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New Restuarant in Charlotte: Solera

My wife and I just returned from Solera, a restaurant on N.Caswell Street, in Charlotte. Wow!! It was absolutely fabulous. It is billed as Mediterranean Cuisine. I can't recommend it highly enough. It opened Thusrsday, just 3 days ago. I had an avocado/manchego cheese, tomatoes/field green salad with lemon vinagrette---yummmmmm! My wife had the fresh mellon with rasberry sorbet. She gave me the tiniest sample of the sorbet, which was really good, and the melon didn't get close to my side of the table. For the main course we had the best paella I have ever had. Wow, the chorizo in it was really something!! Tony suggested the wine, a Spanish Red that was excellent and a good value. For dessert we shared a warm date cake with caramel sauce -- sinful! Then an after dinner wine and a couple glasses of "43". Best meal I've had in a long time! I think it is in the old Ethans of Elizabeth location 366 N. Caswell St.

Chowhounds, you must try it. Ask for the owner Oscar and tell him Art and Suzanne sent you. You won't be sorry. What a treat!!

Kathleen, you must try this and report your thoughts!

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  1. Artlee, thanks for the heads up. I couldn't find a website for them yet. Can you give us a general idea of the entree price ranges?

    2 Replies
    1. re: concordcourtney

      Here you go:

      Appetizers range from $6.95 for the melon my wife had to $14.50 for the house antipasto which has serrano ham, manchego cheese, figs, olives, chorizo, and peppers.

      Salads range from $10.50 for the alvocado/cheese/tomatoes/greens that I had and loved, to $7.95 for the house salad.

      Pasta ranges from $14.50 for a basic pasta to $19.50 for a lobster ravioli in cognac shrimp sauce.

      Meat $17.50 for chicken to $28.95 for filet mignon.

      Seafood from $17.50 for salmon to $49.95 for the paella we had and split. It could have easily filled 3/4 people so figure that in.

      We had a bottle of a Spanish Red that was quite good for $55.

      Hope this gives you an idea.

      Glad to see someone from the Concord area doesn't mind driving into the city for a good meal. Most of the folks I work with think it is a million miles away, lol. It is our entertainment, so we don't mind. Please pass along any good suggestions you have. We love to try new places.

      1. re: artlee

        Wow, thanks for such a detailed reply. I appreciate your taking the time. Sounds reasonable if the food is as good as you say. :) I'll put Solera on the list.

        And yes, we definitely travel to the city quite often. We even eat out with a group of folks sometimes that includes people from Salisbury! Foodies gots to go where the food is. :) Our two most recent sojourns were to Carpe Diem and Nolen Kitchen, both of which I loved and would heartily recommend. I'm told next week the group is planning on a Vietnamese place, but the name escapes me at the moment.

    2. Thanks for the review. They are only a few blocks away from me. I'll have to give them a try.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Jibe

        Had you been to Ethans (I think that is what was there)? If so, I'd be curious what you think of the makeover. We had never been to the building before so don't know what it looked like before. Hope you like it.

        1. re: artlee

          Never did get to Ethans, so I can't say.
          BTW, if you haven't tried it yet, The Fig Tree is a few blocks away from Solera. Great place also.


          1. re: Jibe

            Thanks Jibe. We did try it and liked it. The service was great and they had some unsual things on the menu. We talked about the differences of the "look" while at dinner at Solera. It hink it boiled down to thinking that the Fig Tree looked like a home, and Solera looked like a home that had been turned into a restaurant. Don't know if that makes sense or not. We liked the freshness of Solera, bright walls, nice bar area, great windows overlooking the street -- more open than TFT. Both are very good though. Any other good tips??

            I know it's a whole nother kind of deal, but how is Penguin?

      2. A return visit this week found more great food. We love this restaurant!

        1. Artlee, do you happen to know if the owners of this Solera also maybe own one in Minneapolis? I lived there shortly a few years ago, and Solera was one of my FAVORITE restaurants. The food you described sounds very similar (they specialize in tapas with many of the ingredients you mentioned) I'm wondering if it may have come up in conversation while you were there. I haven't been able to find any more info. on this restaurant since it's so new. Any thoughts would be helpful, thanks!

          1 Reply
          1. re: sunidazi76

            suni, I doubt it. He has mentioned living in Connecticut, but never heard anything about Minneapolis. Actually, I'm going there tomorrow night and will ask him, if my old mind remembers.

          2. I will be in Charlotte July 26-29. Can you give me the phone number for Solera. It is so new I cannot find it on Google.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fowen121

              704-375-2636. I hope you enjoy it.

            2. Well, we finally got around to trying Solera this past weekend. Thanks to artlee for the original recommendation.

              It was a spur of the moment kind of thing and I called around 4:00 Saturday to get reservations for that evening. Turns out we wouldn't have needed them. There were only two other tables filled when we arrived around 6:35 (still kinda early I know). Despite the lack of company, however, we had a really nice meal.

              Starting out, we had the marinated pork and white bean app and a salad of chorizo, melon, and artichokes. The former was very tasty, but almost entree size in itself. The latter was very unusual (and the cantaloupe a little out of place for the season), but really surprisingly delicious. I'd order it again in a second and I'd like to get my hands on some of that chorizo for home.

              The list of entrees was short, but I think this just allows them to concentrate on things that they can do really well, as was the case with both of our main courses. My husband had the lamb shank which was delicious and falling off the bone. I had the lobster ravioli (not terribly Mediterranean I know), which was also delicious. I wish it had come with a little more of the tasty cream sauce. Both servings were more than generous and fairly priced.

              Dessert, as often happens in restaurants with great savory dishes, paled somewhat. The chocolate lava cake and vanilla cheesecake were both acceptable but not amazing.

              All in all it was a good, satisfying meal and I would return again sometime. My biggest gripe is that many of the dishes were not seasonal. Summery ingredients were in several of the dishes. One of the desserts on the menu was Berries and Cream. As much as I love any kind of berry, I just could not bring myself to order them in November. Still, I would like to see this place full and lively on a Saturday night and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to those looking for upscale Mediterranean.

              2 Replies
              1. re: concordcourtney

                I do hope they make it. I live in the neighborhood, and have passed it many times on a Fri/Sat night, when most restaurants are full, only to see one or two cars out front.

                1. re: concordcourtney

                  Courtney, glad you liked it. Next time if they have it try the date nut pudding cake. We really, really like it.

                  I find that all restaurants have been slow recently. I think the economy is taking it's tole. It has to be so hard for a fledgling restaurant to get going in these times.

                  1. re: littlegirltree

                    That's too bad. I only went there once, but it was obvious they loved what they were doing and I hate to not see that pan out.

                    1. re: concordcourtney

                      Very sad. Very good food and wonderful people. These are tough times for independents unless they have very deep pockets. I wish them the best.

                      1. re: artlee

                        Another restaurant is going into this space, so we should keep our fingers crossed that this next incarnation offers good food,good prices,good atmosphere,and success for the owners. I drive by regularly,but I forget what the "theme" is going to be.