Every year, Charlotte Magazine comes out with the Best New Restaurants Issue. This magazine compiles a list of the prior year’s top 25 new restaurants and discusses ambiance, dishes they’ve tried, and what they recommend.
This year, Charlotte Magazine stepped it up a notch and decided to throw a Best New Restaurants Party! While reading over who made the cut, I couldn’t be happier that 2016’s (ranked) listing included a couple of EatWorkPlay Charlotte Foodie Adventures Passport contributors! (Yay!)
Meet Chef Chris Coleman of Stoke Charlotte, a North Carolina native who sources high quality ingredients from local farmers and purveyors to bring you some of the freshest, locally based cuisine in the Queen City. Stoke is housed inside the recently renovated Marriott, right smack in the middle of Uptown Charlotte. Coleman specializes in seasonal American cuisine that is rustic, yet tastefully refined.
Tonight, he featured a pulled pork shank with chili-sorghum glaze over a bed of BBQ braised field peas. The dish was completed with a sprinkle of peanuts and locally-grown benne. This was one of my favorite samples of the night and I cannot wait to return to his restaurant and order a full portion.
An extension of Stoke is the city’s hippest Coffee + Co-Lab’s, Coco and the Director. This neighborhood coffee house supports community artisans with their retail shop and sources their coffee beans locally from Forte Legato Coffee Company in Fort Mill, SC. They have an awesome co-lab space for writing, exchanging ideas with other entrepreneurs, mingling with the locals, or sketching on your notepad. And yes, they provide free Wi-Fi.
During the week they offer a Sandwich of the Day for the work crowd. Their stunning creations are top-notch delicious, with all meats smoked in-house and carved to order. Tonight’s party was no different, as Coco and the Director featured brisket sliders with pickled onions and freshly made pickles.
There’s a good reason this year’s People’s Choice Winner is 204 North—which you’ll find featured inside EatWorkPlay’s Charlotte Foodie Adventures Passport (insert celebratory clapping here)!! Chef Franke Jones created a menu that is equally unique, flavorful, and downright beautiful. One of my favorite creations on 204 North’s menu is the Shrimp Pasta. Chef Franke twists traditional flavors with his own flair and the outcome is simply amazing. Fresh NC shrimp & tagliatelle pasta is tossed with butternut squash, zucchini, garlic tomato sauce and topped with fresh parmesan cheese and herbs. This flavor combination is breathtaking. I highly recommend stopping by for a taste.
Make sure to wash down that stunning pasta dish with one of their signature cocktails. I’ve personally tried all of them and cannot pick a favorite. Every single one is delightful!
I applaud Charlotte Magazine for their 2016’s picks. Each restaurant has their own unique style, culture, and captivating menu options. These top 25 new restaurants opened between November 1, 2015 – November 1, 2016. Next time you’re out for dinner, drinks, or simply entertaining out-of-town guests, check out one of these restaurants for a guaranteed good time.
BEST NEW RESTAURANTS:
Aix en Providence
Inizio Pizza Napoletana
Rai Lay Thai
Reid’s Fine Foods
Moo & Brew
Block and Grinder
CoCo + The Director
Foxcroft Wine Co.
Nellie’s Southern Kitchen
Community Table Bistro
Pasta & Provisions
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