If regular chocolate-glazed, sprinkle-covered doughnuts have been boring you, you’re in luck: Stoke is serving up a 1lb doughnut -- simply called The Doughnut, of course -- that will put your morning crullers to shame.
The mammoth-sized brioche dessert is topped with a massive amount (we’re talking more than a dollop here) of rich pastry cream, Heath bar crumbles, and a blizzard of powdered sugar. It comes on a giant cutting board and is meant to be shared, but we recommend hoarding the treat to yourself. Remember: If you order a doughnut for dessert, then there’s no shame in eating your leftovers for breakfast the next day.
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Housed inside the Charlotte Marriott City Center, the sleek and spacious Stoke looks like an extension of the restaurant's open kitchen, where chefs are creating seasonal American cuisine, much of which is wood-fired. There are plenty of wooden and marble tables to gather around, and if you're lucky, you'll get a seat near the kitchen so you can watch as the team pieces together beautiful ham and cheese boards, and dishes like tender sticky pork shank and smoked chicken. The bar features local craft beer and artisanal cocktails (go for the Bartender’s Handshake).