My­ers Park/Cotswold

Where Charlotte - - GALLERIES + ANTIQUES -

THE IM­PROPER PIG

Bar­be­cue. This Char­lotte eatery is full of what we consider proper bar­be­cue man­ners. Un­der­stand­ing that much de­pends on the sauce, the Pig de­liv­ers a va­ri­ety to your table. Try the St. Louis-style ribs, South­ern egg rolls and Korean bar­be­cue sal­mon. The mac ’n’ cheese was some of the best we’ve tasted. L, D (daily). www.theim­prop­er­pig. com. 110 S. Sharon Amity Road, 704.714.7878. Map 1, D6

PRIMO TUS­CAN GRILLE

Ital­ian. Primo is clas­sic New York Ital­ian with some ec­cen­tric­i­ties—veal osso bucco rests com­fort­ably near shrimp and grits. An el­e­gant and el­e­vated bar is a nice spot for a pre-meal cock­tail. And the wine list is a mix of Ital­ian and Californian, with sev­eral by the glass. D (Tu-Sa). www.pri­mo­tus­can­grille.com. 116 Mid­dle­ton Drive, 704.334.3346. Map 1, C6

STAGIONI

Ital­ian. Ital­ian for “sea­sons,” this My­ers Park restau­rant serves a fresh range of Ital­ian stan­dards—handmade pas­tas, wood-fired piz­zas, slowroasted meats. Lo­cated in the his­toric, villa-like Reynolds-Gour­ma­jenko House (ask your server about the in­ter­est­ing his­tory of the home), the at­mos­phere is cozy and com­fort­able. Twists on clas­sic dishes in­clude black pep­per spaghetti with scal­lops and trout saltim­bocca with cel­ery root puree. Don’t miss the duck and del­i­cata squash pizza, ei­ther. D (M-Sa). www.

sta­gion­i­clt.com. 715 Prov­i­dence Road, 704.372.8110. Map 1, C6

WOLFMAN PIZZA

Pizza. This is not your av­er­age pie—Cal­i­for­nia-style orig­i­nals in­clude Cor­don Bleu and Big Bad Wolf (with sausage, pep­per­oni, mush­rooms, banana pep­pers) piz­zas. All sauces and dress­ings are pre­pared in house and the dough is made with­out bleach or potas­sium bro­mate (an ox­i­diz­ing agent). L and D (daily). www.wolf­man­pizza.com. 8504 Park Road, 704.552.4979. (Quail Cor­ners) Map 1, C8; 106-B S. Sharon Amity Road, 704.366.3666. (Cotswold) Map 1, D6

South End/Dil­worth

AZTECA Mex­i­can. This Mex­i­can restau­rant serves up huge por­tions fam­ily-style and su­perb, au­then­tic fla­vors in a fes­tive at­mos­phere. L and D (daily). www.aztecarestau­rantchar­lotte.com. 7340 Smith Cor­ners Blvd., 704.598.4068. Map1, C3; 116E.Wood­lawn Road, 704.525.5110. Map 1, C7; 9709 E. In­de­pen­denceBlvd.,704.814.9877. Map1,G7; 1863 W Franklin Blvd., 704.866.7574.

BABALU TAPAS & TACOS Latin. A his­toric house in the Dil­worth neigh­bor­hood wel­comes this small South­ern chain that cel­e­brates the Span­ish tapas culture with Latino flair. Pa­tio open year-round. L and D (daily). char­lotte. eat­ba­balu.com. 1511 East Blvd., 704.334.1511.

FA­MOUS TOASTERY Amer­i­can. The pop­u­lar­ity of this break­fast spot comes from made-from-scratch and in­ven­tive dishes like the por­to­bello mush­room bene­dict, the av­o­cado omelet and the cin­na­mon raisin French toast. B and L (daily). www.fa­mous­toast­ery.com. 2400 Park Road, 704.215.4166.; 8430 Rea Road, 980.613.8343.; 8933 JM Keynes Drive, 704.503.9599.

