This Month's Feature
604 West Morgan featuring Cinelli’s: Durham’s Best Kept Secret
604 West Morgan, located in a secluded corner of the West Village of downtown Durham, is certainly the city’s best kept culinary secret. After giving a stylish facelift to the space once inhabited by Tosca, this fresh new approach to Italian dining does not disappoint. And if great authentic Italian cuisine isn’t enough of an enticement, a casual trattoria takes the place of what had been a rarely-used private dining room. It now features a long-standing Durham favorite: Cinelli’s NY-style pizza.
Upon entering 604 West Morgan, it is immediately evident the claim of “casual chic” rings true, but there is much more warmth and charm to this converted tobacco warehouse than you may expect. The owners, Sean Shea and Gaitano Cinelli, greet customers like they are welcoming family, and are available every evening to ensure a flawless experience.
The rustic yet simply elegant bar area is suitable for dining, in case the white tablecloth fine dining experience feels excessive. If dining in the main room, you may wish to sip a pre-dinner cocktail in cushioned comfort at one of the many-pillowed bar tables, enjoying the new age techno, romantic glow, and one of the numerous Italian wines offered by the glass. As for the dining room, you can expect high ceilings, open ductwork, balls of light as “chandeliers”, and open room seating at comfortable tables.
There is also a private banquet room, which easily seats 50, if you have a special occasion to host. Patio seating is available, which is perfect for outdoor wining and dining in warmer months. All in all, 604 West Morgan can accommodate almost every mood and style. It is perfect for lunch, but better for dinner, when you wish to spend a couple leisurely hours enjoying good food, sipping wine, and talking with friends.
The robust menu at 604 West Morgan features antipasti, salads, pizza, pasta, as well as pork, veal, seafood and vegetarian entrees. Just this past week they have added traditional items, expanding with an indulgent array of Italian dishes to fully achieve a fine Italian dining experience. The experienced and passionate Chef Rob Sumber, originally from Long Island, uses first-rate ingredients for all his dishes, and you can tell a great deal of time and heart has been put into perfecting each dish on the menu. As you should expect, all pastas and sauces are made in-house, the cheeses are all local or brought in from Grande in Wisconsin, and freshness is always his priority.
For your meal, you can expect flawless presentation and intensely flavorful options. Your meal will start with a signature white bean and roasted garlic spread with fresh-baked rolls. Especially popular among the starters is the tender fried calamari, served with a fragrant, chunky, and spicy tomato sauce. Also encouraged is a pizza to share. The Grandma’s pizza boasts a homemade sauce, fresh mozzarella, a hint of garlic, basil, and a crisp but chewy crust. The Vesuvio pizza is a bolder choice, and one that many find addictive: smoked sea salt shrimp, roasted tomato, red onion, and tellagio cheese.
If greens are your preference, you will be delighted to see Arugula Salad on the menu. It is a rare find and really exquisite: tender and mild arugula, generously covered with a thin layer of fresh prosciutto di parma, and finished nicely with a slightly sweet balsamic fig reduction.
As for entrees, the Risotto of the Day is ideal as a delicate yet indulgent option. For meat lovers, the pan-roasted Veal Chop with herbed potatoes and sautéed spinach is a must-try. With just the right amount of spice, this chop is so tender and juicy it can be cut with a fork. The most popular entrée, however, is the creamy, flavorful and decadent Black Squid Ink Pasta. It is hard to go wrong with this ambrosial combination of scallops, crab meat, lobster and mussels over a slightly sweet pasta in a rich and perfectly balanced lobster cognac cream sauce.
If you manage to find room for dessert after dining on appetizers and entrees, you are in for a real treat. They offer a traditional Zeppole -- fried dough, marscapone and a hefty dose of powdered sugar – as a truly indulgent way to finish your meal. Equally as decadent are the coffee and chocolate Tartufe and the Marscapone cheesecake. Add a glass of Sambuca, Limoncello, or even grappa to complete the indulgence and commit to the full Italian dining experience.
Although it has only been open a short time, 604 West Morgan is quickly earning a reputation for its superior cuisine, and intimate yet luxurious atmosphere. Once the word is out, this fine addition to the downtown Durham restaurant scene is bound to be filled to capacity every night as area diners discover what they’ve been missing. It is a true hidden gem.
The definition of Durham dining is hard to describe because Durham Restaurants range so widely in nature. Probably the best word that comes to mind is eclectic. For downtown dining be sure to check out Mount Fuji, Tyler's Restaurant or Satisfaction Restaurant and Bar. But for a truly diverse experience head to the Ninth Street area. The term eclectic should be near restaurants in the dictionary when it comes to Ninth Street.
A few Durham food favorites here include Blue Corn Cafe, George's Garage, Vin Rouge and Magnolia Grille. A few blocks South restaurants in the fine dining category pop up...of these 604 West Morgan is the area's favorite. With beautiful exposed brick walls, high ceilings, a wonderful outdoor patio and an every changing menu this truly is one of the best of Durham restaurants. Further South restaurants near Southpoint Mall also offer a wonderful array of choices. Within the mall itself there are over a dozen places to eat including Rockfish Seafood Grill, Maggiano's, California Pizza and Firebirds just to name a few.
Durham Food 1/2 Off Deals
Want to sample a new establishment? ZSpotlight offers you that chance through our incredible deals section which features over one hundred and fifty 1/2 off dining certificates. For more info just click here: for Durham Deals or Raleigh Deals.
Durham Restaurant Listings
For more details on the Durham dining scene use the following list to find out more about your favorite eatery. From Ninth Street, to Main Street across to Southpoint Mall you'll find it all in the Durham dining pages of ZSpotlight. Or use our search engine above to select by cuisine or location.
American Tobacco Campus
Southpoint Mall area
Durham Restuarants (All)