Date Night at Crawford and Son Restaurant, North Person Street

Looking for Raleigh date night ideas and romantic things to do in Raleigh as a couple? We’re hoping we can bring you a lot more date ideas – day or night – from this point forward!

people smiling at the camera with food
Enjoying date night at Crawford & Son

Since we’ve lived a 24/7 lifestyle for 13 years with our kids, mostly on the travel road, and without extended family around, date nights for us have been rare. But now that we have a permanent base here in Raleigh and a teenager, we have more options to head out on kid-free dates.

It does mean we typically do daytime dates, or early evening, so it’s not too late for our now eldest babysitting daughter.

We’ve recently become enamored with the North Person St District in the Historic Oakwood area so chose it as our most recent fancy evening date experience in Raleigh.

We booked an early dinner at Crawford and Son for 5:30pm. And being one of the best restaurants in Raleigh for fine dining it’s very popular and seating is limited now due to COVID so a reservation is a must!

Thankfully there is a lot to do on N Person St both before and after your dinner, which we took full advantage of.

Pre-Dinner drinks at Pelagic Beer & Wine

Pelagic Beer & Wine
Pelagic Beer & Wine

Pelagic Beer & Wine has been one of our favorite finds in Raleigh this year. It’s the neighborhood bar – or tap room/ bottle shop – that you dream about. The one where everyone knows your name, and if they don’t, they’re interested to quickly learn it and your story.

Craig and I spend a lot of time together (and with our kids). It means adult interactions with others is limited – especially thanks to COVID.

So a fun part of our date night was actually chatting with the bar man at Pelagic, Ryan, and a couple of the locals sauntering in and out.

close up of a beer glass on a table

Founded in 2015 by local North Carolinian’s, Pelagic offers an extensive selection of craft beer, wine and cider. They only sell beer from independent craft breweries in our state and region!

wine bottles on shelves in a store
Pelagic bar, Raleigh

Don’t worry if you don’t want to talk to anyone. There is a cozy seating area in the corner, and tables and chairs on the new wooden patio (with heaters!) And if Ryan is your bar man for the night, tell him Carolina and Craig say hi.

dinner at Crawford & Son

Crawford and Son, Raleigh

Crawford & Son is one of the Raleigh restaurants we have wanted to dine at for some time and have been saving for a special experience. It did not disappoint.

It’s the perfect Raleigh date night experience for those who want an intimate setting with a little buzzy vibe. It’s not too quiet that it feels awkward if you were to suddenly burst out laughing.

Crawford’s style is casual yet elegant and modern with dimmed lighting, exposed brick walls, and a polished L-shaped quartz bar.

Crawford and Son Raleigh
Crawford and Son

The home photographs in the wall while waiting for the bathroom gives it that extra touch of homeliness.

Crawford and Son is the namesake restaurant from Chef Scott Crawford, a five-time semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Southeast. Scott is known for creating innovative dishes whose beautifully presentations make them look just as great as they taste.

He hails from Pennsylvania, and like us was drawn to Raleigh for its welcoming community atmosphere and wanted to create a restaurant that fit in with that personality.

That community personality permeates through to the food with an ever changing menu dictated by seasonal and local produce.

Potato chowder, Crawford and Son
Potato chowder

Our friendly waitress recommended the potato and celeriac chowder for an appetizer and as one of the creamiest and most delicious you’ll try. A testimony not given just because she was representing the Chef’s menu.

It was love at first slurp (once I got over the love at first pretty sight!). I didn’t even realize it had buttered king crab in it until I bit into its tender sweetness with surprised delight.

Craig’s appetizer of caramelized scallops was equally delicious.

Caramelized scallops, Crawford and Son Raleigh
Caramelized scallops

Moving onto his main of beef short rib with root vegetables, barley, nordic rye and onion glaze were his repeated exclaims of, “This is the best beef I’ve ever had.” Followed by another sip of Pale Rider “This cocktail is amaaaazing.”

Beef short rib, Crawford and Son, Raleigh
Beef short rib

I had the pork cheeks which were just as tender as the beef – no knives needed.

Pork cheeks, Crawford and Son
Pork cheeks

The Manchengo herb biscuits are meant to be outstanding. We didn’t eat them as we’re gluten free, but I heard a diner exclaim mid mouthful how delicious they were.

As soon as I spied sticky date pudding on the dessert menu I ordered it as a surprise for Craig. It is his favorite dessert and not one we see often in the USA.

The Crawford and Son version comes with banana mousse and spiced hazelnuts. It was more fluffy cake in texture than the richer, denser pudding version you’d get in Australia, but the verdict is, it’s “equally delicious.”

Sticky date pudding, Crawford and Son Restaurant, Raleigh, NC
Sticky date pudding

Signature cocktails are created to pair well with the food. As mentioned, Craig loved his combination of bourbon, scotch and maple walnut, and my Sundowner cocktail had the innovative, smoky vibrant I love most from my mezcal drinks (Mezcal, Cachaca, pomengranate, falernum).

A close up of a wine glass on a table
a man drinking an alcoholic drink
Crawford and Son

They also offer an eclectic list of wines atypical to what you’d normally expect to find in a Raleigh Restaurant. Although it was hard to tear myself away from my Sundowner, the featured wine from the Hunter Valley enticed me with a taste of home.

The Hunter Valley wine region is close to our home town in Australia and where we’d frequent as a young adult partying enjoying wine tours.

Service at Crawford and Son Raleigh was warm, friendly, and attentive. The kind of smiling service we have come to expect and love in Raleigh.

It wasn’t rush hurry to get your order and flip you out. Our waitress spent time chatting with us about life in Raleigh and the dishes she was recommending.

Their focus on community and innovative food and drinks makes it one of the stand out restaurants in Raleigh.

  • There are gluten free and vegetarian options on the menu. And parking is what you can find on the streets!
  • Prices were reasonable for such a classy downtown dining experience with mains around $22 – $25

After Dinner Drinks at Person Street Bar (or Willco)

After dinner, you have a couple of options in the Person Street District for after dinner drinks. William & Company is an excellent local’s cocktail bar, or head across the road to the Person St Bar, another cozy Raleigh neighborhood bar.

Located in a former warehouse next door to Yellow Dog Bakery, Person Street Bar is stylish with black paneled walls and a stained wood bar offers cocktails and craft beers on tap and a jukebox.

There is a cute, covered patio area outside with overhead heaters where we enjoyed a round of drinks before heading home.

Our entire date night in Raleigh experience did not help my pining for a house in the historic Oakwood neighborhood – how we’d love to live there!

Book your date night at Crawford and Son Raleigh:

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