Tag Archives: Charlotte

foodie b’eat: Competition Dining Dates Announced…Get Your Pre-Sale Tix!!

Greetings, foodies!

Here’s the latest from our friends at the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Competition with schedule details for all the cities plus a link to PRE-SALE tickets!  The chefs are building their teams and we should know soon who’s on the Dream Teams. There will be teams this year in Winston-Salem AND in Greensboro, along with Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte and Wilmington and the winners of those cities will go to the battle of champions in the fall. And guess what? Once again, this year, I’ll be in WS and GSO for all the action so be sure to follow along at @compdiningnc on Twitter for photos and descriptions as well as chatter!  Below is a photo of last year’s winners. Winston-Salem’s own, Chef Richard Miller, of Graze, was our local winner and  Chef Ryan Conklin (second to left) of Rex Healthcare was state champ (that’s right…a HOSPITAL chef won…but Chef Ryan is no ordinary hospital chef.) Tickets are on sale beginning in April for the Durham event. Be sure to check out their webpage for PRE-SALE tickets . Many events sell out, so you might want to get a jump on it before tickets go on sale for the masses.

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Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series Announces 2016 Schedule with Battles in Six North Carolina Cities

Interactive Chef Tournament Launches Dream Team Concept for the Ultimate Dining Experience

The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, a single-elimination tournament highlighting the best of the state’s food, agriculture and culinary talent, is back for 2016 with a total of eight tournaments across the state, each made up of four chef teams vying for the local title. The touring competition will have dual brackets in both Raleigh and Charlotte, and one tournament in each of Durham, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Wilmington. It all culminates in October with the Battle of Champions to name a statewide victor.

Applications for chefs interested in competing are currently being accepted for all locations. This year, the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is switching formats to allow chefs to create All-Star Dream Teams. The change allows chefs from different restaurants to partner together to create their three-person team, upping the potential caliber and creating a more fun and competitive atmosphere for all.

“We’re excited to introduce this new Dream Team concept that will further showcase the immense culinary talent and agriculture in North Carolina with the 2016 Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series,” said Jimmy Crippen, Competition Dining Series founder and host. “Our mission is to connect and celebrate with foodies across the state through this dynamic, entertaining culinary experience. We look forward to sharing unique chef collaborations with our diners to make for an unprecedented year of highly competitive events with innovative dishes like never before.”

Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series battles include two chef teams each preparing three courses centered on a featured ingredient that comes from a North Carolina farmer or artisan producer. Featured ingredients are revealed to the chefs the morning of the dinner event and must be used in every course. Ticketed guests get in on the action, savoring the full-service, six-course meals without knowing which chef prepared which plate. Alongside culinary and guest judges, diners rate each dish using an interactive app, ultimately determining who moves on to the next round and who goes home.

The 2016 Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series dinner battles will be held in:

Durham: April 18, 19 and 21
Winston-Salem: May 22, 23 and 25
Greensboro: June 20, 21 and 23
Raleigh (two brackets): July 11, 12, 14, 18, 19, 21 and a finale to name one Raleigh champion July 24
Charlotte (two brackets): Aug. 8, 9, 11, 22, 23, 25 and a finale to name one Charlotte champion Aug. 28
Wilmington: Sept. 19, 20 and 22

The six winners will move on to compete in the Battle of Champions at the end of the year. Since Raleigh and Charlotte teams must compete in an extra battle to win their local title, these chefs will receive a bye for the first round of the championship.

Tickets to attend an interactive dinner battle are $59 to $69 each and will officially go on sale for each series once that local bracket is announced. Discounted pre-sale tickets for all tournaments are available now for $10 less than standard pricing at http://www.competitiondining.com. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly, and people interested in attending are encouraged to signup for the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series e-newsletter for the most recent ticket updates and news.

All chefs are invited to apply to compete in any of the six tournaments. The application and a complete list of rules are available at www.competitiondining.com/compete.

The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is sponsored by the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Pate Dawson-Southern Foods,Certified Angus Beef®, and local and regional partners throughout the state. The goal of the series is to celebrate North Carolina products and agriculture, and to showcase the culinary ingenuity and talent across the state. For more information, visit http://www.competitiondining.com or get in on the conversation at www.facebook.com/competitiondining and @CompDiningNC on Twitter or Instagram.

foodie b’eat: Rooster’s A Noble Grille and a Noble Pursuit

jnobleA few years back when mr. foodie and I lived in Greensboro, our favorite restaurant was Chef Jimmy Noble’s Lo Spiedo de Noble. True farm to fork awesomeness. To this day the BEST dessert I ever had was there. It was a panna cotta with maple soaked figs. It sounded so weird to me at the time and we weren’t such adventurous eaters yet…but it was so amazing. So different…creamy, smoky, fruity, sweet. Perfect. Mr. foodie and I also spent a few bible studies after chef and his staff closed up for the night and it was nice getting to know him better. A love of locally owned restaurants was born.

