Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Food Baby 15 - January 2013

Introducing the Food Baby 15...

...the exclusive list of 15 top restaurants in Charlotte right now.  In case you wanted to ask the Food Babies for a restaurant recommendation, below are 15 places we might send you!

Note:  the FB15 is intended to cover an array of cuisines in various locations around the city. We also wanted to include several price points with the assumption that you don’t want to drop half your paycheck on each meal. In other words, this is not the same as a "best restaurant" list.  These are restaurants that we dig and would send our friends to.

We will refresh the list every few months to add new picks, as well as to remove restaurants that have slipped.

Feedback is welcome – we can’t eat at every restaurant in the city without developing permanent third-trimester twin-sized food babies y’all – so let us know if there are other places we should consider!

So, without further ado…we give you the first edition of the Food Baby 15 (in no particular order).

  1. Good Food on Montford
    1701 Montford Dr | 704-525-0881 | Website | Good Food on Montford on Urbanspoon

    This Moffett brothers' spot (also known for Barrington's) serves up an impeccable tapas-style menu.  GFoM is perfect for a date, dinner with the in-laws or a fun girl's night. Critically acclaimed, GFoM was a James Beard semi-finalist in 2010 for best new restaurant.  Check out our review here.
  2. Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth
    500 South Tryon St | 704-910-0865 | Website | Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth on Urbanspoon

    Halcyon is a celebration of all things local and artisinal.  I love the food, the ambiance and their mission to promote local products.  Highly recommended for lunch (Monte Carlo BBQ sandwich is a must), brunch or dinner.  Check out our review here.
  3. Bernardin’s
    435 South Tryon St, #100 | 704-332-3188 | Website | Bernardin's Fine Dining on Urbanspoon

    Bernardin's is a Winston-Salem fine dining transplant that offers an exciting array of dishes from land and sea.  Service is excellent and the food never disappoints.  Bernardin's is a choice setting to celebrate a special occasion, or just to revel in culinary bliss!
  4. Lang Van
    3019 Shamrock Dr | 704-531-9525 | Lang Van on Urbanspoon

    Lang Van is the best Vietnamese restaurant in Charlotte.  The restaurant is tucked away in an unassuming spot in East Charlotte, but don't let appearances fool you - the food is amazing (don't skip the crispy quail appetizer).  I highly recommend first timers let the omnipresent owner order for you - she won't steer you wrong.
  5. Barrington’s
    7822 Fairview Rd | 704-364-5755 | Website | Barrington's on Urbanspoon

    This original Bruce Moffatt restaurant mixes homey and upscale and has topped "best of" lists around Charlotte for years.  The menu changes seasonally and always has some unexpected gems - for example, the foie gras with pickled sugar pumpkin app from the fall/winter menu was original and outstanding. 
  6. Harvest Moon Grille
    235 North Tryon St | 704-342-1193 | Website | Harvest Moon Grille on Urbanspoon

    This is farm-to-fork at its best.  Chef/owner Cassie Parsons also owns Grateful Growers Farm, which supplies the pork and other items for the restaurant (anything else is sourced from purveyors within 100 miles of Charlotte).  The menu changes almost daily to keep up with the available local bounty.  Check out our review here.
  7. Bombay Grille
    8706 Pineville-Matthews Rd, Suite 170 | 704-542-3933 | Website | Bombay Grille Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

    While Charlotte lacks plentiful authentic Indian options, Bombay is tops in my book.  The Tandoori and curry items are outstanding, and they will customize the spice level to order.  I haven't tried the lunch, but have heard from others that dinner is where its at.
  8. Thai House
    8706 Pineville-Matthews Rd | 704-542-6300 | Website | Thai House at Tower Place on Urbanspoon

    Best Thai in Charlotte, hands down.  Here is my order of choice:  chicken or beef satay app (extra cucumber salad), spring rolls, cup of tom yum soup, pad woonsen with shrimp, and the crispy duck Penang (or whatever other daily duck feauture they have).  Yes, that is for 2 people.
  9. Customshop
    1601 Elizabeth Ave | 704-333-3396 | Website | Customshop on Urbanspoon

