There is no lack of New Year's Eve parties in Charlotte willing to help you ring in the new year as you hand them $100+ for a cheap glass of champagne and entry into their "exclusive" party. But if I'm going to spend $100+, it's going to include a meal, and a good one at that. Lucky for us, there are a few restaurants in Charlotte doing it up big on New Year's Eve. Here are a few to choose from.
LOCAL DELICACIES AT HARVEST MOON GRILLE
Harvest Moon Grille will be offering a three course menu featuring some items you won't find on its everyday menu. For $65 a person, diners may choose among four different options for their appetizer and entree, and three different options for dessert. The cost of the meal also includes a glass of champagne.
Entrée choices include:
- NC Grass Fed RIbeye Roulade, Roasted NC Oyster Mushrooms, Parsley Demi
- NC Striped Bass Medallion Fried NC oysters, Spicy Tomato Olive
- Grateful Growers Pork Saltimbocca, Country Ham, Sage, White Wine Pork Demi
- Ricotta Gnocchi, Grilled and Roasted Veggies
Chef Patty and Chef Cassie put their heads together to develop this menu, and their pick for favorite entrée is the Grateful Growers Pork Saltimbocca (pictured above). The pork comes straight from a heritage breed of pig from Chef Cassie's farm, Grateful Growers. Pork Saltimbocca is a traditional Italian dish, which translates to "jumps in mouth." The dish is typically served with prosciutto, but Harvest Moon Grille gives the dish a Southern twist and serves the pork with country ham that has been aged an entire year.
Reservations can be made by calling 704-342-1193 or through Open Table. Harvest Moon Grille is located at 235 N. Tryon St.
The Charlotte Lady Cats, Charlotte Checkers cheerleaders and heaps of fine hams are here to make dreams come true. No, not those kinds of dreams, you dirty bird. Be assured, it's something much more honorable.
Queen City Q, fine purveyors of pork on plate, have partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, the Charlotte Bobcats Lady Cats and the Charlotte Checkers CheckMates cheerleaders to combat hunger this holiday season with Hams for Hunger, an event aimed at feeding local families. Now through Dec. 19, Queen City Q, located off 6th Street in Uptown, will be collecting hams or the dollar equivalent to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. In exchange for the donation, participants will receive a $5 voucher toward food and drink at The Q.
The event culminates this Wednesday, Dec. 19 with a special frozen ham bowling contest, where
the Lady Cats and CheckMates will battle it out against the Bobcats mascot Rufus and Chubby, the Checkers mascot. The Q will also donate 10 percent of its sales that night to Second Harvest for the purchase of additional hams for local families. It is estimated that nearly half a million people live below the poverty line in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, and many of those people do not have enough to eat.
The event on Wednesday begins at 7 p.m. and goes until close. Food and drink specials will accompany the charity event. Executive Director of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina adds, "On behalf of the almost 500,000 people living in poverty in our region, Second Harvest would like to thank Queen City Q for helping to raise awareness of hunger and for providing hams so that families in need can have a brighter holiday."
Ladies and gentlemen, let's see those hams!
Queen City Q is located at 225 E. 6th St.
According to the organizers, "Santacon is a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Holiday party that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason in over 260 cities and 36 countries around the world."
At all SantaCons worldwide, participants dress up in Santa costumes, but what happens during SantaCon is different from city to city. Richard Gruica of Good Meets and Eats explains what makes Charlotte's SantaCon so unique: "As far as we know, we are the only one that is a LOCAL craft beer crawl. We love supporting local."
The event begins at Four Friends Brewing at 11 a.m. and costs $10 to participate. For an additional $20, participants get a designated driver with a seat on the SantaCon bus. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite. There are only a few spots left on the bus, so buy your tickets ASAP to secure your place.
The group will eat lunch at Heist Brewery; however, there will be food trucks at all other stops. Due to the large number of Santas, it will be very difficult to use credit or debit cards, so participants are asked to bring cash to pay for all drinks and food. Specials on beer will be offered at every brewery.
The SantaCon schedule is below.
11 a.m.-1 p.m. (SantaCon Sign-in)
Four Friends Brewing,10913 Office Park Drive
1:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
NoDa Brewing, 2229 N. Davidson St.; Birdsong Brewing, 2315 N. Davidson St.
