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Nelson's - 40 Reviews - 521 Daniel St, Raleigh, NC - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (919) 821-5969


521 Daniel St (at Woodburn Road)
Raleigh, NC 27605
(919) 821-5969
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We have eaten at Nelson's quite a few times - only at the raw bar, never in the dining room - and we've always had a great experience. The guys working at the raw bar are super f...


I have been to Nelsons many times, mostly for the bar, but after my meal the other night, I do not think I will eat there again. We had great service and the food was good, but ne...

never go unless you are fratty to the max 9/26/2008

nelsons...fosters...whatever it is, it is terrible. don't waste your time here, the customers. bartenders and doormen are all crappy. the bar is always crowded, the music mediocre. they gave my friend a hard time because his hat was backwards. after he got in. i'm fine with a no hat policy but seriously...backwards... are you 6 years old? this place is the worst, avoid it with all your might. Cons: customers and bartenders think they are gods gift. more

Nice Building: other than that it sucked 8/19/2008

Apparently it's re-named Fosters again. I went last Thursday night and for some reason got charged a cover it the door. I've got no problem with covers if you get something for it. It guess the cover was for a dj in some other part of the bar. When my gf and i walk in the place is barren. 10:30 and a there were more bartenders than custumers. and out of the 3 or 4 bartenders no one know how to make the drink i ordered. I understand not knowing how to make some drinks but it was a Tom Collins which as I walked them thru it was served in a plastic cup. Then there is the smell(not sure what but something is funky with the plumbing) needless to say this was my first and only trip to the new Foster's. On the bright side to building itself looks very nice and hopefully the place that moves in after this place fails (for the third?) will match the building\r \r TDG Pros: nice building Cons: a cover for nothing; clueless bartenders and it smelled like a sewer more

nice lunch out! 7/12/2008

This restaurant is now called ""Foster's American Grill"". We - a family of 5 including younger kids - ate lunch there on a Saturday. The restaurant is very tastefully decorated with an elegant touch. Even though we were seated near the bar, there was no smoke. The restaurant had several tables of patrons but was not full, and no one was at the bar at that hour. The food took a little while to prepare, but was very good. The ""Foster's fries"" were nothing to get excited about - looked like Ore-Ida crinkle fries to me - but the home-made chicken fingers, pasta, etc. that we had were all excellent. more

takeout food at best 1/4/2008

I have been to Nelsons many times, mostly for the bar, but after my meal the other night, I do not think I will eat there again. We had great service and the food was good, but next time I will chose takeout. It is such a loud place to eat, the dining room was freezing cold, the hostess was extrememly rude and there were nats flying around. As for the bar, it is nice, if you like being overcharged. Everytime I have been there, I have been overcharged. Not only that, but they need way more bartenders and ones that know what they are doing. My girlfriend ordered a drink last week and the bartender told her that she was too busy to make that one, she needed to order something simple. The bar manager is the beyond rude and openly yells at people. Maybe the owner should look at his staff and do some evaluations. A place like Nelsons needs to be managed better and not have nats flying around. Pros: nice waiter, food was decent Cons: nats, bad smell, cold, rude bartenders, very rude bar manager, overcharged more

Awesome raw bar! 10/26/2007

We have eaten at Nelson's quite a few times - only at the raw bar, never in the dining room - and we've always had a great experience. The guys working at the raw bar are super friendly, talkative and offered numerous suggestions on both food and drinks. I've always been impressed with their attentiveness as well. I can see it being a little on the pricey side - but so are most good restaurants nowadays. And the comment that was made about having to wait for your reservation - that just happens and shouldn't be a reflection of the restaurant! Restaurants use estimates as to how long an average table sits, and sometimes, the patrons stay longer than anticipated (more wine, more coffee, more talking). I'm sure you wouldn't want to be asked to leave/hurry up because another party was waiting for your table! \r It's a great place and I think you should check it out! Pros: Cool atmosphere, good oysters and wine, friendly bartenders more

Would eat here again 10/8/2007

Ate at Nelson's on Oct 6, 2007-great service, great food, great atmosphere. Would highly recommend. Staff very friendly and attentive. Pros: Friendly staff. Great food Cons: May have been overcharged on my meal more

I would not waste my money at this place.... 10/5/2007

I don't usually write reviews, but I had to let you all know that this restaurant is not worth the money you pay for your meal or for the service you get..... very overpriced. My husband and I had dinner in the dining room around 6:00 p.m. on a Sat.. The food was Ok and the service was the same. There are just too many other good resturants to choose from in the Triangle area.... I can spend my $150 (for 2 with one glass of wine) where the food is not bland and the service is attentive. Maybe the outdoor oyster bar is what is so wonderful about this place???? I don't know, nor will I go back to try it out. Thanks. Pros: Ambience is nice... Cons: Bland food and unattentive service... more

