Justin Driscoll
Justin Driscoll
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1. 5Church 127 N Tryon St, Suite 8, Charlotte, NC 28202 (Uptown)

Feather chandeliers, leather banquettes, and a black ceiling set the scene at this sleek, loft-style space in the center of Uptown, where signature dishes such as a lamb burger, ahi tuna poke, and citrus- & herb-roasted whole fish are served alongside fancy libations. Guests typically mingle here earlier in the evenings for a drink or two before continuing on to another nearby nightlife destinations. Specialty cocktails like the Viper (Patron, orange liqueur, cucumber water, and cayenne pepper) and the Rosemary Gin Fizz (gin, liquid egg whites, and rosemary simple syrup) are sophisticated enough to keep up with the crowd.

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2. Blue Restaurant & Bar 206 N College St, Charlotte, NC 28202 (Uptown)

Set inside a sprawling, elegant space in First Ward that's reminiscent of a cruise ship dining room, Blue brings Charlotte upscale Mediterranean food and wine. Carnivores will be thrilled with the meat-centric menu that features entrees like wild boar tenderloin and Moroccan-spiced chicken & apricot tagine, while vegetarians will find comfort in chopped mushroom bolognese and rainbow chard. Blue is in an ideal spot if you're headed to the symphony or a show, or you can simply stay put for the live jazz Wednesday through Saturday.

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3. Barrington's 7822 Fairview Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226 (Southpark)

A Charlotte staple, Barrington's is ideal for date night thanks to its elegant decor, approachable bistro menu, and exceptional global wine list. The menu changes seasonally, as the chefs and owners are committed to using the best of what's grown in and around Charlotte, so there's no guarantee what you'll get, but there's sure to be fresh seafood, handmade pastas, and local meats on the board. Like the fine wines it serves, the restaurant gets better (and more popular) with age, so a reservation is highly recommended.

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