lover.

Tags: Healthy, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 26, 2017

Mateo was absolutely delicious! I ordered three tapas and that was enough to make me feel full. The marrow is excellent and the octopus dish was very very good.

Tags: Tapas, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Molecular Gastronomy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 25, 2017

The best calamari we have ever had and most other dishes were better than average. The noise level, though, was beyond reasonable even before the restaurant filled up. Also, they must have used an algorithm to maximize the number of seats that could reasonably be included -- fortunately, I didn't find my neighbors a problem but we WERE elbow to elbow.

Tags: Tapas, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 25, 2017

A very good small plate restaurant. However, Triangle Restaurant Week was no bargain here as the price of $35 covered three small plates and no dessert. The three small plate selection could easily be less expensive by going to the a la carte menu.

This restaurant is typically of many small city establishments where tables are lined up from the wall and the dining experience lacks any privacy especially with a bar directly placed across from the tables.

Service was very good but lacking in a couple respects such as the waiter asking us to remove forks from the plates rather than offering a option to get a new fork. Personally

I dislike using the same fork for appetizer type items, salads and entrée items.

Also, service was too fast when you are only half way through your plate and another plate arrives at the table.

Wine selections from Spain and that area were excellent especially enjoyed the waiter recommending Federico.

Small plates served were also excellent and prepared attractively.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Tapas, Late-night Find, Tasting Menu, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 22, 2017

Great meal! The selections were amazing and came out really fast. Only downfall was the Extremely loud group of 16 people eating near us...could not even hear my date to talk to her.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Tapas, Molecular Gastronomy
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on January 21, 2017

Underwhelming at best.

Disappointed w the overall food.

Wait staff & front desk are quite good. Would b better served w an improved & better valued kitchen.

Oysters & Brussels sprouts are the only food highlights.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value1

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 20, 2017

Great meal, we went for lunch. The burger is excellent and the pork ribs too. Worth a visit. I've been for dinner also and it was excellent.

Tags: Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Tapas
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 20, 2017

The food was so much more than we expected to find here! Loved to find the tapas menu and try out so

Many different dishes!!! Will definitely return on our next visit to Durham. Our waiter was wonderful, helping guide us in making selections... thanks Matt!!!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Quick Bite, People Watching, Scenic View, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Tapas
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 20, 2017

We were seated immediately in the upstairs dining room and given a brief history of the building on the way to our table! Our server was friendly and efficient and gave us two great recommendations for wine to pair with our dishes. The food was outstanding! We ordered the grilled whole head of broccoli, the Jamon-wrapped Medjool dates, The Gambas, and two dishes with crostini and homemade pimento cheese and homemade farmer's cheese, and all of it was fabulous and flavorful. Will definitely return!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, People Watching, Tapas, Authentic, Hot Spot, Local Ingredients, Good Vegetarian Options, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 19, 2017

Flavor explosions! Be adventurous. Get recommendations. Still the best restaurant in Durham since they opened

Tags: Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 18, 2017

Fantastic food and service! We always have a lovely time at Mateo. Perfect wine recommendations, and I definitely recommend getting any features they have listed on the chalkboard!

Tags: Business Meals, Bar Seating, Pre/post Theatre, People Watching, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 17, 2017

I have always heard Mateo's was good and had not taken the opportunity to go there before because there are so many really good eating establishments in Durham. I have now moved Mateo's way up the list to a place on our regulars list!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Authentic, Fun, Notable Wine List, Kid-friendly, Fit for Foodies, Great Beer, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Outstanding Value, Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on January 15, 2017

Great food. Wonderful service by Sara who made our meal a delight. Fast service and great food in a fun very busy atmosphere!

Tags: People Watching, Good for a Date, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 15, 2017

It was great. Food was wonderful and we will be back when we move to the triangle area.

Tags: Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Private Room, Special Occasion, Tapas
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 14, 2017

We were kept waiting about 25 minutes for a 6:30 reservation made a week earlier. Otherwise, the staff is very good and helpful. The food is varied and interesting.

Tags: Tapas
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 14, 2017

We waited more than 40 minutes after being seated without any service. It was insulting. The room was crowded and noisy. We will not be going back.

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food4
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 14, 2017

My favorite restaurant. Every dish is spectacular.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 13, 2017

Consistently great food - worth putting up with noise level and occasional difficulty getting a server's attention

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 13, 2017

Excellent food, service and ambience. We will be back!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Tapas, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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