West End and Lantern Restaurant – Chapel Hill

What a crazy week. One thing we were both looking forward to this weekend was our date night. My wonderful boyfriend made reservations at Lantern Restaurant – where we spent our very first Valentine’s Day together {when we first started dating}. He’s such a winner. Mike has always been incredibly thoughtful when it comes to my food allergies. He spent the time doing research and even making phone calls to make sure that every place we went to was a place that could work with my food allergies. He still does this stuff to this day. I’m incredibly blessed.

West End

So we kind of recreated the night we had over two years ago – we started at West End Wine Bar in Chapel Hill for some wine and some hummus.

Holding a glass of wine makes me feel sophisticated

They had some beautiful gluten-free and dairy-free options. We picked out the hummus with carrots and Mike got some pita bread on the side. The hummus was fantastic. They even topped it with a little bit of olive oil. We also picked out a bottle of Pinot Noir and just enjoyed each other’s company. The bar wasn’t busy yet because we got there pretty early. Our bartender was wonderful and she made some great wine recommendations. The hummus was a solid choice especially since we had so much wine {hehe}.




After our time at West End, we walked across the street to Lantern Restaurant. Lantern is primarily Asian style cuisine with a little bit of an NC twist – at least this is how their website describes their food. I’ll post a link to that later on. When you walk in, the space is very intimate. The restaurant is not very big in size. Lantern is very romantic because of the low lighting. The decor has an Asian feel with beautiful lanterns that are the centerpiece of the restaurant decor.

They are WONDERFUL when it comes to accommodating food allergies. The only two allergens that may be difficult are nuts and soy. Asian food uses both of those quite a bit.


The dish that I chose was the JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE-STYLE LOCAL BAVETTE. It was steak with crispy spinach, ponzu sauce, warm green tea sushi rice, sea salt.

It was savory and delicious. I couldn’t have asked for a better entree choice. Our server was absolutely fantastic and made sure that the food that I chose would be safe for me to eat. What is nice about Asian food is that dairy is rarely used as an ingredient. The only thing to really watch for is soy and also potential gluten in regular soy sauce. Lantern fortunately has Tamari on hand (gluten-free soy sauce). Did you know that regular soy sauce contains wheat?

If you are looking for a new place to have date night – Chapel Hill has a lot to offer. I look forward to eating my way through both Chapel Hill AND Durham. Discovering new cuisine and restaurants is always an adventure.


If you want more information on either of the restaurants, click on these links below:
Lantern Restaurant
West End Wine Bar
As always, thanks for reading x


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