INIZIO PIZZA NAPOLETANA Pizza. Naples-style pies get ex­pert care dur­ing prepa­ra­tion thanks to owner Grant Arons’ ded­i­ca­tion to Ital­ian ways. He uses fine-ground flour and bot­tled wa­ter from Italy to cre­ate the perfect bal­ance of fla­vor and tex­ture and top­notch top­pings like pecorino, buf­falo moz­zarella, basil and even pis­ta­chio pesto make each bite a hit. L and D (daily). www.in­iziopizza.com. 10620 Prov­i­dence Road, 704.846.8909.

KID CASHEW Medit­er­an­nean. Pro­pri­etor Gior­gio Bakat­sias (also, a 2014 James Beard semi­fi­nal­ist for Out­stand­ing Restau­ra­teur) runs this place that puts em­pha­sis on “fresh from the farm” food in its wood-fired shared plates. The menu is all-en­com­pass­ing, run­ning the gamut from Span­ish oc­to­pus to Scot­tish sal­mon. Don’t over­look the in­trigu­ing cock­tails like the Fig with bourbon, OJ and thyme. See? Its name may say “Kid,” but its pre­sen­ta­tions are any­thing but rudi­men­tary. L and D (daily). 1608 East Blvd., 704.208.4148.

MOCCO BISTRO Greek. A Greek de­light that could make you for­get you aren’t next to the Aegean Sea, this South End cafe is pop­u­lar among Greek en­thu­si­asts and new­com­ers, alike. Or­ganic coffee, bougatsa and more are on the menu. Open Tu-F 7 am-9 pm, Sa 8:30 am-9 pm, Su 10 am-7 pm. www.moc­co­bistro.com. 4004 South Blvd., 980.207.0508.

OKU Ja­panese/Sushi. A South­ern ap­proach to Asian cui­sine means din­ers get tra­di­tional Ja­panese fla­vors and sushi rolls as well as fu­sions like spicy sesame pork belly and sashimi tacos. D (daily). www.o-kusushi.com. 2000 South Blvd., 704.594.1922.

RAI LAY THAI Thai. Pop­u­lar among the young-pro­fes­sional crowd, this hip, con­vivial spot serves en­trées in­spired by var­i­ous re­gions of Thai­land. L (Tu-F), D (Tu-Su). www.railaythai.com. 1520 South Blvd., 980.207.0991.

TUPELO HONEY CAFE South­ern. This Asheville-based eatery, known for its invit­ing at­mos­phere and farm-to­fork New South cui­sine, has made its way to South End. For a sta­ple, try the South­ern-fried-chicken BLT—a crispy, hor­mone-free chicken, ap­ple cider ba­con, di­jon­naise, let­tuce and tomato—with a req­ui­site side of fried okra. L and D (daily), brunch (Sa-Su). www.tu­pelo­hon­ey­cafe.com/ lo­ca­tion/char­lotte. 1820 South Blvd., 980.225.9175. Map 1, C6

SouthPark

CO Asian Fu­sion. Mean­ing “feast” in Viet­namese, “Co” offers a va­ri­ety of in­trigu­ing Asian dishes like bon mi with caramel pork, green pa­paya salad, pad Thai and lots of sushi rolls. L and D (daily). www.eatatco.com. 4201 Park Road, 980.237.4655.

SIR ED­MOND HALLEY’S Bri­tish. For An­glophiles, it doesn’t get any bet­ter than this—lots of taps of tra­di­tional English brews, hearty, tra­di­tional Bri­tish and not-so-Bri­tish en­trees and a lovely shaded out­door pa­tio. L (M-Sa), D (daily). www.hal­leyspub.com. 4151 Park Road, 704.525.7775. Map 1, C6

TREE­HOUSE WHISKEY & FORK South­ern. Some of the fond­est din­ing mem­o­ries may well be those when you’re in the great out­doors at a big pic­nic table with fam­ily and friends, per­haps while va­ca­tion­ing or mark­ing a spe­cial oc­ca­sion. Such are the feel and vibe at Tree­house. Here, Carolina-style bar­be­cue, thick and juicy burg­ers, and a wide range of whiskey-based drinks that com­ple­ment the smoked-in­house meat all share the stage with an ar­ti­fi­cial tree whose branches cover most of the din­ing area. L and D (daily). www.tree­house-restau­rant.com. 4423 Sharon Road, 980.207.0949. Map 1, C7

