If one weren’t intimately acquainted with Charlotte’s food scene, it might be easy to assume that the newest restaurant on Selwyn Avenue has been there all along. littleSpoon opened late July in Myers Park. Since then, the seats have been abuzz with diners enjoying breakfast and lunch on the open air patio that is seamlessly connected to the dining room.
littleSpoon is the vision of L.A. transplant cum Charlottean, Alesha Sin Vanata and her partner Kyle Stegemeyer. Vanata is a former culinary producer and food stylist who wanted to create a place where she could “hang out”. Vanata’s extensive travels to some of the best food towns in the nation inspired her to create a place reflective of the sensibilities that resonated with her while abroad.
The interior is a warm mix of black and amber, industrial and rustic with large, glowy bell jars fitted with Edison lights. The palette is moody, but the ambiance is inviting. A steel emblem bearing the littleSpoon logo sits above the host stand and hip, handsome servers dash to and fro taking orders and cashing folks out on handheld digital screens. Saavy.
If you’re looking for a standard plate of bacon and eggs, you won’t find it at littleSpoon. What you will find are locally minded dishes punctuated with whimsy and global touches. The breakfast menu titled “break the fast” never takes itself too seriously, offering items like the pop tart, a homemade pastry crust filled with blueberries, lavender and lime, which turns out to be a delicate, palate pleasing nod to nostalgia. Livermush gets a makeover on rye ciabatta with egg salad, spicy arugula and zippy mustard. For lunch, the smoky lamb meatball, found beneath the “just a bite” section of the menu, is ample and satisfying with a fiery tomato sauce, mint oil and creamy, salty bits of feta. Add a side of the pearl cous cous with mint, lemon oil, feta and mint for a deeply comforting side reminiscent of a meal at grandma’s house. The shrimp roll, popping up on Instagram feeds with frequency, is also becoming a littleSpoon favorite and the curry spiced short rib baguette with kale and green chili aoili offers a unique stick to your ribs sandwich.
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littleSpoon is different from what most Charlotteans consider breakfast, but judging by the early traffic, it’s a concept the city wanted without even knowing it.