Raleigh native, Sean Fowler, returned home to open Mandolin, his debut restaurant. He returned to his boyhood stomping grounds on the corner of Fairview and Oberlin Road. He remembers bellying up to the old Johnson’s Pharmacy lunch counter and washing down a grilled cheese with an ice cold limeade, after a long afternoon of riding bikes. A quarter century later, Sean’s culinary journey has come full circle, landing him back at the very same location. Years after Johnson’s Pharmacy closed its doors, Sean’s love for the fresh Southern foods that filled his childhood home, led him to train in some of the country’s top restaurants. Most recently, Sean was a Chef at the AAA 5 Diamond, Fearrington House, in Pittsboro, NC.
Over the past fifteen years Sean has fine-tuned his cooking and his concept for Mandolin. Like the City of Oaks itself, Mandolin is Southern at its roots, but draws influences from around the world. The food is fresh and local, the music is American, and the restaurant is home to a family with a passion for serving world class food, wine, and spirits in a soulful, comforting atmosphere.
Mandolin uses the highest quality local ingredients to create seasonal menus that represent a fresh take on Southern food. We source our meats, poultry, seafood, produce, and specialty products from a bounty of North Carolina farmers, ranchers, and artisans whenever possible. We keep our cooking and our ambiance close to home. At Mandolin, seasonality, sustainability, and buying local are culinary and business philosophies based on our core values of preparing the best food, using the best ingredients, supporting our local economy, and conserving our natural resources.
Mandolin is located in the Hayes Barton neighborhood, just a stone’s throw from Five Points, on the corner of Oberlin and Fairview.
Mandolin’s devotion to using the freshest ingredients went a step further in 2013 when Chef Fowler and his team constructed and planted Mandolin Farm in North Raleigh! At Mandolin Farm, Fowler and staff plant rare ingredients and those they just can’t get enough of. Look for deep yellow yolks of fresh eggs from Fowler’s hens on Saturday and Sunday’s brunch menu. Greenhouse tomatoes appear in everything from panzanella salads in the summertime to roasted tomato tarts in wintertime. And there’s a long list of ingredients Fowler loves, like pimenton d'espelette, which provides the distinctive sweet pepper flavor in his house-made cocktail sauce for Mandolin's house-made cocktail sauce.
Here are some of the farmers, ranchers, fishermen, artisans, and local businesses with whom we work:
Prodigal Farm - Rougemont, NC
Goat Lady Dairy – Climax, NC
Wise Farm – Mt. Olive, NC
Kale, Spinach, Squash, Melons
Cane Creek Farm – Snow Camp, NC
The Little Herb House – Raleigh, NC
Herbs, Lettuce, Eggs
Chapel Hill Creamery – Chapel Hill, NC
Joyce Farms -Winston Salem, NC
Locals Seafood – Raleigh, NC
Salty Catch Seafood - Beaufort, NC
Lee’s Produce – Meadow, NC
Tomatoes, Eggplant, Peppers
Heritage Farms - Goldsboro, NC
Border Springs - Patrick Springs, VA
Fox Farm & Forage - Apex, NC
Inter-faith Food Shuttle Farm - Raleigh, NC
Boxcarr Handmade Cheese - Cedar Grove, NC
Ran Lew Dairy - Snow Camp, NC
Vietri - Hillsborough, NC
Crude Bitters - Raleigh, NC
Videri Chocolate Factory - Raleigh, NC
Pine State Coffee - Raleigh, NC