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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

    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
  • "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
  • "Did not honor my reservation. After waiting for 45 minutes past my reservation, I asked about the delay, and they told me that if I couldn't wait, and agree with the way they did business, then I was free to leave and eat elsewhere. The manager was rude and insulted me and my wife by saying that we didn't obviously go out enough if we didn't expect to wait an hour for our reservation. In front of the whole restaurant! That is no way to treat a paying customer who had a reservation for!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "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
  • "You would never know that you were in between 15/501 and New Hope Commons! The physical aspect of the restaurant was stunning and the octopus appetizer was outstanding."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "What a great experience all around. We are so lucky to have such a great new restaurant. Feels like you are in another country. Awesome food!!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The food is great. Although our steaks were a bit cold, still yummy. Antipasti is always a big hit. The service was perfect, as usual."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "We have been twice and every aspect of our experience had been excellent. The food is simply amazing - sublime!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "We tried 4 different appetizers and all were fantastic! They spaced the service out so we could enjoy each "course" of it. Highly recommend the pastas. That was my favorite of the small plates we shared. Ambience is great...who would know Wal-Mart is right behind you in that tranquil oasis that you built. Great job!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Really good food, good wine list, beautiful decor."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "We got there and the hostess wished us a happy anniversary and right after we sat down, we received a complimentary glass of champagne to start our celebration. The food was delicious. We loved the cerviche appetizer. We both enjoyed our entree. The dessert was a wonderful chocolate cake with Happy Anniversary written on the plate. All and All I would highly recommend the restaurant."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "First time visit but certainly not the last. We are used to excellent restaurants in NJ, especially BYOs, of course not to be found here but the wine list was expansive, intriguing and many reasonably priced, hard to find, delightful wines. Service was impeccable, staff friendly and observant. The menu was different, funky, delicious. The oysters with the orange-ginger granita was just perfect. The halibut with Thai green curry and Carolina rice was had by 3 of 7 diners with "excellent" as the commentary. The others were more than pleased with their entrees."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • " From start to finish, this was a fantastic meal. From the Robert Sinskey rose to the cookie plate at the end of our meal, every bite was amazing. I especially loved the beet salad. It may be the best one I've ever had. Sorry to blatantly gush about this experience, but I dare say that this is my new favorite restaurant! Can't wait to eat here again!"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Delicious meal Fred was so perfect in suggesting new very fun wine The table next to us was a bit boisterous which made it a little difficult at times to hear our own conversation Dinner otherwise superb and our new favorite place more vegetarian entrees please"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "We thought the service was wonderful and the restaurant itself is very cool-we love how they used the space. Unfortunately, the wine list is extremely overpriced and the food was somewhat of a miss. We had the beet salad with chèvre-cheese was from Elodie farms and delicious, but the dressing on the beets was overly dominated by vinegar. I had the halibut in a coconut green curry and again acid dominated the dish--far too much lime juice, not enough curry creaminess or sweetness. My husband had the five spice pork and said the cut of meat was good, cooked well, but it wasn't five spice. We're going to give the kitchen some time to work things out before we try again and highly recommend that they review the mark-ups on the wine list."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "We have eaten at the Black house many times since the restaurant opened several months ago. The cuisine is simply terrific - tasty and flavorable. The sommelier has his Master designation which is the highest achievable. We so enjoy asking him to suggest something new each time we dine at the restaurant. The reconverted historic house and grounds are also most unusual."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "The renovation of the space is amazing. It's still a work in progress, but they've only been open a few months. Food was very good. Nothing to really complain about. Excellent wine list. Anxious to see how creativity shapes the place over time."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "From the outside, I wasn't sure I wanted to go in to visit this new restaurant. What a great surprise when you enter - Stylish and contemporary with different levels and separate areas to gather. This is a serious work in progress and one I will look forward to watching as it develops. We toured the different areas and then settled into a our table. The wait staff couldn't have been more accommodating. The food was a little pricey but with good choices and beautifully plated. Not to be missed - put this one on your list!!!"
