Date Of The Month

RIC Date Night of the Month – July: Movie Night at the North Carolina Museum of Art

Posted by on Jul 29, 2013 in Community, Date Of The Month | 0 comments

There is something special about summer nights in Raleigh. Which is why July’s Date Night of the Month is an outdoor picnic and movie at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Sammy and I ventured out around 7:45, picked up some takeout from the ever-enjoyable Whole Foods hot bar, and set out to claim our spot and have dinner before the show – “Silver Linings Playbook”. It was one of those nights that made you stop and appreciate every little aspect of the evening – warm weather, good company, a starry sky, and so on. Apologies for not posting pics. Phones and flash photography are discouraged so that the lights don’t distract from the movie. We gladly complied since it was a great excuse to go off the grid and relax for a couple of hours.

In order to help you plan your date, Sammy and I came up with a list of Do’s and Don’ts that will help you make the most out of your evening:


DO order your movie tickets online ahead of time to avoid long lines before the show.


DO bring a large blanket and pillows! Sammy and I had a smaller blanket and we tried to prop our heads up on our wallets, water bottles, etc. While it was the source of some laughs, spring for the pillows. You’ll forget your laying on the ground!


DO arrive early enough to get a good spot. We snuck in right before the 9pm showtime and the crowd was quite large. However, if you’re running late, no worries! The park is the largest concert venue of all art museums in the country. I’m sure you’ll manage:)


DO bring a chair if you don’t feel like sitting on the ground. The screen is elevated and very big so you won’t obstruct the view of those around you.


DO bring bug spray. The one drawback of North Carolina summer nights – but enjoying the cooler evening outside is still oh so worth it.


DON’T bring alcohol or any beverage where you could possible be transporting alcohol. BUT feel free to purchase wine and beer at the concession stand. Along with other movie snacks and even meals. Yum.


DON’T show up just for the movie. Friday evenings before 9 at the NCMA have a lot to offer. The West Building offers Art In The Evening concerts with wine and small plates (beginning at 5:30). The East and West buildings are open for browsing and the West Building is open for guided tours. Especially check out the current special exhibition in East Building, 0 to 60: The Experience of Time through Contemporary Art, is on view until August 11. Another option is dinner at Iris (open for dinner on Fridays only). Serving local and seasonal cuisine with both regional and international flavors. Here are sample dinner and dessert menus.


DON’T use your cell phone or have it on during the movie. As I mentioned before, it’s very distracting from the movie and the lovely scenery.


Hope this is helpful. If you have any more questions tweet me @erin091487. And if you’re planning on a date night at the NCMA, we’d love to hear from you @RaleighIsCool!

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RIC Date Night of the Month – June: NoFo @ The Pig

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in Date Of The Month, Restaurant | 0 comments

Each month, RIC’s Erin Gamble will feature a cool date night venue for your courting pleasure. Tweet her with your suggestions! @erin091487

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For a night out in the city of Oaks, NoFo’s creative twist on a historically southern store gives date night a brand new meaning.

In honor of Raleigh Is Cool’s very first “Date Night of the Month” feature, I thought it was fitting to find a venue that was especially perfect for a first date. Most of us could agree that a safe pick for a first date with someone is dinner – not too fancy, but not too casual. Even more of us could agree that a first date is super scary because of one major dilemma – what if you run out of things to talk about? With both of these timeless worries in the back of my mind, I asked my own beau to join me for an evening at NoFo in Five Points to see if it met the criteria.

NoFo, an eclectically southern meets cosmopolitan store and restaurant, is nestled in the heart of the Five Points neighborhood in Raleigh. When we arrived for our date, we were able to sneak a peek at some of the charming goods before the store closed. There were so many unique gifts, we immediately pointed out that we should come by again soon for “a short and entertaining shopping experience” (Read: second date just planned itself, gentlemen!).

Everywhere around us, the atmosphere gave us instant conversation starters. imagePerfect for first date jitters. Pigs were everywhere – pictures of pigs, pig art, and Piggly Wiggly photos danced around the restaurant. It was really fun trying to guess what all the pig business was about. And what kind of name is “NoFo” anyway? Not only For oldies? Nostalgic owner Found orangutan? You get the point.

As an added bonus, our friend and manager, JJ, made an appearance to give us the inside scoop of our date night adventure. We learned that NoFo originally began in Wilmington on the corner of North and Fourth streets in 1997. The Raleigh location is called NoFo at the Pig because the restaurant is actually a restored Piggly Wiggly. This would explain all of the carefully pig-themed tributes to the great southern grocery store.NOFO’s focus is on all things made in North Carolina and the South. It promotes “Love Living Local” with a wealth of carefully chosen products to eat, drink, wear, read, listen to, use and enjoy from southern food artisans, entrepreneurs, designers, farmers, craftsmen, musicians and artists.

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Our server, Mary Clare, made our evening’s experience a breeze. For our drink order, she suggested the Oak City Sour. This idea was right up my alley, so I gave it a whirl. Drinks paired with the Hot Pimento Cheese Dip were delectable. For our meal, Sammy ordered their Blue Plate special for Thursday (Yep. Throwback style) which was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans, and I ordered the pork loin.  All of it was wonderful – really, no critiques or complaints. Everything was the perfect combination of savory and refreshing. Yet another talking point!

Total cost of the meal was right around $50. Very reasonable for the traditional first date drinks, app, and main course. 

Sammy and I agree that although we were only pretending to be on a first date, NoFo was built for a fun and relaxed environment. Great service, amazing food, and an inviting atmosphere makes NoFo the triple threat in the restaurant biz.

Quality restaurant with a unique history? Perfect first date coming right up!

Planning a date night to NoFo? Let us hear what you think! Tweet us @RaleighIsCool.


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