From anticipated openings to new menus and foodie events, the spring weather will bring fresh flavors to the Queen City. Experience all the season has to offer with our round-up of the latest must-know news.
OPENINGS AND CLOSINGS
The past few weeks have seen some restaurant closings. Owen’s Bagel and Deli closed its doors in South End on March 24. The beloved neighborhood go-to is looking forward to “bigger and better things” according to a post on Facebook and tells guests to stay tuned for an announcement on their new location. Hi Tide Poke & Raw Bar in Dilworth also shuttered its doors in March, as did Uptown’s Rock Bottom Brewery.
There are plenty of new spots open now and on the horizon, but we are sorry to see these mainstays go 🙁
Topside Bar at The Waterman – Open Now
South End’s oyster bar debuted their rooftop bar Topside just in time for warmer weather. Join them for Tiki Thursdays, which include Tiki-themed drink specials and live music each week.
Cabo Fish Taco Ballantyne – Open Now
Cabo Fish Taco’s second Charlotte location opened in Ballantyne in mid-March. Get your Taco Tuesday or margarita fix at 11611 N.Community House Rd.
NC Red – Opening Soon
The latest venture from Bruce Moffett and Moffett Restaurant Group, (Stagioni, Barrington’s, Good Food on Montford), promises a return to the chef’s Rhode Island roots with menu items that blend New England seafood with southern flavors. Find them soon at 1921 Commonwealth Ave.
Reid’s Fine Foods’ second Uptown location – Opening later this year
Reid’s Fine Foods will open its second Uptown location (find other locations in SouthPark and Myers Park) on the ground floor of the Museum Tower near Fin & Fino and Starbucks later this year.
Ninety’s Ice Cream takes its sweets on the road
Just in time for spring, Ninety’s is taking their creative treats on the road with a new food truck. Keep up with where they’ll pop up next by following along on Facebook.
Fort Mill’s CupCrazed Cakery finds new owner
Fort Mill’s CupCrazed, a winner of The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, has a new owner. Wendy Shanahan, who also owns Charlotte marketing and public relations firm Asterisk Creative, will lead the cakery’s next move.
Meet, Sip, and Chat with Hank McCrorie of Burly Wines
April 4 | Reid’s Fine Foods SouthPark | 5:30 p.m.
Sip on tastings of Burly Wines selections, meet Hank McCrorie of Burly Wines and enjoy paired cheeses at Reid’s Wine Room in SouthPark. $10 per person.
O-Ku’s Sakura Celebration
O-Ku Charlotte | 5 – 11 p.m.
O-Ku Charlotte’s Sakura Celebration offers guests a special treat from chef Michael and team. Past features include a 10-pound Scottish Salmon nigiri and sushi cakes. Make your reservation here.
Live On The Big Green Egg with Chef Tom Marlow
April 6 | Mimosa Grill | 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Mimosa Grill is firing up the Big Green Egg just in time for spring weather at their April Cooking Class. Enjoy a fun-filled cooking class complete with a four-course tasting menu and wine pairings from Orsini Wines. View the full menu here. $55 per person.
Pinot Noir Workshop: From West to East and From North to South
April 6 | Reid’s Fine Foods Myers Park | 12 – 2 p.m.
Matt LeBlanc, National Accounts for Foley Family Wines and special guest Matt Bindel, New Zealand Wine Ambassador for Foley Family Wines, will lead this Pinot Noir workshop and tasting of six wines and cheeses. $40 per person. Call the wine department at 704.377.7686 to reserve your spot.
CFT Dinner Series: Fair Share Farm
April 7 | Heirloom | 5:30 p.m.
Carolina Farm Trust will team up with Heirloom Restaurant to host a five-course dinner featuring featuring Fair Share Farm. Proceeds will help to offset the cost of digging a new irrigation well and will also be used along with a cost share from the trust’s water conservation district.
Brush up on your cooking skills with the help of a new cooking class series at 7th Street Public Market. Single tickets for each class are $45 each. Upcoming classes:
- April 8: Vegan Pizza Making
- April 15: Chinese Takeout
- April 22: Gnocchi & Sauce Making
- April 29: Sushi Rolling Class
Mama Needs Her Wine… Dinner
April 10 | Mama Ricotta’s | 6:30 p.m.
Reserve your seat now for Mama Ricotta’s four-course dinner with individual wine pairings prepared by Chef Paul Cruz, Chef Tom Dyrness and Pastry Chef Chandler Morris. The menu will feature fresh spring ingredients including ramps, asparagus, strawberries and morels to complement easy-drinking wines ideal for warmer temperatures. $65 per person.
