Restaurant News & Reviews

Luce serving up a 4-course tasting menu this fall

Beginning this weekend, Luce (Hearst Plaza uptown) will offer a four-course tasting menu for $25 each Friday and Saturday night, including a salad, pasta or risotto, entrée and housemade sorbet or gelato.

The particulars will change weekly, and plans call for the deal to continue through the fall, and maybe through winter, too. 704-344-9222.

Get it while it's chilled: Fresh King Crab at GW Fins

GW Fins (525 N. Tryon St.) is slated to have fresh King Crab (yes, the stuff from “Deadliest Catch” on TV) for the next few weeks, chilled with a Creole mustard cream for dipping and spicy blue crab slaw on the side, as an entrée or shared appetizer for $34. Call ahead to check availability; 704-716-3467.

Country Club chef joins Maddi's Southern Bistro

Maddi's Southern Bistro (Birkdale Village) has a new executive chef: Eric Rice, formerly with the Charlotte Country Club.

At work on the fall menu, Rice plans to emphasize local products, from organic produce to rice and grits from Anson Mills.

And Maggiano's (SouthPark) welcomes new executive chef Delfino Netto.

Wine dinners next week at Zebra and Ratcliffe

Wine dinners:

(4521 Sharon Road) features Joseph Drouhin wines Wednesday, with dishes including pan-roasted sturgeon with 2006 Drouhin Chassagne Montrachet; and duet of braised veal short ribs and roast tenderloin of beef with 2006 Drouhin Gevrey and Charmes Chambertin. $110; 704-442-9525.

Ratcliffe on the Green
(425 S. Tryon St.) hosts Phillip Edwards of Guigal Wine Cellars on Thursday. Among courses are sauteed Carolina crabcakes with Cotes du Rhone Blanc; and stuffed saddle of rabbit with Cotes du Rhone Rouge. $80; reservations: 704-254-2219.

Gallery at Ballantyne expands breakfast menu

Gallery (Ballantyne Resort) now offers for breakfast Ballantyne French Toast (crispy corn-crusted challah bread with strawberry cream cheese, whipped cream and sliced strawberries), silver-dollar pancakes, and crepes with flavors that change daily.

There's also a “healthy breakfast feature”: a “martini” of marinated cherry tomatoes and lump crab with grilled pita bread.

Also coming up at Gallery: A five-course Duckhorn wine dinner Sept. 18; $95; 704-248-4100.


Wine-Web-sters buzzed recently with the news that blogger/author Robin Goldstein had submitted a wine list for an imaginary restaurant to Wine Spectator and received an Award of Excellence.

As Goldstein outlines it, he concocted a list that included several pretty awful wines, as ranked by the Wine Spectator, including one the magazine said in its review “smelled like bug spray.”

He also paid the $250 fee, submitted a cover letter and “menu” – and got the award.

The fake restaurant, named “Osteria L'Intrepido” (a play on the name of Goldstein's guide, Fearless Critic), was listed in print and online, though it's since been yanked from there.

Wine Spectator responded on its forum that the hoax was unusually elaborate, involving a Web site, an answering machine and faked customer feedback on Chowhound, and that while some wines on the fake list were inferior, most were good.

Horrific revelation of award “standards” or publicity-seeking, meaningless scam? You make the call.