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Sep 22, 2009 11:35 AM

Charlotte - Uptown Restaurant Week

Has anyone tried the prix fixes for the Uptown Restaurant Week yet? Through 9/27.

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  1. They're doing a bang up advertising blitz. I was totally unaware of it happening. The Queen's Feast earlier in the year was quite good.

    1. Looking at the menus at Sonoma in the Bank of America Building and Ember Grille in the Westin seemed like the best bet. Both were fantastic!

      Looks like Sonoma has lowered (?) their price point since the last time I was there. They ended up offering any appetizer, any entree, any side and any dessert for $30 instead of the standard $35. The Kobe beef sliders were like an adult Happy Meal. The beef carpaccio was great, but could of used a few more slices and/or a little fresh parmesan slices. The lamb loin was perfectly cooked, but looked a little lonely on the big white dish. Sauteed assorted mushrooms with a bit of truffle oil matched the lamb perfectly. Dessert rounded everything off with a very fresh pear tart.

      The next night, we went to Ember Grille in the Westin. I'm going to have to say this was one of my top dining experiences in Charlotte. We were about the only table in the restaurant except for a few solo diners from the hotel. You could tell the chef was really able to put his dedication into our meal. Bread service consisted of a glazed focaccia served with humus and roasted pepper sauce. Awesomeness #1. For an appetizer, I ordered a crab cake, expecting a nice mini crab cake. However, a thick half-pound burger sized crab cake was served over a grain mustard sauce with pickled onions. The crab cake consisted of NOTHING but JUMBO LUMP crab meat with no filler wrapped in a perfect crispy crust. Awesomeness #2. Again, I went with the spiced lamb chops. After the jumbo crab cake, could not complain about 2 perfectly done medium rare lamb chops over cherry couscous. The spices packed a nice punch that was evened out by the yogurt sauce. This was bone sucking good! Awesomeness #3. Finally, to end the night, I went with the apple tart & dulce de leche ice cream. The tart crust was crisp, light and airy like a Parisian croissant. The slight tartness of the apples went perfect with the sweet ice cream. The other dessert was a chocolate cake with grilled pineapples and vanilla ice cream. The chocolate cake was almost as light as a souffle, but had the consistency and taste of a brownie. The grilled pineapple chunks trapped in the sweet tart juices that exploded as soon as you bit into it. Awesomeness #4 & #5! It was truly an amazing meal. Parking at the hotel was also validated by the restaurant.

      3 Replies
      1. re: SkinnyChef

        Good lawd Ember Grille sounds awesome! I'm going to have to try that place out!

        1. re: SkinnyChef

          Regarding the chef at The Ember Grille at the Westin. You said that the chef was really able to put his dedication into your meal.
          Just to set the record straight and give credit where it is due The Chef put HER dedication into your meal The chef is a SHE, the very gifted Chef de Cuisine is Tessia Harman. I doubt she would mind if you would call her Chef Tess.

          1. re: SkinnyChef

            Ember Grille is one of the most surprising restaurants I've been to uptown. I expected it to be good albeit overpriced food, but nothing special. The chef is fantastic and creative. All the food I've tried there has been great. Be careful if you order cocktails however...the standard hotel 1000% markup is in full effect. No prices on the menu, so the first time I ate there I was a little more than shocked to see my neat Scotch was $25.

          2. Glad you all liked it. Last day is today, so get it while you can.