North Carolina, raise up.
This morning on NBC’s Today show, James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Saveur, predicted the food trends for 2012. One was the popularity of wines from “other” (not West Coast) parts of the country. On the table was a bottle from red wine from RayLen Vineyard & Winery, Yadkin Valley, N.C. (Oseland did not mention the wine by name.)
From the Today website:
All the success of California wines has left little room in the conversation for the wines of the rest of America. In 2012, that’s going to change. The wine-growing and wine-making regions of Virginia, North Carolina, the north shore of Long Island and the Finger Lakes in upstate New York are coming into their own and creating wines that are, in certain cases, just as good as wines coming out of California. To wit: the exquisite Dr. Frank’s Riesling from the Finger Lakes region is a fruity, floral delight, and the Texas Tempranillo from Pedernales in the Texas Hill Country is one of the most drinkable wines available today.
Winos and foodies (who DOESN'T fit the bill?), you can breathe easy now: Charlotte Wine and Food Weekend will be held April 18 through 22, and tickets for all events are now available online.
Every two years, fans of fine food and wine flock to town for one of the Southeast's largest wine events and fundraisers. A tequila dinner will be held at at Pacos, Tacos & Tequila on Wednesday, April 18. Other notable events include:
• Wednesday April 18- Golf Tournament held at The Golf Club at Ballantyne. Shotgun start at 8:30am on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 and be followed by an Awards Luncheon. Players with a hole-in-one could win a brand new Lincoln.
• Thursday, April 19 - Charlotte’s Largest Dinner Party — All across the Queen City restaurants will be hosting top vintners from across the country.
• Friday, April 20 — Big Bottles & Blues sponsored by RBC Wealth Management —Urban Garden adjoining The Ritz-Carlton, is the largest event of the weekend typically drawing more than 500 attendees.
• Saturday, April 21 — Vintner Tasting — Scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at Founder’s Hall.
• Saturday, April 21 -The Grand Gala & Live Auction —evening event at The Ritz-Carlton.
• Sunday, April 22 — B3 Burgers, Bloodies and Brews Brunch of Champions. The new event is sponsored by Wells Fargo and held at The Green uptown. The outdoor event will include live music, specialty drinks by Moet Hennessey USA and an eclectic brunch by Perfect Plate Catering.
Council for Children’s Rights, Second Harvest Food Bank Metrolina-BackPack Program, Pat’s Place and Charlotte Community Health Clinic have all been chosen as recipients of funds raised at the event.
The Ritz-Carlton, the event's host hotel, is accepting reservations online and offering a special room rate.
Nothing says holiday spirit like chocolate peppermint. You could be completely clueless about the time of year, walk into a Starbucks and see Peppermint Mocha on the menu, and know winter is upon us.
To help you really get in the mood to finish your shopping, head over to Tasty Yo. Through Friday, they'll have their newest flavor on tap: chocolate peppermint. Special, limited time holiday toppings include homemade candy cane powder and crushed up candy cane Joe-Joe's from Trader Joe's (pictured below). Yum!
And let's be real — frozen yogurt is completely OK right now, because it's not like it's freezing outside.
3116 N. Davidson St., Suite 130
7th Street Public Market location
225 E. 7th St.
The middle of the afternoon tends to provide restaurants with pretty slim pickings, crowd-wise: many people have already taken their lunch and the dinner rush has yet to begin. Fern, Flavors from the Garden is hip to this trend, and is enticing potential customers with a tasty bang for their buck.
For $12, guests can choose up to three items from the new Sundown Sampler menu, which offers the following choices:
·OM Burger Slider
·Three Sisters Cake
·Squash Blossom Hush Puppy
·Spiced Root Veggie Chips
For those who have yet to visit the restaurant, the Sundown Sampler is a great way to become familiar with Fern's gourmet vegetarian cuisine.
You can enjoy the Sundown Sampler Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 2 p.m.-5 p.m.
1323 Central Ave
7th Street Market is now open. Go forth, buy fruit and multiply.
Well, here's some more information, courtesy of a recent press release. Boom!