Disappointed 9/12/2007

I read good reviews of this place but was very disappointed at the food. It was ok but overpriced for the quality. The vegetables were very overcooked and the seafood very fried. Furthermore, where we were sitting smelled of mildew from the chair cushions which were stained and appeared dirty. Also, several nats kept buzzing around the food which was annoying and my husband was served a beer in a cracked glass which the server even pointed out when it was brought to the table but didn?t offer to get a new glass. It was just not a good experience. I don?t think we'll go back. more

Best clam chowder 8/23/2007

I ate there last night for my anniversary and I had a wonderful experience. I asked for a quit room and they were so kind to seat me and my wife in a private room with nice music. The clam chowder was the best thing that I have ever put in my mouth. Our server Richard was excellent, the mangers were great and so nice and the blonde hostess was adorable and so sweet. I appreciate such warm hospitality and kindness. I look forward to eating there again. more

Best Steamed Oysters 7/13/2007

My favorite restaurant ever. Steamed Oysters and bloody mary cocktail sauce is Amazing! Your hostesses are awful and they make your restaurant look bad. They are pretty yes, but are very rude. When you walk into a restaurant the hostesses make the first impression. Tell them to stop gossipping and to say hello and goodnight to your customers as they enter and leave. Again, amazing restaurant but the hostesses have to go, their job is not to only seat customers. Pros: raw bar, management, waitstaff Cons: entrees, hostesses more

Perfect end to a crazy night 7/11/2007

Our group of eight went here after a HORRIBLE experience at the Grape, and they definitely delivered a much more pleasant experience. Our waiter, Dallas was wonderful, charming, and funny. He definitely helped to cool our tempers with his humor and perfect service. The food was delicious, the wine was decadent, and the Skybar was perfect. Definitely give Nelsons a try.... FYI, the scallops are fabulous! Pros: excellent selections, delicious food, fantastic service more

Disappointed, nice atmosphere, pretentious service 6/3/2007

Twice now we have been disappointed by the level of service at Nelsons. The staff here is pretentious and rude.\r First time, we sat at the oyster bar, where the bartenders were unaware that Nelson's offered more than one kind of oysters and then were obstinant when we asked if there were more kinds. It turns out they have 3 or 4 kinds of oysters. As the night continued the people who worked at the bar were just rude and unhelpful and couldn't be bothered. \r The second time we went to Nelsons, we made a reservation, got there, had no reservation noted, this was not a big deal. But the hostess didn't offer to seat us, she just looked at us. The restaurant was half empty but there was not going to be anything available for an hour even though it was 8:30 at night. It was more like ""you're out of luck"". We got a table in the bar, sat and thought about it. The hostess was so rude and unwelcoming that we decided to tip our waitress for bringing us water and left. Of course on the way out nobody cared anyways, no one wished us a good evening, the hostess just glared at us. \r Mind that every time we've been here we have not instigated bad service by being beligerant or nasty to the staff, quite the opposite.\r We went to 18 seaboard where we received excellent food and warm and professional service.\r Diner beware, food may be good, but I have no interest in funding a restaurant who treats its guests so poorly. Pros: ? Cons: bad service more

Wonderful atmosphere and fantastic food 2/27/2007

My dining experience at Nelson's was fantastic. I treated my daughter and several of her friends to dinner there on a Saturday night after a day of shopping in Cameron Village. The service was outstanding. The food was wonderful and the girls loved the up-scale sophisticated atmosphere. They all had a great time, and I was able to treat them all for about $15 per girl. I was very pleased and extremely glad that we had choosen Nelson's to make the day extra special. Pros: wonderful food, service, and atmosphere more

A Night to Remeber!!The best She Crab Soup! 2/21/2007

I accompanied a group of 10 teenage girls to Nelson's this past Sat. night for a ""sweet 16 birthday party"". The girls were treated to a special night by the staff at Nelson's. The table for 10 was decorated with balloons, etc. the girls ordered a variety of foods. (everything from crab legs to mini kobe hamburgers) The birthday girl was suprised with a creme brulee with her name written in chocolate. The food was delicious and the staff was wonderful with the teenagers. The ""upscale"" atmosphere was perfect for the occasion. The teens were treated to a wonderful dining experience and the check was very affordable. I would personally reccomend the She Crab Soup!! It was to die for!! Pros: Beautiful decor with excellent food Cons: Tends to get busy, make a reservation more

