With the Olympics in full swing, we get to see lots of countries' best athletes at work nearly at once. It's only logical to want a little of that flavor at restaurants occasionally, so here are five that offer fare from several countries all at once on their menus:
1. Global serves up a sampling of influences by chef-owner Bernard Brunet, from Belgium to the Virgin Islands to India, and more than a few places in between. Don't miss the endive and blue cheese salad with almond vinaigrette. 3520 Toringdon Way (at Ballantyne); 704-248-0866; www.global-restaurant.com.
2. Creation finds inspiration in Thai, Japanese, Malaysian and more cuisines, with noodles, rice dishes, salads and wraps. Look for the mussaman curry. 1221A The Plaza; 704-372-2561; www.creationontheplaza.com.
3. Tria Terra is “three lands” – Italy, Spain and France – and a world's worth of hospitality. Consider a platter of mixed tapas. 7707 Pineville-Matthews Road; 704-541-2924; www.triaterra.com.
4. Blue boasts foods from the Mediterranean – and actually means it. Go for a gorgeous lamb tagine, but know that North African and Egyptian flavors join the more common Italian, Spanish, French and Greek ones on this menu. At the corner of 5th and College streets in the Hearst Plaza; 704-927-2583; www.bluerestaurantandbar.com.
5. United Nations Restaurant might not have food from all 192 of its namesake's member states, but hey, you've got to tip the Olympic rings to anywhere that squeezes Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Italy, France, Cuba, Spain, Argentina, France and Ecuador onto its menu. Check out the bandeja tipica, a Colombian mixed platter of meats, sweet plantain, rice and beans. 5011 South Blvd.; 704-523-8296.