Restaurant Review Roulette: ONE Restaurant

Shane Ingram has firmly established himself as one of the top chefs in the Triangle, as his Four Square in Durham has been on Greg Cox’s top 25 lists for years.  It’s been over ten years since Ingram opened Four Square, and this past summer, he opened a new place — ONE Restaurant (or, as they like to do on the website, [ONE] Restaurant — not sure if they get a penalty for excessive use of brackets).

Here’s what I know about [ONE]: It’s in Chapel Hill’s Meadowmont Village.  It appears to have an open kitchen.  Its price points are somewhat high for what seems to be a relatively casual place, but they’re not outrageous by any means.  The menu does not appear to be overly ambitious on first glance, but then looking at the accompaniments to the main dishes, you start to think that the menu is intentionally understated.  And then you remember that this is Shane Ingram’s place.  You know it will be pretty damn good.

And so, Greg Cox will be reviewing ONE tomorrow.  Interestingly, Cox gave Four Square only 4 stars last year, hitting it hard for some service issues, but praising the food.  The Yelpster crowd is very mixed on its assessment of ONE.  I don’t really rely on the opinions of Yelp’s reviewers, but there was enough dissent here to throw me for a loop.   I really think Greg will like ONE, giving it at 4 stars.  I doubt, however, that he will be willing to give it that extra half star, and I wonder if he’ll dock it half a star.  That’s the difficulty of this prognostication business.   So I’m going to go with 4 stars, but I’ll be hedging a half star on either side.

Here are the odds.

5 stars — 7 to 1

4.5 stars – 3 to 2

4 stars —  1 to 1

3.5 stars — 3 to 2

3 stars — 4 to 1

2.5 stars — 7 to 1

2 stars — 14 to 1

1.5 stars — 20 to 1

1 star — 50 to 1

Place your bets, and let me know what you thought of [{(ONE)}].


Edit, December 24, 2010 — It’s a 4 star review for ONE. [REALLY].


4 Responses to Restaurant Review Roulette: ONE Restaurant

  1. Tom from Raleigh says:

    I’ve been to One. We had a good meal there. The floor plan felt a little antiseptic to me. I think Greg will give it 4 stars, though the Four Square data point is throwing me for a loop.

  2. Debbie Moose says:

    The wine list is on iPads given to the tables. Wonder how that will hold up the first time there’s a spill. I extremely disliked the environment/ambiance.Fluorescent lights from the open kitchen were the only lighting in the place, very harsh and kind of creepy. And no woman looks good in that kind of light. : ) It would seem to have the potential to be very noisy when full, also. The food and service were good, but I would not go there again because I just didn’t like the environment.

  3. burgeoningfoodie says:

    I’ve been to ONE twice. That just comes off as humorous. Anyways, the first time I went it was on a whim and didn’t make reservations. We were able to sit immediately at the bar seats facing right into the kitchen for some “theater”. I am fine with ambiance as it seems a bit metropolitan which I like, but converse to Revolution’s take on a metropolitan feel (lots of brightness and white), ONE has more of a moody feel to it. So maybe the ambiance seems a bit aloof as far as lighting goes, but I do like the sleek feel of how the restaurant is designed.

    The food the first time around was a miss not because of flavor, but because we watched our food be placed under pull down hot lamps and sit there for about 10 minutes whilst others behind us were served (I think they were big wigs or knew the chef based upon how well they were treated). So that left us a bit disgruntled. Also we were served a house “focaccia” while the table behind us was given a more artisan loaf of sliced bread. The focaccia while tasty has got to be the flattest version of that bread I’ve ever had. The dessert we had was the goat’s milk cheesecake which comes in what looks like a tumbler glass. It was an interesting take on the concept of a cheesecake and was tasty.

    Second time at the place and we made reservations. This time service and food were a bit better. I think the IPAD usage is to try adn match with the sleekness of decor. It is almost (if not totally) gimicky. Why not just put the whole menu on the Ipad and let us order wirelessly and thus let servers be at being attentive. Regardless, this time I asked who gets the artisan loaves of bread and the waiter replied that they serve that upon request. Wait why would you serve your better bread upon request instead of serving up mediocre bread. That seems a bit strange. The meal again was good if not pricey (as the previous meal was). The hostess both times was friendly but seemed a bit.. better than thou art…

    In short, the first impression was wow this atmosphere is different, but I enjoy watching the kitchen on occasion, the food was good, and the service spotty with the prices being a bit higher than maybe they aught to be.

  4. Leslie says:

    I finally made it to ONE last week. Food and service was just alright, especially at that price point. I’m glad I tried it, but it’s not one of those places that I’m dying to go back, especially with the drive from Raleigh (whereas places like Lantern and Carrburritos are always worth the drive for me).

    As a previous commenter mentioned, the whole bread thing was really odd – we were served the flat bread that they called focaccia, while everyone around us was served what looked like good bread. What’s the point in serving different bread to the different tables? And from what I know about focaccia bread, what we had was way too flat and crispy to be called that. Also, we had a pizza for the appetizer that was on the same exact flat bread – ridiculous.

    We were seated about 8:45pm on a Friday evening, and by the time we ordered it looked like the kitchen was starting the cleanup process. They weren’t extremely busy, so I would have expected great service and hot food. Perhaps we went on a slightly off night.

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