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Eater’s list of best new restaurants includes Charlotte-area spot

The dining room inside Hello, Sailor in Cornelius.
The dining room inside Hello, Sailor in Cornelius. tjanes@charlotteobserver.com

Bill Addison, the restaurant reviewer for Eater.com, roves the country like a dining Roomba, trying more restaurants every year than any other critic. After making several visits to the area in the last year, he released this year’s list of the 18 Best New Restaurants in the country, and Charlotte is on it.

Hello Sailor, the fish-camp homage by Kindred Restaurant’s Joe and Kay Kindred, earns Addison’s nod as worthy, one of only 18 restaurants to make the list.

While citizen reviewers on sites like Yelp.com have sometimes been hard on the Kindreds’ mid-century modern remake of the old Rusty Bucket, Addison was mightily pleased, joining other national critics like Brett Martin of GQ, who called out Hello Sailor’s gumbo in a roundup of the nation’s best in April.

From Addison’s Eater review: “Regardless of the time of year, meals here feel like an escape into summertime. Anything with crab (deviled in a dip with pimento cheese, presented as claws arranged on top of a pool of wasabi tobiko mayo) brings joy, as do platters of impeccably fried shrimp and flounder and lobster rolls featuring Joe Kindred’s famous milk bread.”

Addison also gave a nod to Hello’s cocktails, saying they “show some pluck.”

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Soft serve swirl ice cream ($4) at Hello, Sailor. Théoden Janes tjanes@charlotteobserver.com

Other restaurants on the list include Bavel and Majordomo in Los Angeles, Cote and Frenchette in New York, and True Laurel in San Francisco. No other cities in the Southeast, including dining hot-spots Charleston, Raleigh and Atlanta, have a restaurant on the list. The closest in the region that made the cut are in New Orleans and Houston.

Worth noting: Addison is currently the chair of the committee that oversees the James Beard Foundation’s chef and restaurant awards, which has so far skipped any finalists in the Charlotte area, although we have seen some semi-finalists.

Next up on the national-restaurant lists will probably be Bon Appetit’s annual list of the 50 Best. Will Hello Sailor continue to roll?

Kathleen Purvis; 704-358-5236.
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