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I'll second that Sole. I don't usually enjoy tapas that much, but Sole is excellent. And there's always Dolce over at East + Kenilworth. As to Villa Antonio - it is very much on the pricey side. Not something you would expect from a restaurant sitting between a Walgreens and shut down Waffle House.

Oh! And of course Fiamma. Its just off Park Road after it splits off from Kenilworth/Scott. Pretty much within walking distance if you live in Dilworth. I also hear that Ru Sans, in the same area, has the best sushi in town - a claim made by a Japanese-born and raised friend of mine.

Edited by tozmervo

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Oooops....I've been lucky enough to always be on the receiving end of free dinners at Villa Antonio's so I never paid much attention to the prices.....ummm, file that in your "special night out" file....and yeah, the location and building are crap, but the food...ahhh...the food.

The Cajun Queen is worth checking out as well....it's been a while since I've been, so I can't really comment on pricing.....it's sort of like 300 East does Cajun. It's on 7th in Elizabeth.

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^^^^^ Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. Based on what everyone has said about Sole, I may give that a try. Villa Antonio will be filed away for another night :)

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I also hear that Ru Sans, in the same area, has the best sushi in town - a claim made by a Japanese-born and raised friend of mine.

Having tried almost every sushi place in town, i would have to give that title to New Zealand Cafe on Monroe and Sardis with Yotto on Colony Rd. a close second

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Speaking of Sushi, there is a neat little place in Cotswald in the old Pizza Hut called Koishi. The food is exceptional. I would have never tried it, but a friend took me up there one night. I have been back several times since. I even had my last birthday dinner there. The server was nice enough to give complimentary Sake and green tea ice cream. They also have different fruity flavors of Sake. The prices are comparable to RuSans (another good place).

http://www.koishicharlotte.com/

There are also some real gems up and down Central Ave is you like Vietnamese and Mexican. Some of them look like a hole in the wall, but for authentic ethnic food, thats usually the best bet. Most of these places are fairly cheap. I particularly like Pho Hoa and Dim Sum. There is a Mexican place over by Kilbourne/Norland and Central on the right going away from town. Its in a strip mall so its hard to see, but the food is awesome.

Just my $0.02

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I noticed a sign in a window of a dark building on the corner of Caldwell and 6th (I believe it was 6th, might have been 7th) announcing "Pizzaria coming soon." Has that sign been there for ever and I am just now noticing it, or is this new? If no one knows what I am talking about, I'll try to notice the address next time.

PS: I was viewing from Caldwell looking toward the CBD.

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Maybe it's just me, but I have to say I haven't been overly impressed with the sushi at Ru San's. I've been there 2 or 3 times and didn't care for it a whole lot. While it's not bad per se, it's just not my first choice. Nikko is the best I've been to. Sushi 101 isn't bad. And that place Koishi CLTNative was talking about is a solid #2 option. They have some affordable sake there too.

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Speaking of Sushi, there is a neat little place in Cotswald in the old Pizza Hut called Koishi. The food is exceptional. I would have never tried it, but a friend took me up there one night. I have been back several times since. I even had my last birthday dinner there. The server was nice enough to give complimentary Sake and green tea ice cream. They also have different fruity flavors of Sake. The prices are comparable to RuSans (another good place).

http://www.koishicharlotte.com/

I've been to Koishi several times and I was impressed. Didn't expect much out of a restaurant in an old Pizza Hut building but I changed my mind quickly.

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I noticed a sign in a window of a dark building on the corner of Caldwell and 6th (I believe it was 6th, might have been 7th) announcing "Pizzaria coming soon." Has that sign been there for ever and I am just now noticing it, or is this new? If no one knows what I am talking about, I'll try to notice the address next time.

PS: I was viewing from Caldwell looking toward the CBD.

That sign has been there for at least a year. I don't have any ither information. There was also supposed to be a new pizza place on Davidson in the Garden District but I don't think it ever materialized.

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^^^^^ Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. Based on what everyone has said about Sole, I may give that a try. Villa Antonio will be filed away for another night :)

I have actually never been that impressed by Sole, the last few times I've been there I actually was very underwhelmed. I will kindly suggest one of my favorites, its one of the most famous, but often forgotten charlotte restaurants, The Ranch House, out Wilkinson.

http://www.ranchhouseofcharlotte.com/ for more info.

Anyways so now I have a question.

When is the last time anyone has gone to "the Open Kitchen" on morehead? If you have eaten there in the past year or so, is it still as good as it used to be, I'm taking a very special lady out on V-Day, and I'd like to show her a diff side of charlotte's cultural and culinary pallate.

