Although Royale, the French-American bistro located in downtown Raleigh, has been open for about 3 months now, this is the 1st time I was able to get in there. The place is usually packed and the last time I went on a weekend at 8:30pm, I learned they had started taking reservations and nothing was available for that night. Although last night I learned they are looking to do away with that. Yey!
Some people don't think anything of it to make a reservation and not keep it and not cancel it. Baffles me, but there are all kinds out there.
An early Tuesday night was a lucky go for me so here's how it went.
I got a seat at the bar and started with a beer that was memorable. I'll be getting it again in the future. A Belgian beer called Straffe Hendrik Quad. It's a rich dark beer with some kick to it. A wowy ABV of 11%. Two thumbs up.
Lucas the host helped me decide on what to order to eat. I was sold on the burger and I was plenty pleased with it.
It's a nice thick piece of flavorful meat. It comes with Gruyere cheese and au poivre sauce and bearnaise sauce. I alternated dipping my fries into both sauces and then just sopped up what was left over with the bun. Dang this was a good burger & fries dish! Had me stuffed to the gills and I actually couldn't finish it. Only a small bit left on my plate but now I'm missing it :(
I'm really glad I kept trying to get into this place and finally did. It was well worth it. I've heard so much buzz about Royale that it's nice that it lived up to the hype. Except that it's not hype, it's just really great quality ingredients, prepared well and served in a beautful setting. Staff was great too. Basically, nothing was lacking.
I'm eager to try their other dinner offernings and also their lunches. The place looks different by day, as it has a ton of natural light pouring in from both sides. (It's located on a street corner). By night, it's got a dimly lit mysterious ambiance. This makes me think of that Seinfeld episode... But both are great!