Blackthorne of Ballantyne has launched a new fall dinner menu and weekend brunch.
All of the salads such as their Blackthorne Pear Pecan Salad with mesclun greens, pears, candied pecans, dried cranberries and blue cheese crumbles can be ordered as an entrée or a side.
A look at the entrées finds venison meatloaf with onions, garlic and blueberries wrapped in applewood bacon and served with mashed potatoes, baby carrots and bourbon, a grilled bone-in pork loin with sweet potato hash and roasted apple brandy jus, shrimp and grits with onions, peppers and andouille sausage and Ashley Farms Frenched chicken breast seared and served with mashed potatoes.
Weekend brunch is from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. served Saturday and Sunday. A number of breakfast dishes are offered such as eggs Benedict, a crab, tomato and basil omelet and French toast served with sausage and fresh fruit. A sampling of the sandwiches and salads: a classic Cobb salad, Chesapeake crab cake served on a Ciabatta roll, a grilled vegetable sandwich and the Blackthorne Cuban with applewood smoked ham, grilled pork tenderloin, smoked Gouda, Swiss and whole grain mustard and mayo on a baguette.
11318 N. Community House Road
Polka Dot Bake Shop
Polka Dot Bake Shop has just been named one of the country’s top 50 cupcake bakeries by The Daily Meal. The south Charlotte cupcake shop beat out big name spots Georgetown Bakery in Washington, D.C., and Magnolia Bakery of New York.
Cupcakes were scored on presentation, available flavors and lastly cake to frosting ratio. Polka Dot Bake Shop’s winning combination: their Cranberry Orange cupcake.
Cupcrazed Cakery of Fort Mill, a winner on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, also made the list.
Polka Dot Bake Shop is offering pies for the holiday season in addition to their cupcakes, cakes, breads and muffins. Available by the slice or by the whole pie are: apple cream cheese, chocolate chip and sweet potato.
Call 704-523-5001 to reserve one. The bakery also prides itself on being “green.” Bring your own cupcake carrier or reuse your Polka Dot bakery box to receive $1 off every dozen cupcakes.
• Polka Dot Bake Shop
1730 E. Woodlawn Road
Love to cook or just want to learn a few new things in time for the holidays?
Chef Nikki Moore of FOOD LOVE is a frequent guest chef on WCNC ‘s Charlotte Today. Her FOOD LOVE program will offer a number of culinary classes in December.
Pasta 101 will be taught at Flex and Fit from 6-7:30 p.m. Dec. 5at the Duke Energy Center, 550 S. Tryon St. Participants will learn how to make spinach and ricotta ravioli and homemade fettuccini with Italian sausage and broccoli rabe. The class costs $40 per person.
On Dec. 12, learn how to make holiday sweets at The Kitch at 8305-D Magnolia Estates Drive in Cornelius. Sugar cookies with royal icing for decorating, cranberry and pistachio biscotti and eggnog cookies are all on the list. Class runs from 6-9 p.m., and costs $75 per person.
And Introduction to Cooking, Holiday Edition will be held from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Kitch. The class will teach basics such as poaching, sautéing and roasting. Cost for the evening is $90 per person. For reservations, www.n2foodlove.com, or call Chef Nikki, 704-576-6474.
• FOOD LOVE
277 Hurston Circle
Mark Cote, formerly of Boston Bread (Panera’s Boston franchisee) and Friendly’s Restaurants, has been hired as Salsarita’s Vice President of Operations. Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina is a Mexican concept chain based in Charlotte and is known for fresh ingredients and speedy service. With 80 franchised locations in 19 states, the chain plans to open 300 locations in the years ahead.
For Charlotte locations: www.salsaritas.com.
Ben and Jerry’s at the Arboretum has closed and Bella Fresco will be opening in its place. Stay tuned for details on this new Italian spot.