Raleigh native, Sean Fowler, returned home to open Mandolin, his debut restaurant. In fact, he has 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 ten 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. They source their meats, poultry, seafood, produce, and specialty products from a bounty of North Carolina farmers, ranchers, and artisans whenever possible. They keep our cooking and their ambiance close to home. At Mandolin, seasonality, sustainability, and buying local are culinary and business philosophies based on their core values of preparing the best food, using the best ingredients, supporting their local economy, and conserving their 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.