Durham >Food & Dining > Nana's Restaurant
2514 University Dr, Durham, NC | Directions 2770735.974061 -78.924898
Mon. - Sat. 5:30pm - 10pm;Sun. CLOSED
This place stinks – My wife's family visited us for Christmas. They're from NYC and LA, so they're used to eating in good restaurants. My wife wanted to take everyone out and insisted we go to Nana's (hadn't been there in years), over my objections. I've always thought it was an overpriced yuppie joint. If only it was that good.
The food was awful. I had a bouillabaisse. It had no taste and the portion was non-existent. My niece couldn't even swallow her chicken. The steak looked like it had won the national championship for gristle. Needless to say my wife was very upset.
There are many good restaurants in Durham, no need to waste an exorbitant amount of money at this dump.
By the way, a shot of 18 year old Macallan single malt was somewhere between $25 - $30. I had recently been in New York at a restaurant where it was $18. Now we're talking robbery.
The only reason I gave this place 1 star is: they wouldn't let me publish this review without a rating.
Seafood is prepared to perfection – The food here is insanely tasty each and every time...I've gotten the seafood platter a couple times this month and each time it is to die for...The fish is always fresh and cooked to perfection. Have had the swordfish and the Striped bass. Don't remember the last time I've had seafood this well prepared! Not to mention, the service is great...
The menu changes seasonally as it is based on what's available locally but if you get a chance this month, try the seafood platter...Delicious!
Perfect Dining Experience – We recently enjoyed Nana's "tastings" menu, paired with wine, whereby you enjoy an appetizer, samples of three entrees, and dessert, all paired with appropriate wines. Nana's wine list has received the "Award of Excellence" from the Wine Spectator, making the excellent quality wine pairings for us an adventurous, delightful foray into undiscovered varieties.
Everything about our meal and dining experience was perfect. The food sent us into raptures with every bite and the tastings menu perfectly matched our own love of variety. The wines staff selected prompted us to ask questions and take notes. And, the service was perfect. We were permitted to enjoy a lingering meal, , without our water glasses every going dry or our bread plate being involuntarily empty. Our server was knowledgeable about both the dishes and wine we enjoyed.
After we returned home, we evaluated the many fine meals we have enjoyed together around the world. Our meal at Nana's ranked in the top three. We will definitely be back.
What a meal! – Went tonight for our 10 year wedding Anniversary; I've been wanting to try this place for awhile.
The cuisine is inspired by seasonal, regional ingredients, and the menu changes frequently.
Most patrons were dressed up, I did see a few people in jeans. Jackets not required. Some men in ties, but the minority.
I had the 5 course tasting menu; and every dish was a winner. The poached egg with cauliflower suffered a little bit from bacon that wasn't quite crispy and, well....cauliflower will just never be my favorite vegetable - but hey, if you're going to eat cauliflower you might as well do it with bacon and a black truffle sauce.
The scallop with gnocchi was to die for. Really enjoyed the steak too. Oh, forgot the first course - big hunk of foie gras served with what they called toast points. I gave up on the dry, almost lacy toast and just spread it on some baguette where I think it was better served.
My wife had the duck. Cast iron seared, over purple hull peas. Fan-freaking-tastic. The duck was like butter, the peas really nicely cooked and the pan sauce was inspired.
I ordered an Old Fashioned and it was made with bourbon. They have a nice selection of single malts, would it kill ya to have a nice rye around? Minor gripe.
Decor was pleasant. Seating was comfortable. Not too loud, not too dark.
Service was friendly, courteous and professional. The hostess had a comically short miniskirt that wasn't exactly appropriate to her body type, and was the topic of discussion at several tables. I thought it was funny, but my wife kept rolling her eyes.
Anyway - it's a really nice place, I had a world class meal and can't wait to go back. 2 thumbs, 5 stars and all that.
Great food, great service, lousy bread – As a frequent customer, particularly on special occasions, we continue to be impressed and delighted with the quality and innovation of chef/owner Scott Howell's culinary efforts. His carefully chosen wine selections, while somewhat overpriced in my opinion, are excellent and well balanced. However it is time someone commented of the abysmal quality of some of the breads - especially the so-called "baguettes"; these are supposed to be crusty and light not uniform and doughy, as were the several samples on our most recent visits. One can find "better" loaves at some of the Triangle area supermarkets! That being said, Nana's is still one of the best restaurants around for both consistency and creativity. We shall return!
