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Jun 8, 2009 07:05 AM

Looking for good eats in Downtown Charlotte, NC

I will be in downtown Charlotte, NC - staying near the Bank Of America center. Can someone please recommend a great spot for dinner? I'll be flying solo, so a place where eating at the bar is OK, good food, wine....


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  1. There are lots of options in Uptown (as our downtown is referred to). Coco Osteria is a small italian place right behind the B of A Center with great food and a very welcoming staff. I ate at the bar there last Friday night. They have a decent, but not great wine list. Another good option would be Thai Basil, at the corner of Church and 5th Streets. Wonderful Thai food with a bar area that is comfortable for solo dining. I haven't been to Blue, but I have heard wonderful things about it. I think it would be a good choice if you're looking for something more upscale (especially if the company is paying! lol)

    4 Replies
    1. re: carolinadawg

      Have u eaten at Thai Basil? If so, details please. :)

      1. re: lynnlato

        Well, it was a few weeks ago, so I may be a bit short on details. I definitely remember thinking it was very enjoyable, and the food was delicious. My wife and I sat at a small table in the bar area, overlooking Church Street and the old cemetary (Settler's Park?) We shared some apps, no mains. I know we had the spring rolls, stuffed shrimp (which I thought was pretty unique dish...butterflied shrimp stuffed with minced chicken wrapped in an egg roll wrapper, then fried. I think it was served with a couple of dipping sauces. Very yummy. Also had a grilled steak app that had cilantro, mint, some sauce, a cabbage wedge...the steak was great and everything else made a nice salad. The space is very nice inside...sleek and soothing. We enjoyed it very much and will definitely be back.

        1. re: carolinadawg

          Great, thanks. As most of us know, uptown is a bit short on good dining options, considering the size of the town. All I've heard of this place is the review HS had in the Observer not too long ago.

          1. re: lynnlato

            There seem to be lots of high end options, but not enough mid-priced, everyday type places. We loved Arpa and were very disappointed when it closed. Press is a nice casual, moderately priced place, as is Jolina's.

    2. Blue is a good place for eating at the bar and it's right near your hotel.

      If you're looking for something more casual, Alexander Michael's has decent food and a nice atmosphere. It's tucked away in 4th Ward, which is a residential area downtown, probably still within walking distance of where you're staying.

      In the BofA building there is aplce called Sonoma, which is fairly good and would also be conducive to eating at the bar.

      If you walk over to the Charlotte Plaza (also known as the Darth Vader building, there is Bentley's on 27 on the 27th floor, where I've never been, but I hear it has a nice bar and is pretty good.

      Not far away is the Epicentre, where there is a restuarant called Mez, where I also haven't been yet, but I've heard some good things.

      Down 6th Street, bot far from the BofA Corporate center is LaVecchia's, a sefood restaurant that I loved several years ago, but haven't been to in a few years.

      Just down 5th Street, the is a place called LaTorre's that specilaizes in Latin American cuisine.

      I hope that helps.

      1. I would tack Zink on to there as well.

        Oh, Chima. CHIMA! CHIMA! If you have the stomach (both to handle the amount of food you'll take down, as well as the price tag [$42.95 if I am not mistaken]), Chima is an incredible Brazilian steak house. Awesome. Try a mojito.

        Chima Steakhouse
        139 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC

        Zink American Restaurant
        201 North Tryon, Charlotte, NC 28202

        1 Reply
        1. re: mikebmassey

          I have only been to Zinc once, but I was less than impressed. Their crab cake is simply awful. Everything else ranged from ok to pretty good, but it didn't leave me wanting to hurry back.

        2. One option that is absolutely not high-end but might be fun for a solo flyer is Nix Burgers and Brew.

          A burger joint obviously with a bar. It can be a little loud, but if you are looking for a good burger, cold beer, and a lively place this could be a good spot.

          I've only been twice, but enjoyed my burger there.

          201 N Tryon Street

          10 Replies
            1. re: lynnlato

              And if you're an early bird, 1/2 priced burgers M-F from 4pm to 6pm.

              I also like the burgers here! Note to the OP: You can only get burgers cooked medium well and up here but the meat and the fixins' at Nix are good quality so they still come out OK.

              Good rings and fries too.

              1. re: HungryGrayCat

                If by "up here" you mean Charlotte or NC, that's actually not the case. I know several places that do medium, and Lulu will do it however you want it (I've gotten it medium rare there). I can't speak for Nix, though, as I haven't been there, and maybe that's all you were referring to. Just want to be sure you know if you go anywhere else for burgers.

                1. re: ickymettle

                  HGC, is right but so are you, to a degree (pardon the pun). Places that do NOT ground their own meat must prepare the burgers to an internal temp. of 155 or more (basicly med. well to well).

                  My understanding is that if a place grinds their own meat, well then, they are free to cook it less. However, I could find nothing online that reiterates this - only the 155 degree rule ( - I looked it up, not b/c I'm a weirdo, but rather I've heard many folks discuss this. Having worked in the industry, we were always told med. well or well done was NC food service standard).

                  1. re: lynnlato

                    Ah hah! I wonder who actually beaks the rules and who actually grounds their own meat. I can tell you this though, Lulu will serve it to you mooing if you ask.

                    1. re: ickymettle

                      I'm pretty sure it has to be at least med well even if they grind their own. in fact on a recent charlotte talks the guest all confirmed that it must be med well.

                      in practice most places that grind their own will oblige

                      1. re: quazi

                        Those that grind their own, I think they may need to get written permission to serve it at a lower temp. The statute has some wording that appears to open a door - i'm sure its probably a nearly impossible task and so most restos probaby don't do it. My guess, anyway.

                        1. re: lynnlato

                          Watch your language! Haha.

                          I think Kathleen Purvis cleared up the misconception about the "grind your meat/serve it rare" controversy and it's illegal across the board. That said, I've also had medium rare burgers but if I tell you where, I'd have to kill you.

                          1. re: HungryGrayCat

                            Thank goodness I don't look like a health inspector. Maybe that's why I get away with being served medium-medium rare burgers.