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Carpe Diem Restaurant Restaurant Review: Diners can imagine themselves in any urban center --- Paris, New York or San Francisco --- in the lovely surroundings at Carpe Diem. The kitchen presents dishes with influences from around the globe, such as the Asian influence in the seared Szechuan tuna. The warm goat cheese with toasted hazelnut salad has been a favorite since the restaurant opened in 1989 (it was progressive at the time), still nicely dressed with apricot jalapeño vinaigrette. Main courses include the locally familiar buttermilk-fried chicken and also feature some local ingredients such as North Carolina Ashley Farms organic chicken. Vegetarians find more than just sides in the couscous with mushrooms, collard greens and black-eyed peas. Specials are often even more inventive and homemade desserts are not to be missed.