Fast forward about 10 years later and here we are with triadfoodies. But not before Lo Spiedo is closed (property issues, not business issues) and chef takes much of his business to booming Charlotte. We still have Noble’s Grille in Winston-Salem, however.

I spoke with Chef Jim Noble a couple of weeks ago about some of the changes taking place at Noble’s and how it is transitioning to Rooster’s, his concept that’s so very successful in Charlotte. And how the restaurant business has been a catalyst to help him do so much more than feed the body.

Read it here. in  YES! Weekly.

Eat Local, Foodies!

triadfoodies named Top NC Bloggers to follow by FlipKey

Hey, foodies!

Long time no chat. Been busy traveling and eating while we travel. Stay tuned for some recaps which are way overdue and deserved.

I got a note today that triadfoodies was just named a top NC-based blog to follow by FlipKey by tripadvisor. Pretty cool since when we travel across NC and beyond, we love to let you know about the greatest local eats.

I’m in some great company in this list. Check it out!

We’ll talk soon!

Kristi

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?

Beyond the Triad: The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar-Southpark

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You know, sometimes you get to  visit a hip and happening place that simply lives up to the hype…don’t you just LOVE when that happens? There’s nothing worse than getting (or giving) a recommendation to a restaurant that has raves and then you get (or the recipient of the rec gets) less than stellar service or food. Happy to say that wasn’t the case at the super popular The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar in Charlotte.

My foodie friend, Ashli, told me The Cowfish was one of her favorite places to eat in Charlotte and a few of my blogger friends also recommended it. I can see why…I mean it’s like my two favorite concepts in one place…Sushi or Burger?…at The Cowfish, it’s YES, PLEASE! I’ve been following their growth the past few months after their appearance in Fire in the City so when an occasion to head to Charlotte for an evening of fun presented itself, we excitedly headed to South Park.

It’s definitely a busy place…no need for super passionate food bloggers to encourage folks to eat there. They are there. And for good reason. It’s inviting, invigorating and well…let’s go ahead and talk about food and service.

The menu is huge…you could get overwhelmed…but you have these Cowfish “experts” there that want to “present” the menu. Sarah, our server, shared with us the various sections of the menu, what they meant, what she liked, what was popular and then we were left with the still somewhat daunting task of deciding what to order. We got a cocktail each (me the 1/2 price Itsy Bitsy Tini-Weenie Fresh and Berry Great Martini and Mr. the Bacon Maple Manhattan). We were starving and ordered a fresh and tasty appetizer that hit the spot.

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The Blackened Ahi Tuna Nachos with 5 crispy wonton chips topped with our famous Crab Rangoon Dip, spring mix, housemade guacamole, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, sliced seared rare blackened Ahi tuna and microgreens. Awesome…so fresh, the crab rangoon dip was marvelous on top, given it a creamy contrast.

Next we decided on two items The Cowfish is known for…a sushi roll and something called Burgushi…which is a sushi roll using beef and burger ingredients in interesting ways. We were intrigued by “The Prime Time” Filet & Lobster Roll which features Filet Mignon, portabella mushrooms, asparagus inside, topped with lump crabcake, baked and drizzed with a spicy cream sauce. Heaven. I’m craving. Typing this is somewhat painful!

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Sometimes the iPhone just doesn’t do the beauty of a dish justice does it? Well we had a very dimly lit room which was fabulous and it’s better to not use the flash…but here it is with the flash 🙂
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The other roll we ordered was the Tropical Storm Roll, from the regular sushi menu. California roll topped with 3 layers of fresh sashimi (tuna, salmon and yellowtail), then topped with Japanese cream sauce, sweet brown sauce and sriracha. Each pieces is then covered with multi-colored tobiko (flying fish egg) for a fantastic presentation. Served with a side of wasabi yuzu dipping sauce.
That’s The Cowfish’s own descrip from the actual menu. I can’t mess with perfection. It was a terrific presentation and the flavors were bam!
What a great place to spend lunch or dinner. Really great service and food. Top-notch all they way. Locally-owned and they just opened a location in Raleigh. Now if I can just convince them not to let those cities have all the fun and drop a spot right here in the Triad….hmmmm….
For now, when you get Beyond the Triad, you definitely have a sure bet at The Cowfish.
The Cowfish–South Park Charlotte
4310 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC
704.365.1922
The Cowfish–North Hills Raleigh
North Hills- CAPTRUST Tower
4208 Six Forks Rd, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC
919.784.0400

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar on Urbanspoon