Chapel Hill is lucky to have so many wonderful restaurants for being a small, college town. We decided to try one of these for our anniversary in August (since we knew we had another much anticipated celebratory meal coming up to celebrate 10 years together!). It is a nicely renovated building on Franklin Street near the Franklin Hotel. The room is simple and modern with exposed duct work, sleek wooden furniture and crisp white tablecloths. It was particularly quite when we arrived but filled up during the course of our meal.
It was a hot, southern summer evening so we opted for a white wine and tried the Cakebread Chardonnay, which was quite pleasant but not as buttery as their Reserve (which is one of my favorites!). The meal started with nice, yeasty homemade bread. We settled on an evening of seafood and started with the Crispy Rice Crusted Calamari which was served with Napa Slaw & Spicy Lemongrass Vinaigrette. The rice based batter was light and provided a nice crispy coating. An elegant take on the typical fried calamari. For our entree we decided to share the Flash Fried Whole NC B-Liner Snapper with Soba Noodle & Tomato Confit Salad, Ginger Soy Glazed Green Beans & Spicy Sambal Butter Sauce. It was a fantastic dish!! The presentation was quite dramatic as the whole fish is presented on a upright on a long, oval plate. The fish is a whole snapper which is par-cooked (I think) and then fried just to add a nice crisp crust. The fish is scored with diamonds so pieces can be easily taken off. The spicy sambal butter sauce was the key to this dish by providing the buttery-ness that is always a great accompaniment to fish but taking it to a higher level by spicing it with the chili based sambal. The soba noodles and green beans continued the ‘Asian’ theme and tying the dish together perfectly. Finally, for dessert we enjoyed the Milk Chocolate Ganache which was a perfect ending to the evening.
Overall, Cypress on the Hill is wonderful dining right here in Chapel Hill. The food was fantastic and the service was perfect! A great place to celebrate a special occasion.
Cypress on the Hill
308 West Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27516