Rose Wine Dinner
April 11 | WP Kitchen + Bar | 6:30 p.m.
Join WP Kitchen + Bar for a three-course wine dinner featuring spring’s favorite wine, rosé, paired with a seasonal menu from executive chef Stephen Schmitt. Tickets are $60 per person (tax and gratuity included). Here’s what’s on the menu:
- First Course: Seared Sea Scallop with togarashi, carrot, uni butter and crispy UGF trumpet mushrooms
- Second Course: Charcoal Roasted Beets with apple, radish and verjus
- Third Course: Wood Oven Roasted Quail with local asparagus, roasted potatoes, cherries and black garlic
- Dessert: Pistachio sponge cake, poached strawberries, rhubarb cream cheese, and strawberry gelato
The Queen and Glass Guest Chef Series
April 11 | The Queen & Glass | 7 p.m.
As part of The Queen and Glass’ guest chef dinner series, Chef Paul Verica from The Stanley will join mixologist Bob Peters for a five-course dinner paired with five cocktails. $100 per person.
Tate Wine Dinner
April 12 | Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse | 7 p.m.
Tate Cellars founder and winemaker, Suzanne Tate, will walk guests through a line-up of wine selections from Napa Valley as Executive Chef Wayne Mason serves a four-course meal. $175 per guest plus tax and gratuity.
April 13 | Mint Museum Randolph | 7 p.m.
This night of delicious sweets and savory bites, a silent auction and live music is all for a good cause. 80% of proceeds benefit Community Link’s mission to help individuals and families obtain and sustain safe an affordable housing. $100 per person.
Moo and Brew Fest 5
April 13 | AvidXchange Music Factory | 12:30 – 6 p.m.
Moo and Brew Fest is back with tastings from more than 50 local, regional and national breweries along with local restaurants vying for the title of “Moo & Brew Festival’s Best Burger.” The band line-up includes Everclear, Big Something, Junior Astronomers and DJ Overcash.
CLT Wine & Food Weekend 2019
April 24 – 27 | Various locations
This four-day celebration of the best in Charlotte wine and food features restaurant dinners, a grand tasting, wine seminars and the lucky 13 experience.
Proceeds benefit five local children’s charities; Charlotte Concerts, Pat’s Place, Mitchell’s Fund, The Relatives, and The Council for Children’s Rights.
Stop by Fran’s in Dilworth to enjoy their sunny patio (opening April 25) and weekly specials:
- Monday: Fran’s offers $3 local and regional draft beer and $10 flatbreads.
- Monday and Tuesday: Kids under 12 years old eat free in the taproom while space permits. 1 free kids entree w/ purchase of 1 adult entree.
- Monday – Thursday: Great for date night, girl’s night out, or just because, Fran’s Prix Fixe Menu includes an appetizer, two entrées and a bottle of wine for just $50.
- Wednesday and Thursday: Girls Night Out with 1/2 priced bottles of wine.
Chef Alex Piatt recently unveiled additions and updates to the restaurant’s menus for spring. On the menu:
- Antipasti: Veal Carpaccio with arugula, shaved Parmigiano, and tonnato sauce ($13); and Gem Lettuce Salad with endive, radicchio, pomegranate, Pecorino, and hazelnuts in walnut vinaigrette ($9).
- Hand-tossed, wood-fired pizzas: the Rocket with bresaola and goat cheese topped with fresh arugula salad ($13).
- Housemade pastas: Short Rib Agnolotti with roasted baby turnips, sautéed market greens, and sage butter ($18); and Mint Pappardelle with Lamb Bolognese, local Uno Alla Volta fresh ricotta, watermelon radish, and snipped salsa verde ($17).
- Entrées: Grilled Rack of Lamb with Sicilian caponata and aged balsamic drizzle ($36); and Wild-Caught NC Mahi-Mahi over Tuscan seafood stew with PEI Mussels, baby squid, and fregula ($25).
- Desserts: Chocolate Budino with espresso crema, candied hazelnuts, and sea salt ($7); and Cassata, an Uno Alla Volta Orange Ricotta Cake, served with Gnam Gnam basil gelato made in the Triad ($8).
- For lunch: Porchetta panini with slow-roasted pork, arugula, garlic aioli, and onion mostarda on local Nova’s Bakery ciabatta ($12).
