Durham >Food & Dining > Four Square Restaurant
2701 Chapel Hill Rd, Durham, NC | Directions 2770735.976819 -78.935722
Neighborhoods: Duke Forest
Very good food and service – Really good experience overall. The restaurant is in a lovely Victorian house on the outskirts of Durham. The inside has a lived-in feel that is very relaxing. Service was good -- attentive but not overbearing. The food was very good. Interesting but not overly fussy. Portion sizes were just about right. We arrived at 9.30 and they could not have been more accomodating. The wine list was good but the wines were too young. We had a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from Western Australia and an 05 or 04 Ridge Zinfandel with high levels of alcohol that were a bit overwhelming. Overall though it was a very positive experience and the food was very good.
Fantastic Experience. – This is arguably one of the finest restuarants in the Triangle. The service is always professional and attentive, and the wine list is quite extensive and offered at a reasonable price. While the cost is a bit high, it is worth every cent if you appreciate fine food and excellent cooking. The chef is inventive and there is a new menu every month. Do try Four Square for a special occasion, you won't be disappointed!
An average new American cuisine, drab atmosphere – We went to Four Square to try out their Thanksgiving Prix Fixe menu. It is housed in a historic Victorian in Durham, with an inviting porch and warm lighting glinting from the windows. We started out in the bar, where I had an underwhelming Sangriatini. The bar was cozy though lacking music, and its brown walls are luscious enough to make me reconsider completely writing off the ugly brown paint on the walls of our bathroom at home.
For the dinner, we were led to a small chilly room that would have been improved had a fire been lit in the fireplace. The walls were sparsely decorated and the house definitely shows some wear and tear, especially in the restroom.
Bread service was by the slice, which is helpful for people like us who are trying to control our portions. Their home-baked sourdough was quite good and that?s coming from a California snob.
My husband and I shared a frisee and baby red onion salad and a seafood crepe for the first course. The crepe was groovy on my palate and the salad was pleasant as well.
For the main course, my husband went traditional and chose the turkey offering. The sugar peas were not completely cooked and as a result, tasted bland. The turkey and mashed potatoes were good but nothing exceptional. I had the duck confit with expertly prepared brussel sprouts, a sweet berry sauce, and stuffing of Stove Top caliber, which is high praise from me.
For dessert, I had the Bourbon Pecan Pie. I couldn?t taste any bourbon but it was tasty and the piecrust was to die for. My husband?s Rum Raisin Bread Pudding was more like a muffin. It had a great chocolaty flavor but both rum and raisin were missing as far as we could tell.
A satisfying meal but we aren?t necessarily coming back again.
Terrible customer service – I wish I had read this before I visited this restaurant. We decided to try it after seeing a profile on a UNC program. All of the negative things outlined here- cold interior, unappealling exterior, costly "interesting" food and unbelievably slow, snobbish service. I did not particularly care for the food. It was not bad, but not anything special and when the server refilled my wine she looked around over our heads as though there were someplace else she'd rather be. We were checked on frequently, almost invasively, yet when we needed things, everyone was silently, officiously avoiding our gaze, as though our limit of service had been reached. I thought it might be racism, but evidently from these reviews that is the way customers are treated! I would not recommend this place.
best of the best – I've been living here in the triangle for a couple of years now, and I've eaten at the vast majority of the notable restaurants - new and established - in the area. I've suffered through unbelievable snobbery, less-than-memorable food and lousy service at many. One restaurant, however, stands above the crowd. I've dined at Four Square Restaurant in Durham 5 or 6 times now, and each experience has been outstanding. Four Square has that magical combination of fantastic and innovative food, highly professional, knowledgeable and friendly service, and beautiful atmosphere. The last time I was there, the maitre d' actually greeted me by name when he opened the door for me upon my arrival. At the end of our meal, the chef came out to the table to greet us and see how we enjoyed everything. This is a place that cares about what they do and about their diners' experience. If you haven't been yet, GO!
In response to "World Traveler" – It is disconcerting how anyone can write anything they want on this site and there is no opportunity for the restaurant to respond. I happen to work at Four Square, and the "World Traveler" below was an old woman whose credit card was declined. Yes, it took a while to process her payment because we had to call her bank to get authorization to charge her card. Maybe she should spend more time balancing her checkbook and less time writing untruthful reviews of a very nice restaurant.
Disappointing – The screened porch is too close to the sight & sound of heavy traffic on that busy road, so we moved inside.
to the table nearest the entrance. Ambience? Hardly. There wasn't a picture on the wall or a thing on the tables to relieve the plainess. The food was only adequate. Vaunted organic vegetables were overcooked and the portions tiny. Veddy artsy NOUVELLE though, if you still appreciate that tired concept when it Costs The Earth. And do bring cash. A lot of it. They haven't figured out how to work their credit card machine. It took half a day the following Monday to get the EXTRA charge [nearly doubled!] removed from my account. The experience would be laughable ~ IF it hadn't been my g'daughter's birthday for which they travelled from High Point.... In addition, the delay/mess at the end (after 2 hours) w/the card cost us our orchestra seats at the ADF until intermission. Horrible!
Excellent Meal – My husband and I tried Four Square for the first time for our anniversary. We were exceptionally pleased- the meal was exquisite. On Friday evenings they serve a "wine flight" which I would highly recommend. Ours included three varieties of Spanish wines. I had pork tenderloin and my husband had scallops, both of which were outstanding. The ingredients were fresh and both dishes successfully blended very unique flavors. For dessert I had the chocolate macaroon tart, which I believe was the best dessert I have ever tasted. We will absolutely return to Four Square and would highly recommend it for special occasions.
NC - American Cuisine Frontier? – The setting (historical landmark) is beautiful despite the ugly surroundings.
Seating/service was prompt.
Appretif: Non-vintage champagne is priced correctly (1.8x retail price). Wine selection is one of the
better ones in the area.
Ordered: Ravioli with chocolate/truffle sauce, diver scallops, dessert.
Food was quite good, though some flavor arrangements are "?". I tend to think that there are
too many American-French New Cuisine copies... it's not the ingredients who get the spot-light - and
we are forced to focus on the chef's artistic creativity.
Meal for 2 came to $140 plus tip. This is a special occasion restaurant which could be a once-a-month
restaurant if not ordering higher priced wines.
They try hard, but miss the mark – I enjoying trying new places and was excited about this little restaurant.
First of all...get GOOD directions because it is not easy to find. The home is charming and the colors warm.
The food, although I enjoyed the fresh veggies from their garden, was as if they were trying too hard. The crab salad for example had so many ingred. that it over powered the delicate crab flavor. The soup was luke warm at best and did not have good flavor. You almost got the feeling that they were trying really hard to be creative and they went overboard. Mixing so many flavors that none of them stood out. Honestly the food was very average. I would not go back.
I hope this helps.
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