Charlotte Restaurant Week

Admittedly I’ve only been here a week and so my restaurant knowledge is limited, especially because that week has been in the middle of restaurant week- a phenomena all cities should have and all people should take advantage of. But here, in my humble wanna-be foodie opinion: are some tidbits on tidbits.

M-five

A bit pretentious honestly, I was glad I had on a dress and lamented the fact that I hadn’t put on makeup. The waiters are big on flourish: a little extra sway of the hands here, a little fancy tie with a napkin around my wineglass there, a little mumbling when describing the wine so that I can’t tell you’ve forgotten the description… But the experience overall was gratifying. The steak was great and perfectly cooked- I can’t tell you how much I hate to get medium well when I mean medium. The whitefish my date had was also perfect. However, I can make a whitefish that good at home and I’m over people calling everything a prawn that isn’t popcorn shrimp. I don’t think it’s worth the pricing; you can get a better steak and a more memorable white fish elsewhere (the review of BLT Steak is to follow) but the food and the service are good nonetheless. I’ll definitely be back here again, but only for restaurant week. I’m not paying 15$ for two shrimp ( I mean tiger prawns) over sun dried tomatoes (I mean tomato compote) with mozzarella sticks ( I mean pimento sticks in fish fry) on a normal basis.

Zebra

A great way to kick off my stay in Charlotte. I went with TimmyTim and Lofry and ordered the lamb medium with Char and mashed potatoes. So did Timmy.  LoFry got the linguine with Filet, Lobster, and Scallops with Asparagus. For appetizers we got the lobster with Avocado and the scallops with olive compote and a ricotta samosa thingy. The ricotta simosa thingy had no flavor. Everything else was phenomenal. After the size of the appetizers came out, and the waiters kept coming by with different trays of breads and sauces every five minutes, I was worried that I was going to be in for tapas sized food and…non-tapas…sized pricing but these people know how to feed you. The main courses arrived and firstly, LoFry’s linguine was not cooked. This was done on purpose. It was arranged in a basket and charred on the edges with all the meat inside. We joked about sending it back for being a bit too al dente but decided the wait staff had had enough laughs at our expense. Apparently we got a bit loud when one of the wines was 2,800 a bottle. I mean I love Napa but damn! Then LoFry made some crack about it being the crown of thorns( the linguine) and I tried not to laugh but I haven’t been to church in a few weeks and she caught me off guard! In either case, the rest of the meal went without fail. The portions are huge. Apparently, if you’re a guy like Timmy you can finish the plate…and have enough class to wipe up the sauce with the fancy bread they keep coming around with. But the rest of us mere mortals were thanking God for empire waists and the fact that we were going out to a bar next rather than a club (rather than going home as well to be honest bc I would have had heart burn like  a mofo trying to sleep on that meal). The lamb was cooked to perfection. It’s done in a peppercorn rub so definitely just say no to the cracked pepper. The mashed potatoes were really just there to tease you into satiety. It got to that point where you’re pushing them to the side just because you have to make a call between lamb and potatoes and I can make potatoes like that at the house (so can you, just quit with the diet stuff and grab some real butter, some real cream, and some real-with the salt- chicken broth). Ok this post is getting way to long. Suffice it to say that every drop of that non-restaurant week price was worth it. They weren’t on the list. They don’t need to be.

BLT Steak

What can I say?, other than that the venue was cute, the service was fun, the people wore sundresses and there was a single guy sitting next to us, the blue neon lights outside were ridiculous, and the food was amazing- except the dessert- just go to Ritas. TimmyTim and LoFry were the road dogs once again. And here the Sea Bass was actually memorable, I have decided that Hanger Steak is my favorite kind (ah yes I remembered why I wasn’t loving the meal at M5!- I got a flank steak and I hate the fat/meat texture conflict and the fact that I look like an ass trying to cut it all off) just because of the flavor and, if cooked right, the tenderness as well( side: Spice Street in Chapel Hill makes a mean hanger steak as well and it’s a bit of a twist for flavor due to the Mediterranean influences on the food). They give you a lot of fun things like bread, unsalted butter, and sea salt. Restaurants that do things like this, but then look down their noses at people who want cracked pepper on their beefsteak tomato make me laugh. Another thing that was to die for was the beefsteak tomato. That- I would pay 15$ for, which I think about sums it up.

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