Don't let the quirky name, or the modest exterior, fool you. This is, without a doubt, the finest upscale restaurant serving French cuisine in the entire Triangle region -- and possibly in all of North Carolina.
In the Auvergne region of France, where Mme Lapin was raised, a Motor Lounge [Salon-Moteur] is traditionally the most elegant dining establishment in a community, and is usually supported by royal patronage. And so, the name evokes the days when, after Lord Fuquay and Lady Varina founded nearby Fuquay-Varina in 1683, the nobles of the House of Fuquay-Varina would dine on traditional French dishes while listening to traditional folk tunes ["musique country"].
The fare is served with Mama Rabbit's homemade mustard ("Lapin A La Moutarde") and, locally made from scuppernongs and vinegar, Mama Rabbit's house wine ("Lapin au Vin"). Local ingredients -- such as Eno River cod and Mt Olive pickles -- are featured on the menu. In addition, fresh oysters are flown in, daily, from Narragansett Bay, and the steaks are made only from the finest Welsh beef.
This is a beautiful place to bring a first date for a romantic evening you'll never forget. Ask for a table with a good view of the coast; the view at sunset is spectacular, as the sun sinks below the horizon, cradled in trees and dusted with flocks of cranes and herons, heading to sleep in their nests in Mama Rabbit's wildlife sanctuary (a National Historic Preservation Trust site).
Or, bring the kids for a special family night out. For a small fee, a costumed Monsieur Pierrot can make an appearance for your well-behaved little ones, performing magic tricks and juggling. Be sure your youngsters are well-practiced in basic French conversation, and are familiar with continental dining etiquette.
Billiards and darts are available.