December 2014

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Best of the City: Dining

By Sarah Crosland, Simone McDowell, and Blake Miller

Posted: Monday, Jan. 27, 2014

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French Connection
When Matthew Pera and chef Tom Condron decided to open a new restaurant in Charlotte recently, the decision to create something that’s a complete departure from their already popular, casual chic Liberty in South End was a no brainer. Having worked together to open Harpers Group spots like Upstream, the duo felt it was time to introduce a French fine dining restaurant. “We wanted to harken back to when Charlotte had a really good number of French restaurants,” says Pera of Lumiere, French for “light.” “We wanted to bring back that intimate French setting.” Drawing inspiration from fine dining spots in New York City and Boston, architecture firm Wagner Murray & Assoc. designed the 55-seat space, a modern take on a traditional French fine dining restaurant, to feel intimate and elegant. Says Pera: “We wanted to shine the spotlight back on French cooking in Charlotte.” www.lumieremyerspark.com

Your Mom's Donuts

Take a Bite
The latest culinary craze to hit Charlotte is all about the dough. Your Mom’s Donuts, a farm-to-table donut delivery service brings its hot and fresh pastries to your home or office. And these chewy, gooey delights aren’t what you’re used to pairing with your cup of Joe. In gourmet flavors like chocolate mousse with lavender glaze and sweet potato cake with spiced cider glaze, these are serious sweets. Craving a sugar fix yet? You Mom’s Donuts can have a dozen on your doorstep by 6 a.m. www.yourmomsdonuts.com

Dunhill Hotel

Check In
Uptown’s most charming hotel is getting a new restaurant this month. Chef Chris Coleman, formerly with the McNinch House is heading up the concept in the former Harvest Moon Grille space in uptown’s Dunhill Hotel. And with the combination of Coleman’s upscale dining background and his plans to continue in the vein of Harvest Moon’s farm-to-fork fare, this North Tryon Street spot holds plenty of culinary promise. www.dunhillhotel.com

Bustling 'Burbs
The city’s suburbs are serving up restaurants worth the drive. At the new Flipside Café (www.theflipsidecafesc.com) in Fort Mill, Chef Amy Kumpf, formerly the sous chef at Upstream offers innovative—and mouth-watering—comfort dishes like her twist on a Shepherds Pie featuring braised short rib. In Wahaw, Chef Paul Verica’s Southern, farm-to-table menu at the new Heritage Food and Drink (www.heritagefoodanddrink.com) changes seasonally, but dishes like the beet risotto with goat cheese and the tempura cauliflower should be enough to tempt you to its Main Street location. On the other side town, longtime Charlotte favorite Chef Tim Groody gets creative with locally sourced fare creating dishes like North Carolina pork shank fettuccine with kale at his latest spot, Fork! in Cornelius. (www.forkrestaurantcornelius.com)

Piece of the Pie
Pizza and craft beer lovers in the know have long flocked to the cozy Cotswold location of The Pizza Peel and Taproom. This month, the popular spot opens its second location at the lively corner of Thomas Street and Central Avenue in Plaza Midwood. The menu, which will be the same as the original, isn’t your typical pizza joint fare. Try the fresh and perfectly crispy fish tacos or the Tong’s Thai pizza drizzled in a sweet chili sauce. And with 30 craft beers and several wines on tap, as well as live piano music many nights, this latest incarnation promises to draw convivial crowds. www.tapandpeel.com

Cheers!
Good news for fans of gastropub fare and craft cocktail lovers. The folks behind NoDa’s popular Crepe Cellar Kitchen & Pub and Growlers Pourhouse have plans to open Haberdash House in Dilworth this fall. The East Boulevard venue will come with a second story bar dedicated to innovative cocktails (think housemade tonic and creative simple syrups) and a pub menu with an upscale twist.

Heist Brewery

All Apps
If its potent craft cocktails, beers brewed on site, or uber popular Sunday brunch haven’t lured you to NoDa’s Heist Brewery yet, now is the time. Chef Rob Masone recently rolled out a brand new menu composed entirely of creative small plates and tapas, making it perfect for sharing dishes with friends over one of those cocktails or brews. www.heistbrewery.com

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