Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Historic Haberdash in Dilworth?

Look for the Haberdash House, from the Crepe Cellar and Growlers folks, to open in Dilworth in 2014. Jeff Tonidandel says the spot, in the former Red Sky Gallery at 1244 East Blvd., will be a gastropub similar to the Crepe Cellar but "a little more high end" with a craft cocktail bar on the second floor, with housemade tonic and the like. He's looking at a late fall opening, most likely.

"We are trying to do some research on historic Charlotte recipes," Tonidandel said in an email. Cool idea. Any thoughts?

Monday, December 16, 2013

New, chef-driven, in Fort Mill

The Flipside Cafe is now open in Fort Mill, from chef Amy Kumpf, former sous chef at Upstream, with some help from Jon Fortes (executive chef at Mimosa Grill, a sibling restaurant to Upstream, in the Harper's Restaurant Group).

Serving breakfast and lunch daily and dinner Monday-Saturday, it opens at 7 a.m. weekdays (10 a.m. on weekends) and focuses on what Kumpf calls "simple, upscale-casual, comfort food that's homemade with the freshest ingredients, as local as possible." Among the offerings at dinner: the Flipside Melt (beef and pimento cheese on brioche), Amy's Shepherd Pie (using braised short rib) and roasted salmon with asparagus "noodles," grits and bacon jam, with entrees about $10-$18. Breakfast ($5-$12) ranges from buttermilk waffles to lobster quiche to housemade granola, while lunch and brunch bridge the two.

3150 U.S. 21 North, Suite 112 (formerly Eat Well Cafe, with a significant upfit), Fort Mill; 803-802-1711; www.theflipsidecafesc.com (photo from its Facebook page).

Dine out, bring toys

Bring a new, unwrapped toy to BLT Steak through Dec. 20 and buy an entree and you'll get a signature dessert for free. The restaurant will pass along the gifts to Toys for Tots. 110 N. College St.; 704-972-4380.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Lunches start at Tupelo Honey; Mellow opening

Tupelo Honey will open for weekday lunch earlier than planned: It'll start serving at 11 a.m. Dec. 16, followed by the kickoff of regular weekend hours (meaning it'll open at 8 a.m. for breakfast) starting Dec. 21. 1820 South Blvd.; 980-225-9167; tupelohoneycafe.com/location/charlotte.

And the Mellow Mushroom in uptown opens Monday, too, at 255 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.: That's in the Catalyst building, next to Romare Bearden Park. 704-371-4725; www.mellowmushroom.com/store/charlotte-uptown.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Links of the week: Turducken of the sea

I've had nights like this:

Here,The Smithsonian takes a look at FDA's going after antibiotic use on farms, with links to good explanatory stuff.

And are apple cores just a myth?

More Cowfish

Universal Orlando, a resort with two theme parks and a plethora of other stuff (the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!), is adding The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar to its CityWalk area, the gateway area that is adding plenty of other stuff, too, in the next six months or so, from a Mexican spot called Antojitos to The Hot Dog Hall of Fame to Menchie's and Cold Stone Creamery.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dine out, do good

Eat at the Crepe Cellar Dec. 17 and 100 percent of the revenue (not profit -- all of it) will go to Second Harvest Food Bank. Tagline for the event (here on Facebook): "You do the eating. We'll do the donating." 3116 N. Davidson St.; 704-910-6543; www.crepecellar.com.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday hours

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

Bits and pieces

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

More big opening news: French!

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."

Info: www.facebook.com/lumierecharlotte.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chef Moffett's newest coming soon

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

Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend plans

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.

Links of the week: Could Applebee's replace servers with ... tablets?

* 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.

Monday, December 2, 2013

'Random Acts of BBQ'

Besides coming up with the best name for a promotion I can recall, Sonny's BBQ (multiple locations) is onto something with this: Guests get to nominate a deserving individual or family in their community to receive a free holiday meal. "We have all been touched ... by stories of those who triumph over adversity or give of themselves. Sonny's BBQ wants to hear those stories ... and reward some of those nominees," said Michael Alberici in the press release about the nominations, which will be accepted until Jan. 15.

Submit your nomination for "Random Acts of BBQ" through the website randomactsofbbq.com; up to 100 people in the nine states where Sonny's operates will get the meal, a choice of a ham or turkey dinner with fixings, sides and banana pudding, according to press materials.