The last 10 days have been “Queen’s Feast” here in Charlotte. It’s our bi-annual restaurant week event where various restaurants around town offer three courses for $30. I am hot and cold with restaurant week. I wasn’t planning on participating this winter and then in the last five days, I ended up going out twice. Both meals were excellent and exceeded my expectations so I’m glad it worked out that way! Bonus, I had never been to either of the restaurants so it was great to try out new places.
Here’s a quick look at what I got for $30 at two of Charlotte’s landmark fine dining restaurants. NOTE: These are all iPhone pics because I’ve all but stopped taking my DSLR with me when I’m out with friends and loved ones.
Carpe Diem has been open since 1989 and is now located in Charlotte’s Elizabeth neighborhood. They claim their food is “new American” but it definitely has an upscale Southern flair to it as well. Before I get into the food, I want to comment on the service and overall experience. The service was friendly, timely and responsive. Our meal was perfectly timed and anything we needed anything from our server she was on it immediately. Also, the portions were surprisingly generous.
I started with the hazelnut crusted goat cheese salad. You cannot go wrong with warm goat cheese. The salad also had wine poached onions and an apricot jalapeño vinaigrette. One random thing included in this salad was carrots and bell peppers. They didn’t work in this salad for me so I ate around them. Sometimes simple is better!
This is a terrible photo but they brought us a little palate cleanser bite of sorbet between our salad and entree course.
For my entree I had a hanger steak with a sauce made from a local brewery’s beer. It was topped with gorgonzola and served with creamed kale on the side.
The desserts all sounded amazing but the cherry cobbler was calling my name.
This was TO DIE FOR and I don’t think I spoke for five minutes while I couldn’t stop dipping my spoon into the bowl. The pastry and homemade ice cream were incredible and the cherries were perfectly sweet and sour.
Toscana is a high-end Italian restaurant tucked away in Charlotte’s SouthPark area. We had reservations for Toscana on a very rainy Friday night and it was the coziest place to be on a rainy, cold evening. Once again, service was impeccable. We were so lucky to get a great server who has literally worked there since the first day they were open. Her name was Sandy and she took great care of us all night! The only table left when I called about reservations was a high top in the bar area but I loved it.
I was super happy to get all dressed up and wore a little black dress along with a new necklace I had just picked out that day from Erin McDermott. It’s not on her site yet but she has them in the studio. Let her know if you want one. It’s a gold chain with a gold disc and a really pretty silvery/gold stone. It’s great because it matches gold and silver. I’ll take a better photo of it and share later!
Warm bread and a delicious Super Tuscan to start.
I had a crab cake for my appetizer that was served with pickled veggies and a citrus sauce. It was all crab, minimal filler and super tasty.
The risotto of the day was calling my name for my entree. It was some sort of a tomato risotto with seared sea scallops. Scallops + risotto = my favorite combo EVER!
Shared tiramisu and panna cotta to finish.
The panna cotta was my favorite.
It’s been a good week of eating for me!
Does your city have a restaurant week?
What’s your favorite thing to order out at “fancy” dinners?