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  • The Black House at Straw Valley

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The Black House at Straw Valley
The Black House at Straw Valley

The Black House at Straw Valley Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://strawvalleyfoodanddrink.com
  • Phone: (919) 403-2233
  • Hours of Operation: PLEASE CALL for special reservations including:

    -Parties of 6 or more
    -Private events

    Lunch
    Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:30pm

    Dinner Monday through Sunday
    Monday-Thursday 5:30-10pm
    Friday-Saturday 5:30-11pm
    Sunday 5-9pm

    We now accept reservations for lunch in The Black House and al fresco dining.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Adam Rose
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Mount Moriah Rd.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking is available in two lots on the Straw Valley campus.
A word from The Black House at Straw Valley
The Black House offers a warm and welcoming dining experience with Chef Adam Rose’s interpretations of New American Cuisine. Hospitality and wine list by Master Sommelier Fred Dex. We now offer limited al fresco seating at our Drink Shack and in our courtyard.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "We really wanted to enjoy this place and was looking forward to dining here. Unfortunately, at every stage of our meal, one drink or course was very good and the other awful. My rum cocktail and oysters were barely passable. I worried about the oysters... will never order them here again. But my whole snapper entree was delicious and fresh. The manager and staff were eager to please and attentive but the inconsistent quality of the food was dissappointing. We prefer Vin Rouge, Piedmont and Pancuitto for consistent fine dining in this area."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "Food is highly original and truly excellent, with desserts the only shortcoming. Wine list is phenomenal, featuring numerous undiscovered gems from small vintners, with a special focus on southwestern France. This was my second meal at The Black House, and unlike my first visit, the service lagged -- though looking around, this did not appear to be an issue beyond our particular waiter."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "The personal art collection of the former owners adds a wonderful touch to each of the intimate dining spaces of this mid century house. The chef provided our group a history lesson of the property which enhanced our experience. Service was attentive but slow for lunch. The crab cakes got rave reviews from the group as did the salmon. Would return for dinner."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • " had never been to this restaurant and needed to pick a spot for a business dinner. The building is hard to find because it doesn't look like a restaurant at all and the signage is a little light. Both of my guests had difficulty finding it. Once inside though it is a delight and the food was outstanding. We tried a few appetizers and for dinner we had the duck, scallops, and the Bolognese with sides of 100 layer potatoes, peppers and onions, and bok choy. No desert for me but I was told that the peach dessert was excellent."
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "Outstanding is every way. The wine was outstanding and every dish we had was excellent! We had several visiting relatives and they just raved over the experience"
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "My wife and I dined at The Black House on Sunday night and had to have, what was, one of our top 5 meals ever. The service was top notch with staff quick to assist with any question or request. The appetizers of ceviche with black bass, the roast pork belly w mac&cheese and peach BBQ sauce & octopus (with bonus points on presentation on making the octopus look like an octopus) was top shelf. The chateaubriand entree with fois gras was absolutely amazing. The foie gras was presented perfectly as a melting addendum to a succulent roast. The sides of the 100-layer potato, 2 pak choi and hen of the woods mushrooms were just as spectacular. All in all, this place is a gem, and will be a place I will go to when I frequent the area for work."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "This is a very unique dining experience. It is tucked away in an unusual location. Do not let the appearance of the surrounding shopping center or the outside bamboo and plants deter you from coming inside. The food is fantastic and the interior is pleasant and unique given its history as a residence. Has quickly become one of the best restaurants in town!"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "It was our daughter's B-Day celebration, and they treated her like royalty. We were seated in the kitchen area, which I love. She really enjoyed herself, and as usual the food was amazing, as was the appetizers. I loved the scallops there, but the whole fried fish is out of this world! That will again be my entree pick when I return. I haven't tried out the wine area with the oysters, cheeses and chocolate, hope to do that very soon. The last week in this month is our 20th anniversary, so The Black House might see us again very soon, I want to see one of the films in the courtyard."