Vine American Kitchen opens
Vine American Kitchen is now open in Ballantyne. Charlottean Bill Freeman, whose resume includes a stint as CEO of McCormick & Schmicks, created the concept, for which this location is the launching pad, according to press.
Look for a display kitchen and American fare from exec chef Paul Cruz that ranges from herb-rubbed rotisserie chicken, Maryland-style jumbo lump crab cakes and jambalaya, plus flatbreads, burgers, seafood, steaks and more. Sunday brunch spans apple cider pancakes to crab hash.
On the name: So much of what we do here has some connection to the vine, Freeman said in a news release. Whether through locally sourced seasonal fruits and vegetables, freshly squeezed juices in our cocktails, or the variety of grapes in our abundant wine selection, we are bringing the garden to our guests.
Entrees range $15-$29, with starters, sandwiches and flatbreads running $4-$14. The wine list leans to bottles less than $30, the high-rated and/or great value wines, Freeman said. Seating areas range from a dining room of 116 to the eight-seat Barrel Room to a patio with fire pit. 13735 Conlan Circle; 704-469-5282; www.vinekitchen.com.
• The Myers Park Mellow Mushroom plans a four-course Highland Brewing Company beer dinner Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m., with courses including housemade meatballs braised in Gaelic Ale and served with Cold Mountain Ale; Kashmir IPA-marinated pork loin medallions; and more. $35. 2820 Selwyn Ave.; reservations: 704-966-7499.
• Santé hosts its 11th Annual Christmas Shows soon: Thats a three-course dinner and entertainment by The Carolina Voices group, dressed in traditional costumes and singing carols, at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9, and at 5 and 7:15 p.m. on Dec. 16 and Dec. 23. $45. 165 N. Trade St., Matthews; 704-845-1899.
• New South Kitchen will serve 4-8 p.m. Christmas Eve, with a buffet that includes roasted beef tenderloin, deep-fried turkey and salmon crab strudel, for $35 ($15 for those 12 and younger). The restaurant will also offer dinners to go that evening, with deep-fried turkey breast fillet or whole boneless breast; an assortment of sides and extras. 8140 Providence Road; 704-541-9990.
Open on Christmas
Café 157 will be open 4:30-9 p.m. Christmas Day, serving its regular dinner menu (meaning its sandwiches will not be available), plus specials of pan-seared Maryland crab cakes and rib eye steak. A Reservations: 704-844-8686; the restaurant is at 157 N. Trade St. in Matthews; www.cafe157.com.
Charlottean Kristen Tingen has made it to the final four of a national contest on Facebook, held by the Wing Zone restaurant chain. The Wing Zone asked fans to submit flavor ideas for wings, and has given away 11,000 free wings to reward the 1,100 submissions it got.
The lineup was narrowed to 16 fans, participating in a Flavor Face-off, which runs through Dec. 9. Two finalists will be named Dec. 10. Tingens flavor is Chili-Garlic Attack, and includes chile garlic sauce, rice vinegar and a pinch of minced ginger. The Charlotte location is 9605 N. Tryon St.; 704-717-2445.
BLT Steak hosts an interactive gingerbread-house-making seminar 2-4 p.m. Dec. 8 for the whole family: $45 gets you a kit and a lesson from BLT Steak pastry chef Rachael Burns, who will also share recipes of her own. Reservations: 704-972-4380; the restaurant is in the Ritz-Carlton, at 110 N. College St. uptown.