Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bits and pieces

Fran's Filling Station is now open all day (11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.) Fridays and Saturdays, with an appetizer and drink menu 3:30-6:30 p.m., and sandwiches, salads, burgers and more available. Sandwiches, salads and burgers have been added to the Sunday brunch menu now, and the hours on that are now 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Also new: Reservations can now be made for parties and corporate gatherings in the back room. 2410 Park Road; 704-372-2009.

Sante in Matthews has a new lunch menu for spring, with pastas and flatbreads as new additions, and some old favorites brought back. 165 N. Trade St. in Matthews; 704-845-1899.

Dine out, do good

Kabuto Lake Norman, from now until the end of June, will donate 10 percent of its food sales to the victims of the Japan Tsunami, through the Red Cross, says general manager Megan Tan. 16516 Northcross Drive in Huntersville; 704-655-0077.

Also, coming up at this Kabuto: a Momokawa flavored sake tasting April 1-2. You choose how many to try: three for $5, six for $10, nine for $14. Flavors include plain, watermelon, raspberry, grape, peach, sour apple, island punch, melon and orange.

Providence Road Sundries will donate dinner proceeds from 5-10 p.m. April 3 to Myers Park Presbyterian Church's mission trip to El Salvador in June, where the goal is to build seven Habitat for Humanity houses in Getsemani. 1522 Providence Road; 704-366-4467.

Coming up

The Wine Shop at Foxcroft hosts a Chehalem wine dinner April 13. Among the plans: pan-seared scallop with corn salsa and 2008 Pinot Gris Reserve; braised pork belly and 2008 3 Vineyard Pinot Noir; duck confit with black cherry spaetzle and 2008 Stoller Vineyards Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir Reserve; and more. $50; 7824 Fairview Road; 704-365-6550.

Mimosa Grill does a Whitehall Lane wine dinner April 28, with owner Tom Leonardini in attendance. Among the courses: Cape May skate wing with 2009 Carneros Chardonnay;
Colorado lamb chops with 2007 Napa Valley Merlot; and more. $75; 327 S. Tryon St.; 704-343-0700.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why you should get a Bialetti now, and more links of the week

The debate over coffee makers continues. I've had a Bialetti for about 20 years now and would never have anything else: espresso in about a minute and a half and it takes 30 seconds to wash.

Uber-chef Grant Achatz may be close to opening his uber-cool new restaurant, which plans to change menu AND decor AND century (you'll get it when you read) every few months.

How to beat a salad bar!

And no, this has nothing to do with food -- well, unless you consider the possibilities of helping the 19th-century British street urchin not starve.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wine events coming up

  • Urban Sip at the uptown Ritz-Carlton has two big wine names coming to town in April. First, it hosts a Cakebread wine dinner April 12, with Dennis Cakebread speaking at the pre-dinner reception. Dinner from hotel chef Jon Farace (on the Urban Garden Bridge) will include 2009 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, the 2007 Napa Valley Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and more, with salmon tataki, seared crabcake, filet mignon and more. $125 (includes reception, dinner and autographed copy of Cakebread Cellars cookbook); 201 E. Trade St.; 704-547-2244.
  • Then, George Riedel will be on hand for a reception and wine tasting April 19 using contemporary Riedel stemware. Among the wines to be tasted: 2009 Illahe Vineyards Riesling, 2008 Stewart Cellars Chardonnay, 2007 Fiddlehead Cellars Oldsville Reserve Pinot Noir, and 2007 Burly Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. $75 (including four glasses from the Riedel XL Collection and valet parking); 704-547-2244.
  • The next Wine Vault dinner will be April 14 at Bonterra with Stewart Cellars, and winery owner James Stewart will be there to present the offerings. Among the courses: wild mushroom tortellini with 2007 Russian River Pinot Noir; a pre-order tasting of the 2006 Slingshot Cabernet Sauvignon; seared duck breast with 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet; and more. 1829 Cleveland Ave.; $70; 704-548-9463.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dine out (more), do good

Masanori Shiramine, owner of Mai Japanese Restaurant, hosts a dinner March 28 to benefit victims of the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami. The family of Shiramine, known as Mine (pronounced mee-nay), lives on the northern island of Hokkaido, which was mostly unharmed by the events, but he wants to contribute. So he will serve traditional dishes, including sushi and hibachi items, buffet style 5-9:30 p.m. The food will be free, and donations for the relief efforts will be collected, with all going to the Red Cross. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. 7731 Colony Road; 704-542-4222.