3 p.m.-4 p.m. (Serving lunch)
Heist Brewery: 2909 N. Davidson St. #200
4:15 p.m.-5:15 p.m.
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, 215 Southside Drive
5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Triple C Brewing Company, 2900 Griffith St.
7 p.m.-10 p.m. (The CLTSantaCon After Party)
Chocolate oatmeal cookies (or no-bake cookies as they are sometimes called - although I've never thought this description did them justice) - recipes for them are a dime a dozen among Southern families.
I'm not saying Southerners are the only people who make this particular cookie, but I bet if you grew up in another area of the country, you didn't have five to 10 varieties of these cookies at every school bake sale. Oddly enough, I've probably have only tried five different varieties of them, because it didn't take me long to develop my discriminating palate where I quickly learned that my mom made THE BEST chocolate oatmeal cookies.
How good are they?
Well, my mom once sent my brother back to college with a container of these cookies. His roommate had already proven himself to be a food stealer after swiping the last of my grandfather's homemade barbecue from the shared fridge. My little brother took no chances with these cookies and told his roommate that if he touched the cookies, my brother would kill him in his sleep.
I bet you're thinking that he was a bit harsh. You haven't tried these cookies.
It's the end of the world as we know it ... and you'll be feeling fine if you show up to Duckworth's End of the World Celebration on Friday, Dec. 21.
According to some people, this is the day that the Mayans predicted would be the end of the world. The folks at Duckworth's Park Road location thought it was best to go out with a bang, which means a lineup of fantastic beers on tap.
-Olde Hickory Event Horizon
-Founders Breakfast Stout
-Founders Frangelic Mountain Brown
-Highland Cold Mountain
-Avery Samael's Ale
-Ballast Point Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter
-Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000
-Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine
Duckworth's is located at 4435 Park Road. For more information, call 704-527-5783.
If you build it, they will come. That is the career-spanning mantra for Eduardo Dorta, an architect turned food entrepreneur. For Eduardo and his wife, Miriam Chalita, or "Mimi," constructing something out of nothing comes naturally. After all, he builds things and she creates traditional Latin treats in the kitchen with a mother's love.
Eduardo and Mimi are the owners of Empanadas2go, a new frozen food business selling empanadas, a traditional Latin street food item characterized by signature half-moon pockets of dough filled with savory and sweet ingredients.
It's hard not to marvel at the sweet stuff concocted by TLC's Cake Boss reality TV star Buddy Valastro. The acclaimed baker, who operates Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken, N.J., makes a tantalizing assortment of cakes and pastries that anyone can whip up with one of his tell-all cookbooks.
But is it worth your conscience?
His treatment of transgender model, reality TV star and advocate of LGBT rights Carmen Carrera - who appeared on Cake Boss earlier this year - might have ruined my appetite. Carrera was misled about her role on the show, unknowingly participating in a practical joke when Valastro introduced her to his very interested cousin, later revealing to him that she was born a man. The incident publicly humiliated Carrera after the show aired.
Valastro, who apologized for his intolerant actions, visits the Queen City for a special holiday-themed show at Ovens Auditorium. For those willing to forgive and forget, the performance consists of his storytelling (about everything from family traditions to behind-the-scenes Cake Boss drama), demonstrations of his cake techniques, a Q&A session and an interactive cupcake/cake decorating demo with select members of the audience.
Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m.
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
Everybody's heard of a CSA, right? Community supported agriculture? CSA shares are a great way to eat seasonally and support local farmers.
Well, get ready for the next level in CSAs.
Typically, a household pays for a weekly share of a farmer's crop for a predetermined length of time, say, three or six months. The share is then available for pickup each week and consists of the latest harvest and often times, local eggs, dairy and cheese. It's no-brainer grocery shopping for the locavore.
This & That Jam, a small batch preserves company based out of Durham took the CSA concept and made it awesome. Get this, they offer a JSA! That's Jam Supported Agriculture or monthly jars of locally produced jam delivered straight to your doorstep. What a perfect Christmas gift for the curious palate.
This & That Jam offers six-month and 12-month subscriptions for the jam lover in your life. Each jar is packed with produce sourced from North Carolina farms, and each batch is cooked the old school way, low and slow, so there is never a need for commercially made pectins in these little jars of love.
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