The Food: Andrew Blair's subheading is “Comfortable Dining,” and that's what the owners of Angry Ale's and Eat Here Now are going for with their third venture, a contemporary-styled place with an upscale/downscale menu. Carpaccio to cheeseburgers, mussels to meatloaf sandwich, the long lineup has something for everyone. Best of what we tried was sliced pork tenderloin stuffed with Granny Smith apple and drizzled with cider sauce, lobster chunks in a modern take on mac-n-cheese (fusilli and Fontina), and a wedge with caramelized pecans and red and yellow tomatoes that easily feeds two. Portions are sometimes too generous: The lobster mac is usually served with a takeout box, our server explained; I wish there were a half-size option with a half-size price.
The Look: An extensive mural by Charlotte artist Paul Rousso is the significant color in the place; otherwise, it's a soothing neutral palette, with tall-backed wicker dining chairs and a bar area (non-smoking, like the rest of the place) that will stay open late.
The Servers: Friendliness is held in high esteem – note the “breaking bread” concept, in which a long segmented loaf is brought to the table and diners are invited to break it apart together – and servers are happy to discuss dishes and offer advice.
Quirks of Note: Owners are the Henson family, and the place is named for Barbara Henson's father. Chef Bill Davis is a Johnson & Wales graduate.
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Details: Dinner Tuesday-Saturday; 1600 Montford Drive; 704-525-8282.