Monthly Archives: February 2014

Beyond the Triad: Tastes of Charlotte…get them here.

You probably know that one of our favorite places to visit and eat beyond the Triad is the Queen City. There are so many talented chefs and delicious restaurants in Charlotte. Remember my blog post about The Cow Fish?  That awesome place is not alone. Here’s a look at some places Mr. foodie and I have tasted that definitely deserve a visit:

Halcyon Restaurant - Flavors from the Earth

Halcyon Flavors From The Earth

Located inside Charlotte’s Mint Museum, Halcyon is modern and quiet with an open kitchen and wonderful, unique cuisine. Full of farm to table wonderfulness, yet very global.

I had a cocktail before dinner and one during…they were both pink, ha! The Pink Heel Splitter and  Mr. foodie got Some Pig with its bacon fat-washed Maker’s; orange bitters, maple syrup, kosher salt. Like a Manhattan but with some pig.

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One of the top suggested items for a starter was the Squash Blossoms. Stuffed tempura blossoms filled with ricotta…delicious. Mr. foodie ordered the Rabbit Saddle…AWESOME and I got the Scallop & Belly…like surf and turf but the turf is pork belly! Wonderful.  

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Nan and Byron’s

On another trip, we enjoyed Nan and Byron’s (it was a New Year’s Day brunch). I love the atmosphere of Nan and Byron’s. The space looks like a converted garage with cool decor. The vibe at brunch was casual and lively.

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Deviled eggs…love!!

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I got the meatloaf and eggs (left) and the Mr. got the Boston Brawler which was roasted pork, baked beans, eggs, and a side of your choice of meat (his choice was sausage). Nothing fancy here…just a tasty, simple brunch with great flavors. I’d like to go back to Nan and Byron’s for lunch or dinner. Definitely worth another visit.

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5 Church

Also suggested for brunch/lunch, Nan and Byron’s sister restaurant, located Uptown, 5 Church. I heard their dinner was fab but we went for daytime eats. I enjoyed a terrific Sunny Side pizza with prosciutto, mushroom and a dippy egg on top. Mr. ordered the highly touted lamb burger, which did not disappoint. It was huge and messy and oh so tasty.

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Bubble Champagne Lounge

One of the most recent additions to Uptown and what’s called The Epicentre is Bubble Champagne Lounge. It looks just as it sounds. Kind of Vegas-y, sexy with thumping, clubby music, but not too loud. Apparently Bubble gets clubby much later in the evening but Mr. and I just needed eats so we had to give it a try. Reviews have been mixed about Bubble but trust me, we had tremendous service and great small plates. Check it out…

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Smoked Salmon Carpaccio with Imported Scottish Smoked Salmon  red onions, and lemon aioli. You putthem on waffle cut potato crisps. Washed down with some champagne…perfect. I could eat and eat and eat…there is something about fries or chips with champagne…have you ever tried it??

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Calamari. Pretty simple, dusted and flash-fried with wasabi cream and some sriracha…

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Tuna Tartare with wonton crisps. Beautifully light with that delicate wasabi cream and sweet chili drizzle…again, so terrific accompanied by the bubbly.

I had to add a picture of my Mr. here so you can see him enjoying martini but also you get an idea of decor.

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Bubble is definitely a place for a special celebration but from the looks of the place, fun with friends or on a date.

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The Wooden Vine

This is absolutely our kind of place. A bit smaller, quiet, casual, rustic, local ingredients, delicious soul-soothing small plates, eclectic…need I go on? You can be dressy or you can be in jeans. We were dressy because it was Valentine’s Day. We passed on the Aphrodisiac Prix Fix menu because we don’t need it and ordered from the normal menu. We especially love small plates because you get to try a few tastes without killing your gut or wallet.

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By far our favorite was the Short and Corny. A braised short rib with this incredible cast iron corn casserole and bone marrow butter. Lick the skillet delicious. I swear I’m making it my mission to contact the chef to get the recipe for that corn casserole. It’s a humanitarian thing. Sticking with the bone marrow theme, we also ordered the Bone Marrow Ramen…I’ve never had ramen except the $1 bag variety. The fresh noodles were paired with rye whiskey and bone marrow broth, spicy pork dumplings, a 60-minute egg and veggies. A little splashy for me because I’m a klutz with noodles but marvelous.

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We also ordered the Belly-kopida…a spin on spanakopita with braised pork belly, roasted apples, brie all wrapped in phyllo and drizzled with truffle honey. Yes it tastes as good as it looks.

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Being Valentine’s Day, we allowed ourselves a splurge of something sweet and ordered the Turtle S’mores. A brownie with roasted marshmallow ice cream. Just give me the ice cream. I usually never say that, but that fluffy goodness was like eating the inside of a Three Musketeer’s bar.

Mr. foodie and I voted that The Wooden Vine has to be one of our favorite places in Charlotte so far.

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Bistro La Bon

Lastly, we hit you with a much-loved restaurant that you absolutely MUST try on a Sunday. Why Sunday? Because that’s when Bistro La Bon has their brunch smorgasbord. It is not like anything you’ve ever seen. Not because of size…it’s actually not overwhelming. It’s because of the deliciousness that presents itself on this buffet. You may find smoked sausage. You will find Swedish meatballs and the fixins. Grits…check. Salad…check. Pastries…check. Lox…you betcha. It’s a different kind of brunch and it’s so up my alley.  Our last time there, the owner/chef added biscuits and gravy and we strongly encourage it to be a regular buffet item…holy smokes were they good. But…but! Also included in this smorgasbord is made-to-order eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles and/or french toast…all brought to your table fresh and piping hot…not stale on a buffet for a half hour. The chocolate waffle at Bistro La Bon is dessert, I tell you. So rich and chocolatey topped with some cream. Food coma is waiting to happen. But it’s so worth it.

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Use the links provided at each restaurant mention for details about each delightful place. Of course, we can’t wait to go back and try more restaurants and report our findings. We do it for you, foodies! And we reserve the right to use a meal to re-visit some place great.

What are some of your favorite restaurants in Charlotte?