Congratulations to AZN Cuisine who received the Critic's Pick for Best New Restaurant in Charlotte!
Join AZN this Saturday to celebrate the restaurant's first anniversary with special guest chef Jeem "Jim" Han Lock, founding chef of Seattle's renowned Wild Ginger and the 1997 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef Pacific Northwest/Hawaii. Lock will be joined in the kitchen by AZN chef Alex Chiu and Sonny Seng, chef of AZN's sister restaurant Pacific Rim Bistro of Atlanta, to prepare a five-course meal that includes Tuna Yuzu Tartare, Indonesian Beef Satay and Lamb Curry Maluku.
A native of Taishan, Guangdong Province, China, Lock has racked up his own list of "Best of" accolades over his years in the restaurant industry. During his 12-year tenure at Wild Ginger, Lock was featured in the New York Times, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, People and W magazines for pioneering pan-Asian cuisine. Since then, Chef Lock has traveled on extensive tasting tours of Southeast Asia, China, Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand.
Cost of the five-course dinner is $55 per person, with an optional additional wine and sake pairing. Reservations are required.
If you can't make it to the dinner, join AZN for its very first brunch offering this Sunday, Oct. 6 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The extensive buffet-style brunch will include multiple stations featuring noodle dishes, salads, sushi, hot entrees, fresh fruits, sweets, and more, as well as a dim sum cart. The cost is $22.95 per person.
AZN is located in SouthPark's Piedmont Town Center at 4620 Piedmont Row Drive. To make reservations, call 980-819-9189 or visit www.aznrestaurant.com/charlotteAZN.
If there is such a thing as extreme eating, this might be an event that qualifies as such. At least, that's what my my crotchety thirty-something tendencies tell me. Call me old fashioned, but I like to see my food when I eat it. Whenever I dine, I eat twice. First, with my eyes and then with my mouth.
An upcoming event in Charlotte, however, takes this concept and flips it on its head.
On Tuesday, October 1, guests are invited to partake in Dining in the Dark, a multi-course meal hosted by Good Eats and Meets at Bubble Charlotte. Guests will be led to an "inner sanctum of darkness" and treated to a multi-sensory experience sans one thing, their sight. Guest will dine in complete darkness and will have to taste, feel and hear their way through a fanciful dinner that will keep them guessing on multiple levels.
Tickets for the event are $49 per person and $89 per couple. Tax and tip are included in the price. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Foundation Fighting Blindness. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. To purchase your tickets, head here. Bubble Charlotte is located at the Epicentre at 210 E. Trade Street, Charlotte.
Charlotte offers a bazillion and one ways to celebrate the fall season with festivals, football games and celebrations for just about everything. Coming up this weekend, Friendship Trays and Slow Food Charlotte are joining forces to present the 5th Annual Friendship Trays Garden Party, a harvest celebration for the nonprofit organization and its good deeds, which continue to grow.
Established in 1978, Friendship Trays is Charlotte's Meals on Wheels program, preparing and delivering more than 750 meals a day to folks in need. Friendship Gardens, its local food counterpart, was established in 2010 to support the needs of this vital program by growing more food.
An expanding network of gardens scattered across the community in churches, schools, institutions and now, backyards helps to serve this growing need and has continued to expand its mission. Last year, Friendship Gardens introduced a groundbreaking mobile produce truck to reach residents living in food deserts. This year, Friendship Gardens is focused on an urban farm project to continue to reach people in need with healthy, local food.
Proceeds from the annual garden party will go to support the continued work of Friendship Gardens and Friendship Trays. The harvest celebration will feature a festival-like atmosphere, field-to-fork appetizers prepared by local chefs, entertainers, music and a silent auction.
The event is Saturday, Sept. 28, from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. at 2401 Distribution St., Charlotte. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at www.friendship-gardens.org.
If I hear one more person mention the pumpkin spice latte as the ultimate fall "treat," I am going to freak out.
Let's open our minds for a second, people. Relinquish the corporate brainwashing of seasons and let's celebrate something a little more expansive. Instead of Pinterest-y pumpkin overload, get thee to St. Joseph's Vietnamese Catholic Church for the Mid-Autumn Festival, a three-day cultural celebration of the season beginning this Friday Sept. 20 through Sunday, Sept. 21.
The weekend-long festival is an open invitation to enjoy the fruits of Vietnamese culture, namely the beautiful food, of which there will be plenty. I first had a taste in February during the days leading up to the Tet Festival, commemorating the Vietnamese New Year. The community at St. Joseph's goes to great lengths to put on these events, recruiting the whole community to pitch in with food and festivities.
Here's what you can expect this weekend:
Friday, Sept. 20 (6 p.m.-12 a.m): Moon Festival with handmade lantern contest. There will be a Lion Dance, 50+ food items, games and music. Free admission.
Saturday, Sept. 21 (8 p.m.-1 a.m.): Live concert with performers from Paris by NIght and Asia Entertainment. Six-course from Happy Valley Restaurant. $60 per person, $90 VIP ticket
Sunday, Sept. 22 (9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.): Festival with 50+ food items, games and music. Free admission.
St Joseph's Vietnamese Catholic Church is located at 4929 Sandy Porter Road, Charlotte, 28273.
Surprisingly, tickets are still available for the third annual Brewer's Ball, happening this Saturday, Sept. 7 at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by purchasing a ticket to this event. VIP tickets ($75) gets you admission to the event an hour early, a VIP-sized tasting glass, a tour of OMB and a goody bag.
Sponsors include Whiskey Warehouse, Midwood Smokehouse, The Liberty, All American Pub, NoDa Brewing, Heist Brewery, Four Friends and plenty more.
More photos from the event in 2011 can be found on QC After Dark.
Next to your list of work meetings, deadlines and hellish expense reports, pencil in zip-lining, campfires and booze cruising for your Wednesday tasks. Then, thank the U.S. National Whitewater Center for taking the sting out of your work week. The USNWC offers opportunities for hump day adventuring, including the Zipline & Dine Tour and Microbrews Cruise held every Wednesday evening (and sometimes Fridays).
Guests can choose to fly high on the Zipline & Dine Tour, where guides take you on five zipline runs and two roped bridges before returning to basecamp for a gourmet fireside meal. Or, if you prefer the low and slow route, opt for the Microbrews Cruise, where you can kayak along the Catawba River before enjoying craft beer and dinner by the campfire on Hawk Island. Both tours offer sunset views of the 400-acre facility and dates last through the fall.
Nature plus booze plus food equals Wednesdays that don't suck anymore. Move over, Thursday!
Check the website for dates and details. Tickets for the Zipline & Dine are $75 per person. The Microbrews Cruise is $55 per person.
Everybody likes a good competition, but add in bar tricks and maybe some fire and you've got the makings for something very cool - or should I say hot?
Creative Loafing is partnering with Label for Martini Madness, a contest that pits six bartenders against one another to see who has the most flair, tricks and skill with a shaker. In addition to sampling bites from area restaurants, we're asking you, dear readers, to taste the martinis and help us decide which concoction should be deemed the official Creative Loafing martini. And yes, this is a bit of shameless self-promotion. $20 (for food and four mini martini drinks; additional martinis are $3). Aug. 23, 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Label, 900 N.C. Music Factory Blvd. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit www.clclt.com/events.
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