Wonderful restaurant – We had the pleasure of eating at Nana's on Saturday for my first time and the second time for my wife. In an economy where most restaurants are lucky to be half full on any given night, weekday or weekend, this restaurant was packed! I felt like we were lucky to get a table. By the time the meal was finished, I understood why there were so many people in the restaurant. The food was outstanding. The menu is small, about 7 appetizer choices and 7 or so entree choices. However, deciding was still very hard, I wanted to try one of everything. The service was great. The staff was very polite and had great food and wine knowledge. My wife and I can rarely decide on the same type of wine, so I liked that they had a "cruvinet" which I found out was machine that preserves the wine they serve by the glass, so I could drink high quality wine without having to buy and drink an entire bottle. My waiter was happy to recommend a great wine pairing for each of my courses, including dessert. It was exactally what I look for when I go out to eat. Highly recomended. Will be back VERY SOON!
Excellent food, excellent service – I went with my fiancee to celebrate my birthday and we were both very impressed with everything about the meal. We each had a glass of wine and there were about six white and six red by the glass, all relatively inexpensive for a nice restaurant. For those who want a bottle, there is a sheet of paper front and back of a number of wines of various price ranges. In addition, there is a reserve list of wines. We shared an arugula salad which I thought was okay but she really liked. Unlike other restaurants that place bread on the table, they have someone walking around to hand you pieces. I thought that I would only get one piece this way but they came back several times offering two different types, both of which were good. For the main course, I had a steak which was VERY delicious. I'm not a fan of sweet potatoes but I really enjoyed the restaurant's version of it which came with it. She had the duck, which she liked but thought it was too fatty. For dessert we shared an apple fritter which was very good. There were many desserts that looked good. While this is not a place we would go back regularly because of prices and the fact that there weren't a lot of entrees we wanted to try, we will likely come back for other special events. In addition to the tasty food, we thought that the staff was very friendly, knowledgeable, and quick.
Terrible service; no apologies from manager – This was my first - and last - visit to Nana's. We held a work function at Nana's and I was very excited about eating there, since I had heard such great reviews. Unfortunately, it was all hype. While there were lots of little things that went wrong a the dinner party, the biggest, and most disgusting, happened to me, personally...there was a dead insect (rhymes with poach...citysearch won't let me write the word) in my salad!
I didn't notice the dead brown pest until after I had eaten most of the salad and then I saw it laying on the bottom of my plate, drenched in salad dressing. When I complained to the watier, he was apologetic, but the house manager never apologized for the incident, justifying the experience by saying it was winter time and that these things happen. Needless to say, I lost my appetite for the rest of the meal.
I understand that some things happen that are beyond anyone's control. But to not even have the manager APOLOGIZE or even COMP ANYTHING OFF THE BILL is completely unacceptable and unprofessional. I will never eat at Nana's again...and I can think of many other worthy and delicious restaurants in the Raleigh-Durham area that have good service and good food. They will get my business. Nana's will not.
This is a "DO AGAIN" place! – We went to Nana's on a coworker's recommendation. We were entertaining good friends who were celebrating their 25th anniversary. None of us had been before and hoped it would be a winner... well it was! The upscale casual atmosphere and the attentive yet discreet service help make this a pleasant evening. We started by sampling two appetizers. The liver pate' was delicious with the spicy mustard and sweet jelly on the side. We also tried the shrimp risotto. The risotto was prepared just right with plenty of small shrimp. I do think the dish could have been a little more flavorful, perhaps just a little more salt would have brought out the natural goodness.
For entrees we had the pork loin, dry packed scallops, and the seafood. All were prepared to perfection including the innovative side dishes. Everything is fresh and prepared with a light hand. We found the portions to right sized even for my hearty appetite! I must also comment on the bread. We had a choice of baguette or foccacia. I chose the foccacia and it was the best I have ever tasted. Even the rich creamy butter is better than you find in other restaurants. We also shared a great bottle of wine that was reasonably priced.
We were seated as soon as we arrived, even though we were 15 minutes early.
Overall it was a great evening with superb food, service, and atmosphere... well worth the drive from Raleigh! We will definately a place we will "do again"
Worst night ever – It was a memorable night for all the wrong reasons. The ventilation system (A/C) was not working to begin with . The staff was trying to be helpful but lied about it. There were people sweating and leaving the restaurant, a kitchen employee fainted from the heat and the chef/owner almost got in a fight with my wife because as he said "we were complaining to get our meal comped." Of course we paid and never going back again. The food is below average and overpriced anyway.
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