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26 April, 2007

Jibarra (Downtown Raleigh)

Posted in : Dining in Durham - NC, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez

Jibarra
7420 Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC
www.jibarra.net
Entrees $17–$40

*Restaurant relocated to 327 West Davie Street, Downtown Raleigh, since this post*

We went to Jibarra with a large group on my birthday. I had been fixated on trying the restaurant ever since I read a review from The News & Observer, a whole year earlier. While I am a California Girl, I haven’t ever tried upscale Mexican food. After a year of anticipation, Jibarra expertly fulfilled my expectations.

Nearly everything we bit into was delicious. Appetizers consisted of flautas filled with BBQ rabbit and topped with fresh-made cheese, and tequila-tinged queso served with roasted poblanos, chorizo, and mushrooms. We easily finished off double orders of both plates.

As one of my guests coined, we ate an ark’s worth of animals during the main course. Each person ordered a different meat and each dish had an original presentation. I had the Pechuga de Pato en Aromas de Mole, a breaded duck breast served with whipped sweet potatoes and dash of dried chiles. The duck was good but I couldn’t discern any mole seasonings. The little dab of chilies were the real star of the dish.

We all had a different dessert as well and I couldn’t resist trying the avocado ice cream. It was served with a sweet tomato marmalade and a thick cilantro pancake. Interesting, but much like a sweetened guacamole when all was said and done. The real dessert winner was Pan de Natas, a delicious bread pudding served with to-die-for chocolate, clove, and cinnamon ice cream. We all had to have an extra taste of that one.

The drinks were even more exciting than the food as Jibarra pride’s itself on serving quality tequila. My favorite of three was the Mexican Breeze but be sure to check them all out at the cocktail page. If you do try one of their many tequilas, make sure to savor every sip of the accompanying red pepper chaser. That was probably the single best item in the restaurant.

Jibarra’s is separated into a lounge and dining area, each melting in earthy cholocate browns and beiges. It’s definitely a posh establishment but the wait staff makes you feel at home. I will be back again and again and again.

4 stars

4 stars

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