Raleigh >Food & Dining > Five Eighteen West Italian
518 W Jones St, Raleigh, NC | Directions 2760335.782913 -78.647209
special occasion dining – We have been several times, a few of them on New Year's Eve. We were always seated promptly with reservations. The pizza and pasta dishes are excellent. The best part is the value. I say value and not price because you can get a low-quality cheap meal anywhere. Other restaurants with similar romantic and chic ambience and a delicious menu and wine selection would easily charge twice as much for entrees. If you want to experience a memorable evening without breaking the bank, consider 518 West. We have never been disappointed.
Mediocore and bland... – Pros: Prompt seating in a practically empty restaurant on a Sat night. Fast service
Cons: Food was bland. I ordered the pear and blue cheese and walnut salad. The blue cheese lacked flavor and the pears were mushy and overcooked. Also, the dressing on the salad was sparse and tasted like it came directly from a bottle. Also tried the Margareta pizza, this was just OK. Too much cheese to cover a poorly made crust. The breadbasket contained the worst attempt at foccacia I have ever eaten. I think the average supermarket chain produces better bread than this place. In addition, the bread was cold and stale and tasted like it had been sitting out all night.
I would not recommend this restaurant unless you happen to be on Glenwood ave late at night and are hungry as happened to us. Otherwise, this is a poor bland attempt at Italian.
A good value – I recently dined at 518 West on a Sunday afternoon, so we were seated immediately. It is a cute place, well lit and decorated with various Italian themed art and little fountains. There was a little confusion regarding who our server was, but once we got that straightened out, we got everything we ordered and promptly. We ordered drinks and a calamari appetizer that came out in a flash. The calamari was lightly breaded and not rubbery. However the marinara it came with was just OK, containing large chunks of tomato and garlic and was more the consistency of a salsa than a sauce, so it didn't really stick to the calamari. The marinara didn't have a ton of flavor either. I ordered the lemon linguini and again it was mediocre. You could taste the wine in the sauce, the shrimp were overcooked and a little tough. The roma tomatoes in the sauce were clearly out of a can, not fresh tomatoes as I would have expected. Everything was drowned in cheese and fresh herbs, as if to disguise the fact that there really was very little flavor in the dish. I'd say the best tasting thing was the tuscan white bean soup with pancetta, it was thick and full of flavor. The food is actually quite cheaply priced though, with most entrees at around $14.00. Had they charged more for this food I would have been highly disappointed.
TOO MUCH HYPE – I just do not understand what the big deal is about this place. the food is so incredibly bland that it reminded me of a cafeteria. i had a chicken dish, and I could not distinguish any sort of flavor at all. the spinach dip was great, but so is TGIF's.....I dont think i would ever go back there unless i had to.
Excellent Service – My husband and I went on a busy Friday night a few weeks ago. We took advantage of the complimentary valet parking - which was excellent! We unfortunately did not have a reservation, so the hostess told us it would be about an hour wait. I did ask her about reservations, she told me that we can even make reservations online! (We'll do that for next time) We were told we could wait in the bar area downstairs, and that there was also a nice little bar upstairs we could wait at, too. So we went to wait up there, and we shared a lovely appetizer and had a nice glass of wine. Sure enough, about 50 minutes later, we were seated and the service was prompt, knowledgable and very friendly.
Over all- Great Menu, Service, Food, Valet Parking and wonderful atmosphere! Even Kid friendly! I saw a child get seated near the bar while we waited and they had individual crayon boxes for him to color with! (We have kids, so I took special note)
Would definately recommend- but call or go online to make reservations!
JUST OK – I dined at 518 with a group the other night having a celebratory dinner and it was just ok. Our waitress never introduced herself or welcomed us to the restaurant instead she started taking drink orders and somehow skipped myself. When I finally got her attention about missing my drink order it took about twenty-five minutes to get the drink! After about fourty-five minutes of sitting we had our order taken. The food came out in a reasonable amount of time with only one person from our group not getting their entre due to waitress/kitchen error. After dinner she did quietly ask if anyone cared for dessert but acted like she really didnt care. I asked her if they could do anything special for the gentleman that we were having dinner for and her response to me was NO but if I wanted to buy a dessert she could bring it out to him. I told her I was not asking for anything free! I was aking if they could bring something out that maybe had congratulations written on the plate or something. Her response was still NO! That was the last straw of rudeness from this place that I could handle. I dont think I will be back anytime soon and I dont recommend going to 518 for any special occasion!
My Old Faithful – I got hooked on 411 West while I was a student at UNC-Chapel Hill, and I was so glad to discover that I could live in Raleigh and have my 411 too in the form of its sister restaurant, 518. This place has become our old standby - the place where we go when we want a great meal, great wine, great service, and don't want to take any chances. I've never had a meal there that wasn't delicious. I love their wine menu - kudos to the sommelier for not being too snobby to include North Carolina wines on the list. And hooray for their new valet parking service - before parking was a bit of a headache, but now it's a breeze. I do recommend reservations for weekend nights - we once spent over an hour in the bar waiting for a table for a large party, but we didn't mind. The bar is flowing and the drinks are good and our meal was worth the wait.
My friends love to come to this place and I think it does not beat out Mellow Mushroom. Over-rated in my opinion. The last time we were there the computers were down and we were quoted 30 minutes and afte and hour and a half of waiting I convinced my friends to eat somewhere else. For being Italian food, the service should be quicker
A taste of sophisticated Italy at modest prices in Glenwood South. – In Short
The noise level is energetic, but the space is segmented enough for easy conversation. Brick warehouse walls and a sleek wood bar greet guests upon arrival, while two floors of intimate tables line Venetian plaster walls. Pizzas coming out of the traditional wood-fired brick oven are topped with inventive items such as salsa or squash--or the stand-bys of pepperoni or mushrooms. Spaghetti bolognese is slathered in homemade marinara and satisfying Italian sausage chunks.
518 Has great food and atmosphere – I had a Pasta dish at 518 on this last visit and it was really good.
It did take quite a while before our waiter ever arrived - I would say 10 minutes at the table before we even got water or silverware. Once the food came though, all was forgotten. I think they have a good menu with variety and at a reasonable price. 518 is an old warehouse type building and is very comfortable and airy. If you want to impress your boss or preacher, try reserving the table next to the lion-head fountain.
Others at our table had various Panini sandwiches. The ones without sauces were a little dry, so yu might want to be careful with that choice, or request some sort of sauce.
Overall this is a great restaurant. Just wish that waiter would get his hands out of his pockets.
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