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When is the last time anyone has gone to "the Open Kitchen" on morehead? If you have eaten there in the past year or so, is it still as good as it used to be, I'm taking a very special lady out on V-Day, and I'd like to show her a diff side of charlotte's cultural and culinary pallate.

I like it for it's history and culture. A restaurant like most in Charlotte were 20 - 40 years ago with few others that have survived, BUT the food is not all that great. Really it is a diner with an Italian twist. Again, I like it for the kitsh of the old timey feel and the history, but that is about it (and we eat there a couple times a year for lunch!). It would be a pretty cool/fun date place if your date hasn't been there -- and it is cheap.

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I ate at Dish (in the Plaza-Midwood area) last night for the first time. We had fried green tomatoes for an appetizer and I had the cajun meatloaf as my meal. Both were outstanding... I'm definitely a fan of that place now. And it was a cheap eat too! Now tonight is the date night at Sole (it will also be my first time). Will let you know how that is... at least the meal portion :)

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I ate at Dish (in the Plaza-Midwood area) last night for the first time. We had fried green tomatoes for an appetizer and I had the cajun meatloaf as my meal. Both were outstanding... I'm definitely a fan of that place now. And it was a cheap eat too! Now tonight is the date night at Sole (it will also be my first time). Will let you know how that is... at least the meal portion :)

Las Ramblas on Park Rd has excellent Tapas, great date place if you want to continue ordering/trying/sharing some new things. 300 East is also in the Dilworth area (near Sullivans) you mentioned and is reasonably priced with a cosy atmosphere that's more upscale than a bar but not stuffy.

As for the sushi - Crudo at Customshop takes the cake for raw-fish, but strictly sushi - Nikko, followed by Sushi 101 - Ru San is good if you like colorful and fried rolls, but the fish itself is not the best...

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I had lunch at Big Daddy's Burger Bar on East Blvd. today. This is the new restaurant by the same guys that run Cantina 1511 and Mama Ricotta's. It was PACKED! Every table full, and a 15-20 minute wait at 12:30 today. I decided to build my own burger instead of choosing one of their pre-designed burgers. I went with the basics -- Cabot white cheddar and applewood smoked bacon. The burger was great, and as a side I chose the tater tots. They were better than those that you remember from high school. Other side choices include onion strings, fries, or a bleu cheese wedge salad.

This place is very similar to The Counter at Southpark in concept. The atmosphere was much different, though. Full of nostalgic signs for cigarettes, beer, Coca-Cola, etc. Everyone there was wearing a button-up mechanic's shirt. Kind of reminded me of if Fuel Pizza opened up a burger joint.

The prices were cheaper than The Counter because the sides were included, but The Counter does offer quite a bit more in the way of option for the burger (more cheeses, sauces, and toppings and a choice of bread). Big Daddy's does cook a mean burger, though. The location's great, the food's good -- this place should no doubt be a hit.

The only problem I experienced today was the time it took to get the food out. I know it's a new spot, but 35 minutes to cook a burger? My girlfriend joined me for lunch, but couldn't even eat there because she had to head back to work by the time the food came out. She took hers to go. Luckily, I've got a bit more relaxed lunch break policy where I work (there's really not one), so I could at least stay and eat at the bar there. I'm sure this will all get ironed out once they get into their groove and the crowd dies down.

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As for the sushi - Crudo at Customshop takes the cake for raw-fish, but strictly sushi - Nikko, followed by Sushi 101 - Ru San is good if you like colorful and fried rolls, but the fish itself is not the best...

Agreed on Ru San. Fine, but their fish is not excellent. Just ok. My current favorite fish is at 'i' on East. Their sashimi plate is outstanding.

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My current favorite fish is at 'i' on East. Their sashimi plate is outstanding.

Hand's down. We go and get the 'i' sushi platter. Their food is amazing. They take genuine care with everything (it is an older Japanese couple that owns and runs the place -- he is the chef and is classicly trained). I eat things there raw I'd never consider at other places and it is all fantastic...I might need to head there this week :). The platter changes constantly depending on what they were able to get fresh.

Surf Clam, squid, sweet shrimp...plus all the normal stuff...ummmmm. The salmon with mango...

Edited by Charlotte_native

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Hand's down. We go and get the 'i' sushi platter. Their food is amazing. They take genuine care with everything (it is an older Japanese couple that owns and runs the place -- he is the chef and is classicly trained). I eat things there raw I'd never consider at other places and it is all fantastic...I might need to head there this week :) . The platter changes constantly depending on what they were able to get fresh.

