Raleigh’s Best New Restaurants of 2019

So many great options—from classic intercontinental cuisine with the perfect blend of Southern traditions to contemporary American fare.

Jolie Restaurant

620 North Person Street
Opening soon

At Scott Crawford’s new French bistro, diners will find simplicity and consummate attention to detail in the food and the setting. Named for his daughter, the intimate restaurant is alongside his eponymous Crawford & Son landmark. Jolie features an open kitchen and a 25-seat pergola-covered rooftop. The menu promises to bring French classics along with Crawford’s modern interpretations, and he is joined by Madison Tessener, serving as Chef de Cuisine. It’s a homecoming for the Raleigh native, who returns after living in Charleston since 2011, where she worked at nationally acclaimed restaurants including Fig, Husk, McCrady’s, and Chez Nous.

Poole’side Pies

428 South McDowell Street
Opening late summer

Inspired on a recent trip to Italy, Chef Ashley Christensen decided to fill a void in downtown Raleigh. The need: Neapolitan pizza. The answer: a hip enclave next door to the famed Poole’s Diner. Here you’ll find the best in Neapolitan-inspired pies, cooked in authentic wood-fired ovens to give the crust that perfect “leopard finish,” as Chef Christensen describes the light and dark brown tones of the classic crust. More good news: Poole’side Pies will be double the size
of its sister brand-—more seats for all!  

Plates Neighborhood Kitchen  

301 Glenwood Avenue

Southern comfort foods with creative interpretations by Chef Jake Wood, whom you likely remember from his stints at 18 Seaboard, The Cowfish, and 42nd Street Oyster Bar.  This is Chef Wood’s first time helming the kitchen, and his culinary repertoire spans sushi to corndogs. Hailing from Apex originally, Chef Wood is all about local sourcing and supporting North Carolina agriculture. A typical summer menu includes a range of delicacies from the Carolina coast to the farmlands: Blue Crab Fritters; Pimiento Goat Cheese; N.C. Strawberry Gazpacho; Granny Helen’s Fried Chicken; and N.C. Zucchini Noodles. Be sure to save room for the Cheerwine Cake (featuring another local classic), served
with house-made vanilla ice cream. 

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Barcelona Wine Bar

430 West Martin Street

The wine and food of Spain and Portugal provide the backdrop for this restaurant, where Executive Chef Jose Ochoa has freedom to introduce some local flavors. You’ve got to sample the Jamón Serrano (dry-cured Spanish ham) and the Jamón and Manchego Croquetas. It’s also a gorgeous setting with an amazing selection of wines. Another great addition to the warehouse district!  

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Papa Shogun

111 Seaboard Avenue

Even though this one opened in 2018 (November, to be exact), it’s still on the list of best new restaurants hitting our foodie scene.  Chef Tom Cuomo seeks to marry Japanese and Italian fare so diners can’t distinguish “where one cuisine ends and the other begins.” This is Chef Cuomo’s first solo venture, after working at Carbone and Parm in New York City and, most recently, with Chef Matt Kelly at Mateo Bar de Tapas in Durham. Weekly visits would be required to experience all of the creative and complex dishes on the menu, which led us to dedicate an entire story to the chef and menu in our May/June issue.

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Oak Steakhouse

417 West Hargett Street

The Indigo Road Restaurant Group has brought the legacy of the original Oak Steakhouse in Charleston, South Carolina, to downtown Raleigh. Here you’ll find a classic steakhouse in the truest sense, but with contemporary and local inflections at every turn. Executive Chef Todd Woods comes with an impressive background, including six years at Restaurant Nora in Washington. Originally from Lenoir, Chef Woods is committed to local sourcing and works with many of the area’s farmers and purveyors. The excellent beef and protein selections are accompanied by farm-fresh sides, and the wine and beverage menu steps up to the polished dining ambiance. Plan a celebration dinner here!   

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Transfer Co. Food Hall  

500 East Davie Street

This one takes the prize for the most innovative and exciting food opening in town! Eat inside, eat outside, pick from bagels or oysters or cookies or a host of other chef-driven vendors. It’s all about building a community experience around great food, in a setting that is making high-quality, affordable food readily accessible to all.