26 April, 2007
Lantern’s Lounge (Downtown Chapel Hill)Posted in : Dining in Chapel Hill - NC, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez
423 W. Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC
I’ve been in the dining room of Lantern before with its cheerful yellow walls but this was my first trip to the lounge at the back. It’s much more my style with 70s music playing, lanterns hung all over, dim lighting, and intimate tables against the wall.
While waiting for Mr. Gourmez, I had a Lotus Blossom cocktail that was superb. We decided to share a few appetizers and started with the Salmon Bento Box. It was literally bursting with flavor as the salmon is cured with sake and tea. The miso mayonnaise was an excellent accompaniment to the fish. We went for the Bang Bang Chicken next, which went quite well with a Yo La Mango cocktail. The ginger and chile oil in the dish was too brash; a subtler flavoring would have been more impressive.
The meal was complete with a Mint Ice Cream Sundae, which was tasty but might have been better with a mint extract rather than the leaves themselves.
While I didn’t love every ingredient, I did love the experience of dining at the Lounge.