Surf Clam, squid, sweet shrimp...plus all the normal stuff...ummmmm. The salmon with mango...

I also enjoy the 'i' sushi platter, its fantastic, it really represents the restaurant well as a whole. Another one to try is the sumo platter at upstream, it is a lil bit pricey, one of the more expensive items on the menu, but its enough to feed two people, with three teirs of sushi brought to you. It includes a whole rainbow of different fishes from eel to trout, mostly nigiri ,its fantastic. If you like raw fish its definately something to order, I seem to remember having sea urchin on it one time, it was truely a amazingly strange taste.

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Not sure how long this place has been around, but I caught a review of it in this month's Charlotte Magazine and decided to check it out.

I just got back from Saudi Arabia, and was still in the mood for some middle-eastern fare. I went to Cedar's today (Charlotte Magazine calls it Cedarland -- the signs give conflicting messages). It's a Lebanese joint on Central near Sharon Amity.

The meal starts with pickled vegetables, and we continued with falafel for an appetizer. For entrees, my girlfriend and I split mixed Shwarma (beef and chicken) and mixed grilled kabobs. It was pretty damned close to as good as one of the sketchy little joints I went to on the downtown streets of Al Khobar. The meat was very flavorful, and plentiful. The pitas weren't made fresh, unfortuntately, but they were soft, and were also plentiful for scooping up your bites of meat and hommus.

In addition to the restaurant, there is a Halal grocery store adjoining. Everything from middle-eastern/mediterranean sweets, candies, groceries, drinks, etc. to the most extensive selection of sheesha (hookah tobacco) and hookahs themselves. Everything was extremely modestly priced -- if you are into hookah this place is the motherload offering tobacco and supplied at 1/4 the price of other places around town. Literally -- everything cost the same as if you were buying it in the middle east.

Cedar's was a great find -- both the food and the adjoining store really impress. Do beware...it's a bit sketchy in its location and its atmosphere. That's all part of the charm, though.

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Not sure how long this place has been around, but I caught a review of it in this month's Charlotte Magazine and decided to check it out.

I just got back from Saudi Arabia, and was still in the mood for some middle-eastern fare. I went to Cedar's today (Charlotte Magazine calls it Cedarland -- the signs give conflicting messages). It's a Lebanese joint on Central near Sharon Amity.

The meal starts with pickled vegetables, and we continued with falafel for an appetizer. For entrees, my girlfriend and I split mixed Shwarma (beef and chicken) and mixed grilled kabobs. It was pretty damned close to as good as one of the sketchy little joints I went to on the downtown streets of Al Khobar. The meat was very flavorful, and plentiful. The pitas weren't made fresh, unfortuntately, but they were soft, and were also plentiful for scooping up your bites of meat and hommus.

In addition to the restaurant, there is a Halal grocery store adjoining. Everything from middle-eastern/mediterranean sweets, candies, groceries, drinks, etc. to the most extensive selection of sheesha (hookah tobacco) and hookahs themselves. Everything was extremely modestly priced -- if you are into hookah this place is the motherload offering tobacco and supplied at 1/4 the price of other places around town. Literally -- everything cost the same as if you were buying it in the middle east.

Cedar's was a great find -- both the food and the adjoining store really impress. Do beware...it's a bit sketchy in its location and its atmosphere. That's all part of the charm, though.

I second that. I love Cedar's!!! It has charm of a great hole it the wall. Service can be a little slow because usually it is the same guy that runs the grocery store side of the business that is taking your order. However for the price and excellent tasting Lebanese dishes I don't think anybody else in Charlotte beats it. Note exactly sure of the age, but I've been going there at least a couple of years now.

Edited by fulcrumsf

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I'm looking for a good place to eat wings tonight... I live in Dilworth/South End area so I've been to Picasso's, Ed's, etc... but looking for something different. Anyone have a good suggestion? I saw Moosehead won the best wings in Charlotte but also heard it isn't the cleanest place in town either.

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I'm looking for a good place to eat wings tonight... I live in Dilworth/South End area so I've been to Picasso's, Ed's, etc... but looking for something different. Anyone have a good suggestion? I saw Moosehead won the best wings in Charlotte but also heard it isn't the cleanest place in town either.

Moosehead without a doubt.

Its as clean as a pizza hut converted into a smokey bar can be. Its one of the best places in town to get some decent food (except their grouper is catfish) and have by far the best wings.

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