Its spring! That means there are so many things to do in Charlotte, and around Charlotte, that it could make your head spin. But, have no fear, I’m here to help narrow it down with a few suggestions all a part of this Springtime events edition of Nibbles and Sips.
Here’s What’s Happening April 25-28
No lie, this week and weekend there are tons of fun ( and flavorful) choices when it comes to things to do in Charlotte.
To help make decisions easier, I suggest you start on Wednesday April 24 with chocolate, coffee and music.
Potts Chocolate Monthly Truffle Tasting at the Dunhill Hotel
|My friends Blair and Margo Potts of Potts Chocolate on Cedar Street in Uptown Charlotte, celebrate what they do every month with a fun and flavorful truffle tasting event. This month, it all happens on Wednesday, April 24 from 6-7:30 pm. The event takes place upstairs in one of the private dining rooms at the historic Dunhill Hotel.|
I can’t think of a more perfect pairing than chocolate and coffee! Make it local with Potts Chocolate and Pure Intentions Coffee and you’ve got a winning combo on your hands.
Add to that Blair Potts’ infamous chocolate chip cookies, wine selections from the Dunhill Hotels wine list and guitar music and vocals by Tom Billotto and you’ve got a deliciously spectacular evening. Don’t miss it! Get your tickets now, available here, in the events section of the Potts Chocolate Facebook page.
Queen’s Cup Steeplechase Saturday April 27
I’ve written about this annual Charlotte area event many times since it’s inception over 20 years ago. It’s a great daytime event – for adults and kids too!
It’s time to make or order your fanciest hat, pack a picnic and plan to enjoy the day. With the grandeur of the race horses, the fun antics of the Jack Russell terriers, the food and the floral, it’s a fabulous day at the races for this area’s grandest tailgate event! Tickets are still available, but don’t wait. it all happens this Saturday April 27. The gates at the track in Mineral Springs open at 10 am.
Roadtrip: Seagrove NC in the Heart of North Carolina April 27 and 28
I always knew it was there, but this past year, I’ve rediscovered the treasure chest of wonderful things to do and see in and around Asheboro, NC, just a short 90 minute drive from Charlotte. You’ve read about it here before and I can’t wait to finish writing the next feature blog post on these digital pages to share more of the story. Stay tuned…
But, meanwhile, know that this is the heart of North Carolina. Home to the NC Zoo, The Richard Petty Museum and the wonderful little town of Seagrove, NC. Seagrove is a community of incredibly talented potters and craftsmen and women. If you love handcrafted pottery, homegoods, local North Carolina art and the history behind it all, you simply can’t miss the 11th annual Seagrove Spring Pottery Tour , April 27-28. During this special weekend event over 50 shops will host kiln openings, studio tours, demonstrations, and special events. You’re gonna love every moment!
Pottery and Putters
And its not just coffee mugs and facejugs. Did you know that Seagrove potter, David Fernandez has created a unique line of ceramic putters? They’re a great way to dress up your golf game and give you a new edge! Gotta check them out at the shop next to his studio while you are in town!
Of course you’ll need to eat while you are visiting the area. Lots of delicious choices to enjoy in and around Asheboro. But today, let me recommend…. Mike’s Chicago Dogs!
On your way up or back from your Seagrove Pottery adventure, plan to stop for a truly terrific hotdog in downtown Asheboro at Mike’s Chicago Dogs – its the real thing: neon green relish and authentic sports peppers, et all. And, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention you should most certainly order the fries, as well ! #TellThemHeidiSentYou
Dinner on the Farm at New Town Farms April 27; plus an On the Farm cooking class in May
This Saturday evening, once you get back from the Queens Cup Steeplechase and before you head to explore all Seagrove, NC has to offer. New Town Farms in Waxhaw NC partners with the JCC of Charlotte present An Early Spring On Farm Dinner, Saturday April 27 starting at 5:30 pm with an optional “Wine and Farm Walk” at 5 pm. It all takes place at New Town Farms a working farm owned by my dear friends Melinda and Sammy Koenigsburg.
Enjoy a Five Course meal on the farm where the food was grown, prepared by some of the areas most talented chefs with Charlotte’s own Zack Gadberry of Uno Alla Volta Cheese at the helm.
Truly from farm to table…
Zack and his team will prepare a 5 course meal from early spring New Town Farms vegetables, French heritage pasture-raised chickens and more.
In the kitchen with Zack, Chef Brendan Murphy, Corporate executive chef of Babalu Restaurants. Along with this talented couple: Chef Brent Martin, exec chef of Pasta & Provisions; Chef Miranda Brown, award winning Executive Pastry Chef at The Asbury in the Dunhill Hotel. Miranda is the 2018 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year!
