Now Open, Opening This Month, Dessert for Breakfast, Dry January, Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget & More CLT Food News Now

Let’s do a quick check-in on your resolution to explore more of Charlotte’s culinary scene. Coming up short? We’re here to help. Here are the new openings, foodie events and menu updates you need to know about as we close out January.

NEW & NOTEWORTHY

Osteria LuCa – Open now

via Facebook

Now open in Park Road Shopping Center, this Italian-style eatery offers artisan pizza, housemate pasta, wood-fired meats, antipasti, seafood and an assortment of cocktails, beer and wine. Inside, expect plenty of natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows, a marble bar, communal tables and a pizza bar where guests can see the crew of Pizzaioli at work.

MOD Pizza Strawberry Hill – Open now

MOD Pizza’s newest location at Strawberry Hill offers artisan style pizzas with a build-your-own option with more than 30 toppings, salads and more. Open daily from 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. at 4914 Old Sardis Rd.

Stablehand CLT – Open now

From the owners of the former Good Bottle Co. and Hex Coffee comes Stablehand CLT, a neighborhood gathering spot serving natural wine, coffee from HEX Coffee Roasters, craft beer and a small food menu including toasts, porridge and elevated bar snacks.

Rhino Market & Deli South End – Open now

Rhino’s fourth location is now open inside South End’s RailYard development. Expect craft beer and wine, sandwiches, coffee and a deli menu.

Blue Fork (inside Catawba Brewing Co.) – Opening Jan. 17

via Facebook

Inside Catawba Brewing Co., Blue Fork will offer American fare infused with Catawba beer. Expect infusions with year-round, seasonal and small-batch beers.

Pio Chicken Blakeney – Open now

Following in the footsteps of popular locations in Dilworth and Ballantyne, Pio Chicken in Blakeney will offer authentic Peruvian, Colombian and Spanish dishes including rotisserie chicken, avocado salads, plantains, homemade soups and more. Find them at 9816-A Rea Road.

Brooks’ Sandwich House Re-opening Feb. 1

via Facebook

On February 1, Brooks Sandwich House will re-open in NoDa following the death of co-owner Scott Brooks. Upon re-opening, they will no longer be serving breakfast. They will be open February 1 from 10 am – 5 pm, which will be the restaurant’s new weekday hours.

Upstream Seafood Chef beats Bobby Flay on popular Food Network show

via Facebook

Upstream’s Executive Chef Sam Diminich came out victorious on the Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” with his Lobster Risotto. Enjoy Chef Diminich’s culinary creations at Upstream by making your reservation online.

FOODIE EVENTS

Wine Classes at Corkbuzz Charlotte

via Facebook

Expand your palate with an expert-led wine class at Corkbuzz Charlotte. Offerings this month include:

Spanish Wine Dinner – La Rioja Alta
January 21 | Foxcroft Wine Co-SouthPark | 7 p.m.

Claim your seat now for this wine dinner featuring Spanish wine from the La Rioja Alta region paired with a four-course meal. $75 per person.

Talk Bubbly to Me Wine Dinner
January 24 | Local Loaf NoDa | 6:30 p.m.

Pop the bubbly with this five-course, six wine dinner, where guests will explore sparkling wines from Champagne to Cava. View the full menu here. $75+.

Annual Free Oyster Roast
January 25 | Reid’s Fine Foods SouthPark | 4-6 p.m.

Don’t miss Reid’s SouthPark’s annual free oyster roast. Oysters will be served at 4 p.m. and will be available while supplies last.

Dessert for Breakfast
January 26 | Catawba Brewing Co. | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

via Love Desserts

Give in to your sweet tooth as local bakeries offer breakfast-inspired desserts, including maple bacon cupcakes, salted caramel latte cookies, cinnamon rolls, mini donuts and mimosas. Admission is free.

Hello, Sailor Guest Chef Dinner Series
January 28 | Hello, Sailor | 7 p.m.

The fifth installment of Hello, Sailor’s popular Guest Chef Dinner Series features James Beard Foundation semi-finalists Chef Ryan Prewitt and Chef Stephen Stryjewski. $120+.

Cocktail Dinner
January 29 | Dilworth Tasting Room | 6:30 p.m.

