First Take: Hummingbird in Raleigh Keeps You Buzzing Along and Happy, All Day…
With the start of the new year, a spate and flurry of new restaurants have hit the Triangle of late. One that caught my eye was the new Hummingbird out in Raleigh! Brought to you by Chef Coleen Speaks from Posh Nosh Catering, Hummingbird sits neatly between bar and cafe offering up a range of breakfast items, sandwiches and small plates. I managed to stop in several times to check out the Hummingbird concept for drinks and eventually for some meals. And it’s a super interesting and different concept for the area, here’s why!
First things, first! If you’re looking for Hummingbird, it might take a keen eye. Head on over to Whitaker Mill Road, Dock 1053 and the Lynnwood Brewing Concern. There’s a huge parking lot in this facility but given the popularity of Lynnwood Brewing Concern, it fills up pretty quickly. This building used to be an old warehouse and industrial area so signage is pretty discrete. Hummingbird sits at the corner backed by its Whitaker & Atlantic event space, look for the wood-carved sign hanging overhead! There’s one set of stairs that sits conveniently at the corner, otherwise you’re in for a long walk! Inside Hummingbird, you’ll be greeted by a clean and modern space with sea-green tile, white marble-top bar and hummingbird stencil in the corner. It all feels modern and stylish, along with a hint of New Orleans given the chef’s professional experience (Emeril Lagasse – NOLA Restaurant). The bright stools covered in yellow leather just completes the scene at the bar, adding a saucy bit of color to the space!
To the side sits another lounge space with small 2-tops, green, leather bench seating and mushroom-shaped seats in tawny leather. The retro paintings dotting the walls give the room a feel of modern, hipster and silly. So choose your seating option, grab a seat at the bar or hang out in the side-lounge, my friend! Now on to the food. Hummingbird is open from 8am to 2p, 4pm to midnight, Monday to Saturday with a limited menu in the late hours. The menu skews across a variety of food styles and flavors, think eclectic diner eats and coffee! Oh, and the cocktails? Yeah, that’s a special category of adult beverages for Hummingbird. The bartenders have some talent here so don’t miss out! So you can stop by any time of day and grab something to eat, here. And the coffee will probably counter-balance the cocktails in the end…
On the breakfast side, they’ve got a short list of items and I was able to try the ricotta fritters and sticky butterscotch bun. The ricotta fritters are super-light fried dough speckled with sugar crystals and served with a light cream and jam, delicious! And the sticky butterscotch bun?! Ah-mazing! Take a soft, rolled bun and douse it with the thick, buttery sweetness and top with walnuts. In all honesty, either of these pastries works well as a dessert and happy ending for a meal.
Lunch service has just started at Hummingbird and they offer a selection of sandwiches. A big thumbs-up for the reuben stuffed with pastrami and kimchi served on rye bread. And the muffaletta is a great example of a classic Nawlins sandwich! Salami, ham, cheese, olive tapenade between a fluffy, seeded bread. Very similar to what I’ve had down in New Orleans, a great cold sandwich!
For my dinner visit I enjoyed the Hummingbird Fizz, a light cocktail mixed with hibiscus tea vodka and Peychaud’s, light on the tongue but with a bit of a kick! The dinner menu at Hummingbird is pretty interesting, featuring an eclectic variety of small plates (char-broiled oysters, fried rice, lamb meatballs and more). Enjoyed the charred cauliflower with green goddess sauce along with a wonderful buttermilk fried quail! Great crusty coating and served with tangy pickle slices and spicy Korean aioli. A fun play on Korean fried chicken from my perspective!
Service at Hummingbird is excellent, they’ve got a seasoned front of the house here. And certainly the bartenders are top-notch for their mixology skills so don’t miss the cocktails! Overall I’m pretty impressed with Hummingbird and Chef Coleen, she’s got an interesting spin on a New Orleans eatery that morphs depending on what time it is.
In the mornings, it’s a spot to grab a coffee and sticky bun. In the afternoon, a satisfying sammich and drink. And in the evening, a cool spot for cocktails and small plates, it just depends on your mood but Hummingbird will keep you fueled up, day or night. And the food is off to an excellent start, I suspect Chef Coleen will be playing around with and expanding the menu over time. So thanks so much for bringing this cool culinary concept to the Wake Forest Road corridor. There’s already a regular following from Raleighites at Hummingbird so looks like the secret is out, enjoy!
1053 E Whitaker Mill Road, Suite 111
Raleigh, NC 27604
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