Hibachi dining has become popular across the world, but Fuji Steakhouse's staff members attempt to replicate a Japanese dining experience more thoroughly. They have their guests sit on the floor beneath bamboo screens in private tatami rooms, where waiters deliver tempura, teriyaki, and udon dishes. In the main dining room, the restaurant's Asian prints and wooden-latticework panels pay homage to Japan’s culture, and flames dance on oversized hibachi tables as chefs toss shrimp and steak onto guests’ plates. Another team of chefs mans the sushi bar, like a guitarist manning the stage or a drummer manning an oil drum. There, they enfold ingredients such as caviar and lightly spiced crawfish into 19 specialty rolls.
From the authentic biergarten to the regal-looking dining hall, your entire experience at Bavarian Brathaus will transport you back to the hazy continental jaunts of your youth. Admire the German flags that serve as centerpieces for the white-clothed tables while you peruse the extensive beer menu. On draft, you'll find potent pours, including the Spaten Oktoberfest (with a sweet, malty scent and citrusy flavor) along with authentic pilsners and lagers. The menu also includes a variety of selections by bottle. Balance the brews with freshly prepared sustenance, from German potato salad ($3) to bread dumplings plain or smothered in gravy ($3.50). The epicureanly adventurous will want to try rabbit and sausage served with red cabbage, Vienna salad, and hot rolls ($22.99), or the beef rouladen with pickle, onion, carrot, and mustard ($22.99). Traditional brats are made and prepared in-house with an original recipe of lean pork and special spices ($9.49 for the bratwurst sampler). View the complete dinner menu here.
The chefs at Girasole Trattoria and its adjoining gastropub, Gatehouse Tavern, plate up local and international flavors in a duo of welcoming neighborhood gathering places. The dinner menu at Girasole Trattoria showcases hearty Tuscan-style fare, including 10-inch rustic pizzas ($10), which exit the kitchen's wood-fired oven adorned with toppings such as house-made sausage, chicken and pesto, or a quartet of cheeses as dairy-rich as a billionaire milk baron. A side of pasta accompanies the veal parmigiano ($18), and a wood-grilled Black Angus sirloin extols the high vitamin content of its plate-mate, braised kale ($18). Shepherd's pie ($12) strolls over the hills of Gatehouse Tavern's menu along with gourmet burgers ($8–$11) formed into 7- and 10-ounce patties or full-scale models of history's best-known ferris wheels.
It's been more than a half-century since the first Char-Grill opened its doors on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, but not much has changed at this beloved local chain. Whether in the original cinderblock building or one of the 10 locations that have been added since, people still approach the counter to jot down orders, pass them through the window, and then look on as cooks grill half- and quarter-pound steak patties over charcoal flames.
In addition to the signature smoky-flavored burgers, Char-Grill also fires up grilled chicken, chili dogs, and pulled-pork sandwiches. Milkshakes and fries add to the eatery's classic feel, helping land it on USA Today's list of 51 Great Burgers and reminding guests of simpler times when hamburgers were used as currency.