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My fiancee and I went out to Dandelion Market for a pint and an appetizer last night, then headed over to Aria for dinner.

LOVED Dandelion Market! Great atmosphere, friendly bartenders, great beer selection, and good food! We just had the cheese and ale fondue, but looking around the restaurant, I could see plenty of other things that I wanted to try. The scallops, for one, look and smelled amazing. Next time we'll make dinner out of a few small plates. Definitely will be returning.

Aria left something to be desired. The food was good, the atmosphere was nice (loved the old Edison-style light bulbs everywhere), the prices were reasonable, and there really was nothing wrong with out experience except the feeling of being rushed a bit. Our salad came out immediately after we got our bread, and before we even finished the salad, our entrees had already arrived. I got a seafood arrabiata with pasta. It was good - very spicy, but nothing out of this world. My fiancee got the gnocchi - again, nothing spectacular, but not bad.

I don't have any real desire to go back, because there is really nothing about this place that stood out. Just another swanky, modern Italian restaurant.

We both agreed we'd rather have just stayed at Dandelion Market and made a meal out of it there over a couple more pints.

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My fiancee and I went out to Dandelion Market for a pint and an appetizer last night, then headed over to Aria for dinner.

LOVED Dandelion Market! Great atmosphere, friendly bartenders, great beer selection, and good food! We just had the cheese and ale fondue, but looking around the restaurant, I could see plenty of other things that I wanted to try. The scallops, for one, look and smelled amazing. Next time we'll make dinner out of a few small plates. Definitely will be returning.

Aria left something to be desired. The food was good, the atmosphere was nice (loved the old Edison-style light bulbs everywhere), the prices were reasonable, and there really was nothing wrong with out experience except the feeling of being rushed a bit. Our salad came out immediately after we got our bread, and before we even finished the salad, our entrees had already arrived. I got a seafood arrabiata with pasta. It was good - very spicy, but nothing out of this world. My fiancee got the gnocchi - again, nothing spectacular, but not bad.

I don't have any real desire to go back, because there is really nothing about this place that stood out. Just another swanky, modern Italian restaurant.

We both agreed we'd rather have just stayed at Dandelion Market and made a meal out of it there over a couple more pints.

My wife and I went to Dandelion Market over the weekend as well and we definitely agree with your assessment. Great atmosphere and the bar tenders were awesome. Food was solid and LOVED the beer selection. I like the way this area of town is coming along. Anything that breaks away from the Epicentre mold is a positive. Especially unique feeling places like this. There is hope for that jinxed Big Daddy's Grill spot yet!

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I've been to Dandelion a couple times now and its easily my favorite spot uptown. haven't had a bad plate there yet. it can be a little hard to eat on the upper floor when it starts getting loud (around 10), but just know that that's the kind of place it is.

also tried Aria recently and kind of echo ScottCLT's comments. my meal was really good, but it didn't blow my mind. i guess for a similar style of food, i think Vivace is significantly better, slightly cheaper, and more casual while still being just as upscale. if it weren't for having that option i probably WOULD go back to Aria eventually.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Checked out Room 112 in Uptown recently. Sushi, teriyaki, hibachi foods on the menu. It's located, bizarrely, at the corner of Trade and Tryon. You can enter it either from Tryon right next to the Suntrust (there's usually a sandwich board pointing the way) or behind the waterfall fountain.

They managed to have a pretty fresh interior without being laughably trendy (see: enso). The food is good and surprisingly affordable for the location. I haven't tried the sushi yet, but I was satisfied with the wok dish I had. I'd rate it on par with Soho Bistro.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Burger Company at w. morehead and freedom is now open. its also now the neighborhood's only bar, and they will be open until 1 on friday and saturday.

it was a little confusing walking in and having no indication that we were to order at the counter, and there are a few kinks like this that i'm sure will get ironed out. you order sides and everything separately, but any way you slice it the prices are really low. i had a cheese-stuffed chili jalapeno burger that came out looking quite sad and pathetic (seriously) but the taste was incredible, and probably one of the best burgers i've had in town. some nicer buns would go a long way for presentation, but now that i know how good they are i really don't care. i also had the fried pickles which seriously came close to those at Penguin.

speaking of Penguin, they might have slept on this whole Pinky's thing because this place across the street is direct competition, and there is probably not room for both in the neighborhood.

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The Burger Company at w. morehead and freedom is now open. its also now the neighborhood's only bar, and they will be open until 1 on friday and saturday.

it was a little confusing walking in and having no indication that we were to order at the counter, and there are a few kinks like this that i'm sure will get ironed out. you order sides and everything separately, but any way you slice it the prices are really low. i had a cheese-stuffed chili jalapeno burger that came out looking quite sad and pathetic (seriously) but the taste was incredible, and probably one of the best burgers i've had in town. some nicer buns would go a long way for presentation, but now that i know how good they are i really don't care. i also had the fried pickles which seriously came close to those at Penguin.

speaking of Penguin, they might have slept on this whole Pinky's thing because this place across the street is direct competition, and there is probably not room for both in the neighborhood.

I had this same burger yesterday evening. I was less impressed than you seem to be. I really found it to be very bland and even below average. The jalapeño thick burger at Hardee's tastes better to me. I doubt I'll be back for the burgers, but since it's walking distance for me, I'll probably go back again if the drink specials are good. I was excited to see them join the neighborhood, but my first impression was certainly not a good one. Prices are good, but sometimes low prices are just indicative of the ingredients used.