SouthPark’s WP Kitchen + Bar welcomes the new season with fresh menu items:
- Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with crispy heirloom carrots, cured egg yolk, yuzu kosho aioli, and lavash.
- Spring Pea Agnolotti with roasted onions, spring peas, crispy chicken skin, and parmesan.
- Roasted Asparagus with cured egg yolk and Brussels sprout salsa verde.
- Grilled NC Trout with asparagus, farro, Brussel sprout salsa verde, and chive cream.
- BBQ Chicken Pizza with hoisin BBQ, chili marinated scallion, and cilantro.
Over in SouthPark, Reid’s welcomes spring with new menu items perfect for enjoying al fresco on their spacious patio. On the menu:
- Flatbreads and Salads: Mediterranean Flatbread with feta cream, wilted spinach, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted chicken, pesto; Spring Berry Salad with raspberries, blueberries, pickled red onions, roasted spiced almonds, strawberries, herbed goat cheese and poppy seed vinaigrette; Wedge BLT with heirloom tomatoes, pork belly lardons, Boston bibb lettuce, house-made croutons and creamy sun-dried tomato dressing; Roasted Golden Beet Salad with arugula, pomegranate seeds, shaved radishes, pickled chayote squash and lemon vinaigrette
- Small Plates: Big Bang Shrimp with crispy fried shrimp and sweet Thai chili aioli; Tuna Poke Lettuce Wraps with Boston bibb lettuce, cucumbers, shaved picked daikon, red peppers and cilantro lime mayo
- Sandwiches: Classic Lobster Roll Sandwich with lemon garlic aioli, fresh Maine lobster and chives;BLT with artisan brioche, pimento cheese, sweet bacon jam and Cajun dusted fried green tomatoes; Philly Cheesesteak with shaved ribeye, peppers, onions, and cheese sauce
- Entrees: Pretzel Crusted Chicken with honey mustard cream sauce, garlic cauliflower puree, fire-roasted broccolini and cherry tomatoes; Grilled Mahi Mahi with seasonal vegetable medley rice and honey bourbon butter; Blackened Salmon with Scottish salon, couscous salad and tzatziki sauce; New York Strip Steak with gorgonzola demi-glaze and fire roasted fingerling potatoes
- Sides: Hand Breaded Onion Rings panko breaded and crispy fried
Reid’s in Myers Park also rolled out fresh menu items. What to try:
- Flatbreads and Salads: Shrimp Alfredo Flatbread with roasted garlic, shrimp, roasted red peppers, mozzarella and white sauce; Classic Caesar with romaine, house croutons, classic dressing and parmesan crisp
- Small Plates: Tuna Tartar with Sashimi tuna, avocado mousse, marinated cucumber salad and crostini; Classic Lobster Roll with Maine lobster, garlic herb aioli, grilled artisan bun and house-made chips; Grilled Shrimp Tacos with marinated shrimp, corn salsa fresca, citrus slaw and house hot sauce
- Entrees: Seared Scallops with pesto zucchini noodles and roasted red pepper coulis; Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with avocado and corn salsa, citrus slaw and abodo cream; Chicken Milanese with pan fried chicken breast, spring arugula salad, lemon herb vinaigrette and shaved parmesan; Pan Seared Salmon with citrus cauliflower rice, roasted tri color carrots and a sweet bourbon glaze; NY Strip with 10 oz certified angus, crispy fingerlings, creamed spinach, grilled spring onions and chimichurri
Starting April 9, Upstream will host their Lobster and Sunsets dinner series featuring a three-course dinner and selected pairings for $35 per person. A taste of what to expect:
- Tega Hills Farm Fresh Salad: Baby Lettuces with Shaved Fennel, Watermelon Radish, Sourdough Croutons and Fresh Herb-Citrus Vinaigrette
- Steamed Lobster: 1.5lb Maine Lobster with Crushed Yukon Gold Potatoes, Corn on the Cob and Marinated Cherry Tomatoes
- Harmony Ridge Farms Lady Apple Cobbler: Served Warm with House-Made Crème Fraiche Ice Cream
Featured Drink Pairings:
- Brine Saison – $8 (Fonta Flora Brewery, Morganton, NC)
- Trebbiano D’Abbruzzo DOP – $13 (Tiberio, Abbruzzo, IT 2017)
- Limon Fresco- $14 (Yuzu Sake, Limoncello, Fresh Lemon, Thyme, Honey-Lemongrass Syrup)
For reservations please call 704.556.7730 or visit www.upstreamseafood.com.