Holly’s On Hargett
Triangle Restaurant Week is one of my favorite weeks of the year. If you haven’t participated, the event includes many of the triangle area’s top restaurants putting together 3 – 5 course meals to showcase what they do best. For this particular restaurant week, I was lucky enough to visit Holly’s On Hargett, formerly Mo’s Diner. The name changed, but everything else stayed the same. From the outside, Holly’s looks like a charming little cottage. It has a great porch for dining in the summer and several rooms on the inside.
My dining companion and I were torn between a few different items on the first course menu, so we decided to get two different ones and split them both.
I started with the grilled shrimp with remoulade. The sauce was very spicy, tasted strongly of hot sauce – nice and vinegary. The shrimp were delicate and still just a little pink in the middle, the true sign of shrimp cooked well. They had a nice dash of cilantro on top and a great amount of garlic.
My dinner companion ordered the wedge salad. It had crisp bacon, tomatoes and a nicely made blue cheese dressing.
For my second course, I ordered the duck confit with risotto cake and green beans. It wasn’t on the online menu, which made it all the more exciting. Wow, the duck just fell right off the bone. And the risotto cake was crispy on the outsides and perfectly seasoned throughout. The green beans were fine – a little over cooked, but I still ate them.
My dinner companion ordered the filet mignon served with mashed potatoes, corn and green beans. The filet was cooked to a perfect medium rare and topped with wild mushrooms and port jus. This is one of those meals that just warms you inside and out. Pure comfort food.
We ordered two different deserts, starting with the flourless chocolate tort. It was so chocolaty topped with more chocolate, whipped cream that was obviously handmade and a few strawberries. The tort wasn’t as dense as I like mine, but it was very good.
The bourbon pecan pie was also very good. Topping it with a scoop of ice cream and some amazing carmel sauce was what really made it.
As delicious as the food was, the ambiance was a little tarnished by our service. From the moment we walked in, we felt as though we were putting the staff off. There were several open two top tables, and we had 7:30 reservations, but we still had to wait for them to “rearrange” the reservation schedule. Funny, the only other reservation was at 8pm. They still insisted that we wait for “our table” to open up. We were till sat close to our reservation time, but we had to continue to approach them and ask if they would consider letting us sit at one of the other open tables. While our waitress was pretty good, she seemed to be overwhelmed the entire service. She was more than happy to describe, in detail, the food items to the other tables around us but was very short in her descriptions with us. We did have to ask for things like straws a few times, and members of the other parties around us periodically got up to get extra silverware from the service station near by. She also took my appetizer fork and plate before I had finished my first course.
There are a lot of items on the menu that look amazing. I am excited to go again when it isn’t restaurant week and see if the service is a little better. The food was so worth it.