Sip and dine on four curated cocktails and three delectable courses at Dilworth Tasting Room at this intimate event. $75 per person.

Drink New Sh!t: Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget
January 30 | Fin & Fino | 6-8 p.m.

The third installment of Fin & Fino’s “Drink New Sh!t” features Sommelier Natalie Stewart, who will guide guests through a casual tasting of four sparkling wines that are pleasing to the palate and the wallet. Tastings will be paired with snacks by Chef Dom. $35 per person.

Angeline’s Winter Wine Dinner
January 31 | Angeline’s Charlotte | 7 p.m.

Break out of your mid-winter rut with a five-course dinner paired with five unique Italian wines. $125 (plus tax and gratuity).

High Tea at the McNinch House Restaurant
Feb. 1 and 22 | McNinch House Restaurant | 1-3 p.m.

High Tea at one of Charlotte’s most beloved historic homes returns February 1 and 22, where guests can enjoy tea and savories served with antique china. $65 per person, and reservations are highly suggested. Reservations can be made by calling 704.332.6159 or emailing [email protected].

QUEEN’S FEAST & MENU UPDATES TO KNOW

New items and daily specials at Fran’s Filling Station

Paella-inspired seafood pasta at Fran’s Filling Station

The Dilworth neighborhood favorite has recently introduced new dinner menu items, including:

  • P.E.I. Mussels with potato and chorizo chowder (photo attached) 
  • Stuffed Chicken Breast spinach & ricotta filled with lemon butter sauce & blistered tomatoes
  • Paella-inspired Seafood Pasta tomato-saffron-piquillo pepper sauce, shrimp & mussels, chorizo, peas & red bell peppers
  • Beef tenderloin medallions with mustard tarragon sauce, truffled fries & arugula salad
  • Potato Gnocchi with winter pesto and toasted walnuts  
  • Mediterranean Veggie Burger with house veggie burger, cucumber-yogurt sauce, tomato jam, & pickled carrots 
  • Thanksgiving Burger with homemade stuffing, sauteed veggies, cranberry mayo, and fried onion rings
  • Sweet & Spicy Flash Fried Brussels Sprouts with peanuts, citrus & cranberries

You also won’t want to miss out on their updated daily specials:

  • $3 local beers on draft every Monday
  • $10 flatbreads every Monday
  • Half-priced bottles of wine every Monday – Thursday
  • Prix Fixe Menu: $50 for 1 app, 2 entrées and a bottle of wine every Monday – Thursday

New daily specials at Corkbuzz Charlotte

Head to Corkbuzz for a weekday wind down. Updated weekly drink specials:

  • Monday: Half off wine bottles
  • Tuesday: Half off Somm’s Hidden Gems 
  • Wednesday: $10 Corkbuzz House Cocktails  
  • Saturday: 20% off 6 Bottles or more Retail Wine in Store  

Picks for Queen’s Feast 2020

Pan-Roasted Nantucket Scallops on Aria’s Restaurant Week menu

Aria Tuscan Grill: They’re rolling out their entire menu from which to choose; three courses for just $30..

Cicchetti: The new Venetian-style wine bar will offer both small plates and entrees, along with desserts, on its Queen’s Feast menu, with three dishes for $35. Normally a walk-in only establishment, Cicchetti is also taking reservations specifically for the Queen’s Feast dates of January 17-26.

Restaurant week at 5Church

5Church: Uptown, enjoy three courses for $35, with options including yellowfin tuna sushi tots, filet mignon and 60 South Salmon.

Restaurant week at 5Church

Fahrenheit: From the top view on the 21st floor, enjoy three courses for $35. Options include a sweet corn hushpuppy with caramelized onion aioli, calamari with fire-roasted tomato relish, soy-glazed salmon with wasabi mashed potatoes and apple streusel cheesecake.

Chicken with polenta di Nero from Dogwood Southern Table and Bar

Dogwood Southern Table and Bar: At Dogwood, expect some of the modern, Southern restaurant’s favorites, including crab hushpuppies; “Oysters Dogwood” with chorizo, chive, and shallots; lamb pappardelle; and chicken with polenta di nero, goat cheese, greens, shiitake, and pan jus.

