I was driving all over downtown Raleigh one Saturday looking for something to eat and turned on a little street and passed this cottage-turned-into-a-restaurant, The Irregardless Cafe. When you enter, you will be welcomed with warm honey wood floors and a quiet, gallery like atmosphere. The huge paintings on the wall are by famous local artist, Kyle Highsmith. His paintings are vibrant and tropical, many featuring boats and wooden docks and reminiscent of lazy beach days. I got there pretty late when the kitchen was about to close so they could only offer the small plates menu. I immediately noticed that the prices are on the higher end. That however, that could be justified in that they use organic produce and hormone and antibiotic free meats, as well as purchasing many of their products locally, and from organic markets when possible.
I was completely bowled over when I saw an ENTIRE page of vegetarian and vegan items. They were innovative yet seemed unpretentious and satisfying. Because I had to order from the small plates menu, I got the bruschetta. I wanted it to love it. I wanted it to burst with flavor from the sweet tomatoes and peppers, but it was awful. Horrible is more of an accurate term. The mozzarella was bland and the whole dish was under seasoned and lacking in any real flavor. The bread was soggy. The basil had turned black. I wanted my money back.
Luckily for the jazz band playing and couples dancing, it turned into a really fun night. Watching the couples dance was the most enjoyable part of the entire dinner. I especially am endeared to places where I see older people and younger people enjoying themselves and the food. The music was playing softly and a couple even did the tango... just like you see in the movies!