On a chowhound suggestion, my wife and I hit Theo's for lunch and wished we had dinner there rather than the Cardinal room at the Pinehurst resort. Plenty of bright, clean flavors and friendly vibes to go around at Theo's and the prices were great.
As for the Cardinal room...The menu read somewhat impressive if not a bit old school, but the room lacked anything resembling charm. We'd been able to add dinner to our stay for only $20 per person and I was a bit nervous when we informed that we could choose two dishes from the app/soup/salad side of the menu and one from the entree. My comment to my wife was, "They shouldn't be able to do this well for $20". My fears were ultimately confirmed.
Her seared Ahi was fine enough I suppose, but my "Open faced lobster ravioli with Asparagus and Black Truffle" amounted to adequate little chunks of lobster and completely flavorless shavings of truffle smothered in what seemed like lipton's cream of mushroom soup. The "open faced ravioli" was actually a stale fried wonton shell of sorts. Her house salad was completely swimming in a rather cloying dressing and my smoked phesant consumme reeked of msg laden base. Her salmon entree seemed fine enough if a bit over cooked and my prime rib was ok but for the miserable creamed spinach and gooey jus that it sat in. We decided to skip dessert.
Fortunately we'd enjoyed a ripe chevre banon, some great lox and a perfect loaf of weaver st. bread along with a bottle of Blanc de Blanc that's we'd brought with us from Chapel Hill prior to going down for dinner, so we weren't all that hungry.
When we'd made the reservations, they told us that we could choose to enjoy our included dinner at one of their less formal venues and I now wish we had. I'd have been completely happy with a burger or something.