Sunset Hills. I picture a neighborhood with such a name somewhere outside of Los Angeles, not a quaint, previously unknown pocket of central Raleigh. Charmed to find a few bars, restaurants and shops tucked amongst some charming homes in a quiet neighborhood, made me ready to start house shopping. Instead, the boyfriend and I tried our first meal at Taste.
Taste is an unassuming building with a quaint patio that was abuzz with attentive waitresses and regular patrons. The simplicity of the design and void of music made it rather easy to casually overhear what menu items were garnering accolades from Taste veterans. How handy! The service was speedy and on a Sunday night the restaurant was featuring $5 mimosas and $9 martinis. We opted for a $28 bottle of Folonari pinot grigio, which was refreshing in the late summer evening.
Always on the quest of good seafood in Raleigh, we were thrilled to find ahi tuna coated in crushed pistachios. The rare fish was certainly nice, but the pistachios lacked the crunch I’m constantly seeking. The wasabi side sauce was just entirely overwhelming. That said, I would order this “morsel” (as all the Taste plates are called) again and try for crunchier pistachios.
Next up was the bruschetta. Of course, bruschetta isn’t terribly complicated, but when it’s great it’s great and I needed to know where this version stood. The tomatoes were marinated perfectly and still tasted of summer despite it being mid September. Feta was tossed into the mix and was a nice juxtapoition to the fruit’s sweetness. The crostini that accompanied the dish was divine. Liberally brushed with olive oil and drizzled with a balsamic glaze, it somehow stood up to the compote and never got soggy. I definitely ate more than my fair share of this dish and would happily eat it every day when I move into the Sunset Hills neighborhood.
Third on the list was the deconstructed tamale. The presentation was a lovely display of concentric rings of puréed roasted vegetables, whipped goat cheese, shredded pork, and pickled vegetables. The pork was good, but the goat cheese overpowered the entire dish. While it wasn’t bad, it was something I’d like two bites of, not a bowl full. I’ll leave this one on the menu next time.
Finally, la piece de la resistance! Sliders! Let me preface these gorgeous creations by telling you that while I like burgers, I generally don’t order them in restaurants. Usually, I think there are many other more interesting items on a menu and burgers underwhelm me. However, my dining companion charmed me into ordering the special sliders, a pork loin slider. It sounded interesting, but after eavesdropping, err overhearing, the next table raving about their beef sliders, we switched our order to a pair of the classic. Thank goodness we did! From a ‘meh’ burger lover, these were incredible. The presentation alone was neat, not usually a word I’d use to describe a burger. Tiny toasted buns held up to the incredibly juicy and oh-so-flavorful mini sliders. I tried to talk the boyfriend into ordering two more for dessert, but he thought better of it, saving our waistlines, but not our tastebuds. These are the MUST orders at Taste.
The four items I tasted at Taste have definitely warranted a return visit. The sliders will certainly make the next order, but I look forward to tasting my way through more of the menu, and next time with dessert! I would definitely recommend Taste as a quaint and tasty break in your regular restaurant rotation.
Address: 3048 Medlin Dr, Raleigh, NC 27607
This article is by Lauren Majewski. Lauren finds herself eating her way through the Triangle via Miami, Chicago, and Columbus. She is an avid traveler, novice chef, messy baker, and a voracious reader and writer. Follow her adventures on Instagram @MacaronsandMayhem or at MacaronsandMayhem.com.