05/13/2005 3:25 AM

02/20/2006 11:54 AM

914 W. Main St., Durham; 680-8611

Web site: www.thefederal.net.

Cuisine: American, Contemporary.

Rating: 2 1/2 stars

Prices: $$

Atmosphere: bar, with a patio.

Service: erratic.

Recommended: charcuterie plate, carnitas, burger, grilled cheese sandwich, nightly specials.

Open: Lunch Monday-Friday, dinner nightly.

Reservations: accepted for parties of 12 or more.

Other: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover; full bar; kid-tolerant.

The N&O's critic dines anonymously; the newspaper pays for all meals. We rank restaurants in five categories:

4 stars: Extraordinary.

3 stars: Excellent.

2 stars: Good.

1 star: Fair.

Zero stars: Poor

For descriptions and reviews of more restaurants, use the searchable restaurant database at http://triangle.com/dining/.

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