Restaurant Review: The Lantern

Website screenshot: http://lanternrestaurant.com/
I had the distinct pleasure of Errol and my final date in Chapel Hill during our year together to be at The Lantern. It's tucked in by all of the other unique, local restaurants and shops on Franklin Street. One of the pharmacists at work suggested we eat there because her sister-in-law owns it. 

It's a delicious, high-end restaurant that combines contemporary style Asian dishes with locally grown farmer's market fruits and vegetables. Despite the prices being higher than our usual (entrees ranged $25-40), we decided to splurge for our last date.

I got a cocktail (I can't remember it for the life of me, but it had rum and ginger ale), and Errol got a beer. 

My entree was a twist on lettuce wraps. On the left side of the picture below, you see the roasted peanut hoisin and the absolutely delicious pork shoulder. It's cooked overnight in lemon grass, and the meat basically melts in your mouth. I would have been happy with simply a plateful of that pork. It was interesting to make lettuce wraps with a different kind of leaf, but it worked. And I finished every last bit of the dish.

BBQ’d Chapel Hill Creamery pork shoulder
with cool rice noodles, lettuce cups, Vietnamese herb salad,
chile-lime sauce and roasted peanut hoisin
Errol wanted to go to Ben and Jerry's afterwards to fulfill his ice cream craving, but I wanted to finish the experience and have dessert at the restaurant. I've never had roasted banana ice cream, but it tastes just like you might imagine: mouthwatering. The brittle was a nice touch too.

Roasted banana ice cream with caramel, soft cream
and NC peanut brittle
When we ordered the ice cream, our waiter came with this extra dessert and told us "Compliments of the owners, the drinks and desserts are on the house". What a great surprise! Our pharmacist told them that we were there, and they did us a great favor by taking ~$40 off our bill.  This was my first panna cotta; it tastes like a milky, creamy gelatin. The locally grown organic cherries were a sweet and tart addition to the palate.

Almond panna cotta with organic cherries, rosé syrup
and almond-sesame candy
I would recommend The Lantern to anyone and everyone wanting to spend a wonderful night with delicious food. It is a quaint restaurant, and I would recommend reserving at least 4 days in advance. Errol tried to reserve the day before wanted to go, and it was completely reserved for 2 days. If you find it is fully booked, do what we did: go there when it opened at 5:30PM and were immediately seated.

After perusing The Lantern website, I saw that the owner has also published a cookbook: Cooking In The Moment. It looks like a great cookbook that has recipes to take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Maybe I'll try it out! North Carolina is filled with farmers markets, and I'm looking to grow herbs on our new patio.

Website screenshot: http://www.andreareusing.com/
Cheers to good eats, good dates, and good people. 


  1. We should go there when we go up next time. Oh, and make sure to tell your pharmacist that we're going so we can get the same discount:-)

    1. Haha definitely! It's a great place, I think one of my favorite places here. Too bad it can't be a regular outing.

  2. I can attest that the food was awesome.


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