Bits and pieces

The winter 2011 Charlotte Restaurant Week numbers, according to organizer Bruce Hensley: 83 participating restaurants served about 85,000 meals: an estimated economic impact of $3.995 million, based on an average guest check of $47. (The first, July 2008's, was seven days, rather than 10, and totaled about 35,000 meals and $1.9 million.) The next CRW: July 15-24.

Rush espresso (yes, with the second lowercase) is open at Ballantyne Village, serving illy coffee, a well-known Italian brand, as well as a range of coffee drinks, teas and specialty beverages. Also offered: breakfast (eggs Benedict, pancakes, Vegemite on toast -- owners are a couple from Brisbane, Australia), lunch and light dinner fare (sandwiches, salads, chili, pasta), plus pastries, breads and sweets. Open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily; 14815 Ballantyne Village Way; www.rushespressocafe.com.

Georges Brasserie begins Thursday Night Jazz this week, 6–9 p.m., with wine and hors d'oeuvres, a Mercedes-Benz prize package and a drawing for dinner for two from Georges. 4620 Piedmont Row Drive; 980-219-7409.


Harper's at Carolina Place has deals during the NCAA tournament: $5 Burger and Brew (a Bud Light draft) offered in the bar during televised games, and $10 Beer and Pizza Special: a flight of four beers and a pizza, offered anytime in the bar. 11059 Carolina Place Parkway, Pineville; 704-541-5255.

BLT Steak joins 16 other BLTs nationally on April 18 to give folks 50 percent off all alcoholic beverages -- helping to "take the stress out of Tax Day." 110 N. College St.; 704-972-4380.

Dine out, do good

Tropical Escape Cafe and Bar in Rock Hill hosts "Jazz for Japan" on March 27, benefitting the American Red Cross. Area jazz musicians will play at dinner, community folks (including Sen. Wes Hayes and Rock Hill City manager David Vehaun) will serve as celebrity waitstaff, and a Red Cross representative will be on hand to accept donations. A buffet lunch will be served 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., and dinner will be 5-9 p.m.The restaurant, celebrating its 25th anniversary, will donate 20 percent of gross sales for the entire day to the American Red Cross relief efforts for Japan. 564 N. Anderson Road; 803-366-3888.

Whiskey Warehouse hosts an Olde Mecklenburg beer dinner to support the public library April 7. Grateful Growers, Calico Dairy Farms, Lady Jayne’s Bakery and others are working with the restaurant on the dinner, which will include a cheese plate with cured ham and Fruehbock; slow-cooked pork shoulder with shiitake mushroom sauce and Copper Altbier; and more. (Yes, you can get a vegetarian option; e-mail Al@whiskeycharlotte.com by April 2.) $25 if you donate three books; $28 if you don't; 20 percent of revenue will be donated to the library. 1221 The Plaza; 704-334-7005.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gear up for a Taste

Charlotte's 16th Annual Taste of the Nation on April 13 will offer fare from more than 30 area restaurants, culinary schools, organizations and wineries, plus live entertainment, live and silent auctions and more. All ticket sales go toward ending childhood hunger, and local beneficiaries include Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and the Community Culinary School of Charlotte. Among the restaurants on board are BLT Steak, Blue, BrickTops, Brixx, Ember Grille, Enso, Gallery, Harper's, LaVecchia's, Mert's, Mez, Mimosa Grill, Paco's Tacos and Tequila, The Capital Grille, Savannah Red, Upstream, Vida Cantina, Village Tavern and Zink.

$100 gets you into the VIP Preview Hour, beginning at 6 p.m.; it's $85 for the 7-10 p.m. main event, at which there will be tastes of dishes, wines, beers and more. (No one under 21, even kids in strollers, will be permitted in.) All are at The Atrium at the Wells Fargo building uptown at 401 S. Tryon St., with free parking at the deck off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Tickets: online at www.charlottetasteofthenation.com or at 704-376-1785.

From the interwebs...

