Ballantyne Area in Charlotte
Hi all. I am taking a business associate out for dinner next Tuesday. I'm looking for a mid-priced place near the Ballantyne Hotel. Any type of food except sushi is good. Thanks in advance!
There is a relatively new place called Vine American Kitchen that opened and has a versatile menu (great salads, steak, seafood, chicken, pasta), nice wine list and comfortable atmosphere. Perfect for what you have described. http://vinekitchen.com/
Global is an owner/operator restaurant, worldly menu, French chef but it's small and kind of intimate. http://www.global-restaurant.com/
Ballantyne Hotel has a good restaurant - The Gallery Restaurant. I've heard good things, but have never dined there. It may be a little pricey though. http://www.gallery-restaurant.com/
Blackthorne Restaurant & Bar used to be pretty good but ever since Chef Mark Hibbs left I have heard that the food quality has suffered. I haven't been in a long while. http://blackthornerestaurant.com/
I think Vine American Kitchen is probably your best bet. It's very similiar to 131 Main in menu & decor (I think one of the partners in the concept was the exec. chef at 131 Main). Speaking of, there is a 131 Main in Blakeney that I frequent often that I love. Cedar planked baked salmon, steaks, crab cakes, pasta, etc. and their sides and salads are really good. I'm a huge fan of their kale salad side, quinoa salad, braised red cabbage w/ goat cheese, etc... and it's not too far at all from The Ballantyne Hotel. http://www.131-main.com/
Thanks, Lynnlato. Vine loks good. I've eaten at 131 Main many times (and love it too) so I'd rather try something different. What about "ethnic" food around there? I really don't know the area at all! Any good Thai, Mexican, Vietnamese, or other?
Ballantyne is not known for anything ethnic at all :). There is a new Thai place called Bahn Thai that I enjoyed but it is very casual. You could head north to 51 and find a few worldly restaurants but again all casual.
As usual Lynnlato gave good suggestions. Global and Gallery are the two best restaurants in Ballantyne in my opinion but both very expensive. Vine seems like a good fit, close by and mid-priced.
If you want Mexican there is Cantina 1511 at Stonecrest, a short drive down Ballantyne Commons.
I almost forgot, there is a modern Indian restaurant at Ballantyne Village called "Blue Taj". Its pretty swanky. The food is good just a bit toned down for my taste.
Oh yea, Blue Taj! I've heard good things about it, but I haven't been.
Miro is a nice Spanish restaurant in the Stonecrest shopping center @ the Corner of Ballantyne Commons Parkway & Rea Rd., which is about 4 miles from the hotel. It's been a staple in Stonecrest for years. http://www.mirospanishgrille.com/
This probably isn't the best suggestion for your needs but I thought I'd post it here since we're talking about the area.
Tsuki Japanese Steakhouse is now open in the shopping center with Earth Fare (Toringdon maybe?). It is much nicer than I expected, very tasteful modern design for the interior. They have a separate teppanyaki room for knife-twirly dinners but we sat in a booth. They have a large but unfortunately empty bar - they expect to have a liquor license soon. The food prices are definitely high but it appears to be high quality and not overly greasy and their house made teriyaki is thin and light, not thick and sticky sweet. The menu lists a good amount of the expected appetizers like Age-Dashi Tofu and Beef Tataki. They have a very large selection of sushi but I did not try any this time. There were just a couple of noodle dishes that I saw. And various entrees. Overall I think its probably going to be a good addition to Ballantyne. It fills a niche and in my opinion is much better than the previous Japanese restaurant here.
QCmama- I'm way on the other side of town but make special trips to the Ballantyne area for Zatouni - it's Lebanese. It's not fancy but the food and the service is always great. It's in the same shopping center as Earthfare. Also, Bangkok Ocha (Thai) next to Fresh Market on 51 is great. Musashi (Japanese) on Johnston is great for bento boxes, noodles & sushi. It's where Japanese businessmen who are visiting town go do dine. A little further out in Ayrsley Village on 485 & Tryon is Saffron Indian. The best Indian food Charlotte's seen in years.
Bangkok Ocha is my favorite Thai place in Charlotte. I'm a big fan of their curries.
Zeitouni is great, but its too casual for a business dinner (you order at the counter, seat yourself and then they deliver your meals to your table).
QCmama said "any type of food except sushi" so Musashi probably wouldn't be a good fit. Ayrsley Village is a good 15 min. drive from The Ballantyne Hotel so it's likely too far outside of the Ballantyne area.
We went to Vine but, due to a large lunch, only had a few things. We shared the BLT flatbread, the French Dip (recommended by our server) and the banana cream pie. Everthing was just "ok". The entrees looked a bit more creative so I probably would have done better ordering one of them.
Service was a little odd. The server was very young and didn't know how to describe things -- i.e., "Um...like a citrus reduction...um...almost." But he was attentive and nice so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
The flatbread was pretty good with bacon, good tomatoes, arugula and a mayo-based sauce drizzled on top. The crust was very thin and a tad overcooked.
The French Dip came with cheese that was only slightly melted. It was fine but bland. (I don't like cheese on a French Dip but forgot to have it omitted.) The seasoned fries were not hot and had lots of broken, stubby pieces.
The pie was very good with a coconut crust and good banana filling.
Overall it was a good place for a business-y dinner but I probably ordered the wrong things.
Thanks for all of the advice!
We were just there for lunch on Monday. I have always gotten the same thing - the Napa Salad. It's mixed greens with bits of roasted chicken, asparagus tips, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, grilled onions, etc. and tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. A good lunch time salad. My husband had the turkey burger and fries and it was ordinary. Daughter had the mega grilled cheese with 3 different cheeses & tomato (havarti, monterey jack & asiago) on thick cut white bread. She asked them to hold the dijon aioli because really, why add mayo to all that artery-clogging cheese? Ha! She enjoyed it but thought it was a little over-the-top. We wondered about that BLT flatbread.
Sorry it wasn't a better meal... sadly that's pretty much the status quo for business appropriate establishments in the Ballantyne area. Oh how I miss Chef Briggs & Table. <sigh>