This week is Triangle Restaurant Week, where many local restaurants feature prix fixe menus in order to encourage people to try new places, so last night we visited Four Square in Durham. After reviewing a half-dozen restaurants on Sunday we decided to make reservations for Tuesday night with a group of friends.
Unfortunately, it turns out the wrong menu was posted when we made our reservations, and we discovered a more limited menu on the day of our dinner reservation. When asked, the hostess was very nice and explained that they decided to do an entirely different menu rather than smaller portions of their existing dishes, and that they sent in the revised menu well before this week and it just wasn’t posted on time. This makes a good case for Four Square posting the special menu on their own website in addition to the Triangle Restaurant Week website (hint, hint!). While I was actually looking forward to trying dishes on the regular menu, the changes still looked appetizing.
We arrived about 15 minutes early and took a seat on the front porch rockers while we looked over the wine list and talked with our friends. The restaurant is located in an old farm house, where each of the rooms has about 3-4 tables, making it great for romantic meals. At 7p we were seated upstairs in the back of the house in what must have been a bedroom.
Seating was followed by a rather long 10 minutes before we could place our drink order and then another good delay for our drinks to arrive. Fortunately, this was the only problem and the service was otherwise excellent. We choose a Loire valley Rose that we thought would complement each of the courses.
There were two choices for each appetizer, entree and dessert, so we decided to get different things and share—except we both choose the beef entree as I wasn’t in the mood for mahi mahi.
The fried green tomato appetizer was crispy and the sauce was good but it could not outdo the baby artichoke and sundried tomato pasta with chicken and creamed spinach. Delicious. The skillet cooked ribeyes were both slightly underdone from how we ordered them, so my medium rare was more of a rare plus, and Eric’s medium steak was a dark pink. The gravy was rich and seasoned perfectly but I would have called the seasoned potatoes ‘wedges’ rather than ‘steak fries’ as they weren’t crispy after spending time soaking in the sauce. (Note: Only one couple split the mahi mahi and they thought the beef was superior.)
For dessert, the chocolate torte accompanied by a strawberry balsamic sorbet was the hands-down winner, but the strawberry shortcake put up a good fight. Personally, I would have preferred the vanilla bean cake to be lighter in texture and body, more like an angel food cake because it seemed like strawberries piled on a cornbread muffin to me.
Overall, we had a lovely time and would return. The service was great, and we thought the sauces used throughout were quite good. Although the regular menu is pricey, we found the wine list to be quite extensive and reasonably priced.