YAFO KITCHEN Is­raeli. This SouthPark Is­raeli eatery drew crowds as soon as it opened and has kept a loyal fol­low­ing. Chef Shai Far­gian sources in­gre­di­ents from Is­rael in­clud­ing amba pow­der, cumin, tahini, ba­harat and sumac for in­cred­i­bly au­then­tic fla­vor pro­files. L and D (daily). www.yafok­itchen.com. 720 Gov­er­nor Mor­ri­son St., 704.365.7130.

Univer­sity Area

DON PE­DRO Mex­i­can. This au­then­tic Mex­i­can restau­rant offers home­style dishes, plus, seafood spe­cial­ties and sen­sa­tional fa­ji­tas, all in a color­ful, friendly at­mos­phere. L and D (daily). www.donpe­drorestau­rant.com. 1009 Chan­cel­lor Park Drive, 704.921.2414. Map 1, E4; 8943 S. Tryon St., 704.504.5037. Map 1, A7; 10015 Lee St., Pineville, 704.889.1311. Map 1, C9

FIREWATER Amer­i­can. Serv­ing eclec­tic Amer­i­can cui­sine, an ex­ten­sive wine list and hav­ing a con­tem­po­rary at­mos­phere, make this restau­rant and bar ideal for group din­ing or an in­ti­mate date night. The menu boasts sushi­grade tuna and great steaks in a mod­ern, ro­man­tic set­ting. L and D (daily). www.fire­wa­ter­char­lotte.com. 8708 JW Clay Blvd., 704.549.0050. Map 1, E4

Up­town

ALEXAN­DER MICHAEL’S Amer­i­can. This quin­tes­sen­tial neigh­bor­hood pub brings lively con­ver­sa­tion and qual­ity food to this for­mer Fourth Ward gro­cery store. Open M-Th 11 am-10 pm, F-Sa 11 am-11 pm. www. almikestav­ern.com. 401 W. 9th St., 704.332.6789. Map 2, G2

ARIA Ital­ian. Pierre Bader delves into clas­sic Tus­can Ital­ian cui­sine with this Up­town ven­ture. On the main floor, wit­ness kitchen ac­tion through a large glass win­dow, or sit up close and per­sonal at a chef’s table in­side the kitchen it­self. Up­stairs, a quiet bar is the perfect place to stop in for a drink and an­tipasti be­fore a show at Belk The­ater or Booth Play­house (which open up into Founders Hall), or a con­cert or game at Time Warner

Ca­ble Arena. L (M-F), D (M-Sa). www. ari­achar­lotte.com. 100 N. Tryon St., 704.376.8880. Map 2, F4

BERNARDIN’S Con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can. Across the street from the Levine Cen­ter for the Arts com­plex, this Up­town fine-din­ing restau­rant is the sis­ter lo­ca­tion to its orig­i­nal spot in Win­ston-Salem and offers cre­ative menu items, sauteed brie-stuffed chicken breast with caramelized Pearl onions, in a classy, con­ve­nient set­ting. L (M-F), D (M-Sa). www.bernardins­fine­din­ing.com. 435 S. Tryon St., 704.332.3188. Map 2, E5

BLUE RESTAU­RANT & BAR Mediter­ranean. An award-win­ning menu (don’t pass on the scal­lops) and stun­ning dé­cor have taken the city by storm. With owner Alex Myrick and Chef Gene Briggs at the helm, ex­pect vi­brant cui­sine and an up­scale, jazzbar-style am­biance. D (M-Sa). www. bluechar­lotte.com. 206 N. Col­lege St., 704.927.2583. Map 2, E4