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^ i think i should have mentioned that it is more comparable to a Five Guys than a Big Daddy's type place (but with a bar and more options...i guess it is somewhere between the two). i think the cheese and buns could use help but the beef (they grind their own daily) and toppings were great.

i've been several times for lunch and am in love with the place, haven't gone for dinner yet

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last weekend we tried out Bistro Le Bon on Central Ave. They occupy the last spot in the Family Dollar center near Pecan. The food was great, had Swedish meatballs with mashed potatos with a great sauce. My friend had a veggie sandwich which looked pretty good too. The only downside was the incredibly slow service. We waited over a half hour for simple food and there were only three other occupied tables in the place. It was Cuban Pete's @ Central&Plaza last night. Great food, fun vibe and great service in a much busier mode than Bistro Le Bon was in. I had yummy zesty chicken soup and a Cuban sandwich. Both were great. My companion had salad and chicken and rice which looked quite tasty. I would definitely reccomend Pete's. Bistro Le Bon gets a little leeway since they are still new but my sense is that it's a good place to go when you are not in a rush to go anywhere else.

With an app the meal at Bistro Le Bon was $18

Soup and the Sandwich with a Bud Light at Cuban Pete's was $15

Edited by Forrest
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Almost every restaurant mentioned in this thread is Uptown or in a surrounding neighborhood - South End, Dilworth, Elizabeth, Plaza-Midwood, Noda, etc.

I'm curious to hear everyone's best restaurant suggestions outside this circle - South Park, University, Ballantyne, etc. (If it's in Ballantyne and you don't want to admit you've ever ventured out there, just say you had a friend who had a great dining experience there:thumbsup:)

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Almost every restaurant mentioned in this thread is Uptown or in a surrounding neighborhood - South End, Dilworth, Elizabeth, Plaza-Midwood, Noda, etc.

I'm curious to hear everyone's best restaurant suggestions outside this circle - South Park, University, Ballantyne, etc. (If it's in Ballantyne and you don't want to admit you've ever ventured out there, just say you had a friend who had a great dining experience there:thumbsup:)

there is nothing food related which is worthy of note in U City (just my 2 cents)

Edited by kermit
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I'm curious to hear everyone's best restaurant suggestions outside this circle - South Park, University, Ballantyne, etc. (If it's in Ballantyne and you don't want to admit you've ever ventured out there, just say you had a friend who had a great dining experience there:thumbsup:)

although its a chain (a small one) i was going to mention that Flying Biscuit Cafe is now open at the Park Road shopping center, and it is EXCELLENT. my only beef with the place is that they don't seem to offer liquor. they still get an A for effort for making bloody marys with sake, which sounded completely unacceptable to me but they were actually decent!

Edited by nonillogical
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Not sure how long its' been open, but I just tried Cafe Central for the first time yesterday. Awesome food, great drinks, cool rooftop patio, great vibe. Wasn't hardly anyone there, so I'm guessing it's taking a while for word to get around on this one. That place has great food and tons of potential.

http://www.cafecentr.../Site/Home.html

With all of the recent additions (Cafe Central, Bistro le Bon, Cuban Pete's, Loco Lime, Whiskey Warehouse)... to go along with all of the long-time staples (Zada Janes, Lulu's, Dish, Penguin, Thomas Street, Intermezzo, Common House, Lang Van, Dim Sum, Foskoskies, Common Market, Soul Gastrolounge, etc)...is there any doubt that Plaza Midwood has the best collection of restaurants in Charlotte?

Edited by plaza-midwood
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AHHH they have okonomiyaki!! I know where I'm going for dinner tonight yahoo.gif

Sigh. Pisces Sushi is pretty lame on most fronts. They went for the ultra-trendy atmosphere (read: uncomfortable seating and crappy techno). And unfortunately, the food doesn't help 'em. Bland rolls, overcooked edamame and, alas, crappy okonomiyaki. The yakitori was pretty good, but way overpriced.

Guess I'll just learn to make okonomiyaki at home and stick to Ru San's.

In other news, Bei Jing Chinese Cuisine opens this week in South End next to Sub Station. I have high hopes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

several updates:

- there is a new pizza place at 4th and McDowell, next to KokoMos and Quiznos. i don't recall the name, but driving by it looked ready to open. i had no idea that there were 4 retail spaces there, one is still available.

- it LOOKS like Pinky's (not sure if its still going to bear that name) is moving forward at W. Morehead and Freedom. yesterday i was at the opening party for Red Devil Tattoo (and head shop) across the street, and there was a construction sign up on that building. it was clearly being gutted. Burger Co. and Savor have been pretty big hits so far in the neighborhood, and this should be an even bigger draw.

- the former Harper's Grill, formerly Arpa spot at Trade & Church is now "The King's Kitchen." it's a non-profit, apparently church-affiliated restaurant serving basic moderate-priced soul food and employing various people in need. imo the religious bent sounds a little over the top on the website, but its a great thing to do and i'm glad to see something like this open in such a prominent spot!

http://kingskitchen.org/mission/

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The Icehouse is now (softly) open. We went for dinner tonight and overall it was pretty good. The food is fairly standard gastropub fare. I had the pulled pork sloppy joe and a beer. We split an order of wings, half teriyaki, half honey BBQ and a veggie burger. They have a huge selection of beers, mostly in bottles but a few on draft. The sandwich was good, with a pleasant amount of smoke in the meat. The wings are grilled and the sauce complements but doesn't overpower the meat (although between the two, I recommend the honey BBQ). All of my dining companions were happy with what they got and we will be going back. The garbanzo based veggie burger was fine. We were our server's first table and she did a good job with us.
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