Tomi, located in Colony Place, is owned by brothers Ben and Kevin Cheng. You may know them from their previous venture, KOKO, which they operated uptown for eight and a half years. Tomi has been open and serving innovative Asian cuisine at Colony and Rea Roads for about six years.
Kevin Cheng says they change the menu each quarter and offer a monthly dinner special. Asian Eggplant stir fried with East Coast Shrimp will be their highlighted entrée through early May.
A new beer is also on the menu this month. Chang Beer, from Thailand, is making its debut. It is a richer beer with an alcohol content of 5 percent - a bit higher than what we are used to, so be aware.
Tomi is offering a Mother's Day brunch from 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. on May 9. The menu will consist of beef, chicken and fish dishes served with brown rice. Chef/owner Ben Cheng will offer his Mocha Chocolate Mousse cake after your meal: chocolate pound cake topped with a smooth mocha mousse.
Tomi Restaurant, 7741 Colony Road, 704-759-1288.
City Tavern's Ballantyne and Rivergate locations will offer Mother's Day brunch on May 9. A chef-manned carving station will be the highlight, along with a selection of eggs, waffles and breakfast meats. The buffet is from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. with all-you-can eat crab legs and their regular dinner menu to follow.
An assortment of salads, and a hot pasta dish will be served, and a fish course such as lemon poached salmon can be expected. A selection of pastries and desserts round out the meal.
City Tavern is offering daily drink and dinner specials this spring. You can find half price bottles of wine at Stonecrest on Wednesdays and at Rivergate on Mondays. Twin lobster tails are on special on Mondays for $20; Angus and Bison burgers are half price. Tuesdays are for prime rib at only $1.25 an ounce.
For locations: www.citytavern.com.
City Tavern at Stonecrest, Ballantyne, 704-543-8587; City Tavern, Rivergate, 704-504-8888.
Wine enthusiasts can enjoy half-priced bottles of wine (up to $200) every Tuesday night at 131 Main's Blakeney, Dilworth and Lake Norman locations. The bulk of the restaurant's wine list is from California and Oregon, as the restaurant's menu is primarily regional American cuisine. Wines from Europe and the Southern Hemisphere are also available.
CEO of Captiva Restaurant Group, Joe Douglas, has named Thursday nights Charity Nights. Dine in for lunch or dinner at 131 Main on Thursdays through May 27 to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte.
Tell your server you are dining on behalf of Ronald McDonald House and 10 percent of your bill will go directly to the house. A new charity will be named for June.
131 Main focuses on updated American classics. For locations: www.131-main.com.
131 Main Blakeney, 704-544-0131; 131 Main Dilworth, 704-343-0131; 131 Main Lake Norman, 704-896-0131.
Red Oak Ale
Earth Fare in Ballantyne is now selling Red Oak Ale. The amber lager is available in 12 packs for $17.99 or singles for $1.49 each. Six packs are not offered for environmental reasons; a 12-pack carton uses less cardboard than a six pack.
Red Oak's brewery is in Whitsett, N.C., about five minutes past Greensboro off of I-85. Its 18 employees consider themselves purists and only use minimal ingredients when crafting their ales. Weeks of aging give Red Oak a clean, smooth taste.
Cajun Yard Dog, located at 8036 Providence Road in the Arboretum, offers draft Red Oak. The Bavarian lager is best served extra cold in pint glasses.
For now, Earth Fare is the only retailer selling Red Oak Ale in bottles in the Charlotte area.
Earth Fare Ballantyne, 704- 926-1201. Cajun Yard Dog, 704-752-1750.