BRIXX WOODFIRED PIZZA Pizza. Fire up your lunch or din­ner with a hand­crafted pizza cooked in a wood-burn­ing oven. The big sal­ads are also popu- lar, and there’s a se­lec­tion of sig­na­ture sand­wiches, pas­tas and desserts. Brixx fea­tures 16 wines by the glass and 24 beers on tap—and some of the best out­door din­ing in the city. L and D (daily). www.brixxpizza.com. 225 E. Sixth St., 704.347.2749 Map 2, E4; 1801 Scott Ave., 704.376.1000 Map 1, D5; 9820 Rea Road, 704.940.2011; 7814 Fairview Road, 704.295.0707. Map 1, D9; 16915 Birk­dale Com­mons Pkwy., Hun­tersville,. Map 1, B1

THE CEL­LAR AT DUCK­WORTH’S Gas­tropub. This gas­tropub serves el­e­vated, imag­i­na­tive cui­sine in an at­mos­phere that epit­o­mizes the build­ing’s rich his­tory. Built in 1912, the cel­lar’s ex­posed brick and ceil­ing beams in this largely un-marked restau­rant evoke the 1920s hush-hush feel of a speakeasy. The cock­tails, though, have mod­ern twists on old school clas­sics. D (daily) www.the­cel­larat­duck­worths.com. 330 N. Tryon St., 980.349.4078. Map 2, G4

CITY SMOKE Bar­be­cue. Chicken, fish and hearty sal­ads play sec­ond fid­dle to the five types of bar­be­cue at this up­town favorite run by the same out­fit as its pop­u­lar next-door neigh­bor, Aria. Pop in for a re­gional craft beer, such as a High­land Gaelic Am­ber Ale or a Foothills Peo­ple’s Porter, or a glass of bourbon (the menu offers dozens). L (M-F), D (M-Sa). www.citysmoke­clt.com. 100 N. Tryon St., 704.376.2295. Map 2, F4

ENSO Ja­panese/Sushi. This Asian bistro and sushi bar is lo­cated in the Epi­Cen­tre, which means you’ll get a healthy dose of swanky club vibe to go with your sashimi. The at­mos­phere is sleek and sexy, and though it might seem al­most like an af­ter­thought to the buzzy so­cial at­mos­phere, the sushi here is in­cred­i­bly well-ex­e­cuted. L (M-Sa), D (daily). www.ensochar­lotte.com. 210 E. Trade St., 704.716.3676. Map 2, F5

EVOKE Steak­house. Lo­cated in Le Méri­dien Char­lotte, this steak­house serves prime and dry-aged steaks, home­made pas­tas and fresh crudos (an Ital­ian fish dish akin to sashimi but more in­volved with in­gre­di­ents)—all meant to en­tice the guest’s senses. Also choose from an ex­ten­sive wine list or in­dulge in one of the restau­rant’s 40 craft whiskeys. B, L and D (daily). www. evok­er­estau­rant.com. 555 S. McDow­ell St., 980.237.5354. Map 2, G7

FUJI Ja­panese. This ca­sual din­ing ven­ture has all the fun and fla­vor of hi­bachi, plus, ex­tras like de­li­cious bub­ble teas, all in the con­ve­nient Epi­cen­tre lo­ca­tion. L and D (M-Sa). www.fu­jiepi­cen­tre.com. 210 East Trade St., 980.207.3969.

HAL­CYON Con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can. En­joy the sky­line view and ab­so­lutely de­li­cious farm-to-table plates at the Mint Mu­seum’s res­i­dent restau­rant. Up­scale yet com­fort­able, the en­vi­rons are ro­man­tic and re­fined. In the kitchen, Chef James Stouf­fer uses lo­cal in­gre­di­ents to cre­ate such things as kale and farro salad, fried oys­ters and Kobe beef tartare, and Span­ish sole. Save room for gelato. L (Tu-Su), D (TuSa). www.hal­cy­on­fla­vors.com. 500 S. Tryon St., 704.910.0865. Map 2, C4

MCCORMICK & SCHMICK’S Seafood. This up­scale chain offers an amaz­ing va­ri­ety of fresh seafood as well as de­li­cious aged steaks, plus, great sal­ads and happy hour spe­cials. L (M-F), D (daily). www.mc­cormickand­schmicks.com. 200 S. Tryon St., 704.377.0201. Map 2, D4; 4335 Barclay Downs Drive, 704.442.5522. Map 1, D9