Charlotte Entrepreneurs to Create Jobs With Great BBQ
Teams With Award Winning Restaurateur to Open Queen City Q
Charlotte, NC (November 30, 2011) — Bryan Meredith and Sue Johnston have partnered with Award Wining restaurateur, John Duncan, on Queen City Q (The Q), an exciting new BBQ restaurant slated to open January 2012 in Uptown Charlotte at 225 East 6th Street in the former LaVecchia’s location.
Having recently been displaced by corporate changes, Bryan and wife Sue began to look for opportunities not only for themselves but to also create jobs for other locals. “While we of course need to take care of ourselves we believed that if we could create 40-50 jobs we’d be able to make a real impact on our local economy in more ways than one. Having lived in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, that is a real important goal for us” said Meredith. “And making the best Q while providing extra personal service is how we’re going to do it.”
John Duncan is a 35 year restaurant veteran and owns Bonterra Dining & Wine Room, one of Charlotte’s most awarded restaurants. He also created the Mac’s Speed Shop concept as well as Icehouse in Southend. John sold his interest in Mac’s in 2009 and has been looking for the right opportunity with another BBQ concept. When introduced to Bryan and Sue he knew the time was right, especially in Uptown. Said Duncan “with everything going on Uptown and this great location, I’m extremely excited about The Q.”
Headlining in the kitchen will be Dan “Boone” Gibson, the opening Pit Master at Mac’s Speed Shop and creator of all the recipes used. A CPCC Culinary graduate, Boone has been Sous Chef at Bonterra and chef at Dilworth’s Sunset Grill. Also helping out in a consulting role is longtime local restaurant general manager Thomas Wickham. In John’s words “we’re getting the band back together.”
Queen City Q will feature fresh Q smoked daily and served hot along with an extensive list of fresh sides, innovative salads, appetizers and scratch desserts. A full array of meats including brisket, ribs, chicken and house made sausages. Also expect exciting features and daily specials along with everyone’s favorite beverages. Live music will entertain guests and free parking will be available to diners. Hours are scheduled to be 11:00am — 12 midnight, seven days a week.
You know what would make today a tad bit happier? If I had a cold glass of white — any white will do at this point — to sip on while I finished this day out at the office.
But alas, I know that's not going to happen. Instead, I'll tell you about the grand opening of a new wine bar in Uptown. Vintage Wine Lounge will open its doors on Friday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. Located at Brevard Court (isn't that little area so cute?), Vintage will offer a diverse menu of artisan cheese and charcuterie with a wine list to match. There'll be live music and drink specials all night.
317 S. Church St.
Regular hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, 4 p.m.-11 p.m. (which will likely be extending later on).
Tired of eating the same dishes year after year during the holidays? Why not put a gourmet spin on your Christmas menu and give your taste buds something to be jolly about?
Blue Restaurant & Bar, known for a menu featuring a flavor profile reflective of various international culinary traditions, is offering a peek into the inner workings of its kitchen. Executive Chef Gene Briggs, the creator of the restaurant's multi-cultural menu, will host a cooking class designed to dazzle.
Chef Briggs abides by a “farm to table” cooking philosophy, with fresh ingredients being the blank canvass necessary to begin preparing every meal. On the first Saturday of each month his “Cooking with Chef Gene” class instructs participants on the simple steps that his recipes require. This month's “Mediterranean Christmas Classics” edition features the following menu items:
Butternut Squash Caponata
With herb goat cheese bruschetta
Whole Roasted Beef Tenderloin Wellington
With dauphinois potatoes
Sweet Potato Pie
With amaretto whipped cream
Each dish is served and paired with fine wines available for purchase at a discount price. The class will be held Saturday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Call 704-927-2583 for more information.
If you currently stake out Montford Drive for its food and drink scene, you're probably acquainted with Jet's Pizza and their signature “deli boats” and square, deep dish pizzas. Fans of the Michigan chain's carb-happy cuisine will now have the opportunity to order their favorites from two new locations. Jet’s will open a store early this month at 2712 W. Mallard Creek Church Road in Charlotte and a second store at 920 Park Center Drive in Matthews in late December.
This is in addition to the five other Jet's locations in the state, as well as to the additional spots being planned in Raleigh and in Cary. “North Carolina has been an excellent market for us,” said John Jetts, vice president of marketing. “We’ve had an incredible response and we’re looking forward to further expansion in the state.”
Jet's also offers salads, subs, wings, breadsticks and “Jet Boats” available for carry out or delivery.
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