Cristo’s Raleigh 2/13/2021
Our blog has been laying low over the past year as the country has worked through a pandemic. Our passion for food has continued as we explore growing and creating our own food creations on our farm. We have still been dying to see some of the great food concepts n the Triangle area. We finally got out for our first sponsored meal last night since the pandemic struck. We were hosted by Dawn at Cristo’s location in North Raleigh and had a truly great experience.
Our nervousness of dining during the pandemic quickly melted away in short time. Cristo’s was extremely conscious to ensure safety of employees and guests. Their unique setup allowed for seating patrons in separate dining spaces making us feel we had the whole restaurant to ourselves. Every staff member had a mask on correctly for our entire visit and was respectful of our space while providing some of the best table service we’ve had in some time. They also have embraced the new era in dining with a station in which to go orders were being cranked out one after the other. Parking was reserved to allow for quick pick up of your orders. This was the most organized setup we’ve observed in our experiences so far. Another one of the weird aspects in which we assess our dining experience is by the restroom check. The restaurant at Cristo’s was spotless and passed my wife’s inspection with five stars. Overall the cleanliness and safety precautions in the restaurant were second to none and set a bar for our blog’s experience in the new era of dining.
Aside from the cleanliness and safety precautions that Cristo’s had in place, the restaurant created a perfect setting for date night or a great family meal. The setting was incredible and a perfect backdrop for a Valentine’s Day weekend meal. Each table had real flowers, candles, and sparkling water to set a great scene for a private meal (especially with the separate dining spaces we mentioned earlier!). The menu overall was very robust and offered many options from fine dining entrees to pizza and a nice selection of a kid’s menu. There are also many desserts made in house which is what originally attracted us to the restaurant. They offer a full wine and beer menu, but no cocktails. The wine selection is perfect for paring with their amazing food choices.
After much thought we were able to decide on our order. We started the meal with an appetizer of Rice Balls, which were a new item for us to try. They did not disappoint and had the perfect texture of a cheesy rice for dipping in the home made tomato sauce. For our entrée’s we chose the Salmon Amore, which was a daily special for Valentine’s weekend, and the Cristo’s Lobster Ravioli. Both were excellent choices and served with very fresh house salads. I got the biggest chunk of blue cheese in my dressing and it was a delight to see! The meal also came with bread baked fresh to perfection and served with warm butter. The bread had a perfect crisp to the outside and was warm and soft in the center. The roll was served on top of the butter to warm the butter and allow for perfect spreading on the bread. These little touches were part of what made the experience at Cristo’s so special. The Salmon Amore was incredible with fresh salmon, shrimp, spinach and a lemon sauce. The presentation of the dish was outstanding with pasta straws sticking out of the lemon used for the sauce. The elements of the dish were an incredible combination and it was an excellent portion. The lobster ravioli was also fitting of bearing the Cristo’s name. The ravioli’s were striped pasta and an excellent presentation for the dish. The lobster puree was on incredible and the highlight of the dish. The shrimp were very fresh and a great complement. Again, the portion size was very generous and both of us left full and very happy. For dessert we tried the Italian Copa Café. This is the dish that originally caught my wife’s eye and it didn’t let us down. It was topped with espresso beans and had a smooth ice cream with coffee at the bottom. This was a satisfying way to finish a great meal.
In learning more about the restaurant, we learned of the commitment to quality ingredients. There are no frozen items stored in the kitchen for their meats and produce. Every dish, including soups, are made to order and always fresh. Learning this was no shock as the food was amazing. Desserts and baked items are made in house and always fresh. There is a commitment to authentic Italian cuisine and select items are imported from Italy such as biscotti and some Italian crackers.
Overall, we had a great experience at Cristo’s and look forward to dining with them again. We definitely want to check out their location in Holly Springs. We were not totally sure what to expect in our first hosting since the pandemic, but our expectations were exceeded in wonderful ways both in the food and feeling of safety. Stay tuned for more to come and happy dining to our followers!