Bar Marcel: Three courses for $35, with an optional $5 dessert add-on. Options include a Charcuterie Board, Tarte Flambee, Steak Au Poivre, Scottish Salmon and more.

Corkbuzz Charlotte: In addition to offering three courses for just $35, Corkbuzz will offer a $15 Queen’s Wine Flight featuring three select wines.

Fran’s Filling Station: Enjoy your choice of a starter, main plate and dessert at Fran’s for $35 plus tax and gratuity. Options include Asian-Style Crispy Calamari, Pork Scallopine and Coconut Cream Cheesecake.

DOING DRY JANUARY? CLT’S BEST MOCKTAILS

Fin & Fino

Mocktails and low ABV options at Fin & Fino

Fin & Fino is the best place for both cocktails AND mocktails. The bar at the “social seafood house” is arguably one of the best in Charlotte, led by Brittany “BK” Kellum. She and her team, “the clams,” put out some of the most fun and inventive drinks in the city, many with a tiki theme that will transport you to warmer weather and beautiful places. Featured cocktails for Dry January:

  • Passion fruit soda, passion fruit cordial, fresh lemon/orange, topped with Topo Chico
  • Coconut water, strawberry syrup, orgeat syrup, fresh lime, topped with soda

They are also featuring a number of Low ABV options:

  • Midori, Cocchi Americano, fresh lemon/lime, sparkling water, bubbles 
  • Lillet blanc, dry vermouth, cucumber-infused yellow chartreuse, lime oleo syrup, sprinkle pink salt, rhubarb bitters

Sophia’s Lounge

Sophia’s Lounge serves up a Dealers Choice non-alcoholic mocktail with seasonal flavors.

Aria Tuscan Grill 

Tick Tock mocktail at Aria Tuscan Grill

Aria keeps the craft beverages flowing at its dual bars with creative mocktails such as:

  • Ginger Swizzle – Ginger Beer, Muddled Fresh Mint + Lime
  • Tick Tock – House-Made Thyme Simple, Fresh Orange + Lemon Juice Club Soda
  •  Limone – Fresh Lemon Juice, House Made Rosemary Simple, Club Soda
Limone mocktail at Aria Tuscan Grill

SoCo Lounge

SoCo Lounge offers  crisp, refreshing Apple Cinnamon flavor with a slight bite. This mocktail can be enjoyed all Winter long, guilt-free.

Cicchetti

Sips remain peachy during Dry January at Venetian-style wine bar Cicchetti, where you can opt for non-alcoholic ginger beer in lieu of Prosecco in the extensive list of Bellini variations:

  • HARRY’S – white peach, mint ginger syrup, Prosecco
  • ROSSINI – strawberry, Prosecco
  • DA VINCI – lychee, Prosecco
  • CARAVAGGIO – lemon, Prosecco
  • BONAPARTE – black currant, Prosecco
  • RAPHAEL – pomegranate, Prosecco
  • DONATELLO – prickly pear, Prosecco
  • MARCO – purple fig, Prosecco
  • PUCCINI – tangerine, Prosecco
  • MICHELANGELO – Morello cherry, Prosecco
  • POLO – blood orange, Prosecco
  • DANTE – mango, Prosecco

Stoke Charlotte

The Flying Fizz cocktail at Stoke via The Plaid Penguin

Stoke crafted a mocktail menu for anyone participating in dry January, but also is having a little fun with gin cocktails for “Dry Ginuary.” 

Mocktails:

  • SPARKLING ROSEMARY LEMONADE: Blackberry syrup infused with dried lavender
  • BLACKBERRY-LAVENDER SODA: Blackberry syrup infused with dried lavender
  • POMEGRANATE SODA: Pomegranate molasses and juice with orange blossom


Dry Ginuary options:

  • GINTONIC SPANISH STYLE: Plymouth gin, Fever Tree tonic, meyer lemon, juniper
  • POMEGRANITE COLLINS: Beefeater London Dry gin, pomegranate, orange blossom, lemon
  • FLYING FIZZ (pic attached-purple drink): Butterfly-pea-tea infused Aviation gin, lemon,prosecco

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