Time for Take Out. Right now, its the very best way to support our local restaurant community. While restaurants are open for business and many offer limited indoor dining and heated patio dining options, the CDC is telling us to stay home outside of essential errands. One could certainly argue that eating a meal is essential. But Tom and I have tried hard to find a middle ground.
For us that middle ground has been take out. The great news I have to share with you today is that Charlotte area chefs and restaurants are doing a bang up job with To-Go offerings. This isn’t a simple sandwich with an apple and a bag of chips. Nothing wrong with a sandwich, fruit and chips, of course; but as they always do Charlotte area chefs are raising the bar and taking take out up a notch as well.
Catch this Take Out Segment on TV
Today I start the first of a frequent series on to-go options across and around the Queen City that might not be on your radar. It is my pleasure to be able to share this information regularly on WCNC’s Charlotte Today with co-host Beth Troutman. Beth is a real foodie so I can’t wait to share everything happening on the Charlotte culinary scene with her in person; but until the time is right, a zoom experience will have to do.
These first four chefs/restaurants and a cool way to serve up to-go cocktails in this post, are also featured in a segment I taped for Charlotte Today. Air Date is Thursday Jan 28. The show airs between 11-11:30 am, so tune in to watch or hop over to the Charlotte Today website to live stream the show at 11.
In case you missed it, here is a copy of the video, linked here from WCNC’s Charlotte Today website.
Enjoy and read below; then, bookmark it as a reference as you make plans for Valentine’s Day and take-out options in the weeks and months ahead. Remember, too, that “Take Out” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tip.
If anything these days, if you can, you should tip more. These chefs and restaurants are working with limited staff to bring you the same dining experience you would enjoy in a pandemic free society. Show them how much you appreciate their efforts to serve you well and keep you safe.
It goes without saying that when you go to dine or go to pick up take out, remember to wear and mask and keep a safe social distance from servers, restaurants staff and other customers. We wan’t everyone to come out of these healthy and happy.
Cheers to my dear hubby Tom, for patiently taping the spot, while Beth and I laughed our way through several takes. We’ve all developed new skills during this odd time of quarantine and for Tom, one of those skills has been honing his iPhone video skills a lot over the course of this pandemic. Don’t worry, he’s still practicing and playing guitar, performing as it makes sense and as opportunities arise. You can catch him the first Friday of each month at Salmeri’s Italian Kitchen in Ft. Mill, SC. Dine in or take out at this third SC dining spot, owned by John and Amy Fortes. Pretty much each time Tom performs there, we take out Brennan’s Bolognese and the Mushroom Ravioli after his gig! Sister restaurants, The Flipside Cafe in Ft. Mill and The Flipside Restaurant in Rock Hill, SC have great take out options, too!
Restaurant Take Out and To Go Reviews on Instagram and Facebook, too!
In addition to upcoming restaurant posts like this one, look for one of my social media video restaurant Take-Out reviews on one of the restaurants in the Flipside group soon.
Go to my instagram feed, and follow me there, if you don’t already. In the feed you’ll find IGTV video reviews on Doan’s Vietnamese Restaurant on South Blvd., Bottiwalla Indian Street Food in Optimist Hall; Bao & Broth, also located in Optimist Hall; Pizzeria Omaggio in Midtown; and my most recent food find, Curry Gate, located across from Camp North End on Graham Street in North Charlotte. Before the end of January, I’ll be moving those videos so you can watch them on my Heidi Billotto Cooks Facebook page as well.
Take Out That Makes it Look Like You Cook Like a Chef
Here is what I love about all of the restaurants featured in today’s post. Each on of these chefs supports local farmers and producers, so by taking out, you’re supporting local as well. Each spot here packs to-go offerings with care and many include instructions on how to reheat, so we won’t screw it up. And, all of them feature recyclable and often compostable containers – good for us, good for the environment. Till we get back to dining in, take out is a win-win!
Let’s start with a longtime Charlotte restaurant, open since 1995 in Uptown Charlotte. Not the oldest restaurant featured here, but its close and a longtime Uptown favorite.
Steak Dinner Take Out from Mimosa Grill In Uptown Charlotte
Leave it to the talented chef Thomas Marlow and his team to successfully package a perfectly done Bone-In certified Angus Beef Kansas City steak to go! There is a lot available on Mimosas menus – all of it available to go.
My advice: don’t miss this steak dinner with melt-in-your-mouth potatoes au gratin and grilled asparagus on the side. The whole dinner is Just $45 and comes with can’t miss reheating instructions for the steak. Steaks on the live wood fire grill at Mimosa are available all week long, but this Kansas City special is limited to Thursday and Friday night’s menu.
