Early this summer Brad and I were on Glenwood South, trying to figure out where we wanted to eat when we happened upon Krave (510 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, N.C. 27603). Krave opened in late May in the space that was formerly the Red Room. Like the Red Room, Krave serves tapas, but also has added many sleek updates to the bar and restaurant as well an after-hours lounge on Friday and Saturdays, where the menu is available throughout the night and the DJ’s spin their original blend of acoustical magic until 4:00 a.m.
Note: Krave closed its doors the end of 2012.
Our meal was excellent, and a couple of weeks later there was a Groupon offer to Krave, which I jumped on. We finally returned this past weekend and once again enjoyed some excellent food in a great atmosphere.
On our first visit, Brad ordered the Krave Fire Shrimp ($9.00), which is by far our favorite item on the menu. The shrimp are lightly fried and tossed in a zesty Thai chili sauce and served with spicy Asian slaw. Wow! The slaw complements the shrimp perfectly and the flavors explode in your mouth. Get this when you go!
We split the Sardinia Flatbread ($11.00), which comes with prosciutto and capicola hams, provolone and parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Quite tasty – the flatbread makes a great base for the generous amount of spicy hams and yummy cheese.
I ordered the Crab-Stuffed Avocado ($11.00), which consists of a blend of jumbo lump crab meat, avocado, onions, peppers and celery; served in an avocado shell with tortilla chips. This was so fresh and the crab and avocado work well together (sorry, my picture does not do this small plate justice – it is soooo good!)
When we returned to Krave to use our Groupon, we decided to try all new dishes this time, although it was hard not to order the fire shrimp.
Brad had the Krave Eggrolls ($9.00) that are prepared in a Southwest style with chicken, cheddar and jack cheese, black beans and peppers; served with avocado ranch dressing. He thought the eggrolls were quite good, but would have liked to have some salsa on the side for dipping.
Brad also ordered the Curry Chicken Wings ($9.00). According to the menu, these are “freshly cut osso-bucco style chicken, baked and then flash fried” and served with six different choices of sauces. These “wings” were huge and Brad was impressed with the amount of meat on them. He thought the chicken was tender and moist, but wasn’t crazy about the curry sauce. He thought it tasted good but it just wasn’t spicy enough for him. I would tend to agree – I couldn’t even smell the curry, which is unusual, especially at a small table for two.
I ordered the Paris Flatbread ($11.00). After having the Sardinia version that was so good I wanted to try this meatless one. Great choice! It came with wild mushrooms, caramelized shallots and Boursin cheese with a truffle oil drizzle. Again, the flatbread itself was wonderful, and the combination of the mushrooms and Boursin was delightful – earthy and creamy.
To go along with the flatbread, I also had the Classic Caprese salad ($8.00). I’ve been on a Caprese salad kick this summer and this one was refreshing with its fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. I have to admit I thought Krave could be a bit more creative in the actual presentation of it –the Caprese salad I make looks much more appealing.
Brad had a Mexican Mojito ($12.00) on this visit, made with Don Julio tequila, cilantro, ginger and lime that he liked a lot. I had a glass of French Sauvignon Blanc ($8.00) that paired well with my Paris flatbread. On my next visit I will probably try one of Krave’s signature martinis – I saw quite a few of them being served to various tables while we were there.
The servers use iPads to take orders, which allows them to show pictures of the dishes and pay by credit card right at the table (at least the first time – I think with the Groupon our server had to ring us up the traditional route.)
Krave is a trendy, chic restaurant with great food, and I’m sure that it would be a frequent late-night destination if I was still in my 20s or 30s. I’ll happily just stick to dinner at this point in my life.
- Price: Not bad Portions are nice for the price, especially the wings.
- Service: 4.00 Consistently good on both visits.
- Food: 4.75 Tasty, fresh, innovative. Fire Shrimp get a 5.0!
- Recommend: Definitely.
- Kid friendly: Nope. I haven’t seen a kid on either visit. And I hope it stays that way, with apologies to my two.
1= hater, 2=poor, 3=adequate, 4=above average, 5=superb
Eat, drink and be merry!