Villa Antonio, a local Charlotte restaurant since 1987, was selected to participate in Food Network's "Chef Hunters." The series consists of six episodes filmed at restaurants throughout the U.S. In each segment, three chefs compete to be named executive chef at a restaurant. The 40-person Food Network crew filmed at Villa Antonio in August over three days; the episode aired Dec. 15.
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14825 John J. Delaney Drive
The second Charlotte location of Mellow Mushroom is now open in Ballantyne Village. The store's décor is modeled after rock band Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride," with carpets, lamps, hookahs, genies and more. The main area features a 16-foot mushroom canvassing a cluster of booths, a 20-foot glass hookah tower filled with fog and colored lights and four flying carpets.
Mellow Mushroom is known for its pizza but also serves calzones, hoagies, salads, vegan-friendly items and a gluten-free dough. Already in place is a beer club with member rewards, weekly trivia nights and live music on select nights. A full service bar features 48 beers on tap, large-screen TVs and touch-screen computer tabletops for placing orders.
14835 Ballantyne Village Way
On Dec. 23, enjoy a holiday lunch at Del's from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. A menu sampling: fried oysters, filet mignon, roasted chicken Provencal and skillet potatoes and onions. Visit the website for the complete menu; call for reservations.
4725 Piedmont Row Drive
Celebrate New Year's Eve with a three-course menu for $30 or a four-course menu for $35; both include a champagne toast or a glass of featured wine. A look at the menu: tempura asparagus, chicken satay, Cajun grilled salmon, a 12-ounce rib eye and key lime pie. Call for reservations.
14142 Rivergate Parkway
7828 E. Rea Road
House of Athens
House of Athens is now open on Pineville-Matthews Road, next to K & W Cafeteria. Featuring Greek and Mediterranean food, the restaurant is family friendly and offers many menu options. Check out the Athenian chicken, marinated for 24 hours then flame grilled, as well as the pita sandwiches. Full menu can be viewed online.
House of Athens
8652 Pineville-Matthews Road
A new winter menu has been unveiled here and includes Ilios meatballs, lamb chops, diver scallops, veal parmigiana and more. From 3-5 p.m. daily, sample the $5 meze menu with nearly 40 small plates and 10 wines available by the glass.
11508 Providence Road
Georges Brasserie is ringing in the New Year with Chef Andrew Dodd's featured dinner menu from 5-11 p.m. and a four-piece band, Sounds of Sai, from 9 p.m.-1a.m. Party favors, hats and noise makers are included; call for reservations.
420 Piedmont Row Drive