By: Jess Moore @finickylady
Try New Fare with Charlotte's Queen's Feast!
It’s that time again to make a reservation at some of the top restaurants around Charlotte that you’ve just been dying to try!
Queen’s Feast is from January 22nd through the 31st. All restaurants will offer a 3-course dinner for $30 or $35 per person (not including tax and gratuity). Reservations are recommended and some use Open Table.
If you’re anything like me, you like when Queen’s Feast comes around because it gives you a chance to test out a restaurant and see what they’re all about before you actually commit to a full priced menu. With over 130 of the best restaurants in Charlotte on the list, you’re bound to find at least 1, or 10, places you want to try.
My Top 10 Dream Dinners
Night 1: Corkbuzz Restaurant & Wine Bar, $35
They focus on having a wine inspired environment to bring people together. Queen’s Feast is the perfect pairing to compliment their name. Course options like Smoked Trout Dip served with Salt and Vinegar Chips, Roasted Chicken with Spicy Prosciutto Grits, Shrimp Orecchiette or Mushroom Gnocchi are bound to make your mouth water. They have 3 fun dessert choices. Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich, Ricotta Doughnuts or Apple Cobbler with a Sugar Biscuit Crumble and Cinnamon Ice Cream. This is by far my #1 choice.
Night 2: Lumiere French Kitchen, Eastover, $35
Nestled in a shopping center off Providence Road, you might drive by it every day without noticing. They have five items to choose from in both first and second courses. Options like Butter Poached Maine Lobster, Caramelized Veal Sweetbreads, Modern Duck L ’Orange, and Dry-Aged Prime Grass-Fed Beef Duo. With 4 desserts, my choice would be the Classic Parisian Napoleon. The perfect finishing touch!
Night 3: The Mandrake, Uptown, $35
A popular hot spot at the moment in uptown, their menu looks just as hot! Choices include items like NC Pork Belly Crostini, Crispy Sea Bass, Chicken & Truffle Pot Pie, Lime Pork Tips and then to finish with 3 dessert choices. Lemon-basil panna cotta, White Chocolate Mousse or Buttermilk Pie. What, buttermilk pie?! If this don’t appeal to you, maybe follow them on Facebook for their next Naked Sushi Night!
Night 4: Chillfire Bar & Grill, Lake Norman, $35
A few minutes from Birkdale Village this is number one cool spot to be seen. With an extensive list of options to choose from like Lobster Bisque, Petite Filet Mignon, Creole Seared NC Trout, Sage and Sausage Stuffed Breast of Chicken. Of the 3 desserts, think I’d go with the Double Chocolate Fudge Pie! I’ve only heard amazing reviews from friends and family, now is the time to go!
Night 5: Fahrenheit, Uptown, $35
The absolute best view of uptown Charlotte! Their food is just as interesting and classy as the Charlotte Skyline. Course options include items like Wood-Grilled Avocado with Thai Sweet Soy Lime, Tempura Clams, NY Strip Steak with crispy Brussels Sprouts, Glazed Salmon with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes and Short Ribs with an Apple Syrup. For dessert, Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Ganache & Cloister Honey Whipped Cream or Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Spiced Blueberry Compote. Think I’ll go just for the desserts!
Night 6: Heirloom, Mountain Island Lake, $30
Just a short distance away from Uptown lies this “locally sourced, globally inspired” restaurant. A simple but complex menu with items like Leaf-Smoked Beef Carpaccio, NC Barrel Fish Brandade with NC Littleneck Clams and Violet Jasper Tomatoes, Heritage Farm Pork Shank with Steel Cut Oat Risotto. Paired with two dessert options, I’m digging “The Chef’s Farmer” Grey Watermelon Gelee with Ginger Yogurt and Sunflower Shoots. Your palate has likely never tasted anything like these unique blends, trust me.
Night 7: Carpe Diem, Elizabeth, $35
There’s a lot happening on Elizabeth Ave but if you’re looking for a classy, bold and comfortable atmosphere, their plates will equally impress you. Starting out with 3 salad choices or soup of the day, then with entrees such as their famous Buttermilk Fried Chicken Breast, Heritage Farms Pork Tenderloin. Ending with 4 dessert choices. Chocolate Cake, French Toast Bread Pudding, Coconut and Pineapple Creme Brulee or a Peanut Butter and Jelly Ganache. I’ve got my eye on the French Toast Bread Pudding! French toast all day everyday...
Night 8: The Flipside Café, Fort Mill, $30
A few miles South down I-77 off the Carowinds exit is this awesome little gem. This is my absolute favorite spot for lunch. I hear their dinner is even better! Offering mouthwatering items such as Asparagus and Crab Fondue, Sage Crusted Pork Loin, Wagyu Flank Steak. Dessert sounds just as delicious. Doughnut French Toast or Butterscotch Cheesecake. Not sure if you had me at Doughnut or French Toast? Did I say I liked French Toast yet?
Night 9: BAKU, SouthPark, $35
In the heart of SouthPark right off Sharon Road, it's very easy to spot. I’ve dined here once and was impressed beyond words. The word exquisite comes to mind. You can’t go wrong with roasted Brussels sprouts, ever, but you have a couple other first course options. Second and third courses include items like Roasted Hamachi Maki with a Korean Chile Sauce, Chef’s Selection of Petite Nigiri, USDA Prime Filet with a Black Sesame Pepper Sauce or Robata Grilled Atlantic salmon with Sweet Teriyaki Glaze. Finishing with a choice of 3 desserts for an additional $5. Orange Ginger Crème Brulee, Yuzu Tart with Jasmine Meringue or Chef’s Assortment of Sorbets. I love to eat ice cream, sorbet and gelato in the winter. That’s normal right?
Night 10: The Capital Grille, Uptown, $35
And finally. Whether you’re from Charlotte or a transplant, everyone should have a dinner at this classic staple in the Charlotte Uptown restaurant scene. Classically prepared steak and seafood options like Bone-In Dry Aged NY Strip, Seared Citrus Glazed Salmon or Porcini-Rubbed Sliced Tenderloin. Then to complete the meal with 2 dessert options, Classic Crème Brulee or Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake. I promise that you will be leave completely satisfied with any choice made here.
Until next time Queen’s Feast rolls around, happy eating!