Glasshalfull: Restaurant Review

This week, a group of my girlfriends and I went to dinner at Glasshalfull. It's this lovely little wine bar in Carrborro, NC that serves small plates perfect for sharing. It's the perfect place to chat and catch up over wine and good food. The interior is somewhat dimly lit. To the left when you walk in, there are a few tables, but mostly booth seating. On your right, there are shelves of wine that function as a bottle shop, and a few tables. In the middle, there's a large U-shaped bar, that's great to sit at if you're drinking or dining with just one other person. The restaurant has some fun, wine-inspired artwork on the walls, and the whole effect is very open and welcoming. During the spring and summer, and even on warmer fall nights, there's a very cute outdoor seating area that's lit up with twinkle lights. It's a very cute restaurant in a somewhat small town.

The meal started off with bread and olive oil brought to the table. I was a little disappointed with this. I generally prefer balsamic vinegar alongside my dipping oil, or for the olive oil to have some Italian spices mixed in with it. To me, bread dipped in plain olive oil just becomes a somewhat flavorless blob of carbs and oil, with no sharp flavor to cut through it. This was definitely the case here, the olive oil itself wasn't anything spectacular and the bread was pretty bland. The bread was a bit too chewy as well, so the whole thing was just disappointing.

Luckily, the bread was by far the worst part of the meal, and the quality of food went up from there. Since Glasshalfull's menu consists mostly of small plates, we decided to get a few things to share amongst the table. There were three of us and we got four menu items total. We were satisfied with four, but if we had ordered a fifth item we wouldn't have been stuffed. We ordered a cheese plate to start with. The cheese plate consisted of: Boxcarr's Rocket's Robiola, an ash-ripened cow's milk cheese, paired with orange marmalade; Grafton Village Cheese's Traditional Clothbound Cheddar, a hard cow's milk cheese, paired with apple slices; and Boxcarr's Campo cheese, a smoked semi-firm cow's milk cheese, paired with herb roasted shallots. Additionally, it came with a bowl of lavash crisps. I thought the Rocket's Robiola was the best of the three cheeses. It had the tang of a blue cheese, without being as overwhelming. The orange marmalade that it was paired with had the perfect amount of sweetness to counter the sharpness of the cheese. Next, I enjoyed the Traditional Clothbound Cheddar. It was a relatively average cheddar, nothing special, but I love cheddar so I was satisfied with it. I would have like it to be a bit sharper, but the apple it was paired with added a nice lightness and cut through the fat well. I was not as much of a fan of the Campo. The texture was too rubbery and the smokiness just seemed a bit off. Honestly, I think I liked the shallots it came with more than the cheese itself.

Next, we ordered the Brussels Sprouts. They were served fried, with a lemon-honey glaze, red pepper flakes, and crushed toasted peanuts. These brussels sprouts were fantastic. I love well-cooked brussels sprouts. At home, me and my fiance often saute them with garlic and bacon, and they are absolutely phenomenal. I'm thrilled that brussels sprouts have been in vogue at many restaurants for the past few years. These ones were perfectly fried, they were crispy without being too oily, the lemon-honey glaze and red pepper worked together beautifully and the peanuts added a nice bit of texture. I would definitely order these again. And if you think you don't like brussels sprouts, you just haven't had well-prepared ones yet.

Lastly, we ordered a tray of mini-burgers with a side of hand-cut fries. There were three mini-burgers on the plate, which was perfect for sharing between the three of us, and the fries came in a fun, twirly, metal cone with ketchup at the base. We ordered the mini-burgers medium rare, and they came topped with aged cheddar, applewood-smoked bacon, truffle aioli, and a mini pickle. They were served on house-made brioche style buns. The burgers were heaven, they were pink and juicy in the middle, the aged cheddar was better than the cheddar on the cheese plate, the bun was soft and warm, and the truffle aioli kicked the burger up a notch. The fries were also delicious, they were thin-cut and topped with a four-herb salt. I prefer thin cut fries to thick cut, because I like the crispiness, and like the brussels sprouts, these fries were crispy and not too oily. They were the perfect compliment to the mini burgers.

All together this was a delicious meal, it started out weak but finished strong. I rate it 3.75 out of 5. I would definitely come back to Glasshalfull for dinner again. I recommend passing on the bread, so that you have room for more delicious items on the menu. I also wouldn't order the cheese plate again, it was a decent cheese plate, but so many restaurants have exceptional cheese plates that it's just not worth getting a okish one. I would definitely order the brussels sprouts, they were the best dish we ordered. I would order the mini-burgers if you're in the mood for a burger, they were excellent burgers, but personally I'm not always in the mood for beef. I would also order the fries if you feel like you need a filler, they are good solid fries, but not the star of the menu.

MalindaFood2 Comments