Thursday, March 6, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Charlotte's Taste of the Nation event this year will be April 16, and Harper's is already offering a deal: Buy your tickets before March 10 and you can get $15 off your general admission ticket ($75) with a discount code of LOYALCLT14. The annual event works toward national hunger relief group Share Our Strength's "No Kid Hungry" effort, with 100 percent of ticket sales going to that goal.
General admission tickets get you into the event at Two Wells Fargo Center Atrium at 301 S. Tryon St. from 7-9:30 p.m.; if you're the sort who needs to get in early, get your VIP ticket for a 6 p.m. entry, for $100.
Taste of the Nation gets you tastes of the work of area restaurants and culinary schools, plus wine, beer and spirits (including offerings from the Mixologist Bar), plus live music, silent auction and live auction.
Headed to the Charleston Wine and Food Festival (March 6-9)? Hoping to meet hot-shot chefs? Take note of tips from Mike Lata of FIG and The Ordinary here.
Relax: There's no Chipotle Guacopalypse!
Just can't do better than a smoothie of gravy, ham, pie and more gravy.
Or can you? Here's Jamie Oliver telling Hong Kong about the new restaurant he's opening there -- in Cantonese. My favorite: He's opening it in "a car crash" -- no, in "a bronze bed" -- no, in "Causeway Bay." Yes!
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Roosters Uptown hosts a Vino Vino dinner March 20, with a menu that starts with family-style appetizers, from crudo (Italy's version of sushi) and arancini (think risotto hush puppies) to bucatini pasta with shellfish to hickory-fired swordfish to black pepper panna cotta with salted caramel and charred grapes. Wines are Prosecco, 2012 Santadi Vermentino, 2012 Firriato Etna Bianco, 2011 Firriato Nero Di Avola and 2009 Pra Recioto Di Soave.
$65; 704-370-7667; 150 N. College St.
The Carolina Place Harper's offers a two-course menu for two for $29, with the option to add a bottle of wine for $15, nightly, throughout March. 11059 Carolina Place Parkway; 704-541-5255.
Gallery has begun a new cocktail program dubbed "Liquid Arts," with new mixologist Greg Voss aiming to emphasize housemade syrups and sodas, as well as local ingredients, in the wares. Examples: A cocktail called Aroma, made with vodka, a housemade strawberry-rosemary syrup, fresh lime juice and Prosecco; and one called Explore, with vodka, basil-coriander syrup, grapefruit juice, basil leaf and cracked black pepper.
Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge; 704-248-4100.
Update: Post any additions before midnight March 5. Thanks! (And remember, no anonymous posts will be considered.)
The Observer’s annual Tournament of Food approaches, timed as it always is, to conclude during the NCAA basketball championships, April 5-8 this year. This year, our lucky seventh, arrives on the heels of (in order) wings, pizza, fries, burgers, sandwiches and barbecue. So what better to do than appetizers?
We’ll take your recommendations for the best appetizer in the Charlotte area – barring wings (did ’em and don’t want to repeat, even though it is the 50th anniversary of Buffalo wings, we’re told) and fries (did ’em) and nachos (just ... no) – in the comments below (BUT NO ANONYMOUS ONES). The appetizer should be a sharable one, in the spirit of something you might actually eat while watching a tournament together. So ixnay on the foie gras and single-scallop fare, but have at the dips and the fried things and ... well, probably more fried things.
Then we’ll take the top 12 (I get my own four spots) and create a 16-app tournament bracket.
You’ll vote and we’ll taste and finally, a panel will determine a grand winner.
And you saw where I said "no anonymous ones," right? Thanks! Two were posted before I remembered to add that note -- barbecue shrimp at Cajun Queen and e2 wood-oven-roasted oysters -- so if you want those in, someone with a name, please comment.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Charlotte-based Salsarita’s now serves what it's calling the "World's Hottest Burrito," employing the Fort Mill-based PuckerButt Pepper Company's Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper.
That pepper is the Guinness World Record holder for "Hottest Chile Pepper" -- calculated to be about 300 times hotter than a jalapeno.
The burrito will be available at 11 Charlotte-area locations for a six-week trial period. It's made with grilled chicken, black beans, rice, corn salsa, tomatoes, cilantro and 1 teaspoon of Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper pepper mash, and goes for $12.99. Half of each sale will benefit Dove's Nest, part of Charlotte Rescue Mission, whose goal is to help at-risk women make major life changes.
Going to try it? Report back!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Barbecue legend Ed Mitchell (above, in a file photo), who made The Pit in Raleigh famous, is closer to opening a place in Durham called Que.
In case you missed it: Maurice Bessinger of Maurice's Piggie Park has died. You may remember his mustard sauce, or the pro-slavery tracts he set out in the restaurant.