Had my 2nd meal in 3 weeks at Elaine's last night, and both were outstanding. Given the state of fine dining in Chapel Hill, Elaine's is an absolute godsend.
My first meal consisted of:(these descriptions are approximate"
appetizer: "pan fried veal sweetbreads in a bacon-verjus sauce"-it was my first experience with sweetbreads, and it certainly wont be my last. Great combination of crusty and creamy textures..fantastic
main:"rare-grilled asian-style hangar steak with hoisin sauce, mustard greens in a ginger beef broth"-perfectly charred on the outside, bloody on the in..ginger broth infused tremendous flavor in the meat.
dessert-"cinnamon-ricotta cheescake with sultanas, apples, and almonds"-also wonderful, complimented by a 1990 smith woodhouse vintage porto..
appetizer:"bacon-wrapped rabbit loin w/ arugula, bill dow's fennel, oven dried tomatoes, verjus & black olive sauce"-almost the same saucing and plating as the sweetbreads, rabbit was kept perfectly tender by the crispy bacon exterior
main:"potato-crusted alaskan halibut w/ baked creamed spinach casserole"-so simple yet so so good..hands down the best fish dish ive had in the triangle..the creamed spinach casserole is sublime, preferable to any ive had in an NYC steakhouse
dessert:"chocolate chess pie w/ peanut butter sauce & whipped cream" again enjoyed with the smith woodhouse porto, and again a tremendous dish..the waiter said it was the favorite of the staff, and i understand why..
Elaine's offers great food at terrible reasonable pricecs, and stands tall in the triangle's sea of gastronomic mediocrity