Vote on the burger tournament Final Four because ... the Panthers' Ryan Kalil wants you to! He's got a favorite place, which he is suggesting followers support by tweeting a link to the brackets. We're honored. Oh, that link? Here. Voting ends at midnight March 22.

Also bracket-related: This Twitpic. Eww. Yet, reports the Charlotte restaurant involved, someone ordered it. And finished it!

But that's not as scary as this: Marcel from Top Chef has his own show!!

One more bracket: The Washington Post's on beer: Here.

"The Big Brew Ha"

Brewed beverages and breakfast-for-dinner for a cause: The Mint Museum uptown hosts "The Big Brew Ha" 7:30-10:30 p.m. April 15.

That means gourmet breakfast for dinner -- with fare from Dean & DeLuca, Harvest Moon Grille, Amelie's and more -- along with coffee, tea and beer, served on the top floor of the Mint. Accompanying festivities include a balloon pop (with prizes inside), a "Brew Pong" tournament (yes, just like what you're thinking), and more, with proceeds going to help fund preservations at St. Peter's Catholic Church. The church, right across the street from the Mint, is one of Tryon's oldest. $60 (and you get a pilsner glass or coffee mug); parking will be free at The Green deck next to St. Peter's. Tickets are at www.thebigbrewha.com.

East side, represent

Four restaurants in Charlotte East made it into Southern Living magazine in historian Tom Hanchett’s piece on alternative ‘cue: Ben Thanh (for bun – a rice vermicelli dish – with pork), El Pulgarcito de America (for pork pupusas), A Taste of the Caribbean (for jerk chicken) and Cocina Latina (for lamb barbecue tacos).

"Firebird" sandwich, Foursquare, more

You can now get a “Firebird” sandwich at the Bechtler Café; food provider Porcupine Provisions has added it, chicken grilled with Middle Eastern spices on pita, along with a hot pastrami on rye and a romaine salad with grilled flank steak. The café now runs 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday-Saturday, with snacks and soft drinks on Sundays. 420 S. Tryon St.; 704-353-9200.

Matthews’ Santé, which turns 10 this month, has reopened for Saturday lunches, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and now offers drink specials during the week. 165 N. Trade St.; 704-845-1899.

Diners who check in at Morton’s Bar 12-21 on Foursquare or Facebook Places in March get a complimentary Bar Bite appetizer when they buy a Power Hour beverage (selected $5 beers, $6.50 glasses of wine, $7.50 martinis). You can do it once a day and must show the bartender the check-in on your smartphone. 227 W. Trade St.; 704-333-2602.

Terrace Café offers something called the “Society of Business Wafflers”: If you have a business meeting there between 7 and 11 a.m. weekdays in 2011, whether it’s with one other person or a dozen, you’ll get a 15 percent discount.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Vote on the Final Four

Voting continues in the Burger Brackets through midnight Tuesday here. The Final Four will be announced the end of this week, then a panel of tasters will assess the foursome and declare semifinalists and the winner next week.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guy on the way

Guy Fieri fans: He's coming to Ovens Auditorium on May 18 to do a "food show" and tickets go on sale March 18. They range from $38.50 ($50.05 with fees) to a whopping $248.50 ($285.60) for something called "VIP stage seating." But there's a presale, now until 10 p.m. March 17: The code is, oh-so-appropriately: "PORK".

Crook's Corner honored

The James Beard Foundation will honor five restaurants as "America's Classics" on May 9, and Chapel Hill's Crook's Corner is among them. Given to restaurants "with timeless appeal, beloved for quality food that reflects the character of their community," the award will be presented in New York.

Here's the press release's description of the landmark at 610 W. Franklin St. (919-929-7643), from regional food writer Christina Lauterbach:

Hubcaps decorate the flanks of the corner building on the fringe of this college town. A pink fiberglass pig stands atop the roof. The dining room does double duty as an art gallery. From the bar, you may order a cracker plate, piled with house-made pimento cheese, and a block of cream cheese smeared with pepper jelly.

Since 1982, when restaurateur Gene Hamer and chef Bill Neal opened the doors, Crook’s Corner has carried the torch of regional foodways, employing and inspiring a generation of young culinary talent – including two James Beard Award-winning chefs.

Bill Neal was one of the first American chefs to explore the cultural import of the regional food he worked to revive. He brought academic rigor and provincial pride to the professional restaurant kitchens of the region.

