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And while you're out, eat up

Seeking sustenance amid the upcoming arts whirl? Here are a handful of uptown places to seek out, in a handful of categories:

Something new

Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina: This EpiCentre spot wasn't open by presstime, but chef Chris Swinyard plans "traditional, regional and contemporary" fare soon, and there's an impressive tequila lineup. 210 E. Trade St.

Aria: A handsome Founders Hall setting for Italian fare, with a late-night menu at the Bar Scala. 100 N. Tryon St.; 704-376-8880.

Kalu: Interesting Japanese and other-Asian-cuisine-inspired cooking. A hike, but the most different new spot by far. 505 E. Sixth St.; 704-910-4877.

Tried and true

Luce and Coco Osteria: Italian siblings, more formal and less so, respectively, at Hearst Plaza. 214 N. Tryon; 704-344-9222 and 704-344-8878.

BLT Steak: The Ritz-Carlton's entry in Charlotte's vast steakhouse lineup, done with panache. 110 N. College St.; 704-972-4380.

Blue: Mediterranean in cool digs. 214 N. Tryon St.; 704-927-2583.

Mimosa Grill: Eclectic with a Southern twist. 327 S. Tryon; 704-343-0700.

A twist or two

King's Kitchen: Southern-inspired fare in a spot that benefits the hungry, from chef Jim Noble. 129 W. Trade; 704-375-1990.

Crave Dessert Bar: For the sweet tooth (and there are some savories, too). 500 W. Fifth St.; 704-335-0588.

Basil: Pretty Thai food in pretty surroundings. 210 N. Church St.; 704-332-7212.

A cheap, quick chew

Libretto's: NYC-style pizza (and by-the-slice) at the EpiCentre. 210 E. Trade; 704-971-9088ý.

Five Guys: Burgers and fries, also at the EpiCentre; 704-971-0991.

Pita Pit: King of late-night hours (til 4 a.m. Friday-Saturday!). 214 N. Tryon; 704-333-5856.

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