Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Uptown gets Mexican

Vida Cocina and Tequila Bar should open in late spring or early summer at the intersection of Trade and College streets (across from the Ritz-Carlton). Look for "evolved Mexican cuisine" -- meaning, according to chef Chris Swinyard (formerly with Dean and DeLuca), dishes such as grilled Gulf shrimp tacos with jalapeno bacon and mango habanero salsa; tortilla-crusted halibut; and adobo-rubbed, bone-in pork chops. Plans for the tequila bar include 100 varieties and "skinny margaritas," made with organic ingredients. Sean O'Brien (formerly with Capital Grille) and Swinyard lead the effort, with Charlotte-based Landmark Leisure Group.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

That description of the shrimp tacos just made my mouth water!

Anonymous said...

If they do it right, they wont charge $100 a plate. Downtown needs good, healthy food, for decent money. Right now, it's either bar food or $80 for a steak/sushi.

COMPLETE RIPOFF.

Anonymous said...

don't forget the new Qdoba near capital grill.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness! I have waited for a decent Mexican restaurant uptown for far too long. I have satiated myself thus far with Johnny Burrito and Salsarita's but my wait is almost over. No, I didn't forget about Jolina. That place is the worst. Hint to Jolina: not everything HAS to have corn in it!!!!!

JAT said...

As ever, Helen, my first thought is "will they make their own tortillas?"

We wouldn't dream of frequenting an Indian joint which got its naan off a truck, yet with Southwest food the issue gets a free pass........

Having said that, anyone else flashing back to the Red Sage in DC, circa 1992?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I work accress the street at the Ritz and wondered what was going to be there with the rooftop dining. Looks like it will be a cool place to go.

Anonymous said...

That's not Mexican cuisine. It's just some chef with some made up creations so they can bump the menu up.

Anonymous said...

I remeber red sage. Mark Miller, et al. Delicious.

Anonymous said...

Red Sage was awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

Joline's is closed. Out of business.

Anonymous said...

Cantina 1511 is 10 minutes from Yuptown. I'd be willing to be it's cheaper than and equal to, if not better than, any overpriced downtown offering. The parking is pretty bad too so downtowners will feel at home.

Anonymous said...

Chris Swinyard will make this place very busy. He's a great chef who's worked very hard in the business for years. He has wonderful recipes and new ideas al the time. They're lucky to have him!

Ray said...

Most of the mexican restaurants I have been to near uptown/central Charlotte are just prettied up Taco Bell's with higher prices. Restaurants with not even a single Spanish speaking person on staff, except maybe their dishwasher. You gotta head further south for some real mexican.

Anonymous said...

... (yawn) ...

Anonymous said...

or head east. Central Avenue.

Anonymous said...

I'll be sticking to the REAL good Mexican food on Central and Albemarle, not this overpriced Disney junk.

WashuOtaku said...

The best news all day, Joline's is closed. That place was horribly bad, only survived by convention center visitors that were not willing to walk more than a block away; it's regrettable that it took this long for it to finally close shop.

Helen may like the fancy Mexican food coming, but I'm just happy with Qdoba coming and Johnny Burrito. Don't have time during lunch for fancy Mexican; but thanks for the heads up.

Annie Getford said...

"Evolved Mexican food?" I thought we were past Social Darwinism.

dan said...

Helen ! I'm putting you in timeout for that
"evolved Mexican cuisine " thing.

JAT said...

Wanted to point out that ethnicity does not = authenticity. Depends on what sells, or what the owners THINK will sell. If it is "stir fry fajitas," canned beans and jalapenos, and acres of melted yellow cheese -- that is what they'll offer more times than not.

Anonymous said...

me loves cantina 1511! i'm skeptical something can beat it.

J said...

Maybe I'm being an idiot here, but I'm only going to consider a restaurant "Mexican" if the chefs are Mexicans or at least lived in Mexico for a few years.

Anonymous said...

I prefer those true authentic places as mentioned on Central or South, OR Phat Burrito.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Did they said organic margarita? it can't be. i'm so there!