Mimosa is closed Sunday night and Monday. Open Tuesday – Sunday with brunch menu on Sat and Sunday morning. If you feel comfortable dining in, there is lots of space here, allowing for easy socially distanced. Or, there is also a covered patio with a heater in the ceiling to help keep away the chill.
Mimosa’s all day menu offers signature dishes and many new items that promoting local farms and food.
Here’s the Mimosa Grill Take Out Take Away –
You’ll find everything you need to know at mimosagrill.com. Order online or call in your order. You ca come inside to pick up your to-go. There is Tryon street parking or the restaurant offers 2 hr validated parking at the Two Wells Fargo parking deck on Martin Luther King Ave between College and Tryon streets..
Of if you’d rather contactless pick up – you can pull up in one of the street parking spots on Tryon in front of Mimosa, give the restaurant a call to let them know you have arrived and they will happily bring your order to you.
Take Out Seared Ahi Tuna Salad from 300 East
300 East is the oldest restaurant in today’s group, serving a their 300 East Blvd. locations for the past 35 years. Its been a long time favorite for me and Tom and in fact, when the pandemic hit, it was the first restaurant we went to for take out. Chef and Owner Ashely Boyd has fine tuned the process since then, and all the while remained true to her menu and the restaurant’s “Support Local” philosophy.
In this wonderful lunch or dinner selection, local lettuces and veggies from Coto Farms provide the base for a pair of griddled jasmine rice cake, sliced perfectly ripe avocado, and crispy wontons. You’ll get a trio of dressings/dipping sauces with your order. I love them all Sesame-ginger over all, Sweet Shoyu for dipping the tender sesame-crusted tuna slices, and Wasabi cream when you want to add a kick.
The 300 East Take Out Take Away
If you are interested in dining in, make a reservation. There is very limited indoor seating available. The restaurant offers several tables on the patio and in the front yard of the historic house, but these spots cannot be reserved.
With their pandemic pivot, Ashely, pastry chef Laney Jahkel-Parrish and the team now serve a limited Saturday brunch of biscuits, scrambled eggs, and several specials 10 am-2 pm. , in addition to an All Day menu. Full brunch is offered on Sundays from 10 am-3pm. It’s a long time Charlotte favorite weekend meal.
Check out the 300 East website for full regular menus plus some family style options. All are available to order ahead for take out and curbside service pick up.
Take Out Fresh Made Pasta to start your meal from Barrington’s
Barrington’s Restaurant is located in the Foxcroft East center at 7822 Fairview Road in Charlotte’s South Park area. Owned by Chef Bruce Moffett and his wife Katrina, Barringtons, open since 2000, is the flagship restaurant for Charlotte’s Moffett Restaurant Group. The restaurant is named for Bruce’s hometown in Rhode Island.
Known for distinctive dining and New American cuisine, Barrington’s is not necessarily a place you’d think about for take out, but you should. While the menu often changes from night to night, you can order anything you’d like to go. Please call 704-364-5744 to place a take out order. Currently Barrington’s is not offering cocktails to go, but you are welcome to buy wines on the curated list to take home to enjoy with your meal.
Featured here, a delicious way to start your meal, or a dish to enjoy as the main event. Fresh made, tagliatelle with cream, prosciutto, mushrooms and peas.
Here’s the Barrington’s Take Out Take Away
There is limited seating indoors and a charming, but small heated enclosed patio. Reservations are highly recommended and may be made on the restaurant’s website or feel free to call the restaurant for more details. For take out, call for a list and to order the offerings from each evening’s menu.
Take Out a Smoky Spin on Fried Chicken from Fine & Fettle at the Canopy Hotel SouthPark
Fine & Fettle is the newest Charlotte restaurant in todays line up. Its located at the ground level of the equally new Canopy Hotel in Charlotte’s Barclay Downs neighborhood, at 4905 Barclay Downs Drive.
The name of the restaurant is pronounced “Fine” with long “i” sound, not “Fin” – with a short “i” sound as I did on TV. I was trying to make it French I think and it just popped out incorrectly. Things happen on live TV so I apologize for my error. The important thing is that you simply must go to check them out. Chef Daniel Wheeler is at the helm and , like each of the chefs here, doing big things to support local farmers and producers on each and every plate.
