Charlotte, NC is consistently ranked as one of the fastest-growing and best cities to live in the U.S. After a recent trip by HAP journalist Megan Shelton, she understands why — go for the great weather and opportunities, stay for the hospitality and ingenious culinary scene. She rounded up a few spots you must try on your next visit to the Queen City.
Jamie Brown and Jeff Tonidaniel – the esteemed restaurateur/spouse duo – converted a 69-year-old former church into a palatable experience, no matter your religion. The South-meets-London design concept is delightfully whimsical, and a 14-foot fire grill in the open concept kitchen – where the altar once stood – is highly symbolic of the praises you will be sending the chef. Take a seat on a pew and pray you’ll be able to finish every bite, from the Roasted Oysters with ember butter to the Prime Ribeye. Then, saunter to “The Bar” for imaginative cocktails and indulgent desserts, like the N2 Ice Cream Sundae.
No matter the occasion, La Belle Helene is the perfect Uptown dinner spot. The emerald leather banquettes and glimmering chandeliers give the illusion of dining in a French café – the perfect backdrop for noshing on “Foie Gras Torchon” and “Moules de Pel.” Round out the meal with a “Le Citron” for dessert, and a tequila reposado Espresso Martini (thank us later).
Chef Jim Noble traversed the South for 25 years before settling in Charlotte and opening Noble Smoke. This spacious, industrial-style restaurant pays homage to the pitmasters that came before him. The team partners with a number of innovative farmers who implement more sustainable farming systems for more delicious and better-for-you meats.
Charlotte needed a modern, elegant sushi spot, and the addition of O-Ku to the South End provides just that. Tables are in highest demand on Mondays and Wednesdays for Sushi Happy Hour, but their Lobster Temaki and staff-favorite Green Eggs & Hamachi Hako are enough to make reservations highly coveted any day of the week.
Still hungry? Check out our articles on “New Orleans’ Most Beautifully Designed Hotel Restaurants“ or “Where to Dine in Park City, Utah”.