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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