By: Jess Moore
Welcome Charlotte’s newest addition to the Vietnamese culinary scene!
CO: / noun / feast (Vietnamese)
Owner Greg Bauer spent two years developing and executing the idea behind his 4th location here in Charlotte at Park Road Shopping Center, the current it girl in town. Charlotte’s fast-growing culinary community is exactly what inspired him to come to our city, to make his mark.
He spent years overseas in Asia, Japan & the Philippines where he fell in love with the type of cuisine that’s now offered in his restaurants. The contemporary pan-Asian menu features everything from pad thai to malaysian chili wings to pressed sushi. They also have vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Let’s talk pork belly buns
One unique creation different from all other restaurants in town are their pork belly buns. You might expect them to be steamed buns, but I can assure you they are not. As my best friend put it at their grand opening Monday night “pork belly on a donut”, and Greg laughs in agreement.
What’s that? It differs from traditional rolls by the use of maze gohan rice and is pressed into a wooden box mold. This technique is called Oshizushi. It is recommended to use your hands rather than chopsticks. The Salmon and Avocado with Lemon Aioli is like nothing you’ve tasted before. The punch of lemon peel blends harmoniously with the avocado and salmon.
Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp
Another craveable menu item! Ingredients: char siu pork, green papaya, shrimp, cabbage, jalapeno, peanuts, thai basil and nuoc cham dressing. Your taste buds will jump for joy after one bite, so fresh and light. Perfect for lunch.
Now, who wants a cocktail?!
Their cocktails are inspired by ingredients in the cuisine. Herbs like cilantro and thai basil, lemongrass and ginger, and jalapeno make up some of their signature drinks.
And what we’ve all been waiting for...
DESSERT! You have to be fairly confident in the decision to only have one item on the dessert menu, enter Crispy Cheesecake Wontons for the win! Sitting atop vanilla anglaise and chocolate sauce, the warm candied orange scented cheesecake bites are the perfect finisher to your well balanced meal.
If you’re ready for a trip around the world without having to leave the city, eat at CO. Open 7 days a week 11am - 10pm. Happy Travels!
Their patio is still in the works but will be ready for us when the warm weather returns!
Don’t forget to sign up for CO rewards. Earn 1 point for every dollar spent, double points on your birthday and when you purchase CO sauces.