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "I was sad to see Straw Valley change. I loved it as a coffee shop and mourned the change, but decided to go to lunch to get a feel for it and see from there. I am so glad I did. The total experience was awesome. Food, service, atmosphere and overall experience was exceptional. It holds up to the high expectations I had for Straw Valley and I will be back."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "Our friends mentioned to us that Black House was a MUST, so we went. We(4) ordered different entrees to share. Thank goodness for that as I would have felt like I missed out big time. The pork tenderloin was cooked perfectly, melted in my mouth. The scallops are the best I have had in the Triangle. I won't list every portion of the meal (3 apps and 4 entrees ALL fantastic), but I could. Wine list is excellent and the beauty is that you just have to tell the sommelier what you like and he will do the rest. His suggestions were great and his paring to meet the tastes of 4 was spot on. Wine is quite reasonably priced as well. Food is expensive, so prepare for that, but worth it. Already one of the top 2 restaurants in Durham."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "I expected too much. Of course the food was very good, but no better than our other top restaurants. Once everyone's curiosity is satisfied about the new place, I doubt savvy foodies will keep paying the notably higher prices unless they're assured of a notably better meal. The fresh asparagus appetizer was fine, but the delicate vegetable was lost under a shower of parmesan. My seared halibut was excellent, but not quite hot. The unlisted side veg (peas and chanterelles) turned out to be $15. Dessert and service were excellent, and wine pairings fine. The striking ambience is calm and roomy and conversation-friendly (too rare in Durham), but maybe a little dark for some. I'll surely come again, though. The potential's great. Patio's fab."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "Incredible food and service, made it such a special night. Thank you Black House!"
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "We were blown away by the flavors and freshness of the food; best in the area bar none. Original atmosphere and incredible service on top of that makes this place something truly special. At least 4 people touched our table regularly throughout our meal, and not in a stuffy or pretentious way. Our waiter was very friendly and knowledgeable. The wines by the glass selection is outstanding. The desserts are as good or better than the hot food. Lots of skill and positive energy at The Black House."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "We went there for out ten year wedding anniversary and were treated very well. The food was incredible and unique. The portions were not what I excepted at a high end restaurant, they were actually a decent sized and not small. The Chefs really knows their crafts. The only complaint and it is a minor one was that the service was slightly slow, but that could have been due to the fact that we are use to eating with a two year old. Would recommend to everyone."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Wonderful evening in an interesting environment! The restaurant (which is actually a midcentury modern home) is filled with the art of the previous owners and if you explore a bit before or after dinner (discretely) you can easily surmise what it was like to attend a party when it was a private home. The food is wonderful and beautifully served. I would suggest taking the server's suggestions on your first visit. We opted to do so and shared a huge antipasti plate and two additional appetizers before splitting the halibut and red snapper entrees between the four of us. Adding a couple of seasonal sides made the portions perfect. Wine selection is excellent. Dessert, also shared, was a fresh peach dish and a cookie plate. We WILL be back!"
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "Wonderful master sommelier who excellently paired a wine with our food and explained his choice in a cogent and interesting way. All dishes were perfectly prepared and came to the table with excellent timing. Menu was varied and seasonal. On the expensive side, but was worth every penny. Definitely has become the "go to" restaurant in Durham/Chapel Hill for special occasions."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Food, as usual, was EXCELLENT. Extremely noisy when crowded."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "I had my birthday dinner here and it did not disappoint, appetizers for the table were beef tartare and octopus which were amazing, the veal chop with polenta was tender, juicy and cooked medium rare like we requested and the bolognese was so good I felt the need to stop by a church on the way home to repent it was so amazing! Wow! Sinfully delicious! Bottom line; I recommend!"