Since Neal’s untimely death in 1991, Gene Hamer has served as the restaurant’s steward, while Bill Smith has overseen the kitchen, cooking iconic Crook’s dishes like shrimp and grits, hoppin’ John, jalapeno hushpuppies, and persimmon pudding. In more recent years, Smith has added his own flourishes, including house-corned ham and honeysuckle sorbet.

Others chosen: Chef Vola’s in Atlantic City, N.J. ("Frank Sinatra once said he wanted to be buried with one of Chef Vola’s banana cream pies," notes the press release); Watts Tea Shop in Milwaukee (part of a fifth-generation downtown business that celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2010); Le Veau d’Or in New York (a French bistro that opened in 1937 and hosted Grace Kelly and Craig Claiborne among others); Noriega Restaurant and Hotel in Bakersfield, CA. (opened in 1893, it "showcases the Basque culture of California’s San Joaquin Valley").

Coming up

Big Ben's plans a three-day celebration of St. Patrick's Day, including a platter of corned beef and cabbage; a full Irish breakfast/brunch special (yes: black or white pudding); drink specials; a raffle; and live music March 17-19. 2000 South Blvd.; 704-817-9697.

The Myers Park TCBY opens March 19 at 1730 Abbey Place, with free samples of “Super Fro-Yo.” That name is meant to call attention to the difference between TCBY’s levels of live active cultures, probiotics and dietary fiber and those of most frozen yogurts. Sibling locations at Birkdale Village, Blakeney, Colony Place and Wesley Chapel will host “Swirl into Spring” on Sunday: You can sample the Super Fro-Yo flavors and a percentage of proceeds from sales will go directly to the Charlotte-area school of your choice.

Gallery hosts a Beaulieu Vineyard wine dinner April 5 with winemaker Jeffrey Stambor. On the menu: housemade orecchiette with clams and scallops with 2007 Carneros Pinot Noir; honey-barbecue-glazed short rib with 2007 Georges de Latour; and more. $75; 10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway; 704-248-4100.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Top 10s from all over

Parents magazine's list of the 10 best restaurant chains for families, based on an analysis of calories, fat and sodium for menu items, plus availability of options such as organic milk and antibiotic-free chicken, plus conveniences such as call-ahead seating, crayons, etc.:
1. Jason’s Deli
2. Cosi
3. Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes
4. Red Lobster
5. Chipotle
6. Noodles & Company
7. Red Robin
8. Mimi’s Cafe
9. Panera Bread
10. P.F. Chang’s

From allmenus.com comes an assortment of restaurant names dubbed worst, including 9021 Pho, Dirty Dick's Crab House, Spicy Pickle, Han Dynasty (the website makes this one more apparent: handynasty.com), Windy City Wieners, Tony Boloney's Pizzeria, King Dong Chinese Restaurant, Bite Me Pizza, Pu Pu Hot Pot and Gashouse Pizza.

And, in case those aren't sufficiently sickening, take a look at Zagat's list of 10 "craziest food challenges" here. Since the very first one is the "Nine Pounder" at a D.C. chain called BGR -- a burger in which the meat weighs nine pounds but the whole sandwich actually hits 15 (you get a bottle of Maalox) -- I can't bear to type in the rest ... But that photo up there? It's the "Bacon Bomb" at Chicago's Paddy Long's: bacon woven around 5 pounds of sausage, pork and beef. Yes, it comes with fries.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dinners coming up

Paco’s Tacos and Tequila hosts a three-course Shiner Bock brewmaster’s dinner March 15. Spoetzl Brewery will raffle off a gift basket with proceeds benefitting Pints for Prostates. $40; 6401 Morrison Blvd, 704-716-8226.

The Wine Shop at Foxcroft hosts an Isole E Olena wine dinner March 20; the Chianti region winery is considered a top small producer. The menu includes quail with tomato polenta and 2006 Sperino Uvaggio; wild boar saltimbocca with 2008 Chianti Classico and 2006 Cepparello and more. $50; 7824 Fairview Road; 704-365-6550.

Café 157 hosts its first wine dinner March 24 with a speaker from Starlite Vineyards and Russian Estate. $49; 157 N. Trade St. in Matthews; 704-844-8686.

