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Mar 9, 2008 05:12 PM

Going to be in Uptown/Downtown Charlotte this week.. Where to eat?

Been a couple years since I have been in uptown charlotte. Usually when I am in the queen city I am around South Park.

I don't want to go to mortons, but give me some spots I should hit for lunch and dinner.

thank you!

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  1. I travel to Charlotte quite a bit on business. I seem to hit the same places again and again. Top of the list is Bonterra Restaurant & Wine Bar, 1829 Cleveland Ave
    Charlotte, NC 28203-4701 Phone: (704) 333-9463. It's in the Morton's price range (perhaps a bit cheaper) but so innovatiive, delicious and creative. Another plus is that the space is very cool, in a converted church. Google it and see what others have to say about it. You won't be disappointed!
    I've also heard good things about Aquavina 435 S Tryon St
    Charlotte, NC 28202 Phone: (704) 377-9911, but I haven't been. I'll check it out on my next visit there in a few weeks. Good luck in your search. Happy Eating!

    1 Reply
    1. re: janetdwms

      Do try Aquavina - the hush puppy dusted shrimp are increadable.

    2. google alexander michaels. it is one of my favorite out of the way dives. best fried pickles! if it is a pretty day walk there through the beautiful old homes around it. great for lunch or dinner, but it gets slammed right after work.

      1. I have lived in Charlotte for almost 2 years and have eaten everywhere, so here are my suggestions. You will have to google them because I don't have addresses handy:

        Expensive, but exquisite food in an incredible setting: Fig Tree on 7th St.
        Old school steak (homeade blue cheese dressing and texas toast) Beef and Bottle on South Blvd
        Very nice wine pairing with food: Bonterra on Cleveland Ave (I ate there tonite). Whatever you order there, get the braised leek spread.
        Good classic french with some italian and attentive service: Terra on Providence Rd. (Thierry Garconnet is the owner and will probably be there...ask for him)
        For really good, interesting bistro food, go to Lulu. Incredible.
        Authentic tapas -- Sole on S. Blvd.
        Upscale indian -- Copper, also on S. Blvd
        Great thai (not upscale): The Thai Place -- across from Copper. Get the curry with duck. I don't even like duck but it's awesome!
        Incredible local, seasonal ingredients: Radcliffe's on the Green, uptown on Tryon. It's in a converted florist shop.
        For a really great, upscale, sophisticated experience, Carpe Diem is probably my favorite place right now, on Elizabeth St.
        And last, for really good S. American with a seafood focus, LaTorre's, also uptown.

        For friendly neighborhood fair and an eclectic clientele, Dish on Thomas Street, The Penguin for burgers (around the corner from Dish)

        You can't go wrong with any of these places.


        4 Replies
        1. re: jtlindsay

          made a mistake -- sole and copper are on East blvd -- not south. And Lulu is on Central Ave.
          have fun

          1. re: jtlindsay

            The Thai place is called Thai Taste and it is amazing. I couldn't add a thing to your recommendations. I really enjoy Beef and Bottle. It's Elizabeth Avenue, btw.

          2. re: jtlindsay

            Thanks for all the feedback. I went to:

            Luce- very good
            Lavecchia's Seafood Grille- ok
            capital grill- typical steak house, good wine menu

            The real treat was going to mert's for lunch on saturday. I should have got the fried chicken, but passed. The cornbread was great, but the strawberry cake was amazing. Best I have ever had. It is amazing how many people in Charlotte don't know about Mert's

            1. re: like2run

              We had lunch at Mert's on Friday and Saturday and loved it. Hubby got the fried chicken on Saturday and ordered an extra piece after he was finished. I kept eyeballing the Strawberry cake as it looked fabulous. Where is Luce?

          3. Mert's Heart and Soul on College (right across from Hearst Tower) serves better traditional Southern food than anything one can get in the Triangle. I think the main reason is that all of their produce is actually from local farms, NOT FROM CANS, which immediately puts it ahead of every Southern place in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill.

            The recipes are fantastic, and the piping hot cornbread with honey butter that comes as a complimentary app. before the main course is TO DIE FOR and worth the visit in itself.


            The other place I once dined for a business lunch in Uptown was an Italian place called Luce (in the Hearst Tower Courtyard). Not the best Italian I've ever had, but the canneloni was quite, quite good.


            1. Probably get beaten up on here over this because it is a chain but..... Ri Ra has some pretty good food.

              The lamb stew is pretty good, and the Irish Boxty (basically an omelet type dish) was downright tasty. The traditional Irish fare is really good, with bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, etc..

              5 Replies
              1. re: mcap

                Might be a chain now, but it did start in Charlotte...
                " opened their first Ri Ra pub in Charlotte, NC in March 1997."


                1. re: mcap

                  I wouldn't call Ri-Ra a chain at all. My husband's family is Irish and we go there a lot after Mass. Their boxty is great, as is their fish and chips. All of their salads are beautiful. Their Irish breakfast is terrific. And I think their pints are the best in town (Guiness, obviously). Just might not be a good week to go with St. Patrick's coming up (parade on Saturday - not to mention the ACC tournament). Avoid it this weekend.

                  1. re: southernitalian

                    Hapy - I didn't know Ri Ra originated in Charlotte, just that there were more of them. That's pretty cool.

                    Sometimes with Irish bars you just can't tell whether they are original (or somewhat original since we aren't in Ireland), or simply ordered the "Irish Bar in a Kit" package...

                    1. re: mcap

                      Yeap...been hitting Ri Ra's since it the hard apple cider...and I remember when the women's us soccer team all were in town and partied down for a few pints...the video on Ri Ra's page 'about us' is pretty interesting..and that all the fixtures were shipped over from Ireland makes it a very neat spot.

                      1. re: Hapy

                        Hence the "Irish Pub in a Kit" concept. I still love the place but that's definitely what it is. We were there a lot when it first opened and were confused by how everyone that worked there was irish. Were they a family? Did every Irish person in Charlotte drop what they were doing to work there (this was a while ago - I know there are a lot of Irish people here in Charlotte now). So we asked one of the bartenders and he said the owners had run ads in papers in Ireland and then paid the kids to come over. That seemed really Epcot to me at the time and was a bit of a turn off. But it's mellowed with age and that particular bartender now owns a few "authentic" Irish pubs in Charlotte on his own now. But Ri-Ra still has the best pub grub of them all. And I love the live music on Sunday evenings.