My first impression of Beasley’s Chicken and Honey is very good. I was a fan of Ashley Christensen at Vin and, of course, personally wish her the best with the opening of her newest restaurant, but I do have to admit being just a touch cynical about the amount of buzz that Beasley has received. I had to go and check it out personally.
Beasley’s has some similarities to Poole’s. The chalkboard menu is the most obvious. But Beasley’s is more open and brighter, and the modern decor makes it feel more like a bistro.
At 1 pm on Friday, there was very little activity around the Wake County Courthouse, but Beasley’s was packed. My only seating option was the bar. I ordered the white meat quarter chicken ($7.50) and a side of potato salad ($3.50).
The chicken was excellent. The skin was crunchy and savory and came with just enough honey, a touch of sweetness without being overpowering. The meat was tender and moist.
The “bad bacon + Yukon potato salad” was excellent. It was heavy on the potato, just right on the bacon and onion, and very light on the mayo.
I also tried the chocolate chess pie with cinnamon roasted banana. The cinnamon roasting was subtle. The chocolate was not. This was decadent chocolate pie.
The service was very good. (If I hadn’t known, I would not have guessed that they had just opened.) The bartender had a good bit of turf to cover, but he was friendly and attentive and appeared to keep up with everyone’s orders. The chicken came out of the kitchen very quickly, as did the pie later.
Beasley’s would be good for a heavier lunch during the week. I’d also be interested to try the chicken and waffles, which are available only at brunch and in the late hours. I can imagine Beasley’s would be a good place to go for a late night bite, as well.
When you’re downtown and in the mood for chicken, the choice begins and ends with Beasley’s.