Sure, Charlotte has its fair share of see-and-be-seen tables in its uptown steakhouses. And yes, you can find an impressive setting in many local restaurants’ private dining rooms. But these 10 tables are some of the city’s best-kept secrets. From an in-the-kitchen chef’s table to a fireside table for two, these are the spots where you’ll want to take a seat – and, of course, enjoy a meal.
When you’re making reservations for this rooftop restaurant, ask for Table 47. Next to its herb garden and just outside the kitchen, diners have views both of owner chef Rocco Whalen’s culinary team at work and the spectacular skyline. And even if it’s not your seat for the night, it’s worth taking a peek at this table. 222 S. Caldwell St. 980-237-6718; www.chefroccowhalen.com/fahrenheit-charlotte.
Nan and Byron’s
It’s only one step elevated from the rest of the restaurant, but Table 27 at this popular South End spot offers the best view of the full interior. Warm yellow banquettes and bookshelf wallpaper have earned it the staff nickname “The Study” – and give it a cozy vibe perfect for pairing with the restaurant’s signature comfort food dishes. 1714 South Blvd. 980-224-7492; www.nanandbyrons.com.
In a restaurant known for its sophisticated wine selection, it only seems natural to dine among the international bottles. The Wine Cellar table in this elegant Dilworth restaurant housed in a former church features exposed brick walls, hundreds of bottles of wine, and seating for up to 10 people. 1829 Cleveland Ave. 704-333-9463; www.bonterradining.com.
Pisces Sushi Bar
When its owners were designing this stylish midtown restaurant, they wanted to include an area where people could enjoy their food in a private space. Enter the five popular hidden booths that diners often call “the caves” or “pods.” “We get reservations far in advance for these private alcoves,” says general manager Kaitlyn Kennedy of the four-person tables. 1100 Metropolitan Ave. 704-334-0009; www.piscessushi.com.
Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar
If you’re going to be passing around heaping plates of Italian fare, it only seems appropriate to have a kitchen-side table that can seat up to eight. The best time to reserve the Communal Table is during one of the restaurant’s convivial Sunday family-style suppers, when $14 includes three courses to share. 6706 Phillips Place Ct. 704-295-0101; www.wolfgangpuck.com/restaurants.
Every seat features views of gorgeous golden-toned design at this upscale Elizabeth Avenue bistro. But not every one includes an up-close look into the seemingly magical workings of enthusiastic owner and chef Luca Annunziata. The Luxury Room – which offers a pre fixe menu and seats up to 10 – features a wall-sized window with an exclusive peek into the pristine kitchen. 1523 Elizabeth Ave. 704-910-3161; www.thepassion8.com.
The Fig Tree Restaurant
It would be hard to find a cozier table on a cold night than the two-person, fireside Table 72 at this Elizabeth restaurant. On warmer days, opt for Table 52 on the breezy porch of this historic house-turned-restaurant, which offers an optimal view of the five fig trees on its front lawn. 1601 E. Seventh St. 704-332-3322; www.charlottefigtree.com.
Just across from the Longitude 80 bar at this sleek restaurant inside the new Le Meridien hotel are two crossed tables that complement the restaurant’s midcentury modern design. Perfect for a seated dinner or mingling over small bites and cocktails, the cosmopolitan Communal Table feels more urban Paris than uptown Charlotte. 555 S. McDowell St. 980-237-5354; www.evokerestaurant.com.
It’s true that most nights you’ll feel lucky just to snag any seat at this always-busy Plaza Midwood favorite. But the best spot for indulging in its creative small plates and craft cocktails is one of its two lounge tables, where soft seating and low tables are ideal for sharing conversation – and those tasty small plates. 1500 Central Ave. 704-348-1848; www.soulgastrolounge.com.
Aria Tuscan Grill
Short of sitting on the stove, you won’t get much closer to the action in chef Frank Altomare’s kitchen than this restaurant’s eight-seat Chef’s Table. The secluded table, which sits in a small room just off the main dining area, offers an up-close and behind-the-scenes view of the bustling kitchen. 100 N. Tryon St. 704-376-8880; www.ariacharlotte.com.