    This intimate Elizabeth-area trattoria has Italian, Spanish and French influences.  Start with the crudo, an artful cheese/charcuterie plate, or tuna meatballs (with bacon vinaigrette!).  The black linguini with mint and jalapeno is always delicious, and there are many enticing meat and seafood seasonal entree options to choose from. Check out our review here.
  10. Fern, Flavors from the Garden
    1323 Central Ave | 704-377-1825 | Website | Fern, Flavors From The Garden on Urbanspoon

    Step off a busy strip of Central Avenue and into an inviting earthy-chic oasis of vegetarian goodness.  The seasonal menu has something for even the staunchest of meatatarians.  The veggie burger is not to be missed (try the quinoa salad on the side). 
  11. 5Church
    127 North Tryon St, Suite 8 | 704-919-1322 | Website | 5Church on Urbanspoon

    5Church brings sleek and modern style and an inventive menu to the table.  5Church is a hit amongst foodies, the nightlife crowd and the occasional celebrity passing through Charlotte.  It is nice to finally see something with staying power in this uptown location.
  12. Fig Tree
    1601 East 7th Street | 704-332-3322 | Website | The Fig Tree Restaurant on Urbanspoon

    Fig Tree serves up Italian/French influenced seasonal cuisine in a historic restored Elizabeth bungalow.  The ambiance is romantic and the food is superb.  On the pricey side, but worth it!
  13. Soul Gastrolounge
    1500-B Central Ave | 704-348-1848 | Website | Soul Gastrolounge on Urbanspoon

    Hip(ster) and sophisticated, Soul serves up a tasty and creative menu that spans from global tapas to sushi.  Duck in early for a quick dinner or linger for the late-night scene.  My current obsessions:  chimichurri beef skewers, curried lamb skewers with mango chutney, wild mushrooms on toast with fried egg, Asian glazed pork belly tacos, hamachi sashimi , bone marrow, etc.  Oh and the heart-stopping dirty south nachos with fried chicken skin, pimento cheese fondue and pickled okra (so glad someone got high and invented these).
  14. Cowfish
    4310 Sharon Rd | 704-365-1922 | Website | The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

    This always packed Southpark hotspot has something for everyone.  The sushi, burgers and cocktails are unique and delicious.  Don't let the voluminous menu intimidate you - it is well-organized and abundant with gems. Check out our review here.
  15. Carnitas Guanajuato
    5534 Albemarle Rd | 704-563-1651 | Website | Carnitas Guanajuato on Urbanspoon

    This hidden gem has some of the best Mexican food in Charlotte.  Take your friends and order a sampling of the tacos - chorizo, pastor, carnitas, shrimp, asada...  Also check out the tortas.  I love the sampling of house made hot sauces they bring with the chips.  This spot is wallet and food baby friendly!

What else is on our radar? The below get honorable mentions and are on the short list to be elevated to the FB15.

  1. Luna’s Living Kitchen
  2. Lulu dine | wine
  3. BLT Steak
  4. McNinch House
  5. Luce
  6. Basil Thai
  7. Mac's Speed Shop
  8. Del Frisco’s
  9. Nikko
  10. Pinky’s
  11. Cabo Fish Taco
  12. Copper
  13. Toscana
  14. Wine Shop at Foxcroft
  15. Roots Farm Food (food truck)
  16. The Liberty
  17. Wooden Vine
  18. Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar
  19. Dolce
  20. Maharani
- Brianna


  1. Technically it is not in Charlotte, but Passion 8 Bistro is close enough to the state line that it should be on one of these short lists. Amazing food with a menu that changes daily based upon what ingredients are available to the chef on any given day. Worth a try if you haven't been, or worth mentioning even though it is just over the line in SC.

  2. Guessing they have never been to Passion8 Bistro. I'll never get over that this hidden place in the middle of nowhere is one of only four AAA 4 Diamond restaurants and I think the highest Zagat rating for food in the area. I always call ahead and request a chef tasting menu, unreal!

  3. Every mother is much worried about her child’s health, so am I. I am really worried about my little angle growth. She is going to be of 2 year. I hope this list get something special for her on her 2nd birthday. Therefore I was searching for some good baby food recipes.

  4. I like a big pregnant looking belly from too much food I did it tonight