MERT’S HEART AND SOUL South­ern. This stylish yet down-home eatery offers pa­trons sim­ple, sa­vory South­ern, soul and Low­coun­try cook­ing: Think award-winng mac ‘n’ cheese or sweet corn­bread sit­ting along­side fried chicken, fried cat­fish or black­ened pork chops. It’s a huge favorite with the lunch crowd. L and D (daily), brunch (Sa-Su). www.mertschar­lotte.com. 214 N. Col­lege St., 704.342.4222. Map 2, F4

NEFELIE’S Greek. Lo­cated in the out­door por­tion of the Latta Ar­cade, this two-level spot, with bar be­low and restau­rant above, fea­tures tasty Greek street food in­clud­ing pork, beef and chicken gy­ros, sal­ads and daily spe­cials. Take out or eat in, ser­vice is fast and friendly. 145 Bre­vard Court, 704.464.4601.

PURE PIZZA Pizza. This pizza heaven in up­town’s 7th Street Pub­lic Mar­ket proudly serves up pies made from fresh, lo­cally grown in­gre­di­ents. It’s farm-to-fork din­ing at its best. L and D (M-Sa). www.purepiz­za­clt.com. 224 E. 7th St., 980.207.0037. Map 2, E4; 1911 Cen­tral Ave., 980.430.1701.

RI RA THE IR­ISH PUB Ir­ish. This place is as Ir­ish as you’re go­ing to get in North Carolina. All the Emer­ald Isle sta­ples

on tap, Ir­ish food ‘til late, and vin­tage Eire col­lectibles on the wall. A re­lax­ing pa­tio over­looks Hearst Plaza. L and D (daily). www.rira.com. 208 N. Tryon St., 704.333.5554. Map 2, E5

RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE Steak­house. This fa­mous chain, which started in New Or­leans, offers siz­zling, sea­soned steaks, flaw­less ser­vice and an ex­cel­lent wine list. L (M-F), D (daily). www.ruth­schris.com. 6000 Fairview Road, 704.556.1115; 222 S. Tryon St., 704.338.9444. Map 2, D5

TAVOLO Ital­ian. This fam­ily style Ital­ian restau­rant fea­tures de­lec­ta­ble wood-fired piz­zas like the proscuitto and fig with roasted gar­lic oil and Ital­ian pars­ley as well as clas­sic pasta dishes like bolog­nese with riga­tone and fet­tucine al­fredo. And if you’re look­ing to un­wind with a drink in a chic at­mos­phere, head up­stairs and en­joy a fine wine or mar­tini. L (Su-F), D (daily). www.tavolochar­lotte.com. 300 North Col­lege St., 704.595.3190. Map 2, G4

THE MCNINCH HOUSE New South­ern. Reser­va­tions are re­quired here and you can ex­pect to be treated like roy­alty dur­ing this unique five-course meal (you choose your en­trée, but every­thing else, in­clud­ing the wine, is cho­sen for you). This is Char­lotte’s pre­mier spe­cial-oc­ca­sion restau­rant lo­cated in a beau­ti­ful 1892 Queen Anne-style home. D (Tu-Sa). www.mc­n­inch­house­r­estau­rant.com. 511 N. Church St., 704.332.6159. Map 2, E3

TRADE RESTAU­RANT & BAR Break­fast. A break­fast-all-day con­cept here is a health-minded one. It in­cludes sourced cage-free eggs, or­ganic fiber-rich ce­re­als, steel cut oats, gluten-free breads and a hor­mone- and ad­di­tive-free, blue­berry-maple sausage patty. B, L and D (daily). www.om­ni­ho­tels.com. 132 E. Trade St., 704.377.0400. Map 2, E4

VIN­TAGE WINE LOUNGE Wine Bar. Lo­cated in his­toric Bre­vard Court, Vin­tage offers ar­ti­san cheese, meat plates and a well-bal­anced wine list. Go re­lax with a group of friends on the leather couches at this mod­est wine bar in Up­town. D (Tu-Sa). www. vin­tagewinelounge.net­waiter.com/ char­lotte/about. 317 S. Church St., 704.332.3273. Map 2, D5

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