Good food, weak service 2/16/2007

I finally got to try out Nelson's on Valentine's day. Oh my, what an experience. The food was definitely good and I adored the Hot and Dirty Matini. The staff was not up to par with the restaurant though. We had reservations and waited 20 minutes. Finally when we inquired on the status of our table, we were seated in the dining room which had 6 open tables. Hmmmmm, I guess the teeny bopper hostess forgot about us. I was dying to try out the oysters, as I'd read the menu online and they had 6 different kinds. Hmmmm, only 2 kinds were available this night. Oh well, gulf coast is one of my favorites and they were good. But I have never ever been served oysters that had not been detached from the shells prior to serving. We alerted our waitress to the situation and got a ""That's good to know."" response. When my boyfriend went to the bathroom his napkin was taken and not replaced. They didn't bring a steak knife out either. But his steak was very good, nothing special. He loved the sweet potatoes that accompanied them. They tasted \r of maple syrup and brown sugar and butter....yummmm. I got the lobster ravioli and steamed asparagus. Hmmmmm, no asparagus showed up. But the lobster ravioli had an abundant amount of lobster and shrimp in a delicate sauce. The lobster was a touch overdone, but the shrimp were perfectly cooked. The asparagus was merely OK when it finally arrived. We then decided to have coffee and the pecan pie with bourbon ice cream. His decaf and my regular coffees were both luke warm. The ice cream was very unique. I think I prefer my bourbon in the pie though. The pie itself was rather plain. I ended up putting the ice cream in my coffee, which was very good. Although the coffee was so cool that the ice cream wouldn't melt. All in all, I don't know that I would go back. I'd rather go to An or Ruths Chris where you know you'll enjoy the dinner. Pros: Ambience and food Cons: Mediocre service more

We love the Raw Bar 2/15/2007

we are not to much of the patio dining area and they recently changed the menu and we love it a lot more than the last. we always sit at the oyster bar and have exceptional service. even though the oyster shuckers are a little pushy in there ways of eating oysters and somewhat rude overall b/c you ""are supose to give them cash tips on the side"". overall the atmosphere is amazing the service immaculate. again just understand the oyster shuckers, and the hostesses are awful. if only they would smile more and be a little bit more pleasant. if anything had to go at this restaurant it is the hostesses. otherwise i give it a 90% and definately worth your money. Pros: raw bar, waitstaff, wine Cons: hostesses more

Terrible Restaurant Experience 12/30/2006

Tonight my wife and a few of our friends went to Nelsons in Raleigh. It was our second try as our first experience was less than good. Upon our arrival, our table was ready and we were sat in the side dining room. We were unlucky to be there on a night where a friend of the owner of Nelsons and a group of about 10 of his friends were dining adjacent to us in the dining room. The acoustics were awful. The people were drunk and screaming the whole night. We politely asked them to settle down a little and their response was, ""We are spending more money than you so who cares if we are loud!"" Well at that point I felt it was time to involve a manager. We asked that the manager to say something and we were assured it would be taken care of as we were not the only ones complaining. Well nothing happened for about 20 minutes. Finally after we were DONE with our entrees the manager came out and asked us if we would like to move. We asked for the check and felt that we should be compensated in some way for the bad experience. Well they not only did nothing again, we were offered not even a free iced tea. We were never acknowledged again and we left with no apology from the management. Our server Kelly was very apologetic but her hands were tied. It was a management issue and nothing was done. We were insulted, belittled, and treated like second class by the ""friends"" of the owner so I will never eat at Nelson's again and I suggest you don't either. The owner should be ashamed of himself for allowing behavior like this from his ""friends"". The steaks and seafood are just as good at any other restaurant in the area with alot less attitude. Diner Beware. Pros: Great Waitstaff Cons: Terrible atmosphere and management more

Great customer service and extremely friendly!! 10/10/2006

As visitors to Raleigh, my husband and I chose to eat both Friday and Saturday at Nelson's. We loved the cozy atmosphere combined with the fine dining. Additionally, we loved the entertainmend and fireplace on the verranda. When we return to Raleigh, we will be certain to eat once again at Nelson's. Pros: service, atmosphere, and food more

When you're in the mood for a truly special dining experience head to Nelson's! 10/9/2006

A fun, upscale restaurant with aggressive, delicious flavors in the food. Impressive attention to detail in the meal presentation as well as in traditional formalities of service that some otherwise good restaurants often neglect. Service overall was top-notch. Impressive selection of oysters. Found a new favorite in Raleigh. more

Thank God for NELSONS 10/9/2006

I went to NELSONS last Thursday night for the first time since they opened and I was wowed by everything. There is an awesome new Fall menu that is reasonaby priced and has tons of great appetizers and main dishes. We didn't realize that there was going to be live entertainment that night but apparently the band Suiter Street plays every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night upstars in the open air loft and downstairs in the main bar. They pulled in a great professional, hip crowd that definitey beats the Glenwood South area. All the servers and management that we dealt with that night were warm and inviting which is hard to come by these days. We had such a great time that we are going to make this a standing girls' night every Thursday especially with the $4.00 martini special. Tuesday nights are 1/2 bottles of wine! FINALLY we have a place to go that is just like the old FOSTERS only upscale and more mature but not expensive. Thank goodness for NELSONS! Pros: Live Entertainment, Ambiance, Prices Cons: It is hard to get down from the Sky Line Loft after a fun night at NELSONS more
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Menu for Nelson's

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  • In Short
    This restaurant offers several dining experiences: an airy, sophisticated loggia beloved by businesspeople; a Rat Pack-era wine bar with large curved booths and live music; a...

  • 8/1/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Tue-Fri. 11am-2pm, 4:30pm-10:30pm Sat 4:30pm-10:30pm Bars open until 2:00am
  • Payments:

    Visa, American Express, Master Card
  • Neighborhoods: