I'll Bite

Get a bite of the winners at Taste of the Nation

Robin Christmas feeds her husband Brett Christmas a sample of house made spring pea ravioli with roasted tomato in a pan sauce from Mimosa Grill, during Taste of The Nation food charity event held at Two Wells Fargo Center Atrium April 15,2015.
Robin Christmas feeds her husband Brett Christmas a sample of house made spring pea ravioli with roasted tomato in a pan sauce from Mimosa Grill, during Taste of The Nation food charity event held at Two Wells Fargo Center Atrium April 15,2015. rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

What tastes best on a rainy night in Charlotte? Anything at the 20th annual Taste of the Nation, held Wednesday at Two Wells Fargo to raise money for No Child Hungry.

More than 20 restaurants put out their best tastes for a crowd that included an appearance by Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian.

Awards for best table display went to Midwood Smokehouse’s rustic look and Upstream’s very modern arrangement of underwater flowers with swimming goldfish.

For best cold dish, the winners were Uptown Bar & Kitchen’s ceviche and Baku’s Wagyu beef tataki rolled around pickled daikon. Winning hot dishes: Mimosa Grill’s “Lamb & Clams” – Border Springs lamb tamales and fried clams with Una Alla Volta yogurt – and Coastal Kitchen’s short rib arepas.

Best line of the night wasn’t an award, but if it was, we’d give it to chef Jon Fortes of Flipside Cafe in Fort Mill for his dish description: “A little pork torchon, foie gras mousse, and a side of bacon.”

Purvis: 704-358-5236

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