Most modern cuisine is a continuation of classic dishes, just as a computer is a slightly modified typewriter and a washing machine is a river in a box. Revel in palatable progress with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of upscale dinner at the Fairview Dining Room, located in the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club in Durham.
Tucked among 300 acres of towering pines and the verdant open spaces of an 18-hole championship golf course, the Fairview Dining Room serves up a menu of contemporary American fare. With each turn of the season, executive chef Jason Cunningham sources ingredients both locally and from regions around the world. Guests can start out with a small plate of summer vegetables, including grilled baby squash, radish, shiitake mushroom, and more ($10) or a poached tiger shrimp cocktail with remoulade and cocktail sauces ($12). Each forkful of organic mesclun salad—interspersed with grape tomato, radish, and cucumber—slip-n-slides over the taste buds in an herb-balsamic vinaigrette ($7). After tasting the golden grilled-bison medallions, served with artichoke and green-peppercorn hollandaise, cauliflower puree, and braised asparagus ($30) or the herb-marinated Scottish salmon with sweet corn and piquillo pepper hallette, baby squash, mint pickled onion, and lemon oregano vinaigrette ($26), tone-deaf taste buds find themselves serenading incisors with John Fogerty lyrics.
Guests enjoy adroit, attentive service while entertaining eyes with the dining room's English antiques, paintings, and ornately upholstered seating. During warmer months, diners can move to the terrace to overlook the picturesque Robert Trent Jones–designed golf course and take in the sights of sand-trap-lodging seagulls.