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Dined at The Black House on Wednesday evening. Food was superior from beginning to end, the kitchen accommodated a couple of special requests, the layout is choppy due to the rambling nature of the original property but it's been carved up in a way that creates interest and intimacy and the outdoor spaces are enticing. The service was spectacular - knowledgable, friendly and attentive without being invasive. The wine list and its presentation are as good or better than any in the Triangle. A note on wheelchair accessibility for diners: call ahead; manual chairs are manageable, power chairs or scooters will be difficult. A note on wheelchair accessibility for the restaurant: install a ramp."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "my first time there, though we used to come to the place in its earlier coffee shop life......in short, simply amazing, highly creative, astonishingly delicious food....from amuse bouche to dessert, the whole food gamut was lovely, the server knowleageable and funny.And the wine list was great, not surprising as one of the owner/chefs is a certified sommelier. As well the physical building is lovely, restful, intriguing, different...note the moso giant bamboo lurking outside....and you can eat outside as well. Sigh....simply, to die for. Only caveat?....pricey, so it may get relegated to the "special occasion" class...but, you know, it's expensive, but worth it...which is rare. I plan on trying them for lunch soon."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "The Duck was flavorful and the skin pieces were tasty. The Red Snapper was great with the slightly spicey sauce. My friend liked her pork chop which was HUGE! The shots of soup was just enough to leave you with wanting more. Dessert was OK. I had the peach crisp but didn't reach the peaches until I hit the bottom of the dish. My friend loved her chocolate cake. The service was a little slow but the waiter was friendly and my dining partner thought he did a great job with describing the menu. I loved my wine! It is uniquely decorated and cozy. Great for a special occasion because it is a little pricey. Hint- to get to the restaurant enter from the road behind the building not directly from 15-501. Turn @ MT Moriah"
    Dined on 7/28/2014
  • "This restaurant has incredible food, very high quality, cooked to absolute perfection and seasoned perfectly. If asked, the servers were right on point with being able to explain dishes in detail. We went for an anniversary, and they brought us out a small drink to toast and an extra appetizer, both on the house! All the servers were very nice and professional. The environment is quiet and beautifully decorated. I never would have known such a premium restaurant is tucked away, hidden (both in view and sound) from the nearby highway and Wal-Mart shopping center. It's like I stepped into a whole new world! Will definitely go back and recommend to anyone looking for a wonderful, romantic, high quality place!"
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "I had visited the cafe one morning previously in an attempt to try something new and learned of the Black House just by chance. It's in a slightly odd location, so I just hadn't gotten around to returning. I decided to give them a try with my boyfriend and I'm so glad I did. I ordered the hanger steak which was great. He ordered the snapper (fish). I have to admit, his snapper was probably the best fish I've had... to the point where we were talking about it for a couple of days. If it wasn't kinda pricey, I swear I would have returned the next day. I'm going to tell my friends about this place. I love the mid-century layout of the house, such a unique find. Check it out!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Stopped by the cafe with a friend for juices one evening and returned the next day for lunch. The following day I took my husband out for dinner to the restaurant. What a hidden gem! Food is wonderful, great selections, service superb and a cozy and relaxing atmosphere. I'm telling all my friends about The Black House at Straw Valley!"
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "Presentation, ingredients, and flavor are outstanding. The wait staff are knowledgeable and can offer great suggestions for wine pairings. Outstanding in every way!"
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Having enjoyed dinners here, tried lunch and was not disappointed. The burger is great!"
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Amazing food in a unique setting. It's hard to imagine that such a unique and tranquil setting exists on 15-501 near I-40 next to a strip mall. You have to see experience it to believe it. All of the food that we tried was amazing. I look forward to returning."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Weather permitting, sit outdoors in a huge courtyard ... with a "flaming water fountain." The night we went we heard great jazz, but I understand that some nights they put up a large screen for a movie and dinner. Excellent food, although a little pricey. Well worth return visits. We're headed back!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "The chef is very creative and his products are excellent. The prices are high for this area, especially the appetizers. Side dishes are high also, a little is provided with the entree, so ordering a separate side dish seems necessary. Wait staff is friendly and helpful--but offered no second cup of coffee???"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Loved our first visit to the Black House. Hard to find, kind of funky (in a good way) space, but the food was de-lish. Beet salad was best ever, same with halibut preparation. Sommelier recommended a very good yet reasonable red burgundy (St. Aubins?) that paired well with halibut and my lamb dish. Can't wait to return. We did not try the steaks but TBH must be very proud of them as their prices on beef would make Bin 54 blush! I think I will stick to fish, pork, lamb or fowl!