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Jun 10, 2009 05:41 PM

Toddler-friendly dinner in Charlotte, near the Westin?

Okay. I don't know Charlotte at all. I'll be visiting there from Asheville this weekend and need somewhere for an early dinner Saturday night with three adults and one toddler. Any ideas? Would prefer not to eat at any of the major chains . . .

Thanks for any advice.


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  1. Do you have any price or cuisine preferences? Uptown Charlotte has a lot of restaurants, very few of which are chains. There is a nice, casual tex/mex place called Jolina's a few blocks from your hotel that has outdoor seating adjacent to a park, in which your toddler could run around. Ratcliffe's is on the other side of the same park, and is a bit more upscale. Its a french brasserie. (sp?) You might also do a search on here...there have been several recent threads about Uptown.

    4 Replies
    1. re: carolinadawg

      That's helpful--thank you.

      FWIW, price would be medium, vibe casual (would have to be, with this toddler!). Pretty flexible about cuisine.

      1. re: Alex Halsey

        I think Jolina's and Ratcliffe are your best bets, especially with the park right there. Plus they are close to your hotel. You can go online and check out their websites and menus.

        1. re: Alex Halsey

          I would avoid Ratcliffe's with a toddler. It's a very quiet, stark place and while it's very good, I don't think your child or you would be comfortable.

          Casual, good and non-chain would include:
          - Mert's Heart & Soul -
          -LaVecchia's (seafood, steaks, etc),
          -Pietown - a nice, comfortable place that does pizza well (not your typical pizza joint), James Beard winner Peter Reinhart is an owner and they focus on artisinal pizza w/ organic, local toppings, salads, pasta, etc.

          Enjoy yourself! :)

          1. re: lynnlato

            Mert's was the first place that came to mind for me. Good food, casual, reasonably priced.

      2. You could try Basil Thai. While not super close to your hotel, uptown is small and easy to navigate. I haven't been yet but sampled their food at Taste of the Nation earlier this year -- and it got a good review in the Observer.

        The address is 210 N. Church Street.

        1. There is Greek isles in South End, which would be a short light rail ride from the Westin.

          They have a big place with a really good Greek menu - order the flaming cheese and get an Ooopa! from the waiters. Kids love that - and it would be a fun train ride!

          Greek Isles
          200 E Bland St
          Charlotte, NC 28203
          (704) 444-9000

          2 Replies
          1. re: mcap

            mcap has a great idea. Another idea that would involve the lightrail is Mac's Speed Shop. It has bbq, brsket, green bean casserole, mac 'n' cheese, etc.

            1. re: ickymettle

              Thank you for all of your suggestions. We went to Jolina's for lunch. I would say it was just okay. We had spinach quesadillas, which were fine, and my husband had what he called the worst, most watered-down margarita he'd ever had. Oh well. But it served its purpose.

              For dinner we went to Ratcliffe's, where we had a wonderful meal with great wine and friendly, professional service. I would definitely return.

              Thanks again!