Get Excited Charlotte – if you are looking for a way to get rid of the winter doldrums and get your mind off the freezing temps – look no further. Stay warm and cozy inside as you “let your fingers do the walking” on your smart phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, perusing the menus and get ready to start making your reservations.
Its time for the annual winter edition of the, oh so popular, Queen’s Feast ! That’s right, Charlotte Restaurant Week is back and kicks off this weekend, Friday January 19, 2018!
This is the 10th year for the semi annual food lover’s 10-night long extravaganza where restaurants and chefs get to strut their stuff with special prix fixe menus specially designed and priced for the occasion. This year there are 134 restaurants in nine Charlotte metro-area counties offering a prix fixe menus of 3 courses or more at dinner for $30 or $35 per person – WOWZER!
The 2018 Winter edition of Queen’s Feast: Charlotte Restaurant Week runs from Friday, January 19, through Sunday, January 28, 2018. So you have 10 evenings to eat at your choice of 134 different restaurants. To say this event offers something for everyone would be a grand understatement.
The original Charlotte Restaurant Week took place in July 2008. I remember writing about it then, interviewing the 40 something participating chefs and restaurateurs who had high hopes for that first event established by dynamic duo that is Bruce and Jill Hensley of Hensley Fontana Public Relations.
It didn’t take long to see the success. This prix fixe event gives restaurants something to shout about and celebrate in the early winter and then again late in the summer – two seasons when restaurant traffic is traditionally slow.
The “Three for $30 or $35” concept is the golden carrot that makes it all work, and those who enjoy dining out love the promotion and the great value it offers! Queen’s Feast: Charlotte Restaurant Week provides a wonderful opportunity to try a place for the first time or to revisit an old favorite.
As I mentioned that first Queen’s Feast 10 years ago featured 40 something Charlotte area restaurants – among them, this list of frontrunners who saw the vision back then and continue to see the success of the event today.
- Cafe Monte
- Cajun Queen
- Carpe Diem
- Del Frisco’s
- The Melting Pot
- Mickey & Mooch
- Mimosa Grill
- Ruth’s Chris
This year, these 14 restaurants are now joined by 120 additional Queen’s Feast dining destinations – your job is simply to choose, a task which might be easier said than done, and then make reservations and get set to enjoy!
For the list of all participating restaurants, their special Charlotte Restaurant Week menus and links to make reservations, visit CharlotteRestaurantWeek.com !
Here’s the fun part – There is no limit to the number of restaurants you can visit during the week, so why not make it an adventure with friends and book a different reservation each of the 10 evenings of this very special promotion… Then share your favorites on social media tagging @CharlotteRestaurantWeek on Facebook; @QueensFeast on Twitter; and @queensfeast on Instagram; as well as yours truly at @HeidiBillotto on Facebook; @HeidiCooks on Twitter and @heidibillotto on Instagram and I’ll repost all of your favorites! It’s a fun way to spread the word about all the great things Charlotte area chefs are bringing to the table.
I could easily have 135 paragraphs in this post – singing the praises of all the restaurants participating in the winter Queen’s Feast: Charlotte Restaurant Week, but I’ll limit myself to five places I don’t think you should miss.
I’ve been lucky enough to preview some of the delicious winter Queen’s Feast courses at a number of relative newcomers to the Charlotte Restaurant Week line up and I wanted to kick things off sharing some of the good eats I’ve discovered with all of you.
In addition to posting my short list of don’t miss places on these digital pages, I also have the pleasure of showcasing each of these spots and a dish or two from each of these winter Queen’s Feast menus on WCNC’s Charlotte Today program the morning of Tuesday Jan 16.
If you are reading this on Tuesday morning, be sure to tune in between 11 am and noon to see it all live. If you can’t tune in live, I’ll add in the video and photos of all the food here sometime late afternoon or early evening on Tuesday, so you’ll get to see it all. Come back later for some additional Charlotte Restaurant Week tips and to take another look so you will get the whole picture – for now here is just a taste of what’s to come….