I’m excited to say, I’ll be there too, lending a helping hand where I can in the kitchen; and posting social media photos of all the action, and the deliciousness on each and every plates.
Plan to enjoy wine pairings with each course selected by Victoria Gadberry of Haw River Wine Man, a regional distributor of wonderful old world, sustainably produced wines. But that’s not all, there will be music, too! Guitar and vocals, to be exact, by none other than Charlotte’s own Tom Billotto. Cost is $135 per seat. For reservations and tickets call 704-366-5007.
May 18 – On the Farm Cooking Class at New Town Farm
Not this weekend, but while we are talking about New Town Farms, I’d love to have you save the date and join us for my annual Springtime cooking class at New Town Farms on Saturday May 18, 2-5:30pm. Like the dinner this weekend, the class starts with a walking tour of the farm, then we’ll settle into the kitchen for a hands-on class to make a 4 course meal with everything that is grown and raised on the farm at New Town. Wine pairings with each course by Elizabeth Anne Dover of Dover Vineyards in Concord NC. Cost is $85 per person. Simply email me now at HLNC@carolina.rr.com to make your reservation.
Also in May: A Time to Celebrate Mom at Middle Ground Farms in Monroe, NC
I’m working on another little round up for CLT5 this week on Mother’s Day Brunch options that should be out in the next week or so, but let me give you a heads up on one of the options I think is pretty special.
Treat mom to this spectacular view and setting as your enjoy Brunch on the Pond at Middle Ground Farm on Sunday May 12 from noon to 2 pm in Monroe, NC. So proud and excited for my friends, farmers Dan and Meg Kypena as they build their dreams towards a working farm with goats, pigs, chickens, fruit trees, hydroponic lettuces and a hemp house all with an agritourism bend. This is there first big event on the new pier and gazebo and its going to be magnificent!
Chef Taylor from Tayste Catering will be prepare a gourmet menu served from the gazebo. For a sweet finish and something to whet your whistle, Chef Samantha Ward from Wentworth & Fenn and the fine team from Lenny Boy Brewing will be there as well. Plan to toast Mom over mimosas and walk along the pier overlooking the three-acre pond. (Things in this photo may look smaller than they appear in real life!)
After brunch, if you are interested in a little walk, take a farm tour with Farmer Dan. It will include a visit to the orchard, hydroponic lettuce barn and the hemp grow room. You will also have the opportunity to meet several of the Kypena’s sweet livestock guardian dogs; especially Otis, who will be offering free hugs.
Tickets for the brunch and tour are $50 for adults and $20 for children. Make reservations, buy tickets and get all the details here.
Plan to join me for an On the Farm cooking class at Middle Ground Farm too!
We’re planning this hands on cooking class and farm tour around fig and elderberry season, so it won’t be till Sunday August 4, but you’ll want to go ahead and get it on your calendar now! Cost is $85 per person, 4 hands-on courses with wine pairings and a farm tour – printed recipes packets and as always a great goodie bag with coupons from local vendors and swag from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture for each class participant! For reservations simply email me, Heidi Billotto at HLNC@carolina.rr.com.
Where are you Eating and Drinking Local?
With so many restaurant openings in Charlotte over the past 30 days of April you could just go out to eat this weekend.
I’m excited to eat another lobster roll at Bruce Moffett’s newest venture led by Chef Andrew Dodd, NC Red, located in Plaza Midwood.
In Monroe, check out the new location of Tamarind Thai. They’ve made themselves right at home on Main Street in Monroe serving up delicious curries and daily specials. If you live in Monroe, its a no brainer for lunch or dinner. If you don’t live in Monroe, know that its worth the drive.
Finally for this list of things to do and now places to eat in and around Charlotte. Make time to stop by uptown Charlotte’s newest spot for coffee, breakfast and lunch. Its called Community Matters Cafe and is located uptown at 821 W. 1st St. in a totally refurbished 100 year old building. A forgotten piece of Charlotte history, brought alive again. Go and check it out soon. And if you are looking for a place to hold a private meeting or event – check out the cafe’s back room – its just what you are looking for!
Cheers to executive chef Nick Kepp and pastry chef Ashely Anna Tuttle for all of their hard work in making this working restaurant project done in coordination with the Charlotte Rescue mission a reality. Other familiar faces to look for: Jenny Villapando as GM and Paula Elkins running the coffee shop part of the cafe. In the kitchen and working the coffee bar and front of the house, participants in the Charlotte Rescue Mission’s recovery programs working on honing new skills and getting a fresh start. Congratulations to them all!