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "The partners are doing a great job building this restaurant into an evening venue. The wine bar, deck areas, outside bar, patio area (equipped with a fountain, stage, and "cabana" areas), and the main restaurant gives you plenty of options on the setting you want to enjoy. What started as a excellent dinner outside on the deck area next to the bamboo transitioned into a relaxing after dinner drinks in the cabana area off the patio. This was our third visit since the new owners took over and the food has always been excellent. The hen of the woods is off the charts if you are a mushroom lover. The staff is courteous and attentive."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Great food, in quiet and intimate setting. Fred is a Master Sommelier and we are lucky to get someone of his caliber working here. Antipasti plate was memorable, as was the Chatieaubriand. Service was slower than it should be. In order to meet Fred's stated goal of becoming a Michelin 1 Star restaurant, they will have to pay attention to small details, esp service times. However, the atmosphere and food are a real notch above almost all restaurants in the area. One (Meadowmont) used to be our favorite but they have gone in a different direction and this may become our new place for special occasions. "
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "I highly recommend this restaurant! Adam, Fred, and Christine made our experience so wonderful. They have made a unique atmosphere seem so warm and inviting. We felt like we were guests at their home. We are going back and bringing our friends. "
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "The team seems assembled from the rising stars in the nearby foodie havens with a bar headed by an imported artisan bartender building an unusual bar collection.. Quiet, almost obsequious service by staff that has tasted all the food and is able to discuss enthusiastically if asked. Dishes were creative and sensual, while, while simple enough to let the freshness of the ingredients shine. Softshells had the simple ocean taste you want but never get more than a half mile from the dock. Grilled romaine served in languid oiled spears to be eaten with fingers like asparagus. The green coconut curry (a sauce on my Halibut) tasted as if the spices were fresh ground and the coconut newly cracked open. We will be back to try more of the menu."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "First visit on Friday, May 30, 2014. My husband and I really enjoyed our dinner. Food was extremely fresh and tasty. I requested a drink containing basil, and they created one for me, it was delicious, right away I knew this was a place that wanted to make and keep customers happy and returning. I am hoping to be able to take an executive group there in the future, and utilize their amazing courtyard. I plan to return to visit their winebar as well."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "We found our secret "go to" restaurant! The atmosphere is super trendy with personal touch from the previus owners of the house. Cosy inside seating and several garden patios outside. The food was outstanding! Oysters and Antipasti were plenty for an app to start off for two people. I had Halibut over rice with coconut curry sauce that was perfectly cooked! My wife had the Paccheri Alla Bolognese which was tasty, but could have had more pasta with the abundant amount of sauce. Both entrees paired well with a bottle of Amorio Malbec from Argentina. We chose the Greek Yogurt and Grapefruit Panna Cotta fro desert - yum! The staff was very professional and knowledgeable for "foodies" who prefer to cook at home. We will definitely return!"
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "The ceviche was outstanding; wonderful personal service. Brought friends there for the first time; they were wonderfully impressed. We'll be back!"
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Wow! New favorite restaurant in Durham. Beautiful converted home surrounded by peaceful landscaped patios. Had a yummy cocktail with homemade brandied cherries, amazing entrees and sides (the peas and locally-sourced morels were outstanding), and a friendly and attentive staff (e.g., the waiter brought two wine tastings to help me in ordering a glass). Perfect atmosphere -- nice, but not stuffy; hip, but not pretentious. My only "complaint" is that I was able to resist ordering dessert--none of the options were so tempting that I just had to have one."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "We were excited to dine in this new spot. The location is intriguing and the reviews were generally good. Our experience was mixed/disappointing. The venue is lovely with many corners, interesting windows, good outdoor spaces. We were in a small room with two other tables and the noise level was manageable although the waiter had problems hearing! Beyond that the experience was disappointing. The food was very expensive especially given all sides were charged extra. The entrees were very over salted. Our waiter was easily stressed and the entrees were slow to come out unlike the appetizers which arrived before we got our drinks. We had one delicious dessert and a tiramisu which didn't resemble tiramisu. Probably won't return."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "The building and setting are cool. The place was packed. As the restaurant is fairly new perhaps they are not used to a full crowd - we had minimal attention from the wait staff. The food was quite good although on the high end of salty. We had what was probably one of the quieter tables but it was still noisy a somewhat hard to hear the conversation. Some of this is because the background music was too loud. I did like the food and the setting enough to try it again. I think that these problems can be easily solved. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Our first visit to Black House was this weekend with friends. We had a wonderful meal. Service was beyond excellent; and the food was outstanding. We had many questions about the menu and asked our waiter for help. He was so descriptive about the food that we all changed our minds about what we wanted. Great evening; great ambience; a great find! Only downside was the price. Wow!"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "I travel for business NYC every week, eat out 6 times a week. twice in NC every week. LAST Friday WAS THE BEST overall meal I had had in Years!!!! service and food was the absolute best professional people and meal I have had. VERY VERY good. and you tell by my review I never leave reviews. this place was worth every keystroke. I will be returning Again Again. Watch out NY and Las Vegas The black house is now open in Durham Good Luck"
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary here. The building is strange, weird and wonderful; it's an old house redone. There is a shower in the bathroom. Outside bars are great. Wine list is superb. Best restaurant experience I've had in years. "
    Dined on 5/21/2014