Featured here is Daniel’s delicious winter spin on fried chicken. Its a featured dish on hi new seasonal menu and there is a lot to love on the plate. The chicken is a smoky crispy fried boneless fillet, served atop a bed of Barbee Farms sweet potato puree, along side an incredible green tomato pave ( think scalloped green tomatoes) and topped with a bright roasted peanut relish. A wonderful medley of flavor.
Like each of the other chefs here, Daniel won’t let you mess this up if you get the plate to-go. The potatoes and the relish come packed in separate containers so that you can beautifully recreate the chefs plate. In fact, you could be like Mrs. Doubtfire ( have you re-watched that fun classic yet?) as I suggest in the Charlotte Today video, and pretend like you did it yourself!
Three Meals and a Coffee Bar, too
As Fine & Fettle is the restaurant for the hotel, the dining room is large with plently of room for social distancing if you’d like to dine inside. And there are two patios – one along the side of the building and the other in a charming garden courtyard. Right now there are no heaters, but Daniel says they are coming, so stay tuned.
There are however, Cocktails, and like the hotel’s signature logo, the two we’ve featured here are both shades of orange. See more on the cocktails below.
Here’s the Fine & Fettle Take Out Take Away
To make reservations or place a take out order with Fine and Fettle, visit the restaurant’s website. Fine and Fettle offers three meals each day, and boasts a great little coffee bar with house-made pastries if you need a late afternoon pick-me-up or early morning coffee break.
Take Out Cocktails. Yes, Charlotte, it’s a thing
Its a thing for now, at least. Three of these four restaurants offer cocktails-to-go. These are all freshly made to order and made from scratch, just like they do when you dine in. But for take out, they come to you in a sealed package with your name and the date. Here’s the one little caveat with NC’s take out cocktails. If you want two cocktails, say, one for you and one for your spouse, then you have to leave both names when you place your order and you and the other person have to both be there to pick up the order. You’ll both need to have ID and both be 21 or older.
Serve These On the Rocks at Home
Today’s Cocktail’s include the Mimosa Margarita from Mimosa Grill made with el Jimador tequila – orange – agave and lime juice. The cocktail comes with salt and a lime for rimming the glass and you’ll need a cocktail shaker to mix it all up well. ” Shake, Shake, Shake,” Chef Marlow emphatically told me.
From the 300 East bar, order the Matilda Wong. A crowd pleasing blend of Gin, Rum, Triple Sec, Brandy & Sour Mix, this is a really tiki style cocktail everyone will love. And, this one is enough for a couple of drinks. Instructions are to fill a 32-oz pitcher with ice, which is how we serve it at the restaurant – and then pour the packaged cocktail in the pitcher, stir and enjoy.
Mixed up at the bar at Fine and Fettle in hues of Canopy’s signature orange color are two tasty pours. The first, The Pirate Jenny III, with Milagro Tequila, Ilegal Mezcal, Carrot, Ginger, a Hop Reduction and Lime. The next, Rumming On Empty, made with Captain Morgan White Rum, Sour Cherry Shrub, Lime and Absinthe. Each of these packages made a hefty one serving cocktail, that could have easily been enough for two separate drinks, served over ice.
Speaking of ice, I’ve got one more cool story to tell about another must have local product for all of you home-based would be mixologists….
The Ice Man Cometh
The name of the company is The Ice Trade. Located in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood at 3133 May Street, this cool little ice house is supplying hand cut crystal clear cubes in three sizes to the hospitality industry and to the public as well.
Partners Scott Gadd and Larry Suggs came up with the concept because, after all what’s a great cocktail if you don’t have great tasting ice. You know what I mean. It makes a huge difference in the final product if your ice tastes old or chemically.
Problem solved. These guys do a great job – filtering water and freezing it with incredible care and detail to create a crystal clear product. Then they hand cut it with fine electric saws to three popular cocktail shapes. You can read all about the process here.
Charlotte Ice “Capades”
You can see it spin in this fun video on my instagram feed and once you’re done playing, you’re going to love it in your cocktails and mocktails, too. One cube will last longer than any single drink.
While Scott and Larry sell to bars and restaurants, the retail market and home bartenders are important to them as well. Ice can be purchased 24/7 on The Ice trade website; and then picked up at the May street retail store on Fridays from 3-7.
You can also go to see how its done. Every Friday at 6 pm. Join the team for a tour of the facility and a live ice-cutting show – take it from me , its fascinating. It’s like a brewery tour but about CLEAR ICE. Limited space is available, be sure to make a reservation.
Bring a cooler and stop by to pick up ice, before you stop at one or several of your favorite places for Take-Out. Enjoy and #TellThemHeidiSentYou