The 11 Best Deals to Take Advantage of During Charlotte's Restaurant Week
It’s here! Queen’s Feast: Charlotte Restaurant Week has returned for its winter edition and has grown to be the biggest iteration yet. From January 19 through January 28, 134 restaurants in the Charlotte area will offer hungry deal-loving Charlotteans prix fixe menus of three courses or more (some even include a glass of wine or flight of beer) for $30 or $35 per person.
Not sure how to navigate through all the options to find the best deals? No problem. After extensive research, we have selected our top 11 menus offered by participating non-chain restaurants that show off the skill of the masters in the kitchen and are the best bang for your buck. Our advice for this week is to try something different -- there’s too much good food out there to stay in a culinary rut. Now, without further adieu, we present the best deals for Charlotte Restaurant Week.
Mountain Island Lake
Heirloom chef and owner, Clark Barlowe is as known for his foraging as he is for the dishes he creates. Barlowe and team source the lion’s share of ingredients from North Carolina farmers and/or artisan producers. Three courses for $35 include dishes such as Bermuda fish chowder made with North Carolina golden tilefish, pork Milanese with beet and sweet potato gnocchi, and duck fat funnel cake with mixed berry sauce for dessert. And since you could easily rack up a $100+ bill here, this deal is not to be overlooked.
Carpe Diem is a Charlotte staple, and if you haven’t eaten there yet this is your chance. Open since 1989, there is a reason Carpe Diem has succeeded while many Charlotte restaurants have folded, and for many, that reason is the fried chicken. For $35, diners can get a three-course experience including salad, entrée (including the aforementioned fried chicken, which is normally $21 alone), and a dessert. In addition to the fried chicken, the menu also includes their signature warm goat cheese salad, and the herb-braised pork chop.
Known for a casual atmosphere and extremely friendly staff, 300 East brought their A-game for Queen’s Feast. For $35, patrons get three courses and a glass of wine. To put that into perspective, entrees usually run about $20 and a glass of wine averages about $10. With this deal, you’re getting three courses and a glass of wine for the price of an entree and a glass of Cabernet. Start with the pickled shrimp. Next order the bronzed sesame salmon with coconut brown basmati rice and sautéed spinach. End your night with the passion fruit tres leches cake created by pastry chef, Ashley Bivens Boyd.
Aqua e Vino is a relative newcomer to the Charlotte culinary scene, but has developed a strong following of regulars thanks to Italian-born and trained chef Gabriele Grigolon’s creations. Eating here will make you feel like you’ve been transported to Northern Italy without busting your wallet. Aqua e Vino is serving four courses for $35 for Queen’s Feast (the average entree price on the regular menu is about $25 per dish). Said food includes Spanish octopus a la plancha, slow-roasted North Carolina rabbit, and Salem Hills Farm chicken made in the style of chef Grigolon’s “Nonna”. And how can you possibly turn down grandma’s chicken?
Lumiere French Kitchen specializes in French cuisine, which is one good reason this should be on your “must eat.” Let’s be honest, you’re probably not going to a French restaurants in the greater Charlotte area, so this is the perfect time to get fancy. Located in Myers Park, Lumiere is offering three courses and an amuse-bouche to start for $35. Have you always wanted to try foie gras, escargot, or duck a l’orange -- which regularly total $63? Now is your chance to try, all for a fraction of the price.
Alton's Kitchen & Cocktails is offering three courses, including lobster bisque, lamb shank (normally $24) and white chocolate bread pudding for $35. In addition to their set Queen’s Feast menu items, the daily chef’s feature is also included as an option. During the week, Alton’s is also offering drink specials including $24 bottles of house wine, half price bottles of wine ($75 and under) on Monday, and $4 draft beers on Tuesday.
With breathtaking views of the Catawba River Bridge, The Pump House is a beautiful space (inside and out) that you would never expect once supplied the Celanese Corporation’s Celriver plant with water for its daily operations, hence the name. The $30 Queen’s Feast menu includes meatballs made in-house with ground tenderloin and pork, shrimp with Anson Mills grits, and the area-famous Cheerwine chocolate cake.
Fiamma’s menu is extensive, and for $35 diners can experience authentic Italian dining in an intimate setting. With fresh seafood and other ingredients delivered daily, the food served is of the highest quality. Sea scallops served with cauliflower puree, the Fiamma speciality veal ossobuco served with saffron rice, and branzino (a Mediterranean fish) served with fresh vegetables are all on the menu.
With seafood so fresh the menu changes daily depending on the catch of the day, Upstream is the best seafood restaurant in Charlotte. Three courses for $35 makes what is typically considered an expensive restaurant now attainable. And we’ve got one word for you: lobster. Get it while you can at this crazy low price (it typically runs at market price, and that can be upwards of $40).
Because of Highland Avenue Restaurant, Hickory is now known for more than being a furniture hub. Focused on locally sourced foods, working with farmers and purveyors from North Carolina, Highland Avenue serves simple yet delicious Appalachian cuisine. For $35, you can order from options such as curried butternut squash bisque, sorghum BBQ pork shoulder -- usually $23 by itself -- and a toffee brioche served with blood orange compote.
NoDa Brewing has partnered with TIN Kitchen food truck to bring a unique $30 dining experience to Queen’s Feast. The dinner includes a beer flight specifically paired with each menu item. The TIN Kitchen has created dishes such as chipotle smoked beef tartare, braised beef short rib, and the vanilla honeycomb cheesecake with an Oreo crust. This option proves that you have more options than just wine to pair with a sophisticated dish.
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