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Looked forward to a new option in the area. The house is to me a draw back. It's disjointed without charm. Low ceilings and cement walls render nearby conversations a cacophony in the many small rooms. Our room seemed more like a bunker. Service was fine, food was good though could have been better. Ceviche and tartare would have benefited from bolder flavors. Oysters had a refreshing granita, but the shucker did not sever the muscle so you had to deconstruct them first. Entrees, however, were excellent and flavorful. The whole snapper was the star (though a guest at the next table seemed baffled at how to approach eating it.) Overall it was a very good meal but not quite the match of other local establishments. Will try again though"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "This is my 5th visit to Black House and my 1st for lunch. I'm never disappointed with the quality of the food, the atmosphere and the friendliness of the staff. I've recommended Black House to friends who also have loved it. I'm so happy to have this wonderful restaurant in my neighborhood!"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "The food was some of the best I've had in a long time, fresh, simple and refined. The menu is file with contemporary American standards taken to the next level, one notable example being the beet salad. The restaurant was dealing with a flooding event and a special wine dinner on this evening, and the service suffered as a result. We were attended by 5 different people and had to wait a long time for service on occasion (for example 20 minutes for a beer). The restaurant interior was hip and original, a set of intimate boxy rooms, however noise level was high. Prices on the wine list tilt toward the high side, with very few selections below $40. The sommelier however was very helpful in finding choices to match our meal."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Our family thoroughly enjoyed a birthday dinner at The Black House at Straw Valley! You start out feeling like you've found a hidden treasure as you'd never expect this place to be where it is located. The house is a very interesting and artistic setting with no one room having more than three tables, so every room seems intimate. The staff were very attentive (almost too much so with people stationed near tables waiting for someone to need a refill), friendly and helpful. The food was delicious and very interesting! The only negative I would say is that it felt pricey for Durham, but this is one of the few times I have spent a lot of money on dinner and felt it was worth it! We will be back for a special occasion in the future."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "The food was fabulous and the setting is gorgeous. The next time I go I will plan on dining and then hanging at the beautiful outdoor bar for music."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "This was our second visit to Black House at Straw Valley. And again the experience was superb. For some reason my wine palate was off, but the staff worked with me to find the perfect glass. Hats off to their patience. The bread was fresh and the olive oil flavorful. The ceviche was wonderful/ We had the red snapper which was so fresh it must have been caught that day. We also had the hanger steak, which was remarkably flavorful as well. Finally we had eggplant and waxed bean side dishes. The egg plant had significant Oriental influence, and the beans, southern Italian. However both seemed perfectly at home. Black House has, in my opinion, moved to the top of the local dining scene. Its not to be missed."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "The server let us know that this was one of the restaurant's first days serving lunch, so we knew they were still working out a few kinks. There were some excellent touches that made this a nice experience. The salt and olive oil were excellent. Many of us had the Salade Nicoise, though I believe we got the last servings of the day. The tuna was marinated rather than the seared tuna I usually receive in this dish; the marinated vegetables were delicious. The chef and owner came form Il Palio, so the food quality reflects his history. This restaurant presents an elegant, (rather expensive) lunch in a funky, interesting environment, so if you have the time and the money, you should definitely check it out."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "You have to like a place that always has at least two fresh mushroom dishes as side orders - and other reviewers are right that the hen-of-the-woods saute is unbelievably good. Scallops & whole fish both super-fresh, well-prepared, & delicious. Wine suggestions were good ones. Seating in many separate rooms is nice, or outside. Only down side is that you have to manage to find it, on your first time, which is pretty obscure."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "I'm a chef, and my wife and I have run a successful restaurant for 3.5 years--we recognize great food and service. The Black House is our favorite place to dine. (It ties for our best meal ever Joel Robuchon's former Four Seasons in NYC, and the late Bon Soiree in Chapel Hill.) Chef Adam's food is cleverly conceived and brilliantly executed, and MS Fred's wine picks are always perfect. Having Straw Valley in Durham is like being within driving distance of the best of the NYC food scene. It's 75 minutes one way from our home, and we drive it without batting an eye. If you don't go to Straw Valley, you are really missing out!"
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "The restaurant is quite lovely with a unique setting and arrangement. The service is friendly and attentive. The quality of food is excellent, too. We expected the entrees to have a vegetable included. The food is priced so that at least one veggie should come with the meals. The wine seems overpriced for Durham. On another positive note, they accommodated our request for a timeslot that was crowded. They worked hard to ensure we had a special dinner experience!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014