Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
Lulu will be open Christmas Eve for lunch (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) and dinner (5-9 p.m.), then again Dec. 26 for its eighth anniversary (same hours, plus an hour later at dinner). For New Year's Eve, it will open for lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and dinner 5-11, and will serve brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. New Year's Day. Reservations: 704-376-2242; 1911 Central Ave.
Siblings Toscana, Mezzanotte and Trattoria Antica will all be open Christmas Eve. Toscana will offer a special menu in addition to its usual, with fare ranging from calamari stuffed with crabmeat to oven-baked branzino with porcini and potatoes. Toscana: 6401 Morrison Blvd., 704-367-1808; Mezzanotte: 2907 Providence Road, 704-365-4650; Antica: 3909 Providence Road in Waxhaw, 704-243-0633.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Blake Hartwick is now executive chef at Blackthorne Restaurant, where his entree list ranges from chicken pot pie (done with Poultry Junction organic chicken and hen of the woods mushrooms) to cider-braised pork cheeks and five-spice pork belly with skillet corn pudding to osso buco with smoked chevre pierogies. 11318 North Community House Road; 704-817-5554.
The "No Kid Hungry" campaign continues at Harper's and other restaurants through Jan. 31 or so: American Express will donate $1 to the campaign, through national organization Share Our Strength, every time diners use their American Express cards at an "eligible dining establishment." (The donation is capped at $1 million, so it could conceivably end before Jan. 31.) Register your card here.
Get "endless fondue" at the Melting Pot at Midtown or Lake Norman Dec. 9-11 and support the Levine Children's Hospital's "Give Here for Kids Here." The dinner is four courses for $39.95, or three courses for kids 12 and younger for $19.95. Three dollars from each dinner will go to the initiative (no other discounts apply), and note: It's the entree fondue and the chocolate dessert fondue that are "endless," not the cheese. Midtown: 901 S. Kings Drive, 704-334-4400; Lake Norman: 16625 Statesville Road, 704-987-2251.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Lumiere, the newest from The Liberty partners Matthew Pera and chef Tom Condron, is slated to open Jan. 2 (see next blog item for coincidental timing) in the extensively reworked former Einstein Bagel spot in Myers Park, at 1039 Providence Road.
Condron will do upscale French food with some modern twists, says Pera, like the "modern duck a l'orange" above (photo from the restaurant), as well as classics. Below, see local Prime beef and local egg. Expect entrees in the $25-$35 range.
Since the name means "light" in French, also expect to see some really interesting things done with light in the space, designed by Wagner Murray, along with wallpapers and finishings and "lots of little visual surprises," says Pera: "We've spent a little bit of money on those," says Pera. "We're trying to put something in Charlotte that isn't here... For such a small space (it'll seat 55), there'll be so much to look at."
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Stagioni, the newest restaurant from Charlotte chef Bruce Moffett, is expected to open to the public Jan. 2 in Myers Park, in the historic Reynolds-Gourmajenko House (715 Providence Road).
The third restaurant -- after Good Food on Montford followed his original, Barrington's (both still open) -- will focus on Italian fare. Moffett is bringing Larry Schreiber, executive sous chef at Good Food, into the new place as executive chef.
Stagioni means "seasons" in Italian, and the 90-seat place will offer build-your-own plates of antipasti, bruschette and charcuterie, featuring area products, plus tuna carpaccio, fettuccine with wild boar ragu, halibut with escarole and more, including pizzas from a wood-fired oven.
Info: www.stagioniclt.com; 704-372-8110. (Photos from the restaurant.)
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
If you want the best chance at all the tickets you want from the Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend coming up in April, plan to be at the "official ticket launch party" Jan. 18 at Bonterra. More than 30 events will be held during this, the 25th anniversary Weekend (it's April 22-26). The upcoming Weekend's beneficiaries are Pat's Place, the Council for Children's Rights, Second Harvest Food Bank and Charlotte Concerts. Info: www.charlottewineandfood.org.
* Applebee's has announced it will put a tablet at every table at every restaurant across the country in 2014, letting diners, as Slate puts it, "order food, pay the bill, and ignore their dining companions by playing video games." Chili's announced the same thing in mid-September. Will that mean a reduction in servers? Interesting question.
* Know who stole $25,000 worth of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon and rye whiskey from a kentucky distillery? Spill and you could get 10 grand.
Fans of the animated Bob's Burgers will find recipes for an astounding range of the bizarro burgers -- favorite to date: "The Cauliflower's Cumin from Inside the House" -- made up on the show on this Tumblr account.