For the last three and a half years participants in the Encore/OLLI program have been enjoying the benefits of the Epicureans Special Interest Group. The group was established as a result of a discussion within the Membership and Marketing Committee about how to encourage members to enjoy socializing outside of the classroom setting. The idea came forward of having a lunch or dinner on a periodic basis to try out some of the area’s restaurants and I, Mike Rakouskas, a member of the committee volunteered to give a try at coordinating such an effort. Carol Cozzolino, also a member of the committee volunteered to assist.
Since May of 2011, about every other month or so, the Epicureans gather to sample some of the available fare in various restaurants in the Raleigh area. I remember the very first event that we held. It was an al fresco dinner at the Boylan Street Brewpub. It was a beautiful evening outside overlooking the downtown skyline. As we were dining a huge, bright full moon came out over Raleigh…it was absolutely gorgeous, and everyone had a great time. I knew then that we had the right recipe for Encore/OLLI members to enjoy being together.
Since that night we have enjoyed such restaurants as Caffe Luna, the Oakwood Café, 18 Seaboard, NoFo@the Pig, Spartacus, Tuscan Blu, Lucky 32, Mia Francesca, Peking Garden, Napper Tandy’s, Humble Pie, Posta Tuscan Grille, Mura Japanese Steakhouse, Hibernian Irish Pub, Taverna Agor, La Volta Italiano, Swad Indian Cuisine, and Shuckers Oyster Bar & Grill
Typically we have either a luncheon or dinner on a Monday or Tuesday. We’ve found that it is easier for restaurants to host us on those days without being too demanding about reservations and guarantees. We ask that the restaurant provide individual checks and not require a deposit. That makes it a bit easier on me as coordinator.
We look forward to trying more of the area’s restaurants and invite any OLLI member to join us. To be placed on the email listing for future announcements of Epicurean dining events contact me at email@example.com.