Kitty tells us about her favorite spots in Raleigh’s Midtown North Hills
Midtown (North Hills) has become a neighborhood of small communities. Each has it’s own charm, personality, and options. I thought I’d focus on one area which I frequent often since it’s within walking distance of my “lair” – Lassiter District in North Hills (in no particular order).
Because I pass it every day to and from work, it’s hard not to just “drop in” to Vivace (All the neighbors seem to have the same idea). Part of the Urban Food Group, Vivace was inspired by the Italian word, “lively” and it is – Always poppin’!
It’s casual and comfy with windows rolled up in the warmer weather to an outside bar and al fresco patio seating. It’s open for lunch, Sunday brunch, dinner, late night and an intermezzo menu in between. The booths and tables inside are cozy and the aromas are all enticing thanks to the open kitchen and wood-fired oven.
I tend to hang at a stool at the bar, have a glass of Gavi (nice selection of mostly Italian wines). The bartenders know their stuff and they know their people. I’m a small plate girl so my top picks: The plump tender mussels in shallots, tomatoes, brown butter and thyme. The Crispy Brussels Sprouts are legendary with house-cured pancetta and lemon crema. Addictive! I’m also a sucker for their flatbread pizzas – right now, fig and prosciutto though they change seasonally.
MAIN & TAYLOR
Main & Taylor is a high end local shoe boutique (with handbags and accessories) that’s locally owned and has been in biz since 1993, located next door to Midtown Grill.
That darn voice “Here Kitty Kitty,” echoes from within and I’m a magnet and undisciplined so I open the door and breathe in the luxurious leather and stylish kicks – from edgy (me) to traditional. Shoes are my weakness and though they are pricey, the quality of their designers are superb.Some I’ve had for 10 years and just keep them re-soled, so I like to think they’re a sensible investment. Ha!
I do usually wait for the rack sales at the end of the season for that special pair of Donald Pliner or Chocolate Blu boots. Their trunk shoes are always exciting for a look at the latest (Stuart Weitzman, Hammit) where you often meet the designers themselves.
LASSITER MILL PARK
Ella, my rescue pooch, and I spend many days down the street at this hidden gem, Lassiter Mill Park, inside the beltline right off Lassiter Mill Rd. There’s a lovely dam where Crabtree Creek flows through along with remnants of a historic working mill on one side layered with a few enormous rocks to the side of the falls – quite a serene spot. Across the street is a flat, paved hiking/biking trail through dense woods and over small bridge.
QUAIL RIDGE BOOKS
Locally owned and one of the most successful Indy book stores in the country. While you see so many small-local bookstores going out of biz, Quail Ridge just finished an enormous expansion with two floors. There’s always an event, a signing, an author, various book clubs happening. The staff is so helpful and knowledgeable with their pulse on the literary world no matter your tastes. The new space offers even more opportunities for conversation, to browse books and games, shop for unique gifts and the kids section is fabulous (one of Kitty’s grandaughter’s, 3 yr. old Kate’s, favorite spots). It’s very interactive. They are open 7 days a week.