Aquavina hosts its eighth-year anniversary part March 24 with live music, complimentary appetizers and drink specials and a prize giveaway, including show tickets and museum passes. 435 S. Tryon St.; 704-377-9911. Also coming up later at Aquavina: a J. Lohr wine dinner May 14 for $44.

And through March 31, The Palm offers a four-course dinner for $49.95. Among entrée choices are three filet mignon medallions with crab and lobster; sirloin steak, and jumbo lump crabcakes. 6705-B Phillips Place Court; 704-552-7256.

Dilworth dining

Crisp, the popular salad/etc. lunch place in Elizabeth, is opening a Dilworth location at 1412 East Blvd. (formerly Rainbow Path, behind Outback Steakhouse). The new one will offer the same menu as the original (though since it’s half the size, there won’t be a wine bar, etc.) and is scheduled to open in mid-April or so.

Meanwhile, the Brixx location at 1801 Scott Ave. in Dilworth is slated to reopen April 1 after closing March 9 for a significant “facelift.”

St. Patrick's approaches

For St. Patty’s fans:

  • Both McCormick & Schmick’s Charlotte locations will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day March 17 with fare like corned beef sliders, Guinness-steamed shrimp and mussels, lamb stew and more. Also up there: “Mad 4 March” kicks off March 17, with food and drink specials in the bar for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Diners who pick the Final Four correctly could win a $500 bar party for the championship game; entry forms are at the restaurants. 200 S. Tryon St. and 4335 Barclay Downs Drive.
  • Passion8 hosts a beer dinner March 17 for $42, with three courses and Belgian brews. Also of note: Each Tuesday in March, get mussels with choice of broth and a draft beer for $15. 3415 Highway 51 North, Fort Mill, S.C.; 803-802-7455.
  • The party at P.J. O’Reilly’s starts Thursday and runs through Saturday, with bagpipe music, drink and food specials and more. 16640 Hawfield Way Drive; 704-341-2247.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vote by midnight March 9 for Burger Brackets


  • You are voting (by midnight Wednesday) to add two places to the lineup of 14 listed below. So only comments about places NOT already in the 14 will be counted. (You'll get to vote on matchups beginning Friday, and votes will be part -- not all -- of how we decide winners.)
  • Anonymous comments don't count. (I'm posting them because I'm trying to wean us slowly off the anonymous thing here, but will NOT count them -- so if you "voted" with an anonymous comment, go back, get a sign-in and vote so it will count! More on anonymous posting in general to come.)
  • No chains with locations outside the Carolinas.
The 14 already in are:
Big Daddy's Burger Bar.
Comet Grill.

The Liberty.
Jake's Good Eats.
Hinson's Drive-In.
Snoops Grill.
Savor Cafe.
Eddie's Place.
Lebowski's Neighborhood Grill.

So: Did your fave not make it? Comment on this, and the two top ones will be added to the bracket of 16. Have at it!

We'll announce the full bracket of 16, including pairings, in this Friday's CLT section.

The above 14 are in no particular order, and the order has nothing to do with eventual pairings.

Trying to remember prior year's brackets and results? Let me help!
The 2010 Fries final story is here and the bracket is here. (Use control + to zoom it bigger if you can't read it.)
The 2009 Pizza final results are here and the bracket is here.
And the 2008 Wings final wrapup is here and the bracket is here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Charlotte boy, New York City

Sam Talbot, the "Top Chef" Season 2 contestant from Charlotte, has a menu out for Imperial No. 9 at the Mondrian Soho hotel, according to grubstreet.com, which also offers a slide show here. The site dubs it "probably the most out-there design we've seen since ... FoodParc," which is saying something. Crystal chandeliers and mirrored tables are highlights; seafood appears to be hottest (but that chipotle pazole, spelled that way, looks pretty hot to me). The restaurant is at 9 Crosby St.; 212-389-1000.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Coming up: "Gold" Chipotle, events, etc.

Quote of the day:
"Traditionally an 18th anniversary is celebrated with porcelain, but that clearly wouldn't have worked."
-- Mark Crumpacker of the Chipotle chain, which wants to jack up awareness of its choice of ingredients (those "raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers." In lieu of porcelain, it's going to wrap its burritos in gold-colored foil for four months. In April, an online contest called "Wrap What You Love" will ask readers to submit photos of "objects they love wrapped in gold foil," and give prizes for the most creative. Please do not tell me what you plan to submit.