One of the very cool things that has happened with the Queen’s Feast in the past ten years in the way it has grown to areas north and south of Charlotte proper. So let’s start today in Ft. Mill, SC just across the state lines and a hop, skip and a jump away from Pineville, NC. Just down highway 21 from Carowinds, you find The Flipside Cafe – serving local, seasonal and inspired cuisine created by Chefs Amy and Jon Fortes .
The Flipside Cafe and their sister restaurant The Flipside Restaurant are both participating in Charlotte Restaurant Week and while they are also open for breakfast lunch and dinner the Queens Feast menu is available at dinner only.
Next, we’ll scoot over to the Dilworth/Southend area where 13 different restaurants are participating in the 2018 winter Queen’s Feast, among them the very innovative Wu’s Cajun Kitchen. Chef Troy Gagliardo at the helm here serving a creative combo of cuisine. Wu’s is where Louisiana low country meets Asian sweet and spicy. The menu revolves around a myriad of seafood selections all prepared in a fusion of flavor.
The bar at Wu’s offers fun innovative cocktails and its the kind of place where you are just going to have a blast. Time to “laissez les bons temps rouler” with an Asian accent.
More than 25 restaurants in Uptown Charlotte are offering Charlotte Restaurant Week Menus. Joining the pack this year is a long time Charlotte chef with a wonderful new restaurant you simply must try.
Chef Nicholas Daniels is at Loft & Cellar, a three level restaurant at the corner of 4th and Poplar Streets. Daniels draws inspiration from his native Chilean background, creating his favorite international dishes with unique Southern ingredients. The kitchen here is in the cellar, the street level is the dining level, and upstairs is a private event venue available to rent for private parties – located just a block away from the BBT Ballpark, Loft & Cellar is a great place to kick off an evening in Uptown Charlotte.
Lots of growth has taken place in South Charlotte since winter Queen’s Feast of 2017 as is evidenced by the sprawling shopping/dining/living community complex called Waverly at Providence Road at Ardrey Kell . If you haven’t been, you’ll be blown away by all the wonderful restaurants, including another jewel in the crown of Charlotte restaurateur Augusto Conte of Luce, Toscana, Mezzanotte, and Malabar fame. If you have loved the food and atmosphere at Toscana all these years, then you will simply adore the new Via Roma. The white table cloth romantic atmosphere and the homemade pastas, Italian wine list and more will take you right back to the cuisine of Rome, Italy.
North of the city, Just an hour drive from Charlotte, in Hickory NC, there are six restaurants offering Charlotte Restaurant Week menus. I’ve yet to try them all, but I can certainly sing the praises of Highland Avenue – a farm to fork restaurant located on the second floor of the beautifully renovated Holler Mill. Highland Avenue’s interiors pays homage to the city’s rich manufacturing history while chefs Sam Stachon and pastry chef Hannah Woociker focus is the resurgence of Appalachian cuisine. The restaurant offers stunning, seasonal fare and provides guests with a taste of true Southern hospitality.
Thanks so much to my blog partners who, at my request, help make it possible to bring more posts like this your way.
Today this HeidiBillottoFood.com blog post is brought to you by Queen’s Feast: Charlotte Restaurant Week.
If you’ve followed my writing for various publications through the years, you know I’ve written about this fabulous concept since its inception ten years ago. I have been thrilled to see how this seasonal celebration of Charlotte restaurants has grown and am delighted to spread the word about all Charlotte Restaurant Week has to offer.
While you are on the Queen’s Feast website, be sure to check out the extra offerings, a chance to buy discounted gift certificates at several of the participating restaurants, arrange for transportation so you don’t have to drive and check out parking options in advance of your night out if you are dining at one of the Uptown Restaurants – its all on the CharlotteRestaurantWeek website here.
While my friends at Queen’s Feast sponsored this post, the selection of restaurants to highlight here was my own. If I have helped to whet your palate for all there is to eat on Queen’s Feast menus across town, its time to make your reservations visit CharlotteRestaurantWeek.com to view the list of participating restaurants and their special Queen’s Feast menus. And as always, don’t forget to #TellThemHeidiSentYou