Georges Brasserie celebrates Mardi Gras March 8-13 with menu specials from seafood gumbo to redfish with crawfish, hurricanes, live music and more. 4620 Piedmont Row Drive; 980-219-7409.

The uptown Brixx hosts a March 13 event in conjunction with Charlotte Craft Beer Week (that runs March 11-20; check out details at charlottecraftbeerweek.org), an N.C. tap takeover with 26 N.C> brews plus a Foothills Brewing firkin (that's a size of container) on the bar. Beers will be $3 per pint, brewery representatives will be on hand for questions, and there'll be live music on the patio beginning at 4 p.m. 704-347-2749; 225 E. 6th St.

The Palm hosts an Antinori Family wine dinner March 23, with a four-course dinner and pairings, plus "brand ambassador" Shane Owens as co-host. $125; 704-552-7450; 6705-B Phillips Place Court.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Restaurant updates: Paco's, Zio, Cafe 157

Paco’s Tacos and Tequila has added several dishes to its menu, which also now has combo meals. The new entrees were inspired by Tex-Mex expert Robb Walsh, who recently was guest of honor at a Paco's dinner benefiting the FS Food Group Scholarship at Johnson & Wales. Among the new: Shake Down Shrimp Taco; pork carnitas; spicy black bean soup; and cheeseburger quesadilla. New combo meals include taco, cheese enchilada and chicken quesadilla for $11, and pork tamale, chicken and avocado enchilada and shrimp taco for $11. 6401 Morrison Blvd.; 704-716-8226.

Zio now offers a Sunday brunch with a nontraditional "buffet" with all dishes made to order: build-your-own frittata, French toast, baked eggs with tomato and hollandaise, baked polenta, prime rib, pasta favorites and more for $11.95; $5.95 for children. 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 116 Middleton Drive; 704-344-0100.

Matthews' GadoGado became Café 157 March 1, to better reflect its more casual bar and café nature, says co-owner Dora Lai. Also new: More salads and a variety of sandwiches, plus daily specials, join its menu, and hours extend to six days a week. 157 N. Trade St., Matthews; 704-844-8686; www.cafe157.com.

Chef news

Blake Hartwick is now executive chef at Something Classic; he's been at the Greenbrier most recently, but Charlotteans may remember him from Andrew Blair's, Las Ramblas and Bonterra.

And chef Bryan Emperor of Kalu has topped the Southeast category in the Food & Wine magazine voting for readers' choice of best new chef of the year. That puts him up against nine other regional competitors; the People's Best New Chef title will be determined based on highest number of eligible votes received during the voting period (it ended March 1 and, truth be told, was quite wonky - the websites was swamped, I'm told).

Coming up

Upstream hosts a Jordan Vineyard and Winery dinner March 9 with five courses, including Alaskan black cod, chestnut-stuffed squab breast and Wagyu strip loin. Wine representative Sara Halstead will be on hand to lead. $85; 6902 Phillips Place Court; 704-556-7730.

Whiskey Warehouse
hosts an ACC Championship Brunch at noon March 13, with folks from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. $25; tickets at www.bandtastic.com/ACC. 1221 The Plaza.

The Pizza Peel hosts a collaboration dinner with Heavy Seas and Terrapin on March 13. $45; 4422 Colwick Road; 704-714-8808.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dine out, (maybe) see Avetts

The Avett Brothers have cooked a deal with Charlotte's Laurel Market: Buy one of two sandwiches custom-designed by cellist and foodie Joe Kwon and you get a shot at winning two tickets to the band's April 9 show in Charlotte.
Avett Sandwich One: Genoa salami, pastrami, jalapeño peppers, mayo, sweet pickles, cucumber, red onion and fresh cilantro on baguette.
Avett Sandwich Two: Avocado, egg over easy, spiced mustard, bibb lettuce, tomato, salt and pepper on toasted sourdough.
Buy one between now and the show date and you're entered to win tickets to the show, at Bojangles Coliseum. (At last count, said the band's Dolph Ramseur, there were 40 tickets left for the 9,000-capacity concert.) Laurel Market is at 114 Cherokee Road; 704-347-4989.